Adventures of Kotetsu Anime Review
Kotetsu no Daibouken
Kotetsu's Great Adventure
Project Team Sara
US Release By
Supernatural Romantic Fanservice Action-Comedy
2 30-minute episodes
1996-12-13 - 1997-01-10
What's In It
- Cute Kids
- Bad Accents
- Supernatural Beasts
- Scroll Magic
- Catfights (usually combined with one of the other two)
- Heaps of fan service.
- Violence: 2 (moderate)
- Nudity: 3 (significant)
- Sex: 3 (significant)
- Language: 1 (mild)
Linn Suzuki (aka Kotetsu), a young girl brought up by an immortal witch, has come to Tokyo searching for her brother, who last worked at the Kuon Detective Agency. She finds Miss Miho Kuon just as she becomes the target of an assassination attempt by a member of a secret underground guild of sorcerers. She teams up with Miho and the sorcerer, Tetsuya Mikado (who changes his mind when he realizes how cute she is) to battle with Kagari, an angry dryad out to kill them all.
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Based on a manga by the pseudonymous MEE, Adventures of Kotetsu is a supernatural action comedy directed by Yuji Moriyama, better known for his character design, animation, and screenplay work on Project A-ko. One of the first things you're sure to notice about Adventures of Kotetsu is the massive fan service content and general mature tone of things. That isn't to say that this is a mature story--the whole thing is a total laugh trip--but practically all the jokes are nosebleed humour. On the whole it's quite funny and rather entertaining, and while the visuals are uninspired, there's some cool scroll magic and reasonable swordplay. The two big negatives are that Linn's dubbed voice has the most godawful British accent, and it stops abruptly after only two episodes.
Adventures of Kotetsu, while not highbrow viewing or the best thing ever to come out of Japan, is funny and entertaining enough to leave me wanting more. Unfortunately, as my (anime-hating) father says: "That's all there is, there ain't no more." Damn.
Full ReviewSwitch to Quick Review
Based on a manga by the pseudonymous MEE, Adventures of Kotetsu is a supernatural action-comedy directed by Yuji Moriyama, better known for his character design, animation, and screenplay work on Project A-ko. This tape contains two episodes, something I will come to later.
One of the first things you're sure to notice about Adventures of Kotetsu is the massive fan service content and general mature tone of things. That isn't to say that this is a mature story--the whole thing is a total laugh trip--but practically all the jokes are nosebleed humour--you know the type, so I won't go into detail. Suffice to say that the second episode is set at a hot springs. How much more obvious does the set-up have to be? There is a fair bit of sex, especially in the second episode, although nothing is actually seen and what is seen never quite gets there. It's all in the name of humour, but it is a bit off-putting for those who find such material distasteful. (Then again, there are those who revel in it--not me of course!)
Be that as it may, this is actually quite funny and generally rather entertaining, as characters get to spout memorable lines like "How can you resist a cute face like this, you deranged old bat?!" The swordplay is reasonable, and personally I just love scroll-magic (the traditional sort where you slap scrolls with incantations on them onto people or objects to gain control of them). Tetsuya Mikado uses it rather well in the first episode--check out the stone hell hound he summons out of the ground! The enemies... on second thoughts, make that a singular "enemy" is well designed--a dryad spirit of the olive trees, capable of disguising herself (as she does with rather amusing results) or throwing a storm of needle-like splinters.
The animation is clean and honestly pretty ordinary--a comparable style would be The Slayers. The detail is nice, but it's unexceptionally animated--good enough, but nothing to write home about. The music is alright, although the best way to describe the opening theme is "quirky."
Unfortunately, the dub sounds fair enough right up to the point where Linn first opens her mouth. She has the most godawful British accent. It kind of grows on you though, and I get the feeling that was actually an in-joke which simply didn't translate too well--when Miho first hears Linn speak she also reacts with near total bewilderment.
[Editorial addition: The subtitled dialogue is reasonably well acted and quite funny in a few spots, and as they tried to indicate with her Cockney accent in the dub, Linn has a rather strong old-fashioned Kyoto accent that would be amusing if you speak Japanese.]
The story, what little we get of it, sounds rather interesting, especially the underground guild Mikado is part of--we know he is firmly with the good guys (he's really quite a decent bloke) but he is still tied to these evil guys. There's some background political stuff, which appears to be rather irrelevant, and there's supposed to be a quest, sadly neglected, to find Linn's brother, but it's fair stuff overall.
Unfortunately the biggest problem with Adventures of Kotetsu, apart from the exorbitant amount of fan service and nosebleed gags, is rather simple--it's a one-shot. There's only the one tape even though there is so much potential story in there.
As far as I'm concerned it's a damn shame, as Adventures of Kotetsu, while not highbrow viewing or the best thing ever to come out of Japan, is funny and entertaining enough to leave me wanting more. Unfortunately, as my (anime-hating) father says: "That's all there is, there ain't no more." Damn.
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Blue Seed, Phantom Quest Corp, and 3x3 Eyes all have some of the "modern day demon hunting" thing, but none are as silly or fanservice-heavy as Kotetsu.
Notes and Trivia
Based on a comic series of the same name by MEE (aka Minoru Tachikawa), not currently available in English.
Kotetsu means "Little Iron," probably after a combination of her being tough and her diminutive size.
As noted above, Kotetsu has a strong very old-fashioned Kyoto accent, reflecting her extremely sheltered upbringing--it goes beyond country bumpkin into the territory of anachronism. They tried to carry this into the dub by giving her a Cockney accent.
US DVD Review
No DVD exists as of this writing.
Enough nudity and raunch to qualify for a 16-up.
Violence: 2 - A bit of blood, not gory.
Nudity: 3 - Excessive, fairly detailed, and not all female. Get the point.
Sex/Mature Themes: 3 - Raunchy as they come without being hentai. Funny, though.
Language: 1 - Very little.