Rating: 3½ Rampages cover for the LD

PHOTON, a young man with a kind heart and superhuman strength, leaves his village on Sandy Planet (a desert world which has an uncanny resemblance to Nausicaa's Earth) in search of Aun, who's stolen the village's Holy Object (a permanent marker). Aun, by the way, is a total idiot. She runs away from Photon and then blames him for abandoning her when she gets lost. Meanwhile, he gets attacked by a wandering Totora, falls off a cliff, and then stumbles upon a crashed spaceship (that looks an awful like Laputa on the inside) and gets accidentally engaged to a renegade space pilot named Keyne. Now they're on the run from the evil emperor of the galaxy and his bumbling henchmen...and they've both got 'baka' written on their foreheads. Literally.

SILLY!! There are few words I can use to describe this show; most are along the lines of silly, delightfully perverted, cute, strange, and just downright fun. I'm thinking Pioneer rented out some of their art staff as a lot of the art looks very similar to their productions like Tenchi and Dual, but it is actually done by someone else entirely. The story is a little bizarre, the opening scene even more so...Keyne stripping down frantically with a seemingly hologramatic pervert lecherously grinning while pursuing her...strangest spaceship chase I've ever seen. Then there's Aun...the idiot. Most of us have taken to calling her bubblegum-head, and not just because of her hair. Photon seems a great deal more sensible at times, but occasionally he acts like a really dimwitted kid with a breast fixation. Good common sense, and a good heart, but he's still not the brightest star in the sky. He's impossibly strong, but he doesn't really think much of it, as he just casually whacks something that's mean or threatening, and goes back to what he was doing. Essentially he's the idiot savant protector...all he thinks about is protecting his friends, and nuzzling himself into a pair of boobs (nice to see a guy with his priorities straight ^_^).

The main villain, Papacha (another nominee for dumbest name in anime..I like what Aun calls him more: "Papachump") is really funny and really creepy. You see, he's phenomenally stupid and keeps attacking Photon despite the fact that he can't even slow the kid down (Photon appears to be immune to the "Aho" powers of Keyne and Papacha), which usually results in him spending a portion of the episode in bandages, or just bleeding...a lot. The freaky part is he keeps running around with no pants on. Now considering how much of a freaky pervert he appears to be (and IS) that's just wrong on SO many levels. For the love of God, PUT SOME PANTS ON MAN!

Keyne is a great deal of fun, especially since she is every bit as determined as Aun to keep Photon for herself, and is just as inclined to resort to dirty tricks as Aun is. The ending is a little too formulaic for for my tastes (they really should have stuck with the whole wacky comedy theme all the way through instead of going for the typical serious confrontation type ending) but on the whole, this is one hell of a fun show. Action, comedy, silly nudity and innuendo everywhere, Photon is the kind of show that leaves you feeling all silly and happy...and maybe just a little perverted ^_^. All in all, a great pick.

Herself the Elf sez: Be warned, the last two episodes of Photon are very disappointing. All the goofiness and fun are thrown by the wayside in favour of convoluted plot twists and a melodramatic, cheesy showdown (that wasn't in the manga, by the way) that'll leave you wondering if you're watching the wrong show. Bleh.

Available dubbed or subbed from US Manga Corps