Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suri's Intro & King of Bandit Jing

Well. I'm not quite sure how to start this off properly, so I'm just going to talk until something coherent comes out. I'll be posting for this as often as I feel the need to (Read: Whenever Sono threatens me bodily harm for not posting) and will likely discuss many different things.

I am very tempted to simply give angry reviews of things, like my other blog. But honestly, I'd rather not. I try to think of things in a positive light and thus, will likely be more cheerful. So, I really doubt I'll talk about stuff I don't like... that is, unless I dislike it so much that I NEED to vent the rage. But I don't normally watch anything that makes me rage like that long enough to really care. So, let's talk about something. What, you ask? One of the first anime I saw after I had really started to get into it, King of Bandit Jing.

When I say "really started to get into it," I mean actively seeking it out as opposed to just what was on Toonami at the time. Don't get me wrong, Toonami had tons of great stuff. Dragonball Z was mindblowing for me when I first started watching, Yuyu Hakusho is still one of my favorite series ever and I LOVED Outlaw Star, even if the ending confused the hell out of me. I probably would've watched Sailor Moon when it was on, but I usually watched Dragonball Z with friends and therefore we could not watch Sailor Moon because they were MEN and anything even remotely girly was GAY. Truly, they were enlightened beings far beyond the scope of anything humankind could ever- they were idiots. But they were also the only people within walking distance who would spend time with me.

But anyway, when I first started to seek out anime, the best I could usually manage was a DVD every month or so. And then, I tended to go with Yuyu Hakusho because Cartoon Network had stopped airing it immediately before the final round of the Dark Tournament, which had been going on for something like 30 episodes already. I didn't really start to get a broader view of anime until we got a digital cable box. The On Demand service had... Anime Network on Demand! I was intrigued and thus, started watching. I watched episodes daily on it daily, even if I had already seen them. I checked again and again for new episodes, since each series usually had no more than 2-3 episodes available at at time. There are a number of series I was introduced to like this that still stick with me. Sure, I didn't like everything I watched (Gravitation still haunts me. ;___; ) but it did help me learn what exactly to look for. GetBackers is still one of my favorite series ever, for example. And another example, which I have taken so long to get to, is King of Bandit Jing.


King of Bandit Jing (or the less Engrishy title, Jing: King of Bandits), is short. 13 episodes (with a 3-episode OVA, but I'll get to that another time) and that made it somewhat ideal for me and the Anime Network on Demand. Because it was short, it didn't take very long for me to see all 13 episodes. Longer series, like GetBackers, had 3-4 episodes up at a time, but would frequently revert back to episode 1 and 2 after getting far enough into the series, ranging anywhere from episode 12 to 28. And some series only went a few episodes before they were replaced with another show. Usually something I didn't care about, like Mezzo.

Jing is great though. If I had to pick a word to describe it, it would be "Breezy". It's lighthearted, colorful, whimsical and weird. It also has the single greatest opening scene in anything ever. It's a slow panning shot of a rising sun. A skeletal figure in a carriage drawn by a skeletal dinosaur. It slowly zooms on his face. "I..." you hear. It zooms closer. "I..." again. It zooms right to his glowing red eye. "I...". You get a shot from the side as he loudly shouts "I HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS STORY!" he then laughs as he is knocked aside by a GIANT DESERT WHALE BOAT, while screaming "FAREWELL". And he is never seen again.


This is when I knew I had found something great. In fact, I recently showed the first episode to a friend of mine. After this, his jaw dropped. He grabbed the remote, paused it and demanded I give him every DVD of this series I own immediately. This is also the best possible way to frame how odd the world Jing takes place in is.

So, what is the series about? It's about Jing and his bird, Gilbert Go... I mean Kir. Jing, as one can surmise from the title, is the Bandit King. He can steal anything and everything, from the stars in the sky to the heart of a woman. And he does that a lot. Every story has a Jing girl, that he usually wins the affection of. Think of them as Bond Girls, except Jing is like 15 so he's not screwing them left and right. He's too classy for that, anyway.

Every Jing story is self-contained and usually revolves around the theft of a single object. There are only 3 recurring characters. Jing, Kir and Postino. Postino shows up once per story on a Motorcycle for about 20 seconds, says something cryptic to Jing that will inevitably help Jing with the theft and then rides off. He's awesome and is never explained, like most things in this weird, weird world.

Oh, there is one more recurring thing in Jing. The Porvora. That pink thing on the first image up there is a Porvora. They're adorable. Also, highly volatile. If jarred too much, they will explode like a cluster of mines held together with C4 around a jellied napalm center. They appear in two of the stories, if I recall correctly.

I could go into detail of the plot, but... like I said, the show is episodic. Each story (each of which spans 1-3 episodes) has its own plot. It's not intensive watching, but it's enjoyable to watch and quite memorable. I would highly recommend it to anyone.

*phew* I'll try and make my posts shorter from now on. Anyone reading this, I hope you continue to do so.


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