An anime DVD boxed set.
Next up on our tour of the world of anime takes us into prison- literally. Only unlike your usual gray walls, steel bars, and orange jumpsuits, here we have a prison setting that looks like what you might expect could you take a look into the recesses of the Joker's cerebellum. And while I typically fancy myself a fan of anime that could very well have been born over a late night with a pot of coffee within the NASA space center, it is a bit interesting to take on titles that appear as though they were the product of a continuous two-day frat party complete with acid trip.
Released across a single disc (packaged with in a standard-sized dvd case), Jing King of Bandits Seventh Heaven consists of three episodes (OVAs) at a total runtime of 90 minutes.
Extras come in the form of production art galleries and Funimation title trailers. The show wears a conservative TV PG rating that likely has more to do with the craziness contained within than it does nudity, violence and so on (since there is none here). There is a little suggestive dialog thanks to Jing's bird sidekick but hey, it's a talking bird people- there's only so much "Polly want a cracker" that modern audiences can handle.
Language options are typical sub and dub meaning the choice between running the original Japanese dialog or an English dubbed version and the option to show English subtitles over either track.
Alas we come to the story- yes if only I could have spent this whole review discussing the technical facts and stats… The story has moments of genius that are quickly and consistently overrun by complete random insanity. Before we go there, however, there is a plot here worth mentioning:
Jing, crafty criminal kid known widely as the Bandit King, allows himself to be captured and sent to the isolated prison Seventh Heaven in order to get the drop on the newest target for acquisition (the Dream Orb). Why go to prison to get this item you wonder? Well that's because it's currently in the possession of the convict Campari, who uses it to tap into a person's dreams to allow others to share in the experience.
With Kir, Jing's slightly perverted parrot companion, our hero lands himself in the slammer where he gets caught up in Campari's dream sequences and hence that brings us back to those insane sequences I mentioned above. Expect such things as a cigarette smoking winged baby toting a shotgun, a man with a skull filled with toys, a vampire for a warden and so on.
Ultimately though, there is linear progression within the madness and believe it or not, it's fairly solid.
Pacing is quick and furious as you might expect for a set that spans only 90 minutes to tell its whole tale. The visuals are a unique blend of CGI sequences and colorful stills with special attention presented to the backgrounds.
Music work is quite well done as well with upbeat jazz tunes working perfectly with the onscreen mayhem. The dub is solid but clearly an ADV work as it isn't quite as impressive as the usual Funimation efforts.
In all this is a fun exercise in the fact that anime isn't limited to any singular segment of the entertainment spectrum. Recommended to anyone looking to experience a wild party worthy of any frat house without suffering the hangover.
What did you think of this review?