HA!!!

Just like Dragon Half, Elf Princess Rane (also known as Fairy Princess Ren) is an unfinished OVA anime series, cancelled after only two episodes were released. But what episodes they are... Created, written and directed by Akitarou Daichi, who is best know for his wacky Kodomo no Omocha. Rane is wacky, far our, absurd, illogical and most of all, fun!

We have the main character, Go, son of a travelling archeologist, thinking of himself as the new Indiana Jones, wreaking havoc in his home town as he scours it for hidden relics and treasure. We have a fairy princess in dire need of help, as she is pursued by the fairy witch Leen. We have a powerful corporation, the Yumenokata Foundation, that want's to turn the entire city into a giant theme park. We have Mari, daughter of the CEO of the corporation, who loves Go (the boy, not the game), but is in turn pursued by Zenshuin, her father's assistant. We have, in short, all the elements in place that promise great comedy, and the series really delivers on all points: the humor is excellent, the animation good and the characters fresh and interesting. The entire series is a neverending rollercoaster, as the action end fun hold up until the last minute, and the only thing that disappoints, is that there is nothing after the second episode concludes with a pleading speech for more fan support by the butler.

One major theme and constant source of funny jokes is that none of the characters understand each other. For example, Rane speaks elvish,which sounds to all others like a senseless collection of words (such as: "A taxi runs in my tummy delivering sheets with that look"), but Go seeks these words as clues for his quest to find the secret treasure. Takuma has taken to switching the syllables around when speaking, kind of speaking backwards in english. But the anime tries hard to make everything incomprehensible for the viewers, with many characters speaking at the same times or just incredibly fast just to make understanding that much harder. Sometimes, even the subtitles just flash by at warp speed. Kudo's to the translators. Many anime stereotypes are superbly parodied, such as impossible hair styles or transformation sequences. Nothing is taken seriously.

So Go is off on his quest, Rane in his pocket, and unwittingly wrecks each and every attraction the Foundation has just completed, thinking of them as clues and pieces of the puzzle. Since the series is unfinished,we will never know where it was supposed to go, but that also adds to the effect. Don't be put off by only understanding a small percentage of the dialogue, the effect was the same for Japanese viewers, and a desired effect. Take it from me, it is hilarious...

Oh, and do stay on after the credits of the second episode, as that scene just cracked me up. I have never seen anything like it in anime, neither before, nor since.

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