Posted by psgels on 18 August 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

I went into this series quite a false assumption of what it was going to be about. With a title as “Yugo the Negotiator”, it sounded like a mature and realistic series in which the lead character Yugo would calmly negotiate himself through various circumstances. Little did I know that this is a series which tests the boundaries of what the human body can take, a series which tests the boundaries of credibility in its plot twists and a series which tests the boundaries of how much tension you can insert in a story with such a dull sounding premise.

So yeah, this series features two arcs, both of which are about Yugo trying to rescue a person who has been captured by really dangerous people. The key in is success is investigation: he always carefully checks the background of the people he’s dealing with and you can also see that the creators of this series have taken their time to give a very detailed portrayal of the countries that this series is set in (Pakistan and Russia). With such a detailed setting, you’d really expect that the rest of the series is also going to be very realistic and believable, but unfortunately the rest of the plot is really shoddy, ludicrous and often loses focus of what’s really important.

In the end, while it had a lot of potential, Yugo the Negotiator to me stands out as one of those series with an identity crisis. Its focus should have been the negotiating: getting hostages away from danger, but quite a few episodes are simply dragging Yugo’s body to hell and back: we see him being tortured by 50 degrees of heat, minus forty degrees of cold and some other of Russia’s cruelest torture techniques. And while this would have been fine on its own, it gets a bit hard to believe to simply see him stand up and walk away afterwards like nothing happened.

The ending of the series also carries this air that you just can’t take seriously, in which just about every plot twist in the final two episodes stretches the limit of suspense of disbelief. Add to that the mysterious reason why the creators have Yugo team up with a sexy woman who falls in love with him but is generally useless to the plot and the fact that most of Yugo’s plans leave an awful lot to a very flimsy lady fortuna and you have a series that simply fails at being credible.

However, don’t get me wrong in that there’s nothing to get from this series, because it is a very intense ride from start to finish. If you can accept the fact that there is no way that this show is ever going to make any iota of sense, then you’ll be thoroughly entertained by all of the different and creative twists and turns that the plot makes and the horrible things that the characters have to go through. In terms of storytelling, it fails; but in terms of entertainment it definitely isn’t a bad way to spend 6 hours.

So yeah, in the end Yugo is pretty much the epitome of a Marty Stu. The plot often doesn’t make any sense, but if you set your mind on zero you’ll be fine with this series. It has enough to offer to keep people in for an intense ride throughout the 13 episodes, but really… do not take it seriously.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

One Response

  1. Avatar Meep says:

    As soon as you posted your review on Yugo, I began watching it right away and finished all 13 episodes in one go. I thought it was very entertaining to watch. I was intrigued by Yugo’s logic, carefulness, and attention to detail. In fact, I found myself at the edge of my seat through this short series.

    But really, you’re quite right. You have to suspend your belief when Yugo escapes the torture chamber and he’s just fine in the next scene, lol. And it’s also difficult to accept that he could pull off the missions that he did, and both of them at that. Without taking it too seriously, it was pretty fun to watch. I couldn’t agree more with your review.

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