Mezzo Forte

February 23, 2005 on 10:04 pm | In Mezzo Forte | Comments Off on Mezzo Forte

Mezzo Forte is the spiritual successor to Umetsu Yasuomi’s Kite, but also the thematic opposite. Mezzo Forte is a lot more enjoyable because it just goes for wild action comedy and doesn’t try to grasp at anything. However, unlike Kite, the sex scenes are throwaway and these two episodes could do without them.

Mikawa is an agent of the DSA (Danger Service Agency – although the acronym is never actually explained in the series), a crack team of three people that take on dangerous jobs for those willing to pay the price.

This two-part story features an old man hiring the DSA to kidnap the manager of the awful Peach Twisters baseball team. Unfortunately, they did not reckon with the fact that Momomi, the manager’s daughter, is a “psycho bitch” who arbitrarily kills people for her own amusement. A battle of the wills between Mikura and Momomi takes place – connected not only by their reddish/pinkish/orangey hair but also because they both happen to be inexplicably psychic.

Umetsu is, in the field of action comedy, practically a genius. He hits so many spots in the creation of this that it is almost impossible to not enjoy the vast bulk of the program. The DSA is a close-knit trio, led by Kurokawa. Kurokawa is an ex-policeman who wrote a tell-all book and used the profits to form the DSA. Harada and Mikura come from suspicious backgrounds. Mikura’s is disclosed, Harada’s doesn’t really matter as he’s here to have crazy, crazy hair.

Mezzo Forte is excellent fun. The subject matter is not serious, so there is no problem laughing at any of it. There are throwaway plot points that don’t mean anything at all. This is what we call “false intrigue” – Umetsu has placed some red herrings so blatant into the mix that it is clear from their very mention that nothing more is going to become of them.

At heart, this is a caper OVA. The “jewel” that is being heisted just happens to be the manager of a baseball team. Harada and Mikura steal him from a toilet stall at a bowling alley and carry him around in a giant body bag through the ventilation ducts – which leads to an incredibly amusing (and surprisingly intricate) battle atop the bowling alley catwalks. You know how in these things, the thieves always lose their quarry disastrously at one point? Exactly.

Mezzo Forte is well animated for something that was funded by a hentai company. Umetsu has a unique style – and it is definitely his style as he amazingly wrote, directed, key animated and storyboarded all of it. Umetsu has to be a man who wants to take a hands-on approach to all of his work, and so Mezzo Forte is truly his. His direction is amazing, using the cool “title framing” technique with a baseball, excellent comic and action timing, and all sorts of cool tricks. Umetsu ensures that this is extremely fun to watch.
The cast is also fun, but being as this is a Green Bunny project, it’s impossible to name any of its members. They seem too talented to be simply hentai actors – and could possibly be the same as Mezzo DSA.

Due to the lighthearted nature of this anime, the inclusion of two rape scenes is simply bizarre. The fact that rape turns people on is disturbing enough; inserting it amongst the action and general carnage of Mezzo Forte makes for some uncomfortable viewing. These rape scenes are shoe-horned in as Umetsu was still limited by his “X rated material” clause but did not want to intrude on the program itself.
There’s a lot of integrated nudity, shower scenes, panty shots and naked exploding robots in the show proper, and that is cool. The sex is distinctly un-sexy, however, and this is one case where I would actually recommend the edited version over the uncut (provided it kept the nudity, panty shots, shower scenes and naked exploding robots).

Umetsu said that he would really have liked to make Mezzo Forte into a television series; in 2003 he managed to get the funds together for Mezzo DSA, and thusly this fun prospect lived on. Mezzo Forte is highly recommended; the version that you choose should depend on your personal tastes – losing the sex scenes does not affect the whole in the slightest. I would vouch it would make it even easier.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^