I was fortunate enough to be lent this series by a work mate recently. From the look of the box, I thought this show would be mindless nonsensical fun that would take itself too seriously and lose my initial good impression within the first five minutes. Luckily for me I was wrong about the latter. Yes this show was mindless and complete fluff - but it was enjoyable throughout as it avoided many pitfalls of its genre, mainly though - biting off more than it could chew. The show had a strict timeline and objective to reach, and did so in a cohesive if somehow shallow manner.
The animation was great throughout. The artwork was very well rendered, characters were beautifully drawn and animated. The costume design was inventive while relying mostly on Gothic Lolita fashion for the antagonists, the protagonists were mainly wearers of everyday fashion which were also well drawn but nowhere near as detailed. The backdrops were beautifully coloured and the setting was well thought out and executed - especially on the vehicles. One could say animation was the show`s strong point.
I have to confess something about the sound here - it is that I viewed this series in the English dub. Nothing wrong with that per se, however I am only able to judge it on the merits of the American voice actors, and I`ll also be looking at the soundtrack as it would be identical to that of the original. I have to say the American cast did an amazing job on this, Mister had a dominant voice, with sass and fun to it that you would attribute to a cowboy (perfect for his character if you ask me). Angelica had a fragile manner about her in the way she was portrayed while maintaining confidence and conviction - which was a great job from the voice actor. Most of the other cast members were very well portrayed (Chelsea was the exception to me as she was a little flat and also a little cliched). I have to admit it was Swamp who was my standout in the cast. He was hilarious and his bickering with Bishop was what made the show a hoot all the way through. I am unaware how close to the original script the English version of the show stayed faithful, but the Swamp character worked really well with the street smart dialog given in the English dub. The soundtrack was overall good though it did not have any standout tracks.
The characters themselves was overall very enjoyable though one could not really say that there was much development to them from start to finish. The cast as they were at the end were pretty much who they were at the beginning. The exceptions were Angelica, Chelsea, Mister and a few of the sisters who had a chance to shine throughout the series. The characters were effective in making this series a fun ride, though a little bit more development here and there would have made the cast less disposable in that they were quite cliched albeit fun all the way through. The story starts off with a prison break and follows the adventure of the fugitive in question and the rest of his team hunting down a treasure on a deadline as the planet that the treasure is hidden on is to be bombed within ten days. They are followed by a detective and her sidekick, while also having very powerful antagonists on their tail.
The story itself develops quite well, as one knows what the end point should be and the events leading to it make sense within the structure of the show and we actually get to that end point without it dragging along. It is not a very complex story, but it is well told for the most part. As one would expect from a show of this kind, the heroes walk away for crazy situations such as getting shot, bombed, stabbed etc and being fine within 5 minutes of that happening to them - and yes, that is unrealistic but logic does not really apply within the structure of the story so one can forgive this shortcoming as realism was never something the producers aimed for.
In general I really enjoyed watching Coyote Ragtime Show ( about as much as I like typing its title actually :D ), it was fun, not mentally challenging or demanding, thus a great way to relax on the weekend. The value for it is hard to assess as it would definitely be worth purchasing from a bargain bin but since it is so mindless - one does not feel the need to rewatch it. Overall, I would place it next to the likes of City Hunter (though not as original), Nadia (though not as complex), Golden Boy (though not as essential) so if those titles have appealed to you, chances are you will find something to like here.