Coyote Ragtime Show – episode 1

July 30, 2006 on 2:12 am | In Coyote Ragtime Show | 5 Comments

“Prison Break”

Giant, twelve-strong stupidity and desperately obvious character set ups mask the fact that, at the end of the episode, Coyote Ragtime Show has some of the hallmarks of a semi-intriguing science fiction program.

Angelica Barnes is an investigator who has spent four years tracing the serial terrorist/no-goodnik “Mister” across the universe. Her quest takes her to a desert prison, where it becomes clear that a plot to spring Mister is afoot.
The situation becomes more complex when “Madame Marciano’s Twelve Sisters”, a robot troupe with gimmicky names, drop from the sky and take on the prison as well.

In Angelica we’ve got a woman with a jacket lined with hammer space, a woman who can eat a hamburger without the use of her hands; In Chelsea, her new offsider, we’ve got a moe voiced girl with an astounding memory for dates and facts but not much in the way of literacy; In Mister we’ve got a mysterious villain with a stupid name that might sound cool to someone out there; In Madame Marciano’s Twelve Sisters we’ve got a gimmicky team all dressed in varying shades of gothic lolita fashion, a team that can take a beating due to the terrible secret that they’re all robots.

Plus the criminal guild in the universe is actually called “Criminal Guild”, a fact that probably lowers the intelligence of this program a good few points.

The trick to Coyote Ragtime Show is to lower your expectations. It gets off to a slow start, it has the dull colours and no outlines of some of the shows that we’re seeing lately, but then it introduces the Twelve Sisters and you realise that, as long as the wanton violence goes off, do you really care?
The Twelve Sisters unleash a primitive beast inside the audience: the beast that craves nonsensical bloodshed; the beast that craves enemies that can get shot but not hurt so that they can keep on letting out that blood; the beast that thinks that a trio of identical little girls lifting a truck is the coolest thing ever.

For ease of use, the twelve sisters have names based on the months of the year. This is a delightful conceit that makes even more sense than twins with rhyming names or entire casts with names based on popular drinks or desserts. Of course, this makes the whole exercise feel even more manufactured than it already was, but who are we to complain? These girls create blood wherever they go, and blood is the world’s number one currency.

Coyote Ragtime Show‘s secret to success is that it raises itself above trudging stupidity to gimmicky, explosive stupidity. An audience will always bite at gimmicks and explosions, and here they don’t even have to worry about social commentary as they had to with Black Lagoon. An undemanding anime with maybe a bit of story has the capacity to storm a season otherwise dominated by thoughtful shows and Daichi comedy.

I should also address the issue of “durrr this is Cowboy Bebop“. Being in a desert and having SF elements does not a Cowboy Bebop clone make. However! The title is exactly the same as Cowboy Bebop.

Western conceit + Style of Music = Anime Title


  1. Mister’s the hero, not the villain. Actually, there’s no villain. The 12 girls are too hot to be bad.

    Comment by tj han — July 30, 2006 #

  2. Sorry, I just assumed that the people who commited wanton acts of violence would be bad people.

    Comment by Alex — July 30, 2006 #

  3. This episode is just preparing the scene for what is to come. The story is basically an adventure (a race against time) so if you think about it that way then you will enjoy it more.

    The art and animation isn’t as bad as you put it. It is obviously far better that most of the shows on offer this season (if not all of them). it seems ufotable has finally matured art wise.

    I have to say that I hate the 12 sisters and Coyote Ragtime Show gives me the pleasure of seeing the look on the 12 sisters’ faces whenever they are defeated by Mister which is a satisfying feeling indeed and one of the reasons why I like this show.

    Comment by Mohammad — July 30, 2006 #

  4. I don’t think I mentioned the art or animation, did I?
    Mister is played by Ohtsuka Akio who is, of course, one of my sweethearts. Interesting to think that he’s the “hero”, even though the first episode doesn’t indicate that and doesn’t have an OP to help you understand the characters’ places.

    Comment by Alex — July 30, 2006 #

  5. coOL!

    Comment by mhateng — January 15, 2009 #

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