Friday, 20 May 2011 22:41

Jyu Oh Sei (TV, 2006)

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Overview

It's a slump season, fuck all interesting is playing, I'm drinking a beer, and watching anime I missed out on when it first came out.

Yeah, it's time for another round of "Anime to Avoid." Today's fine example of how to fail at life is a piece of whale shit known as Jyu-Oh-Sei, otherwise known as Planet of the Beast King.

Hang on, I need another beer. You should get one too if you're going to slog through this wretched pile of rotting sewage with me.

Review

Jyu-Oh-Sei is one of those anime that has everything it could possibly want in order to tell a good story, except the ability to tell a good story, which means the whole thing's lack of coherency causes it to fall apart into the primordial aether…fuck, if only. No, instead Funimation somehow got it into their head to spend money dubbing and marketing this junk, which they should have known better than to do after the implosion of ADV and Geneon. Basically the story is about a set of twins who live on the space colony Juno, one of whom isn't really the twin of the other, but they go back and forth on that a couple of times to the point that how it happened is a chaotic mess of retcon hacks that MI5 would be impressed with, and it's not the only one. These two guys come home one day, find their parents murdered, and themselves kidnapped and then dropped off on a planet called Chimera, which is currently a penal colony. The story itself takes place some 350 years after humans had settled, colonized, and terraformed a number of planets. These particular ones are in the Balkan star system some 150 lightyears from Earth. Chimera is where they incarcerate the worst of the worst, and with good reason, since the plant life of that planet is insanely carnivorous and outright lethal to the humans there.

Oh yeah, by the way; given the subject of this review, any limited spoiler protection I may afford other reviews is null and void. You have been warned.

This is some pretty high concept sci fi we're talking about here. Unfortunately, this is also where it all goes to shit. About the only high point is when the whiny ass twin, who can't seem to run anymore, can't seem to get it into his head to fight, and keeps screaming to be saved, is finally eaten. This is in contrast to the opening where it looks like he may return in typical fashion to enact a dreaded revenge. But no, folks, he's dead. Crack open another beer and toast to another looser reaping the fruits of being a total pussy…he wasn't even truly willing to fight as hard as he can for his own survival or his brother's.

The fucking fucked really starts off when you find out the plant life is extremely carnivorous. Not to mention both quickly mobile and agile. Again, it's not a problem in and of itself, but there's no animal life on this world. Zilch. Nada. I think you see one small lizard thing get chomped, and that's it. So, what the fuck were these things eating? In the entire series you don't see them eating anything other than what I just mentioned and people. They're not eating the other plants; they're not even attacking each other except for a throwaway line pre time skp (or was it post time skip? I don't feel the need to recall) about one of the plants being so vicious the others stay away. Many of these plants are optimized to eat things that fly. There's nothing flying in this anime, except for a couple of unlucky punks who jump over them. There are a number of them that are optimized to run down and slaughter things to eat. There's nothing to do that with. In short, the biology of the planet makes no sense and could not possibly exist, much less survive in its currently defined state.

Then we get to the society on the planet. It's divided up into about four tribes (or rings) which are separated by skin color first and other factors second, and this is never discussed again or explored in any real way. These guys first fall in with a group of outcasts that hold no affiliation to any ring, but during their stay, find these guys to be pretty fucked up, and decide to bail. Wussy twin dies (heh, heh), and the other twin, Thor, is saved by a girl who wants him to be her mate for the upcoming mating month. You see the women are very few, considered special on the planet, they live apart from the men, except for one month a year where they come together to have children.

