Tuesday, October 16, 2001

Kazemakase: Tsukikage Ran (Carried by the Wind: Tsukikage Ran)

Genre: Adventure / Martial Arts
Parental Guidance Recommended
2000 Akitarou Daichi, Madhouse, WOWOW

Tsukikage Ran DVDs
Skysenshi's Description:
Ran Tsukikage is a female samurai who calls herself a beautiful traveller whose joy in life is a good dose of sake. Myao of the Cat Claw Martial Arts is the trusty best buddy who has a heart of a saint but the brains of an empty liquor bottle. Together these two young women embark on a journey where the wind takes them...

(13 episodes)

Get ready... >>> >>> by skysenshi

...for some serious butt-kicking action/adventure with the female Rurouni Kenshin! The moves, the beauty, the grace all boils down to a sense of style. Kazemakase: Tsukikage Ran follows the formula of many a live-action samurai series (y'know those Jidaigeki stuff that Firesenshi loves watching over WOWOW channel). There isn't any grand plot here where gigantic ultra-powerful magic-wielding bosses must be met at the very end of the series. There aren't any monster-of-the-day themes either. It's just as the title says -- wandering where the wind blows.

I didn't really know what to expect when I first started watching this series over WOWOW channel. It didn't seem to be a serious action anime since the opening and ending music sounded so... 1950s. In fact, at first the show looked so boring I was just watching it for the sake of satisfying my thirst for Japanimation. Then the interesting part was revealed: Ran is a woman with the skill of the sword and the moves of Battousai the Slasher. What's fascinating to note also is that she reverses her sword at the last minute so as not to hurt her opponents. This isn't obvious in the first few episodes because her swift, agile movements can actually strike you with awe. She's a happy-go-lucky one who pretends not to care for anything that doesn't involve herself or sake, but can get downright dangerous when innocent lives are at stake. It doesn't hurt that Ran is such a handsome lady that I even found myself having a slight crush on her... well, okay, maybe "slight" is not the word. She does have her "pretty" moments, though, and those few times were quite a treasure.

Unfortunately, the series is very short and doesn't say much about Ran's past save for the last episode where I got a glimpse of her femininity. That still left me hanging though, because even when her past was a little exposed, the real details weren't divulged. What's nice about this, however, is that it leaves a lot of room for Ran to maintain her aura of mystery, which I think is her most appealing attribute.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 7; Story 7; Characters 8; Sounds 8

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