Again I get my hit of Jyu-Oh-Sei in double dosage, and again I’m left feeling completely intoxicated by it. It’s the story that I love; so thick with detail, almost every scene contributes something new or shocking, continuously building on the already heavy narrative with yet more helpings of tribal politics, social commentary and romantic entanglement.
The only real problem with Jyu-Oh-Sei is the intense homoerotic undercurrent. Consider Thor’s skimpy clothes and Third’s “friendly” personality and clearly this is a show perfect for the ladies’ Noitamina animation block in Japan (having previously aired Paradise Kiss amongst others). I’m not a lady though, so I’d rather Thor put on some trousers and get a haircut- and undoubtedly, it’s this very camp aesthetic style that has made it easier for people to write off Jyu-Oh-Sei- their loss, really.
By episode four, the story is moving into high gear; Third’s gradually showing his hand as both a callous manipulator and devious liar while Thor’s quest for his return home has only worsened after discovering that his space-dwelling life is limited to but a mere 8 or 9 more years; a side-effect of having been brought up in a space colony and then suddenly dumped on a foreign planet. Conspiracies and back stabbings are all being promised, and don’t be surprised if it turns out that Third’s behind it all.
Animation-wise Jyu-Oh-Sei rivals Black Lagoon for some of the most electrifying action scenes of the spring season. Watching Thor take down an ugly insect-like carnivorous plant was a particularly exciting moment; this was a scene full of kinetic motion, painful collision and gravity-defying ass-whoopery of the highest order that was very reminiscent of Miyazaki’s ground-breaking movie Nausicaa and The Valley of Wind.