Do NOT attempt to watch this anime
Without first consuming massive amounts of
Alcohol or Marijuana.
And then along came Guu...
Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu, refered to as And then Came Guu, or even Guu, in anime circles, is produced by Shinei Doga/Sotsu eizo and TVTokyo. The show is quick witted and is extremely funny. The show does have a coherent plot, which surprises most people, because most of the time the antics make absolutely no sense whatsoever. The series follows the life of Hale, a 10 year old boy living happily in the Jungle community of his birth. In the opening episode, however, his mother, Weda, decides to adopt a strange pink haired girl named Guu. Things go downhill from there as Weda's dark and mysterious past is explained as the series progresses and Hale (or maybe everyone else?) begins a slow decent into madness.
Illusion 1 : Start - Start!
Illusion 2 : Afternoon Nap Guu Guu!
Illusion 3 : Go with Chest Hair!
Illusion 4 : Good Morning Kiss!
Illusion 5 : The Doctor!
Illusion 6 : Viva Non Non!
Illusion 7 : Confusion Jungle!
Illusion 8 : Angry Yamada!
Illusion 9 : A Black Big Hard Shining Stinking Strange Voiced Monster!
Illusion 10: Love love Ojii-san!
Illusion 11: Beachpic!
Illusion 12: Festival Don Don!
Illusion 13: Big Box!
Illusion 14: Boo!
Illusion 15: The Pokute Legend!
Illusion 16: Sleeping Together!
Illusion 17: Wendy, 17 Years Old!
Illusion 18: Love love Ojii-san Deluxe!
Illusion 19: Shalanla!
Illusion 20: Macchiro!
Illusion 21: Airport 21 - Japanese Food and European Food!
Illusion 22: Roba-san
Illusion 23: Pachimon
Illusion 24: A Holiday
Illusion 25: Fear! Humanitarian Onigokko!
Illusion 26: Ending! Ending!
There are also 4 OVAs out, called Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu Deluxe 1-3 and Deluxe Extra.
Hale - Our blue haired hero. Life was good for him in the Jungle, but then along came Guu. Hale is worrisome, caring, loud, pessimistic when it comes to Guu but optimistic otherwise, and really fast at talking. He is either the only insane one or the only sane one, and one of only two people to realize Guu is not quite normal.
Guu - When you first meet her, Guu will appear to be a soft spoken, polite, and really cute little girl. Your second meeting with her you'll be lucky if she doesn't eat you. Literally. Guu is always thoughtful and menacing. But only if you're Hale. Guu has several unique powers that proves she's not exactly human. First off, she can eat things. Lots of things. Lots of large things. Elephants, whales, dozens of people, you name it. Instead of digesting the things she eats, they're transported to the world inside her stomach where Hee, Hale's pet bird; Yamada-san, a woman who was cheated on and dumped out to get revenge on her boss; Mamo Tomoyo-san, who "helps around the house;" and Seiichi-kun live, from the popular high school, 12th seat in his junior year. Guu also has the ability to read minds and transform her physical appearance from that of cute Guu, to normal Guu, to grown up Guu, which has even more mysterious powers. There are others, but they are rarely seen. While it isn't clear if she means any harm, Hale seems convinced Guu's only purpose is to make his life a living hell. Beware when Guu smirks and smiles.
Weda - Hale's mother. The easiest way to describe her is as a childish, carefree, lazy drunk. She makes Hale do the cleaning and cooking, while she sleeps and stays out late getting drunk. She ran away from home when she was 14 because her dad disowned her, presumably because she was pregnant with Hale. As the series progresses her past is revealed. Much to Hale's dismay, because it only means more stress for him.
Mari - Mari is a darling little girl who loves to sew clothing. Her only dream in life is to have a mom (Weda) and dad (Dr. Clive), and to eventually marry Hale. Her energetic and compassionate ways spell trouble for Hale, however, and Guu's enticing her doesn't help Hale any.
Dr. Clive - Hale's biological father. He showed up in the jungle one day because that's where his work took him. Like father, like son, Clive-sensei is erratic, loud, annoying, and pessimistic. He has no love for the male gender at all (he's a tad touchy with Lavenna and Weda), and even less for his son. He's either in love with Weda, or has an extreme amount of lust for her, so he's always hanging around Hale's house making life worse.
Chourou - The chief of the Jungle. He is in love with his chest hair, which is more reminiscent of an afro than simple chest hair. He has Guu-phobia, and is so afraid of her that he'll do anything she asks.
Bel and Asio - Weda's personal servants from the city. They serve loyally and with out question. Bel is a tad violent and admires Weda like twenty mothers admire their babies. Thus resulting in massive nosebleeds. Gallons and gallons. Asio is probably the most normal person on the show, but his eyes and face are so scary that fact is overlooked. He is constantly getting beat up by Bel because he's the most convenient person that she doesn't take orders from.
There are a whole host of other minor characters that only add to the madness. There are only two characters that are hardly shown, barely ever speak, and I don't even know what their names are. Each minor character has a distinct personality that adds to the richness of Jungle Wa, and shouldn't be ignored. However, they are too numerous to describe here, so I'll just list them in no particular order. Lavenna, Gupta, Rebecca, Robert, Waji, Dama Ba-chan (who is in love with Clive-sensei, and is very scary), Wiggle, Reiji, Toposte, and Adi and Chet (who are so madly in love with eachother it's sickening).
Other possibly useful things to know
This anime is hilarious and makes no sense while at the same time being a grim story with a very coherent plot. Jungle Wa takes on a cartoonish animation that enriches the experience of watching it because of the rapid changes in moods and sometimes even scenery that happen. All in all this anime is near-impossible to describe and should just be watched to be understood. But only in moderation. And only while drunk and/or high. As with Azumanga Daioh and some other animes, some jokes in Jungle Wa either won't be understood by normal non-Japanese anime fans, or won't translate well. In any rate, it will be hard to find an English-speaking voice actor to play Hale because of his rapid talking. In the dubbed versions of this anime the voice acting will probably be essential because of the richness of each character. After all, the real brilliance of this anime is in its characters. Each one is quite original in design and personality, in my opinion. And Hale and Guu's relationship is much of the funny. Definitely worth the watch. Unless you feel sorry for the problems that Hale has, because now that there's Guu, he has plenty.
Update 2/16/06: Jungle wa is now licensed in the United States and is available on DVD. The special art box with the first DVD also comes with a bonus afro chest hair wig. I do not lie.