Coyote Ragtime Show (Japan 2006)

Rating: **
Review Date: 3/8/09

Divided into 12 installments

A silly and uninteresting sci-fi adventure that's buoyed only by an exceptional soundtrack. Federal investigator Angelica Burns is on a manhunt for a notorious criminal known as "Mister," but Mister is also wanted by a ruthless woman named Marciano who is a high ranking member in the criminal underworld. When Mister breaks out of jail, he heads off to find a legendary treasure that was hidden by a friend of his. Out of his strong sense of loyalty and duty, he picks up his friend's daughter, Franca, along to the way to find the treasure together. What follows is a goofy action romp as a band of scruffy criminals known as "coyotes" make a mad dash across the galaxy to find the treasure before the planet that it's hidden on erupts into war.

Sadly, the show never succeeds in engaging the viewer visually, emotionally, or intellectually. The characters are uninteresting and unlikable, fitting comfortably into overly familiar anime clichés. Angelica comes on strong in the first episode, and then disappears for the majority of the series. In a desperate attempt at fan service, Marciano's army consists entirely of trigger-happy cyborg girls in gothic-lolita garb, who are more concerned about getting their frilly clothes dirty than they are about losing a limb or two. Much like the rest of the show, they're not taken seriously, so any impact they might have had is lost. And for cyborgs, they're extremely ineffective and have remarkably bad aim. The story is also confusing, and it's often difficult to tell where everyone is and what the hell is going on. The whole thing just seems like a waste of time, catering to an indiscriminating mainstream and satisfying no one.