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Oh! Edo Rocket
Oh! Edo Rocket
Oh! Edo Rocket
Anime DVD Review by Brian Cirulnick

We're going to need the Mythbusters for this one. According to a reliable source, during Japan's medieval period, a fireworks artisan created a firework so powerful, it launched a woman into the moon.

And this series makes it appear plausible, but only if you give in to the absolute silliness of it. Packed with plotline and bursting with breadth, this series rockets to the top of our "must see" list simply because there's so much going on that, after you've watched about 4 episodes, it becomes an addiction.

Oh it's got faults. Lots of them. I'm not particularly enthralled by the 20's style jazz soundtrack, but the opening title song is the catchiest tune we've heard for quite a while. The character designs are all over the place, the humor isn't that funny, but man, has this show got stuff going on and lots of character development.

Oh! Edo RocketBased on a stage play, the storyline is that during the Tenpo period (approx. mid-1800's) when Tokyo was still called "Edo", all luxuries were banned, leaving the general populace with very little. In a set of row houses, a fireworks craftsman sets out to defy the law and create something to lift the spirits of the downtrodden people.

And while he's doing that, an alien spacecraft crashes into Earth, bearing a "sky-beast" that is chasing another sky-beast (who happens to be a mass-murderer), and with no way to get back into space, changes her appearance into a pretty young lady named Sora, who then appeals to Seikichi (the fireworks guy) to build something to take her back to the moon.

Oh, and meanwhile, there's a snooping police officer who everybody hates, making life miserable for everyone in the row houses. He's also been tapped to investigate the mysterious deaths of other young ladies in the area, which are attributed to the Sky-Beast.

Oh! Edo RocketOh and meanwhile, there's this secret order of Ninja-types who dress in black armor and call themselves "the Men in Black", and Seikichi's best friend, who's a locksmith, turns out to be their captain, but he doesn't know it himself until he's called upon to defend Edo from the Sky-Beasts.

Oh and meanwhile... Well, I'm hoping you get the picture. Episode One attempts to cram all this in pretty quickly, so the show starts out a confusing mess of scenes that don't seem to go together, and it takes about 4 episodes until you're comfortable with what's going on and adapt to things. Of course by then they've thrown in a few more plot twists and added characters, just to keep you off balance.

And if that wasn't enough, the show is completely self-referential, it just doesn't break the fourth wall, it stomps all over it -- characters know this is a TV show, complain about their cel-painting, replay past events from the show on a TV-set, then complain about that not being period-correct, and so on. The anachronisms are humorous, but not laugh-out-loud funny. If you want *really* funny, grab a DVD of Sgt. Frog. Frankly, they could have skipped the humor entirely and gone with straight drama, although that might have made the entire premise seem less plausible.

Oh! Edo RocketGin's back-story, the complete makeover of Akai Nishinosuke (the main antagonist) and the major story arc of getting Sora to where she's supposed to be all combine into a wonderful series that does, unfortunately, run out of steam near the end, but the journey itself was the reward, as Madhouse did an admirable job of making this a whimsical and fascinating romp that kept me coming back for more.

And while the Mythbusters would no doubt call this one "busted", I have to give them credit for trying, as this was a far more original and entertaining series than I was expecting.

Reviewed by Brian Cirulnick, December 2010

Below: Scenes from Oh! Edo Rocket.

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket


Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket Website Links:


Footage of Original Musical

Oh! Edo Rocket official homepage at FUNimation


WATCH Oh! Edo Rocket at Hulu

Oh! Edo Rocket (TV) at Anime News Network's Encyclopedia

Wikipedia entry for Oh! Edo Rocket


Below: Promotional images and Japanse packaging for Oh! Edo Rocket.

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket

Oh! Edo Rocket



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