Mikura, Harada, and Kurokawa make up the DSA, aka Danger Service Agency, and they're back in action. The trio take up many dangerous missions ranging between bodyguards and transporters. The danger isn't really an issue to them as long as there's money involved. The jobs and their antics land them into some tight spots with many different outfits. -summary
Mezzo DSA is another great example of an anime that is long for no apparent reason. I know that it's only 13 episodes long, and that is about 5 hours in total run time, but it makes 52 episodes of DBZ feel short. Now that's pretty scary when you think about it. The series is very long on filler and it would have made a much better 3 - 6 episode OVA, and that's slightly pushing it. Directed by Yasuomi Umetsu, Mezzo DSA is a direct sequel to the 2 episode OVA Mezzo Forte. And I'm still scratching my head as to what made it necessary to give Mezzo a sequel in the first place.
Mezzo DSA is an action romp that delivers lots of shoot outs, car chases, and hand to hand action. The budget murdering first episode will have you believing that you're about to watch something completely unforgettable. I mean the first episode is very good and you will be anxious to see what happens next. Unfortunately, everything comes to a halt right after that, and the series stumbles almost the entire way until the final two episodes, where it starts to actually become watchable again.
During one of the segments in an earlier episode, one of the main characters becomes the center of a hit. This sub plot takes a back seat for the most part and creeps back into the picture periodically. It soon picks up in full throttle and becomes the central plot leading into the final two episodes, which are full of revelations and double crosses that delivers a nice action packed climax. The final episode ties up all of the loose ends and provides Mezzo the closure it needs. However, the action scenes never reclaim their former glory, and through out the anime, I was never truly impressed again after the first episode.
The series follows a stand alone episode format, and each story happens to be self-contained until the final two episodes. Although every thing in between feels like filler, there's a couple of interesting episodes here and there, with maybe one or two providing necessary background on the main characters. I find it funny that one of the flash back episodes happens to be among the best, and it contains almost no action at all. It was a completely character driven romance story, and I found it to be the deepest of the entire series.
Even though the series has its shining moments (and there aren't many), Mezzo DSA suffers from very bad direction. Umetsu goes out of his way to toss out everything imaginable. Some of the stories have sci-fi and supernatural elements with the DSA taking on ghost and aliens. I found it to be quite silly and just plain out of place with the overall style of the anime. It slipped my mind, but I now remember where Umetsu must have gotten his motivation for the poorly directed Kite Liberator.
The series has mild character development, but I can see some viewers taking a liking to the energetic characters. Mikura is the muscle of the group dealing out worlds of hurt with pistols and martial arts. The other two characters manage to hold their own quite well and really aren't overshadowed. However, they're all just your average static characters and they never completely grew on me. There also wasn't a single antagonist I cared about either.
Visually, Mezzo DSA follows the style of the original. The character designs didn't receive any type of make over, and they fit well with the personality of the series. The visuals are very good in the first episode with some very stylish, well choreographed, and over the top action scenes. It also contains a bit of fan service, and some nudity with references towards lesbian acts. However, the series does not contain the graphic sex scenes of its predecessor. There's absolutely no sex to be found here and I'm not complaining about it at all.
There's a few more visually pleasing moments concerning very colorful backgrounds. I also thought the BGM was a nice fit, and I liked the opening and closing J-Pop themes. The dialogue was pretty witty at times, but I got sick and tired of Mikura's "dinner" line very quick. It's almost as annoying as Naruto's "believe it" line. I thought both the dub and sub was decent overall, there really isn't much to say about it either positive or negative.
The biggest problem that I have with the series is the length. Mezzo DSA could have been far shorter, and the result may have been a better anime. I found the stories to be too by the numbers and they eventually became repetitive. In addition, a majority of the action scenes were very boring to say the least. I'm happy to see that Umetsu closed the books on this series. His imagination is way too limited and this series furthers my opinion that he's a sub par storyteller at best. Only recommended to the ungodly easy to please.
-Very good first episode
-Some needed background provided
-Could have been much shorter
-Way too many boring episodes
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