Title: Getsumen Usagi Heiki Miina, Lunar Bunny Weapon Mina
Episodes: 11 (+2 OVA specials; integrated into series)
Producer: Gonzo, Studio Tulip
Genre: Comedy, Sci-fi, Parody
Recommended/Similar Titles: This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, Otaku No Video (concept basis), Kujibiki Unbalance
After establishing contact with extraterrestrial civilizations, it was found that humans were the only race to develop various sports. The number of alien sports fans grew dramatically, and the most fanatic of them regularly harass stadiums for taking part in a game, or demanding a good show, etc. Finally a treaty was settled, ruling all interferences towards other planets’ cultures illegal. Rabbit Force, a group of rabbit-themed henshin girls, became responsible for enforcing the treaty and capturing any offenders.
Just like Genshiken’s meta-fictional mind that bore Kujibiki Unbalance, the same can be said about Getsumen To Heiki Mina. Originally featured in the TV drama, Densha Otoko (Train Man) and a cameo appearance in Hayate no Gotoku later, Getsumen tells the story of hard-working Mina Tsukuda that has become a junior reporter (while in High school), but soon finds herself balancing that aspect of her life with her new-found abilities as a Miina of the Rabbit Force. Very confusing, yes? Well, it is quite the opposite and relatively easy to follow with its “Villain Of The Day” format, obvious mysterious hero, obvious secret identity, and other typical plot devices. However, Getsumen manages to set itself apart from all the rest with its restless execution and old-style feel, but does not break its mold or do anything new. If the typical aspects can be appreciated, then overlooking the formulaic apporach of Getsumen will be easy and a series that is quick and minimally painless to finish, despite it being close to mediocre. In short: It could use some polish, but not the shabbiest vase in the store.
If you are familiar with the common magical girl/superhero stint series, then the characters are very what you expect; lacking much personality. This mainly stems from character appearance, since Tsukuda is the only one seen the most throughout the series among the other Miina cast until later, but the minor supporting roles pick up the slack in some regards. As for the Miina of the Rabbit Force,very typical archetypes such as: cute grade schooler, younger sister, weapon specialist, hot-headed warrior, and many others that appear along aside Tsukuda. The crop of voice actors do a well-enough job of voicing their respective character roles and familiar names appear such as: Marina Inoue, Kana Hanazawa, Eri Nakao, and so on.
Gonzo and Studio Tuilp team up for the animation and directorial duties of Getsumen that lead to some mixed results. While the overall art work is very charming and smooth, it does not hide the glaring inconsistencies with the animation. Minor as they are, most of the transformation scenes and eye-candy seem to get more attention than the actually combat based most of the time, but varies episodically depending on the director. Again, it is a minuscule issue, but one that can be picked up by the skilled and discerning eye for quality. The overall quality is DVD sized, so do not expect high production values. However, for those shortcomings, Getsumen makes up for it by having an excellently relevant and orchestrated soundtrack. It is an odd match, but simpatico with the overall look and feel of the series. The main director is Keiichirou Kawaguchi, most recognized for his directorial work on series like: Zettai Karen Children, Nyan Koi, and Mayoi Chiki just to name a few.
I would say that Getsumen was watchable for me, but only a series I would consider again when time allows it. Understanding that it is derived from another work it is bound to have its issues, but I can not help feel another studio would of done better with the direction. Dare to say Gainax would feel at home with this title, since it does contain a lot of practices and parodies from its history and older projects. Regardless of my tone, Getsumen is a speedy and lulling watch on a slow day and exactly when I would say it is a good idea to checkout. It does have a rough and tough appeal sector, but anyone that can look back at older productions like those of Gainax (especially Otaku No Video for example as a template) then this series should make contextual sense and find an appreciative base. Like it was made for typical old-school otakus and the like. Well, that is my feeling at least…
Getsumen To Heiki Mina is a worthy one-shot series, but not exactly one that is measurable to any scrutiny or praise. It has its finer points as well as weaker ones, then again, the audience are the ones to determine those factors. As aforementioned, if you like a nod to those age-old otaku themed series then Getsumen is watchable to some lesser extent. Although, if you are seeking something more constructive and engaging for time, then this not exactly it. Either way, if you have the time to trifle with Gonzo’s previous works like Strike Witches or anything you define of low to borderline caliber , then you will definitively have time for this series. Nothing special that warrants a watch, but worth giving it a whirl.
Pros: Quick moving series, relatively short and compact, great soundtrack, fair supporting cast.
Cons: Inconsistent animation, patchwork execution can be a turn off, some main characters not well-defined.