Innocent Venus [2006] (12 Episodes)

"You mean this entire ship is crewed by anime stereotypes?"

"You mean this entire ship is crewed by anime stereotypes?"

I would not call Innocent Venus a waste of time, but neither would I recommend it or say that it brought much to the table.  It seemed a collection of anime stereotypes thrown together in a way that was supposed to be meaningful and serious.  Instead it came out hackneyed and dull.  Oh it was not terrible, but the few moments out of 12 episodes that make it stand out are not enough.

It is amazing how many characteristics you can randomly mix up and still come out with an anime stereotype.  Wears a gi, commands a ship, carries a sword and has a captains jacket over his shoulders.  Oh yeah, he is an ex-agent with incredible fighting ability.  Check.  How about kid grown up on the streets, hard-scrabbled thief only out for himself – but with a caring heart of gold.  Check.  I could go on for pretty much the whole cast.  Militaristic factions, check, cold-hearted and jilted ex-lover, check.

Cute girl with special powers thrust into a complicated plot she can not possibly understand?  Check.

Cute girl with special powers thrust into a complicated plot she cannot possibly understand? Check.

That is the thing.  Innocent Venus put every characteristic into their wanna-be cool creation tool in order to come up with what they thought would be so compelling.  I guess they found out that it is not that easy.  A show is cool because it stands on its own merits and touches its own themes well.  A show that tries to be cool like this one often elicits repulsion.

The show has a few interesting but not revolutionary concepts.  While something does not have to break new ground to be fun and entertaining, this show did not break new ground and was not particularly fun or entertaining.  The plot was tired and bogged down in the middle.  It did not accomplish one of its purposes, and that is to attach the viewer to the characters.  There was nothing great about the music, character or mech design.  The few fight scenes were okay however.

The mech design looks a little cooler here than it really was.

The mech design looks a little cooler here than it really was.

Innocent Venus has no real heart, especially when compared to a great series like Coyote Ragtime.  If you are stranded on a desert island and only have Innocent Venus to watch, by all means do so.  However most of us have more choices.  So unless you have time to burn I would suggest spending it more wisely.

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