Okay, so usually I don’t write reviews for OVAs that are based on a series, because often they’re just too similar to the series they’re based on, or just random side-stories that aren’t meant to be judged as standalone products. There are exceptions of course, when an OVA goes into completely its own direction, and improves significantly on the series it’s based on, I do want to promote it a bit and say a few things about it.
And an excellent example of this is King of Bandits Jing’s OVA. The TV-series itself was all over the place; some episodes were awesome, though most of them were very simplistic and unimpressive. Now here the OVA comes, and it takes the best parts of the series, and just goes all out into an awesome mindscrew.
The visual direction really is amazing. It takes place in a semi-dreamworld, and just about every shot is creative, and beautifully drawn. There’s so much creativity put into just three episodes. If you finished the TV-series and liked its weird stuff, then you owe it to yourself to take a look at it, because it’s entertainment at its finest.
The three episodes are also completely different from each other. The first is chock-full of visual comedy and uses its creativity and unique direction to create a very entertaining adventure through a dreamlike world. The second episode is more serious, and actually tells about Jing’s past. While he doesn’t exactly gain much depth, it’s still very interesting to watch. The third episode in its turn is a character-study of the major villain, which was very interesting and well scripted.
Thanks to Jing’s tongue-in-cheek personality this OVA has a unique feel, but it’s not to the point where the style gets in the way of what’s important. The characters’ antics and the visuals are just as important and the animation is actually really good. Add to that that one of the best character-designers out there has worked on this, and you’ve got something consistently entertaining.
|Storytelling:||9/10 – Tongue-in-cheek execution with tons and tons of creativity.|
|Characters:||8/10 – Great emphasis on character background despite the weirdness.|
|Production-Values:||9/10 – Absolutely stunning designs.|
|Setting:||8/10 – Tons of nice and neat ideas, though the concept of the series remains questionable.|