KO Beast I

May 1, 2004 on 6:46 pm | In KO Beast | Comments Off on KO Beast I

Back in the days of my Right Stuf addiction, I bought KO Beast without really knowing why; it was cheap. Now that I’ve watched it, I have seen it for the rollicking comedy adventure that it is!

Years ago the hemispheres of Earth were at war and eventually split in two. As a result northerners evolved into beasts of varying tribes who can change into animals under certain circumstances. The southerners stayed as humans and grew really bitter because they didn’t get to live quite so well.
To the modern day, the humans have captured the jinn, totems that the beast tribes worship. Once awakened, they are revealed to be the weapons with which the deciding war was fought. These jinn are supposed to be the key to uncovering Gaia, which is the ultimate weapon which will decide the new war, or similar.

Despite being screwball comedy, KO Beast‘s story is somewhat important. The characters are really fun and the cast is excellent. Bud speaks half in English, and his Grandpa is freakin’ Uncle Sam. Koyasu Takehito says that this was the role that made him stop being so much the “cool guy” and becoming more of a comical role player. You have KO Beast to thank/blame for Ilpalazzo and a long line of slightly gay bishounen.
The rest of the characters are also great, and Yuni’s mischievous streak caused much hilarity. Mekka isn’t one of the three musketeers (in fact, he seemed just thrown in), so it’s good that he becomes like a retainer for the pink haired trouble maker.

The OP is like some sort of great and terrible song. B•O•M•B•E•R Love is its name. The point when you realise how brilliant it is is at the point that Scanch sing “Koi no missile, 3-2-1-0“. The cheerful chorus “Hello, Rock ‘n’ Roll Bomber!”, accompanied by chibi and generally crazy animation, with a rough approximation of seventies British punk/rock vocals … it grabs you with its delicious anarchy.
Turns out that this isn’t the original OP, also available on the DVD, and it is more suited to KO Beast II, but it’s marvellous nonetheless.
The ED song is unbelievably also by Scanch. It’s very simple but incredibly melodious … a glorious angel’s dance upon the ears.

Negishi Hiroshi says that it came from the heady days when crews were trying to make the most of the OVA form. He was right. As everyone knows, the Golden Age of the OVA was a golden age indeed.

The DVD is generally great, there’s only one real problem: Mekka’s name is subtitled as “Tuttle”. While that does translate his name accurately into English (“Mekka” almost being “Kame” (turtle) backwards), it’s a name. And names always sound weird when they’re clearly being shouted but are subtitled as something differently.

The drama is somewhat dramatic, the comedy is particularly comedic, and it’s got great traditional OVA animation values. Go for KO Beast. It’s good and cheap. While it should be on two DVDs instead of three (representing both OVA series), there’s always a good special going down to nullify that problem.

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