Cleopatra Corns is young, blond, and the head of the largest economic corporation in the United States: Cleopatra DC. Cleon and her best friend and confidant Swen can't help but get involved in the trickiest of situations thanks to the underground economic organization known as Sleider. From biological weapons to kidnappings, it seems there is never a dull moment in the life of two young ladies who just want to relax and have fun!
StoryFirst, it should be known that this OVA is 30 minutes for the first two parts, and 50 minutes for the last part. Cleopatra DC follows the pattern of other short OVAs of this type, where each episode deals with the same characters, but a different storyline, sort of like watching any syndicated TV show. The background of the characters, unfortunately is not only unbelievable, but is silly, nonetheless. Cleopatra Corns (sucks to be the person with that name) is somehow the head of a large conglomerate called Cleopatra DC. Now, all things aside, there is never any explanation why this very young woman is the head of this large company. Not to mention, she somehow is able to just lounge around, visiting other countries or relaxing in party dresses, until something comes up. At that point, out come the guns. The main archnemesis of the corporation is the Sleider group, who are, of course, full of shifty eyed, sultry men and women who want to do evil things. Each episode deals with a new trouble that has been somehow forced upon Cleo and Swen, each one political somehow in nature. Each of these troubles is equally as ridiculous as far as how it’s resolved. In general, the sense of unrealisticness is highly prevalent throughout. If this wasn’t bad enough, there also is the fact that this OVA seems like it was taken straight out of the "here’s the perfect stereotypes Japan has of the rest of the world" textbook. None of this OVA takes place in Japan, rather, it is mostly shown in the United States and shots of Paris. How do I know it was in Paris and the US? How about the fact that a huge amount of the time, main characters are shown next to some form of cultural icon. An agent in France is on a video-phone session with Cleo, with the Eiffel Tower conveniently looming in the background. Whenever possible, shots of the Statue of Liberty, "Burger Kong", or other American things are shown. Now, I am very aware that all countries have their stereotypes, but seriously, does it need to be rubbed in so much? The characters suffer from this as well, looking like the same old stereotype that anime paints for Americans, namely, the females (this is discussed below). There was a decent amount of fanservice, which I don’t consider to be a good thing. Lots of random naked scenes (though nothing usually shown), with a huge emphasis on the cleavage and unrealistic body sizes. The story in general is very, very uninteresting, unrealistic, and boring. I had to hit stop on the last episode at least 5 times, because I kept getting bored. If you normally like the kind of shows that are episodic adventure type situations with a group of people, there are much better shows out there. AnimationThere are two aspects of the animation style that I’d like to address: the character designs, and everything else. As far as the "everything else" category, the animation was not so bad. Thick lines and shading were used for most backgrounds, and bright, vibrant colors were used, giving the series a very rich look. Details were prevalent, especially on techy things such as computer consoles. The character designs, unfortunately, were not nearly as fantastic. Let’s start with the face. The female characters in Cleopatra DC would make even Tammy Faye Baker cringe and scream "OH GOD, WHAT IS ON YOUR EYES?!" I’m talking full blown black furry creatures dying on the eyes, that’s how bad the eye shadow looks. I think this is the worst and most frightening eye makeup/lashes that I’ve seen since Debut. Couple this with the old invisible hair trick (as in, you can see the eye COMPLETELY through the hair), and you have for a truly frightening face. Oh, and I forgot to mention that the hair looks like very poorly misshapen cotton candy. Could it possibly get worse than this? Oh yes, it could. Let’s talk about the bodies now. If you check out the first screenshot, you’ll see how scary the bodies truly were. Imagine a hardcore body builder, who appears to have balloons as breasts. The breast thing really is annoying, I must say. It affirms my belief that people who create ecchi series have absolutely ZERO concept of what a real woman’s body looks like. Giant cleavage is one thing, but curved lines going OVER the top of the breasts horizontally, just makes no sense. Look, I understand you want people to be excited about the mammary glands, but at least try to have them look slightly realistic. The lines and curves of the bodies in general really, as mentioned, reminded me of scary body builders. Super dark skin with fake blond hair just doesn’t fit well. I don’t know, everything about the character designs just sucked, plain and simple. So, all in all, decent animation, but the character designs seriously maul any chance of a slightly good score. SoundThe music was overall appropriate, but played in all the inappropriate times. The beginning of the first OVA showed two helicopters flying around, shooting each other. The choice of music for that scene? Light jazz, which makes you feel like you are at a social gathering or party. Whining buttrock rifts were played at other times, one song in particular making me think that any second, I’d hear a male voice screaming "HIGHWAY TO THE DANGER ZOOOOOOONE!" In general, these types of music might have worked during some parts, but they always were played at the OTHER parts... wrong ones. Voice acting was decent, but nothing special. CharactersThe sorry excuse for characters was pathetic. Like I mentioned in the story section, the concept of Cleo existing as the head of a huge corporation is pretty much crap. She has the shallow and superficial personality of a sorority girl, yet turns into a justice loving gunslinging badass when the time comes? I just don’t see that happening... except in a fanboy world. Swen is a brainless fluffy sidekick that seems to contribute nothing to the episodes. One of the main bad guys never changes, even in appearance, always sporting a fedora, shades, black mustache, and a cigar. He fits his bad guy stereotype perfectly, but succeeds at nothing more than staying as shallow and undeveloped as the rest of them. I really felt like the characters failed because their situations were so unrealistic, personality wise. No character development happens, no secondary characters are meaningful, and in general, you feel no attachment to anyone. OverallCleopatra was a bad concept and a bad execution, with hideous character designs all in one. Though some of the features of the OVA were redeeming, such as the general animation style, the series as a whole failed miserably. If you are looking for an episodic adventure with political undertones, and can handle the fanservice and overall incredibly unrealistic nature, you might enjoy this. Otherwise, a serious, serious waste of your time (hence the 3).
Yeah, the style may be weird for some, but the aestheticness and story are simply underrated. The color palette used is dynamic and vibrant and the story of every episode kept me engadged and entertained. For some the last 50 minute episode may be long, but if you're looking for an overly retro and aesthetic anime this is perfect. Simply underrated, because well, "It's old and it didn't age well" Seriously this anime is entertaining in its own way, but of course you can't come here and compare it to modern standards. Enjoyable. Watch it.
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