40 Seasons in 40 Days: Winter 2000

Steel Angel Kurumi in one line shows it's high concept ideas.

Decade retrospectives are inherently difficult things to write. Trying to cram 10 years worth of developments into a small amount of space, then revisions and other edits eventually means that over 90% gets left out. Controversy reigns over real information and all that. However, I can always go back and do four or five versions of “I Love Noughties Anime.” I’d probably need guest writers for that. Anyway, time to get this started.

Boogiepop Phantom is a bit of a surreal experience or something along the lines of throwing Serial Experiments Lain and Baccano together and seeing what happens. Atmosphere plays almost as big a role in this as any character or event, without being the entirety of the series (like a certain cult manga). My first experience with this was a dub on a television network that no longer exists, and it wasn’t the beginning of the series either. This led to it playing out like a series of unrelated plots that looked like they had nothing in common, or some sort of art house movie with no mainstream appeal. Only when I got around to watching it from the beginning did it make sense.

As a different experience all together, and perhaps ahead of its time in some respects, the Steel Angel Kurumi OVA was released. Building on the main series, the OVA focuses less on the harem lead Nakahito, and instead on the Steel Angels. While the first three episodes can basically be passed off as episodic nothingness that really adds nothing in value, the final one sees audience projection as the main theme. The episode culminates with a head-to-head competition between main girl and completely overpowered Kurumi against normal human shotacon spy Koganei. With suspense-of-belief gone in the latter even outlasting every other Steel Angel competitor, it plays out in ridiculous circumstances where she wins, then she doesn’t. Being a harem anime and all, it ultimately means nothing as there are no true winners in harem anime.

Plot Highlights of Those Still Unseen

In the realm of what I haven’t seen, Candidate for Goddess, combines the staples of young pilots and mecha. Now that I think about it you don’t see that much anymore. Kazemakase Tsukikage Ran features a sake loving samurai…who happens to be a woman, and it also happens to have a foreigner who thinks of Japan in stereotypes (some tropes will never die). While one of the later releases of that season Miami Guns looks as though it continues in the Mad Bull 34 tradition in its portrayal of crime in America. But it probably has a little appeal to those who like the niche genre of women and guns.