Gokudou-kun Manyuuki

(aka Gokudo, Swordsman Extraordinaire)

Rating: 3½ Rampages

Episodes seen: 1-8 of ? Gokudou-kun and pals

Gokudou-kun Manyuuki can be translated as "Gokudou: The Tale of a Rambling Wanderer." Gokudou is called 'The Worst Hero' - this probably has something to do with his seeming to have severe psychological problems, not to mention the fact that this anti-hero has a propensity for nose-picking, ear-picking and pick pocketing, and is possibly even more mercenary than Lina Inverse.

Gokudou ends up the owner of not only a magic sword but a mouthy, pedantic genie that is rather distressed at its new owner's complete lack of morals. Gokudou hears there's princesses to be rescued (for cash, of course), and so begin the wacky adventures. Gokudou and his friends pretty much spend the entire series bumbling from crisis to crisis, screaming all the way, and making us laugh while doing it.

Just as a note: Gokudou is played by Ishida Akira, the guy who brought us everybody's favourite Mazoku. ^_^ Jin waking up Gokudou in his own unique way

Ah yes, the asshole hero...bane of the melodramatic villain, source of aggravation for fellow adventurers, and darling of the spectators; and that would be us. There's just something inifinitely entertaining about watching someone like Xelloss or Dark Schneider in action...totally badass, totally undependable, utterly unrepentant and simply beyond caring what anyone thinks of how much of a jackass they are. You'd never want to associate with these people but damn is it funny to watch them kick ass, take names and piss off everyone in the process when it's not YOU being pissed off. Gokudou-kun takes the crown for being the biggiest jackass in anime...he REALLY doesn't give a rat's ass about anyone but himself and if there are any redeemable features to his personality he has hidden them better than the purloined letter.

But the lovable asshole isn't the only thing this show has going for it; the other players are no slouches either. The innocent-looking Princess Rubette is as almost as good with a sword as Gokudou-kun, and usually ends up doing all the grunt work while Gokudou-kun sits and watches. Jin the Genie is like a lawful good genie...the worst thing anyone like Gokudou-kun could ask for, and he can't get rid of him till his wishes are used up (too bad the genie has some rather strict ideas of what is an acceptable wish and what isn't). And thene there's Prince, the dark skinned former evil sorcerer that's even more of a womanizer than Gokudou (but Gokudou just hates the fact that Prince is better at it than him cause he's better looking)...I wonder how long it's gonna take the elf to add him to her harem ^_^. Lastly we have a really freaky prophetess who keeps bugging Gokudou, telling him he's being hunted by the king, or something...either way Gokudou just wants her to shut up, which usually results in her whacking him over the head a few times. I swear I've been in D & D groups that were at least as convoluted as this.

The animation is very good for a TV series, if rather stylized and very very goofy...just look at Gokudo's expression in the pic above for an idea of how a lot of this series looks. There's all sorts of silliness abound in the Slayers-esque fantasy romp, from SD atari-style fight scenes to the bunny-girl scene transitions, everything here is just plain wacky. The actual story doesn't appear to go very far for the first half of the series, until then it's basically along the lines of: the team wanders around, Gokudou makes an ass of himself and gets beat up on, some silly quest gets completed, and they all keep bickering till the next episode. Kind of a more uncouth, obnoxious and consistently silly version of Slayers, and a worthy successor to the rather lonely-of-late genre of fantasy comedy.

Available as "Gokudo, Swordsman Extraordinaire" from Media Blasters.

Updated 17-12-01