It’s dumb anime night.
Seisen Cerberus: Something something subtitle
The anime kicks off like some cheap Asian knock-off of Harry Potter, but instead of Voldemort, you have some stupid dragon.
Instead of Harry’s mom, you have a big-boobed anime babe. And instead of Harry, you get…
He also has a dad, but like Harry Potter, nobody gives a shit about the dad. Speaking of which, why was a little kid even present for the great, mystical sealing of Dagan Zot?
C’mon, you’re not gonna tell me no one else could hold up a dinky mirror, are you? I assume the parents die for their ridiculous oversight. Child services cannot be pleased, I assure you.
We fast forward through time. Our hero, cleverly named Hiro, is finally of age, and I bet he intends to avenge his parents. But first, he must play tag with a bunch of street urchins over some “Dalhalbert.” I just had to pick a screenshot of our hero at his most gallant.
At the same time, the corrupt elites of the… city? Area? Whatever. It’s some generic medieval setting (again). As I was saying, the corrupt elites of the city want to use some magical stone to oppress the lower classes some more. ‘Cause why not? One of the street urchins, however, tries to steal this Grand Trowa, and for this crime, he will be executed. Geez, no fucking chill over here.
Also at the same time, two individuals are looking for our hero Hiro. But they look boring, so screw them.
And finally, some ice lady makes her grand introduction by turning a bunch of raging flames to, well, ice. Phew. Look at all these plot strands dancing and intertwining at the same time! Doesn’t this make Seisen Cerberus an entertaining anime. Sadly, my friends, you must not mistake activity for achievement. I suppose it’s something that the anime hasn’t embraced the sleep-inducing slice-of-life style of narrative that has dominated the majority of anime series in the past decade or so, but we’re not replacing it with any substance either.
Goosebumps was pretty big when I was growing up, and I always wondered how R.L. Stine could churn out so many books. One day, I heard from a friend that he had a computer program that could do all of the work for him. He just to change a few variables, and voila! An entire book would come out at the other end. In hindsight, that’s a pretty tall story. And it’s not like the Goosebumps books were particularly complex or anything; it’s easy to imagine one person penning them all.
Where am I going with this anecdote? I feel like these shows are just like Goosebumps in a way. I want to imagine that there’s some nefarious computer program out there, pumping out these cheap stories end on end. Some poor intern at a studio is in charge of plucking one out of the heap, scanning it real quick for nothing too egregious, then sending it on down the pipeline for anime production… and voila, a new series.
But in reality, you don’t need a computer program for this. You don’t even need one guy like R.L. Stine. There’s just this collective compulsion by an entire subculture to band together and create a bunch of similar-minded stories. Like a thousand monkeys thrashing away at a thousand typewriters, instead, we are the monkeys. Every once in a while, one of the monkeys create something worthy of Shakespeare, but for the most part, we get Seisen Cerberus. Or the next show I’m about to cover.
Oh yeah, before I forget, Hiro and his servants help save the street urchin from being executed, but then Dagan Zot appears outta nowhere, and the episode ends on a cliffhanger. It’s okay. You can tell me. You wanted to know how the episode ended, right? See, I got you, bud!
Here’s another “Goosebumps” for ya. In this world, we are attacked by terrible monsters. We call them Savage lifeforms.
Traditional weapons don’t work against them. As you can imagine, only kids wielding these variable stones — variable because in your hands they can morph into whatever stupid weapon your heart desires — are able to defeat the Savage lifeforms. Because they can turn into all sorts of weapons, we call them Hundred. Got it? Of course you got it. Because over the decades, we’ve really gotten efficient at storytelling. We’ve stripped these stories down to just the essential components. As such, our naming conventions have got to be efficient as well.
