A “Monster” of a Time

It doesn’t matter what kind of organization you are in, whether is it something as simple as an office setting, where you may have a dozen or so employees, to something more complex like running the First Order, where you have billions of employees, you are going to get gummed up by the bureaucracy. It’s always the same complaints: not enough money, not enough manpower, not enough creative thinking, not enough money, lamebrains messing up your projects, diffident co-workers and not enough money. And if you ARE trying to take over the world, the logistics can get out of control. Such is the world we visit when we come to the enormously-titled Miss Kuroitsu from the Monster Development Department” (“Kaijin Kaihatsubu no Kuroitsu-san”, “Kuroitsu-san in the Superhuman Research & Development Department”).

In this Japan, there are actually a number of evil, secret organizations, each of which are not only bent on world domination, but bent on their particular brand of it. One of these groups is Agastia, which operates out of a nameless, soulless building in Tokyo. However, their marvelous plans are continually thwarted by the magnificent superhero, Divine Swordsman Blader (that’s him, from the back, in the splash panel bottom.) What is needed is a caliber of monster that can defeat said superhero, but not too strong that the monster decides to take over the world for themselves.

To this end, Tōka Kuroitsu (her to the left of the middle) has to come up with monsters that fit the bill. And her monster designs are pretty fierce, indeed. However, no good deed (or bad deed) goes unpunished, and her designs are cut and pared and whittled and negotiated down, owing to a lack of budget, a need to justify the cost (that pesky ‘return on investment’ junk), the thought that the monster doesn’t need all these bells and whistles and the mercurial nature of the leader of Agastia, Akashic (her looming over it all) which causes last-minute changes that actually drive up the costs and reduces the effectiveness of said creature.

An example is Wolf Bete (to Kuroitsu’s left). She was supposed to be a he, but Akashic wanted this wolf monster to be ‘cuter’, which then undercut his/her abilities. This is never more seen in his/her first fight with Blader, as s/he gets sent packing and now is a member of the development staff. The show follows these escapades, as the development team tries to create a vicious series of vicious monsters to help with their goals, but they end up with just another employee on the payroll, who is a day late and a dollar short where it is needed.

If you have ever had to deal with management types, or folks who can’t think outside the box, or are always bottom-line driven, this show will strike close to home. Your wonderful ideas, a silk purse, if you will, get transformed into a sow’s ear. And it appears that Blader doesn’t really have to work all that hard to defeat these minions. The only ‘good’ thing about this is that the other evil organizations are equally hamstrung and frustrated in their attempts to take over the world, so none of them are any closer to succeeding than anyone else.

Normally, shows this goofy usually play up the Stupid Card to the point that it loses its charm. This show manages to avoid that pitfall, just because not everyone is stupid, but sometimes lacks vision or, more to the point, there just is nothing in the budget to support it. Not any of it. It’s hard to have Cadillac Dreams on a Kia Budget. So you end up with the woefully underpowered Melty, the committee-designed Cannon Thunderbird and the rushed-to-production Hydra. And each and every one of them is sent home with their tail between their legs after another humiliating defeat at the hands (or sword) of Blader. Is it too late to find another job elsewhere? Is it OK if I call him ‘Bladder”?

Yes, you binge. There is a concern that it is more of the same every day, but it’s not. There is enough personality differences between them all that is it not the same thing every day (although, in the larger scheme of things, it IS the same thing every day).  And they throw in an after-work drinking party and a recruitment drive episode, and it is all just enjoyable to take it all in.

Look, you go to work every day, right? You see, more or less, the same things every day, but it’s not really the SAME thing every day, right? So, you binge this show. You let the ludicrous nature of it wash over you, as you commiserate with the people who HAVE to do the work get sabotaged by those who know nothing outside their tiny sphere of influence. Art isn’t easy; neither is management.


On a scale of 1 to 10:

Artwork           8 (Those are some bizarre monsters)
Plot                  8 (Interesting theme taken to extremes)
Pacing              8 (The fight scenes are a joy)
Effectiveness   8 (It’s how ineffective everyone is)
Conclusion       7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service      2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Bingeability     9 (It can take it easily)
Overall             9 (This is why nothing gets done)

And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Two pork bowls on rice, please.

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