World of Narue: Disc 3 & 4

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 16, 2006

Filed under: Anime 3 comments

Steven once said:

Of course, it’s in the rules that any ecchi romantic comedy like this has to have a beach episode (so we can see the girls in swimsuits), a bathhouse episode (so we can see them without the swimsuits) and a summer festival episode (so we can see them in yukatas).

This is not an Ecchi comedy (it would be rated PG if it were a movie) but I think all of this still holds. Let’s see…

Swimsuits? Check.

Bathhouse? Not quite. Hot springs, instead. But yeah. Check.

Summer festival? Check.

They even did them in order. Ok, so we got that out of the way.

Don saw this already. So did Steven. The general consensus is that this is lightweight anime that doesn’t ask much of the viewer. It’s short, harmless fun.

The low point was the “virtual reality” episode where they jumped from one swimming area to another. It was heavily padded, poorly animated (it suffered from a lot of re-use), obvious, and short on real jokes despite all the silly mayhem. I think the high point for me might have been the Cosplay episode. It was very funny and enjoyable. My wife and I often laughed at different parts, but we both laughed quite a bit.

You just have to know Hajime to appreciate how funny this is.

One thing I did like about the ending was how they avoided doing the Star Trek thing: No matter where we go in the galaxy or who we meet, Star Trek aliens all seem to frown at humans and scold us for our warmongering nature. Maybe this was novel in the 1960’s, but these days when aliens give us this treatment all I hear is some self-absorbed Holloywood writer saying “you are all a bunch of unenlightened jerks”.

In Narue, they went the opposite direction. The alien race mentioned that they admire us for our empathy. Note that this was not some blood-soaked Klingon warlord from space. He wasn’t the Devourer Of Worlds. He wasn’t Conquering Chieftan of The Stars Who Has Slain Millions. He was just an alien who came from a culture with a lot of problems. He saw what we had, and wished his people could be a little more like ours.

A sci-fi writer who doesn’t use an alien as a sock puppet to chide the human race on his behalf? Why is this so novel? (The other thing they sometimes do is make an alien race who has some feature the writer doesn’t admire – such as a desire for wealth – and use the humans in his story to show the alien how we’ve evolved past such primitive needs here in the future. It’s the same game.) It’s nice to have a writer come to the conclusion that we aren’t all bad. Narue might not be deep, but I give them full points for telling a story with aliens that didn’t go out of its way to insult me.

It was fun.


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3 thoughts on “World of Narue: Disc 3 & 4

  1. I think Hajime might well be my favorite character in the series, though she’s got tough competition in Rin-chan. (But Rin-chan only shows up in three of the episodes and she’s a deus-ex-machina in one of those.)

  2. The Defenestrator says:

    I was so sure Narue was going to use the turns-into-anything weapon to turn into Magical Girl #4 and beat the space ninjas. What actually happened seemed like a letdown. Still, it was a fun series. I think my favorite episode was the cosplay contest as well.

    The only thing that annoyed me about the series that I want to mention: They brought Hajime and Maruo everywhere as party members, but they were always keeping them out of the loop and even erasing their memories in order to cover up the alien stuff. These shows always do that, and they always seem to do it to the Hajime types.

  3. Rick Ellrod says:

    Well said about the sock puppet. This was so characteristic of “Star Trek” that it deserves a trope of its own. Still in effect as recently as “Avatar.”

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