Monday, April 27, 2009

The antonym of finesse... Kouichi.

Last week, when I began watching the anime Linebarrels of Iron, I raved about how cartoons were trending away from classic heroic-folk toward arrogant, unlikable pricks. Today, I return to expound further upon the many flaws of our would-be "hero of justice", Kouichi.

Kouichi fancies himself a real hero, and he makes it abundantly clear by declaring it confidently: "I want to be a hero of justice" or "I'm going to be a real hero of justice" or "I am a real hero of justice." Yet he's deeply lacking in any kind of self-reflection. Although his character does evolve over the course of the show, it's largely through brute force scenarios such as the death of his comrades. While he might be convinced of his nobility, Kouichi's fighting method largely consists of going berserk and charging full speed ahead, slashing randomly while he yelps like a rabid dog and screams, "I'll kill you! I'll kill you!" at the top of his lungs. But don't worry, all of the other cast members back him up by constantly reaffirming that Kouichi "really is great" or "really is cool", as if saying it enough times will make it true.

Kouichi is a blunt instrument, and while he's constantly put down and defeated by his martially skilled and infinitely cool-headed senior, Moritsugu, he's never seen even once during the show practicing to improve his combat technique or his control over his emotions. I could virtually hear Judi Dench shaking her head and chiding, "Any thug can kill. I need you to take your ego out of the equation." He's no Kira Yamato, that's for sure.

What only made the show more frustrating for me were all the misguided youth posting comments after each episode, such as "It's amazing how touching these characters are!" or "Wow, Kouichi really became cool!" They're not. He's not. Stop, stop stop!!!

"The Power is Yours!" I think I saw this scene in an episode of Captain Planet...

Linebarrels of Iron, while not as completely dismal as I make it sound, ends in a glorious blaze of schizophrenia. It seems the creators couldn't decide whether they wanted to be tragic or encouraging, and constantly oscillate between the two - frequently killing off characters to much fanfare and then bringing them back to life. And what the frak was that beach episode with the giant tentacle monster...??!!

This entry was
adopted by Brutus.