I’m being stalked by a monster.

I was sleeping soundly on my side one night when a chill suddenly swept the room. I instantly woke to a sense of foreboding, but I could neither open my eyes nor move an inch; I could only lie there in abject terror. Out of nowhere, a cold breath brushed by my face and I heard something whisper distinctly, “Take….. it…. easy.” I snapped up ready to fight or flight! — only to look down…

…and see a strange VHS tape at the foot of my bed. I sat still in the darkness for an inordinate amount of time, perhaps waiting for the monster’s return. It never did. My eyelids grew heavy, and the next thing I knew, it was morning. The tape was still there when I woke up. I decided to watch it.

(Yes, I still have a VCR.)

No words will ever fully describe the horrors of what I soon saw on that tape:

Okay, let’s get serious now.

Chu-Bra!! 01

For Christ’s sake, they’re middle schoolers. And before people go “There’s nothing sexual about what the characters are doing; you’re the one bringing sex into the equation,” which I’m sure many people will, don’t be obtuse.

Yep, just another innocent scene of middle schoolers stripping. Ain’t nothing sexual here.

Just a pair of naked middle schoolers — what of it?

Just another pair of middle school boobs. I’m sure viewers are only watching this for underwear tits!– I mean tips, no er… pointers….  uh FUCK, advice! Yeah, advice. We’re just watching this for advice on how to buy the perfect, form-fitting bra… it’s a common problem plaguing anime fans lately.

Let’s just be honest with ourselves and call this for what it is: the writers gave a bunch of creepy behavior like pantsu obsession, breast groping and upskirt shots to non-ugly schoolgirls onto which pathetic viewers can project both themselves and their pedophilic urges.

“W-well, you see, I’m just like Hayama Naru. I really like, erm, underwear, but totally in an innocent way. I like to monitor them so if you please, maybe I could see if yours fit you properly.

Cobra the Animation 01

On the other hand, this is just really lame. It’s like a bad cross of James Bond (complete with the requisite male gaze),

the cornball factor of Austin Powers,

the technology of Mega Man,

and the aesthetic of…

…well, I dunno. Just some really ugly aesthetic. Isn’t it cold to go sky-diving in a thong?

Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, before the terrible sequels ruined everything, made poignant critiques in its lampooning of the genre. There’s at least some reflection in the first Austin Powers movie; he eventually saw how ridiculous he was. And hell, even James Bond isn’t one-note anymore:

But instead of sexy small-talk, she asks Bond: “How can you act like this? How can you be so cold?” And Bond replies not with a sophisticated wisecrack but with, “It’s what keeps me alive.” In the earlier Bond adventures, no woman would have asked such a question, and 007 certainly would not have provided such an answer. — Roger Ebert on Goldeneye

I don’t know what Cobra the Animation is doing besides flaunting a goofball machismo in a really awkward way that just makes everyone in the room tug nervously at their collars.  Cobra is probably self-aware of its own ridiculousness, but when it looks at itself in the mirror, its only reaction is to high-five itself and pop open another bottle of beer. I know this anime is based on really old source material, but no attempts to update it whatsoever? Maybe if you yearn for those simpler times when men were broad-chested and women were buxom, when people just went on adventures and kicked pre-ordained ass, when the damsel in distress was just waiting to be saved… then Cobra is for you.

But it’s 2010.

(PS: Did you like the title? Nyoron came up with it.)

5 Replies to “Chu-braCobra”

  1. It would have been better if they had gone the parody route rather than acting so serious. I have nothing against the old school guy and gal of anime, but with how aged it is, it would awesome to see a show taking the piss out of itself. Oh well.

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