Review: Wandaba Style
Wandaba Style is the tale of four unsuccessful idol singers, an unscrupulous manager, and a boy genius with too much money and a yen for unconventional forms of space travel. The enjoyability of Wandaba Style depends on the viewer's blood sugar level and resistance to seizures, among other things.
Dr. Tsukino is a boy genius scientist with unlimited money and some unconventional ideas about space travel. Thinking that the United States' moon landings were faked, he decides it's man's duty to travel there for real... without polluting dear old Mother Earth with nasty rocket fuel. He needs test subjects for his crazy spaceflight ideas, such as launching spaceships with giant slingshots or huge tanks of fizzy water.
Hanagata, an unscrupulous manager, volunteers his hardworking but floundering female idol group "Mix Juice" as test subjects for Dr. Tsukino, telling them that they'll be the first band to play a gig on the moon. Naturally, this contrived premise serves merely to provide a reason for lots of comic abuse to be heaped on the poor girls of Mix Juice.
Wandaba Style definitely falls into the "manic comedy" genre of anime, alongside shows like Excel Saga, Puni Puni Poemi and Magical Shopping Arcade Abenobashi. The action and comedy are extremely fast paced, with a frenetic visual style that is basically an assault on the eyeballs as it rapidly oscillates between semi-normal and super-deformed artwork.
I found that the series grew on me after a few episodes. Wandaba Style is going about 80 miles an hour as soon as it starts, and it's a bit disconcerting at first even for this manic genre of animation. The girls of Mix Juice eventually prove to be endearing in their own one-dimensional and undercharacterized sort of way, and the writing makes up for a lack of singular stone-cold killer funny moments with non-stop barrage of lesser comedy that is exhausting, but consistently amusing.
Wandaba Style isn't quite in same league as classics like Excel, Puni Puni, or Abenobashi, but it's still very enjoyable if you like this kind of thing... and I do. Recommended.
Released by: ADV Films
Release date: Jan 18, 2005
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