Mezzo Forte

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“Like father, like daughter. Only more so.”

The Peach Twisters baseball team suck. This may be because the owner kills his pitcher with a baseball bat in the car-park, after losing a game? And he’s the model of restraint and sanity compared to his daughter, Momomi. The Danger Service Agency, a trio of troubleshooters, are hired to kidnap the owner (obviously, legality is a minor concern), but things go wrong, and he dies in the process. How can they escape this tricky situation? The core of the DSA is Mikura, who is a combat specialist, and easily the best thing in the group, as the other two are largely forgettable. But when Mikura goes into action, the film accelerates from 0-60 in about two seconds, which a cheerful, splattery approach that’s endearing. And she’s an upbeat character, which is a notable contrast to Umetsu’s other genre entry, Kite [Sawa, that show’s heroine, makes a cameo here].

There was a time when watching a cut version of any film or show would have me frothing at the mouth, but from all the descriptions I’ve read, the two sex scenes edited out here added little to the plot. I certainly can’t say I was ever thinking, “What this show really needs, is cartoon characters, going at it like knives.” That would probably have derailed, or at least detoured, the fast, frothy, frantic feel of this ultraviolent anime. I was also unconvinced by Mikura’s psychic abilities, which show no evidence of being other than lazy writing, and the apparent connection between Momomi and Mikura also stretches credibility to the max. The look and feel of this is undeniably nice, but can’t quite cover up the weaknesses in the plot and some of the characters.

Dir: Yasuomi Umetsu
Stars (voice): Tomoko Kotani, Takumi Yamazaki, TaichirĂ´ Hirokawa, Akemi Okamura

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