Mezzo (Japan 2003)

Rating: **
Review Date: 8/30/08

Divided into 13 installments.

This offbeat action comedy is a sequel to the adult oriented "Mezzo Forte" (2001), but without all of the explicit sexual content. A curious approach to expanding on the established material. Mikura, Harada, and Kurokawa are three eccentric thrill seekers who belong to the Danger Services Agency (DSA). They're basically mercenaries for hire who take on any jobs that involve danger. The leader of the group is Kurokawa, an ex-police officer with an unhealthy obsession for noodles and some very quirky mannerisms. Harada is a spiky-haired punk who excels at electronics and builds androids in his spare time. But the star of the show is a pink haired teenager named Mikura, who has a supernatural proficiency with martial arts and firearms. Her senses are so finely tuned that she even seems a bit clairvoyant. The series also introduces a timid young girl named Asami, who desperately wants to be strong like Mikura so that she can stop being bullied at school.

The series does has an overall story arc, but it mostly falls into a sit-com structure where anything goes. The episodes feature space aliens, biological weapons, android love affairs, cursed mummies, virtual reality terror, and the obligatory haunted house story that every anime series seems to have. The animation and character design are good for the most part, but the series is more about the rapid fire dialog and ridiculous situations that the heroes find themselves in. The action scenes the feature Mikura are utterly delightful, but way too brief and scarce. While the characters are fun and enjoyable, the series is much too silly and inconsistent for me to really get into.