This is the most fucking ridiculous thing I've ever heard. At no time would a human society EVER allow their women and men to 'live apart' while in the middle of a constant fight for survival, and in this situation, just getting up in the morning in this world is a minor miracle. Their justification, that being to allow for child birth during the most optimal season of that planet, is so weak as to be immediately disregarded, since humans have babies in every season, in every environment, in every extreme imaginable…this would be no different. In the bluntest terms possible, women would be a highly sought after resource on this world, as they were on our world when our ancestors were getting run down and eaten by sabre-tooth tigers and tyrannosauruses. Worse, these are not the most civilized people in existence…these are the criminals, and not just any criminals, but the worst of the killers, psychotics, pedophiles, sociopaths, and what have you. Literal monsters on a world that thinks they're tasty. Granted, that more of them at this point are likely the descendants of such people, but they keep getting fresh infusions of the fuck jobs. Did this guy do any goddamn research into how humans actually operated, or was he just making shit up because it sounded cool?

They have technology. Jet Bikes that still fly. Guns. Swords. Clothes. Bottles with wine. They have no infrastructure. They have no industrial base. Even if that shit was left in what was obviously a bunch of old observation outposts, they have no means of maintaining any of that. That place has been a prison for several centuries. And the wardens of this jail do not drop supplies. Anything that had been left would have been used up within the first few years; it is impossible for them to have any of that. The only other stuff that was technological would have been from the wardens themselves to facilitate their Beast King contest, which made no sense, 'til later, and even then you have to roll your eyes at it.

Continuing from above, I find it completely impossible that they have no industrial base. At all. Nothing is shown being made. Nothing IS being made. These are people who HAVE been there for a few centuries despite the infusions of fresh psychopath (whom they'd probably have ways of dealing with at this point). There's one scene where the girl who saved Thor is showing him some fruits which are good, but dangerous to get to due to their height and the things that might eat them if they climbed the plant to get them. All I could think of was, "GET A LONG STICK!" This type of thinking is beyond everyone in this series. It's enough to drive one bats! THE AUTHOR DRIVES US BATS! BATS, I SAY!

Then we get to the main plot, or whatever the fuck passes for something called a 'main plot'. Seriously, if the love subplot wasn't bad enough, where-in Thor falls into insta-love with a rather hot girl post time skip (I'd be all for hitting that, make no mistake), jilting the girl who saved him (while stating in his head she was never going to get the child she wanted from him…good going fuckface, don't pay your help, see how well that works out), the Beast King competition is the absolutely worst thought out crap I'd seen since trolling the Rozen Maiden fanfiction archive at Fanfiction.net (seriously, if I see 8th maiden in just one more fic, I'm going to go and kill people randomly on the street!) The Beast King is the title given to the one who defeats all four of the heads of the tribes (who rule by force and challenge), and is then pardoned of his crimes (fucking sucks if you were born there) and is sent to live on another planet with a generous stipend. No one stops to think if this really makes any sense. Turns out, that this is not what it's about at all, oh no…say it isn't so (/sarc). Nope, it's a eugenics project being conducted by powers that be to create the next step in human evolution. He would be a superior man, capable of living on the only planet where people were able to have children naturally anymore. This, while I'm thinking, "What the flying fuck? What's the fucking point of having it so they can marry at such a young age on the colonies (10 years) if they couldn’t have children without a tube anyway?" Later, it appears Thor's mother DID have her twins naturally, but that didn't make any sense since they just previously stated that they didn't have children naturally anymore. Reason for all this being is that the same comet that altered the planet Chimera's rotation and orbit around its sun, turning everything super feral (if without any logical consistency), also just rammed into the planet Earth some three or four centuries back, turning it into a nice new asteroid belt. So people are now stuck in the colonies, and for some reason, can't have children naturally on these worlds…except Chimera. Needless to say, this is some big secret that gets a reveal at the end of the series, but by that time you be drilling a hole in your head so you can pour liquid fucking helium into your brain.

Let's do some math. 150 Light years is about 8.81774972 × 10 to the 14th power miles. Hayley's comet, one of the most well known, at its fastest travels at about 33.87 miles per second or about 121,932 miles per hour. Assuming that's a fairly typical speed, we're looking at about 824,989 years for it to reach our planet from when it got to Chimera. It's not impossible for it to make such a trip, but I have my doubts as to if that planet had nearly enough time or any real impetus to evolve such a nightmarishly voracious eco system (that, again, makes no sense) when our own took millions of years just to recover from its first brush with death back when the dinosaurs were almost completely destroyed. That's not even counting the statistically impossible coincidence of it being the same meteor/comet/astral body/whatever that did both the worlds in (though I can live with that bit of literary irony…assuming the rest of writing were any good, which it's not).

