Rumiko Takahashi Anthology

Rumiko Takahashi AnthologyType: TV Series
Episode Count: 13
Genre: Drama / Suspense / Supernatural
Vintage: 2003

Version reviewed: Japanese Subtitled
Date of Review: 30 Sep 2007

Grade: B

Rumiko Takahashi, best known for her marathon works such as Inu-Yasha, Urusei Yatsura, and Ranma 1/2, breaks convention and serves up 13 complete stories that clock in at a mere 25 minutes each.

Plot Summary
A baker’s dozen of standalone stories where ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances.

The Review
In some ways, each episode of this unique series could be considered Paranoia Agent Lite. That isn’t a bad thing, though. Rather than go through each episode (which would make this a very long and tedious review), I’ll just cover the basic premise of the series. If you like the concept, chances are you’ll like the series.

Strange things can happen to ordinary people when things get stressful for them. The politics of apartment life, mischievous spirits who meddle in family affairs, and a discouraged father who brings his unsuspecting family on a vacation meant to be the last activity of their lives (in other words, a suicide pact that they don’t know about) are just a few of the stories in this anthology. Each story is well told and feels complete despite being only one episode long. It’s interesting to see how things play out, with twists and turns making each conclusion a surprise.

In typical Rumiko Takahashi style, humor is present throughout each story in an Inu-Yasha meets Paranoia Agent kind of way. Each story has a competely different cast, but watching them in order has its own unique reward as well. In the later episodes, characters from earlier installments make a few cameos in the background and incidental on-screen activity. I even spotted a few Inu-Yasha cameos in a couple of episodes, which was a brilliant little touch. I’m sure there were cameos from her other series as well, but not having seen them yet I can’t say for sure.

If you’re looking for a quick story to watch, this is a good series to pick up since you don’t have to recall events or characters from one episode to the next. Rumiko Takahashi Anthology is a great collection of interesting stories that would make a good addition to anyone’s anime collection.

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