Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Scanlation Get: Dororon Enma-kun

This one is a weird one to talk about and I may be skewed from watching Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera before finishing the manga. I’d pretty much sum up the manga as interesting ideas, lackluster execution.

Are heroes are the titular Enma-kun (nephew of Hell’s Great King Enma), Yukihime (an ice princess), Kapperu (a cute looking kappa), and Chapeauji (literally a sentient old man hat).  Enma-kun and friends are sent to Earth to (ostensibly) capture demons that have escaped from hell.  Expect Enma-kun kills them pretty much every time.

While there are some longer story arcs most of the stories are short one chapter affairs.  I think that is part of the problem the manga seems to be going somewhere at first and then just trails off into nowhere.  Part way through I was pretty sad because I came to the realization that the ending was going to be lame and I was pretty right.

It is supposed to be a horror/comedy but comes out more like light horror/juvenile sex comedy.  Which is a little strange when all of the characters look to be about eight.  Also there are only so many jokes about getting to seeing Yukihime’s vag I can take before it has worn out its welcome.  I also think a lot of the jokes almost work but don’t seem to follow through and they just fall kind of flat.

So here comes a left turn, while I personally would tell most people to skip this manga, I highly suggest checking out two anime based on it.  

One is Kikoushi Enma (Demon Prince Enma) this came out a few years ago in the US on DVD. While it is out of print and can be purchased used pretty easily online.  Kikoushi Enma re-imagines the characters as grownups and goes for a dark and moody atmosphere.  It reminded me a lot of Hell Girl but a bit more mature.  Also it was animated by Brains Base.  So the animation is pretty nice, some of it is a little dated by 3d effects but it doesn’t hamper the anime any.

The other is the more recent Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera.  This was also animated by Brains Base. For a TV series this show looks freaking good.  Really clean, sharp animation with lots of detail, way more then I would have expected for a show like this.  Also it is what the manga basically should have been.  It still has some of strangeness of eight year olds in a sex comedy but it goes way sillier than the manga and cuts out some of the strangeness of the manga (Like why is Enma-kun always in some underwear-diaper thing?).  NIS recently announced it for a U.S. release September 2012.  I have to say it is really great it manages to build off the content of the manga, it builds up to something, and take what was a kind of out of context lame ending to manga and turn it into something cool and funny.

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