But back to the eugenics thing. Thor is apparently what they were hoping to make. He's faster and stronger than any of the previous Beast Kings (having been engineered from the previous one's DNA in an almost Doomsdayish fashion ), not to mention in possession of a super genius level of intellect. His body can adapt itself to its environment frighteningly quickly, even going so far as to change color to fit in better…this is not really handled very well at all. Turns out this is why he looked like his brother; in order to be more acceptable to the one who became his mother, he instinctively did this (rather than attack and absorb the other in uetero, but again…not handled well). Mind you it takes 'til the end of the series for his body to start doing it again; so much for the importance of that ability. And now that they've got him, they're going to alter the world that people can actually have children on naturally and who birthed this new super man to make it more Earth like, thus destroying what made it special enough to allow for those very things. Yeah! Logic!

Oh, yeah. At the end? They save planet. But every other character of note in the series, besides Thor and some other shithead, dies. Yup, they all die. It was an obvious attempt at a bitter sweet ending, but really, after all that, and the way they all fucking die, it was just lame.

The worst part about this is that the animation is actually rather beautiful stuff all around. They actually spent money to make this anime fantastic looking. In terms of scenery porn, this series would get a ninety year old lobotomized quadriplegic off. I can't believe they actually took the time to make the series look like that, when the money could have been spent on something else. Like a new set of shoes or donations to the local food bank. The music is the same way. I put that in the classification of "gets the job done", but while nothing special; it was done with an eye towards professional excellence. And outside of the artwork, there's nothing in this series that warrants even the remotest bit of professional courtesy.

Overall

In conclusion, I can't believe anyone spent money on this. I wasted money buying it, when I should have taken a blender, put it up to my eyes and set the fucker to frappe. If you absolutely MUST watch it, it's on Netflix, but I note you could be doing something more constructive, like watching pornography…or MAKING pornography. Funimation should have never actually done anything with this anime. If they needed to have it, they should have just released it as a subtitled only set like Bandai did with Sola or Hayate the Combat Butler. I can't believe this was anything more than a drain on anyone's resources. I hear the manga is just as bad. I'd pity the publisher, but they could terminate their contract at any time, so they got what they got when they didn't. In short, pass this one up. Don't buy it. Watch it, if you must, on Netflix, but I could not think of any reason as to why you should. It's not even so bad it's good or so bad it's MST fodder. It's just plain bad. Stick it in a garbage can, pour some gas on it, and light it on fire with a chant of, "Burn, baby, burn."

Characters Japanese Voice Actors/Actresses US Voice Actors/Actresses
Thor Koichi Domoto(adult)/Minami Takayama(child) Sean Michael Teague(adult)/Alison Viktorin(child)
Rai Minami Takayama Alison Viktorin
Tiz Nana Mizuki Trina Nishimura
Third Shun Oguri Duncan Brannan
Karim Romi Park Jamie Marchi
Zagi Kazuya Nakai Eric Vale
Chen Rika Fukami Clarine Harp

Additional Info

  • Title: Jyu-Oh-Sei, 獣王星, Planet of the Beast King
  • Genre: Science Fiction
  • Director: Hiroshi Nishikiori
  • Studio: Bones
  • Licensed: Funimation Entertainment
  • Network: Fuji TV (Noitamina), Animax
  • Format: Television
  • Episodes: 11
  • Animation: TOASTY! (+4)
  • Writing: Nuke it from Orbit!! (-5)
  • Pacing: Nuke it from Orbit!! (-5)
  • Voice Acting: Good (+2)
  • Soundtrack: Good (+2)
Last modified on Wednesday, 21 March 2012 16:30

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