Friday, April 8, 2011

Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King Anime Review

Jyu-Oh-Sei: Planet of the Beast King
Funimation
Complete Collection - 11 episodes
 255 minutes
$59.98 (2008) $29.98 S.A.V.E. edition (2008)
ISBN 704400083105
English/Japanese Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Hiroshi Nishikiori
Studio - Bones
TO BUY: Jyu-Oh-Sei

Synopsis: In the far future mankind has populated the Balkan system and left a dying Earth behind.  The race has suffered under the different conditions in their new home and birth rates have dropped.  The parents of Thor and Rai are political figures and scientists on the colony Juno.  Odin, the president of Juno assassinates them and drops the twins on Chimaera, a secret prison planet with the deadliest environment in the universe. 

There is a rag-tag society on Chimaera with four "Rings" (or camps/clans) with their own chieftains.  The chieftain who conquers all four rings is crowned the "Beast King" and allowed off Chimaera.  Thor desperately wants to leave Chimaera and exact revenge on Odin for killing his parents, orchestrating his exile, and laterally causing his brother's death.  Along the way Thor is chosen by Tiz as her mate and befriends Third who helps him rise to power in the Ochre ring.  Can Thor conquer the planet and become the Beast King?  What secret agenda does Odin have with Chimaera and where have all the past Beast Kings gone? 

Pros: Good animation, very unique plot premise, catchy and off-beat opening theme song, a few interesting plot twists at the end

Cons: The dub voices for Thor and Rai as kids are incredibly annoying, story is not as violent and bloodthirsty as expected, ending is somewhat anti-climactic and felt a bit rushed, Tiz was somewhat lame too

Mike Tells It Straight: Although Jyu-Oh-Sei has a great sci-fi premise and the perfect revenge story setup it was somewhat disappointing.  It just wasn't savage enough for me and the idea of a feudal society amidst the deadly flora of Chimaera didn't jive.  Thor's rise to chieftain status was too easy and it seemed too improbable.  The twists at the end were good, but again the finale was a disappointment.  11 episodes is an odd number and they could have prolonged anticipation of (or maybe improved) the ending.  Ultimately this show is all hype.

TO BUY and Recommendations: Last Exile Demon King Daimao Dance in the Vampire Bund