We’ve got a fancy ass school in the middle of nowhere. Remember how the characters in Mayoiga wish they could get away from their crappy lives? It’s because they read too much manga, and they think they can just escape into these fantasy worlds where you’re trapped in a high school in the middle of the wide-ass ocean. LIke, hey, that sounds like prison to me. But I’m weird in that I want to be able to travel the world and shit. Meanwhile, we’ve got some arrested development schtick going on here where being imprisoned in an anime school is apparently heaven for the show’s target audience. Why else do we see this setting over and over?
The main character is, of course, the chosen one. He has the highest Hundred compatibility score ever!
It means he’s already the best. Muthafuckin’ GodKing over here.
He’s so manly, when he sees someone in trouble, he instantly gets on his knees to drink their bodily fluids. Hmmm, Hepatitis B…
We’ve got the girl-pretending-to-be-a-boy-but-c’mon-are-you-blind-or-what-it’s-obviously-a-girl roommate. To be extra efficient, I bet she’s super fucking rich, so if the hero nails her, he’ll be set for life.
And to be expedient, the hero walks in on her as she’s changing in the very first episode. We wouldn’t you to feel confused about your boner or anything.
We’ve got the twin-tailed tsunderekko who’s also the student council president, so 1) everyone worships her and 2) she pretty much runs the school. They don’t even really try to be subtle about it anymore. The students flat out refer to her as their Queen, and like a Queen, she apparently has the authority to expel two students just for being late to some assembly. I expected some sort of faculty member, i.e. a principal, teacher or what have you to step in or something, but silly me, we’re trying to be efficient. So of course, not a single fucking adult shows up once in this entire episode. Adults are lame, man!
We’ve got the young girl who’s really a super genius. Didn’t expect that, huh? I feel sorry for you adults. Just because she’s young, you just assume she’s clueless. Well guess what! She’s the smartest character in the story! What a twist! Now, just create a hundred of this character archetype, ’cause it’ll never get old…
There’s a maid… who’s also a catgirl… and I bet it’s an android too or something. Just mash this shit up, fam. We ain’t got time to create extra characters.
And of course we’ve got a sickly imouto! So what are you waiting for! Come on down! It’s a generic haremette blowout!
So what does this all mean? E Minor, what is efficiency? See, back in the day, an anime like this might be overburdened with pretentious Christian themes and metaphors. The main character might have deep psychological traumas, daddy issues, mommy issues, etc, — though to be fair, our hero here does have some bad dreams every now and then, but let me finish my train of thought — and after two cours, we’d get some really fucked-up ending that nobody really understands unless they pontificate for years and years on end. But everyone at the time pretty much agrees that just watching the series was a pretty spiritual experience… so much so that people then get sick of hearing about it, so it then becomes cool to shit on this anime zeitgeist. Then after a while, it becomes passe to shit on the anime, so we loop right back to sucking the anime off.
Phew. For an anime in 2016, that’s too much effort. Why? Return of investment. ROI. That’s pretty much the rule of law. That’s what I hear everyday at my job if anyone even dares to suggest anything that might make our lives better… so I’m sure ROI holds here as well. See, Hundred can’t do what its predecessors managed to do. They were the first. They got there before anyone else, so they were considered innovative. It’s no longer innovative for Hundred to do the same thing. The safest bet is to distill the story until you just have the most visceral elements. Boobs, tsunderekkos, robot meido catgirls, etc. Forgot the allegories, the tortured metaphors, the rage against Western cultural imperialism, etc. Hell, just turn the girls into representations of Western cultures, then fuck them. Twintailed blondie over here can be from America. That’ll show’em. It all comes back to ROI. Hundred is just is the safest return of investment.
Uh, next week, the hero is gonna face off against the mean student council president, but he’ll probably end up tripping over nothing and getting a face full of her boobs. Two years ago, this would be Harem Hill fodder. And I’m gonna keep it 100 with you guys… I’m just vomiting words to reach some arbitrary word count. Also, the Hundred portion of this entry was just an excuse to attach a couple of my favorite gifs lately. End post.