Mouse (マウス, Mausu?, sometimes typeset as "MØUSE") is a manga series written by Satoru Akahori and drawn by Hiroshi Itaba. It was serialized in the Japanese magazine Young Animal.
Mouse was adapted into a twelve episode anime … see full wiki
Plot Summary:Teacher Sorata Muon carries on his family's centuries-old old tradition of being the master thief Mouse who can steal anything after properly alerting authorities of his intentions so they can be there yet fail to stop him. He is assisted by 3 nubile female assistants who also use the teaching cover and who, in typical Satoru Akahori, favor tight/skimpy/bondage outfits over their ample curves as they constantly pursue Sorata much more than he pursues them, although the girls do get some attention from their master. Not only is Mouse pursued by the girls & the local law enforcement authorities, there is also a secret art protection society employing the services of a former ally of Sorata's after his pretty little hide, all in 15 minute episodes. -Anime News Network
I put this on my rental list because it sounded interesting. I did like the series Lupin the Third, as well as the movies, so I figured Mouse would at least be mildly entertaining. How painfully wrong I was! It's so bad in fact I don't even know where to begin.
Well, I suppose I'll begin with the plot. Mouse comes from a long line of master thieves dating back some twenty generations. As one would expect, he carries on the family legacy along with his insanely endowed female assistants. Mouse is such a pro in fact, that he can even steal entire buildings. In the first episode, he is after a particular item housed in the local museum. However, instead of breaking into the museum and stealing said item, Mouse steals the entire building. In contrast, by day Mouse is actually an unassuming art teacher named Sorata Muon who, (not so) coincidentally also works with his almost grotesquely buxom assistants that are teachers at the same school. After school has let out, Sorata and the girls that refer to him as "Master" retreat to a secret lair inside the school, where they plot their next heist.
At first glance this sounds rather intriguing. Unfortunately, this so called plot is nothing more than a thinly veiled excuse for some major, and over the top, excessive fan service. Two of Mouse's assistants are so impossibly endowed that, like I said, it borders on nauseating. For some reason even though at least one of them (May) is considerably older than Sorata, she was born and bred to serve him. The pathetic attempt at character development starts with her. At one point May flashes back to being whipped while in a submissive pose, by a woman dressed in a combo superhero/dominatrix outfit, who is being supervised by an older woman who is apparently May's grandmother. The older woman is spouting off something about May having to be strong in body and spirit if she is to be an effective servant, and then May collapses either from exhaustion or pain, or both. I have no idea, and really didn't care. There are definite hints that the blonde has serious self esteem issues, but the story and lack of character development up to that point made me completely unsympathetic.
Then there's Sorata (Mouse) himself. He's twenty years old if I remember correctly, and constantly surrounded by his three assistants who spend the majority of the first disc forcing themselves on him. Here's the most perplexing element for me though: he doesn't want them to. They're almost constantly bombarding him with their "assets" and he's constantly recoiling as if he were an innocent child. Case in point: in one episode Sorata awakes one morning to find one of the girls dropping down from the ceiling via some weird gadget, she says something about wanting to...I don't know, give him a wake up call or something. The camera pans out to show Sorata lying on the bed, anything below his waist obstructed by what I think was a television set (some square appliance or electronics device) and him giggling and complaining, begging her to stop what she was doing. Ok so, if the creators of this god awful piece of crap wanted to make him gay, they should have just done so. Otherwise, he's surrounded by these supposedly super hot girls who are willing to do anything under the sun for him, and he's protesting. I'm female, and I don't pretend to know how guys think, but give me a break!
As I said, the plot is so weak it almost doesn't exist, the characters are so incredibly undeveloped and yet you're supposed to somehow identify and sympathize with them, and to be honest, if I didn't know better I'd be convinced Mouse really is a rip off of the Lupin series, right down to the detective who is bent on catching Mouse. He's almost like a Zennigata clone, except he's not even close to being as quirky or funny.
If these things weren't bad enough, the animation is sub par at best, even for a 2004 release, and the voice acting isn't much better. Mouse wears the same hair style whether he's on a heist, or at school, and yet no one makes the connection that he is the master thief. In one episode, he and the girls are planning to steal a rare jewel from an unveiling at a museum, and when something goes wrong with the plan, May decided to dress up as her master hoping to draw the attention of the heavy security forces, and it does work, but here's the rub: May has blonde hair, Mouse has dark hair. No one ever notices the difference though. At this point, at least three snipers have her lined up with a head shot, and I'm sitting here yelling at my screen "Take the shot! Come ON! Just take it already!"
Mouse is a two disc set, that while there weren't any actual sex scenes, I would put this dangerously close to hentai. Thinking back, I watched a series several years ago called DearS, and I actually liked it despite the fanservice. However, I couldn't get disc one back in it's envelope fast enough, so needless to say I won't be reviewing the next disc because I refuse to lower myself any further. Honestly, this series isn't even worth renting. For some reason though, it gets great reviews at Amazon. I suspect they're written by teenage boys though.