Creator: Natsumi Itsuki
Genre: Adventure, Drama
Length: 11 Episodes
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+ Intriguing concept at start
Juuousei starts off good with a "survival of the fittest" theme but it strays off path, never to be the same again. Don't expect anything amazing out of this series. It's obviously rushed and full of predictable events.
2 out of 5
Juuousei Anime Review
Written by: Raye on 10/2/2006
In a faraway galaxy, two twin brothers named Thor and Rai return home only to find their parents brutally murdered. Shortly thereafter, they are kidnapped and exiled to the planet Chimera where the natives are vicious and the planet life is even fiercer. The human population is divided into clusters based off skin color known as "Rings," which vie for supremacy in a never ending struggle. It is said that in order to leave Chimera, one must rise up to defeat the leader of all four Rings and achieve the title of 'Juuousei.' Thor immediately sets off to find a way back home, but Rai meets the unfortunate fate of being eaten alive by a monstrous plant. When Thor wakes up, he finds himself in the care of the Ochre Ring and a girl named Tiz who reveals that she has chosen him to become her husband.
Series that span less than thirteen episodes seem to fall into the category
of "hit or miss," and boy, does this series really miss its mark. I do
have to admit, Juuousei poses an interesting concept from its initial
episodes. Thor and Rai, two adolescent twins with no experience
outside of their spoon-fed bubble, are thrown into a world where only
the strong survive. Rai's sudden death in the second episode comes
across as a surprise. Seeing Thor fight his way up to become the head
of the Ochre Ring is rather exciting and can be noted as the climax of
the series. After that, everything goes downhill.
Fast forward a few years. Thor is now grown up, different voice actor and all. The story spares no time to illustrate how Thor becomes such a reputable figurehead; he just is! Then comes the big revelation -- Thor will die very soon! Some fights occur, the predictable happens, and boom, the ending credits roll. As you can guess by now, Juuousei moves at so quick of a pace that it doesn't take the time to realize it's headed straight for disaster.
Juuousei fails to enlighten the audience with detail and that perhaps is the main reason why it seems to be a series that comes off as lacking a certain something. It is quite obvious that the storyline is being rushed, but that shouldn't be an excuse considering that numerous titles have had short runs with no signs of length constraints. Perhaps the abrupt shift in time is to make sure that viewers remember what Thor's initial goal is. It's not to unite Chimera under one ruler, but to return back home and seek revenge for his parents' deaths. Showing Thor's ascent would make the series a bit more memorable than seeing him nearing the end of his stay on Chimera without much to look back upon.
And if you hadn't guessed by now, the characters aren't any better. Like the storyline, the characters are set up well but finish off as undeveloped. Aside from Thor, there aren't many that can be considered main characters. The only two that qualify are Tiz and Ochre Ring's "Third." To keep things short and sweet, Tiz barely changes (she just grows in proportion, if you catch my drift), and the Third is not the person who he seems to be. Everyone else practically doesn't matter because they either die or are featured in only one episode.
Impatient viewers would love Juuousei. It's like reading the first couple of pages of a book and then skipping right to the end. Unfortunately, there are some of us who actually like to see what happens in the middle. You can't have a good ending without it. There isn't much to get excited about from this show. The storyline doesn't have any twists and turns to weave through, mainly because it’s rushing to get to the end. The characters are decent, although they remain bland to the very end. How this series falls into the shoujo category, I'll never know. Why the series isn't popular, I can understand.
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