Haré and his mother live peacefully in the jungle, until one day the boy is overtaken by a omnipotent shadow. Later, he awakens to find Guu, a strange girl with even stranger abilities - notably, the ability to switch from a cute, lovable Guu, to a menacing delinquent who eats everything. Now Haré must live with Guu, and lead a normal life, despite her oddities.
StoryAfter a recent spate of terrible anime shows that suffered my wrath when it came to reviewing, I decided to re-watch one of my all-time favourite shows Jungle wa Itsumo Halé Nochi Guu. Although people seem to enjoy reading my rants, I wanted to prove I am not just a venomous one trick pony. Guy lives in jungle. Guy meets girl who can swallow anything and let it live in her stomach. Girl causes no-end of misfortune for said guy. With a crazy overall plot, there is so much more uncharacteristic depth to this bizarre comedy. The underlying story of Halé’s (the guy) relationship with his lovable booze-hound mother, Weda, and their whole reason for living in the jungle is episodic and actually quite touching; especially with the introduction of an unlikely father-figure. Like a new parent in a family, this relationship is handled with kid gloves and disguised with numerous laughs. However, there is a carefully presented moral tale that permeates, regardless of the slapstick surrounding it. Much of the humour relies on Halé’s worrisome monologues that apparently only Guu can hear; her subsequent dead-pan reactions further worsen the situation and apply delicious comedy icing to the tasty situational humour cake. Despite her pretence of naivety, there is a hint of mischief that gives the impression that she knows exactly what she’s doing. This dark comedy pervades every episode of the series, never failing to make the viewer laugh out loud – from Guu’s acquisition of the village chief’s chest rug to make an afro wig, to her consumption and subsequent regurgitation of the entire class, sarcasm drips from Halé and Guu like jam from a freshly squeezed Manda. It’s difficult to review the story part of an episodic show, where any semblance of plot is constantly changing and evolving. All I can say is this presentation suits the story down to the ground. It gives the feel of a day by day roundup of “the life of Halé”, giving more reason to empathise with a pathetic main protagonist. The ability to pick up Halé and Guu one episode at a time makes for extremely easy watching, although the addictive humour means you run the risk of an obsessive marathon.AnimationThe weakest point of the show is also one of its strengths – the bold simplicity of the artwork does nothing to detract from the non-stop humour being fed to the viewer intravenously. The artists are able to take great liberties with the characters expressions and give them highly amusing caricatures to fit the current joke. For example, one scene sees Waji teaching Guu to laugh and the insane girls’ head vibrates on static shoulders with her distinctive frown still engrained in place. Making full use of the colour spectrum, vivid oranges and reds are splashed over a leafy green backdrop and questionable costumes are drenched in striking yellows and pinks. Although not the best looking visuals by any stretch, it fits the show perfectly – giving a cutesy child-like feel to a show with some dark adult humour.SoundAn amigo, whose dazzling posture, Is mucho dangerous to children Echoing the childish charm of the show, the music is catchy and the lyrics nonsensically puerile – in a good way of course. Verging on a perfect score for the audio, the opening and ending tracks for every season of Halé and Guu are outstanding, not just the first 26 episodes. I have lost count of the number of times I have been yelled at for humming the various soul permeating jingles and bogling* along without even realising it. Also, listen out for the theme for Guu’s high jinks – just hearing a few notes of the bizarre tune had me giggling at some highly inopportune moments. The Japanese seiyuu are superb. From the sexy tones of the MILF Weda, to Guu’s robotic and complex mannerisms, the native tongue fits the personalities perfectly. If only the same could be said for FUNimation’s bastardisation of the characters’ vocal spirit. Halé is turned into a whiny brat, and his mother transforms from an alcoholic babe into a nasal-sounding fruitcake. If you had the misfortune of seeing this show dubbed, please give it a second chance with the original soundtrack.CharactersMost of the standout comedy moments come from the pan-faced Guu and her torment of the naive Halé. Her dark humour is what makes the series so attractive; the constant barrage of new and inventive ways to terrorise her poor victim are frequently laugh-out-loud funny. Although the origins of this bizarre pink haired girl remain a mystery, this also adds to the love/hate charm of the character. Is she an alien? A freakish science experiment? And what is going on in her stomach? Frequently playing naive and innocent, she certainly understands a lot more than she lets on, much to the chagrin of Halé and delight of the viewer. Luckily, around 90% of the episodes focus on the main protagonists, whilst the supporting cast are exactly that – occasionally used to prop up the main comedy storyline. Extremely diverse, each face adds his or her own dimension to the off-the-wall humour. From Dr Clive’s dry perversion, to the romantic implications between the innocent Mari (until she is transformed into a buxom babe by Guu) and Halé; each character is treated to screen time in which to shine, then fading into the background before he or she can become stagnant and boring.OverallClose to animated perfection for me, I quite simply adore Halé and Guu. It’s stupid, it’s silly and it’s fun. Victims of my recommendations have also agreed with this one, sharing the jokes and numerous screenshots with anyone who would look or listen. As Guu grows on you like Chouji's chest hair and makes you laugh like a retarded Waji, I'm surprised there are not more people championing the series' universal appeal. *A very special dance reserved only for the musical legend Aswad – urbandictionary.com
Story 5/10 Generic interchangable episodes that are connected by a joke at the start that continues to add on throughout the episode until a climax occurs. After a few episodes these climaxes start to become predictable. I'm a fan of ecchi to the extent of comic relief, but when the episode is nothing more but endless puns against the protaganist character usually in a peverted way in several episodes it gets annoying. I honestly think people are distracted by the jungle theme of the series to notice how generic the series is, and tend to rate the story higher than it deserves. I'd rather sit through a marathon of "excel saga". Animation 8/10 The series has really great animation for the jungle theme. When you get to non-jungle areas you see the limitations of the artist. Sound 10/10 It's rare that an anime has a sound track that fits it perfectly. This is one of those rare cases. The opening themes are the one of the main reasons I would continue to watch the series. Characters 7/10 The character designs were actually one of the strengths of this series. They aren't great, but the uniqueness of the characters certainly helped the series standout from other generic sandbox dumb-joke series. Overall 7.5/10 Overall not bad. Enjoyment rating: 6/10
This anime is probably the most underrated comedic anime I have ever seen. It's hilarious, has a few touching moments (but its often ruined afterwards by Guu or one of the other characters...), and very enjoyable to watch. I've been watching some very tense, dramatic, action-filled animes these days and Hale Nochi Guu was kinda like an outlet for those other animes. It never fails to make me laugh and has me ROFLing in every single episode. The story received a 9/10 from me because each episode has its own story, not that i mind those, but sometimes, it stops story, moves on to others, and after a while, comes back to the story. It's a pretty good technique but it's hard for me to keep up with it sometimes. I often watch Hale Nochi Guu after watching a dramatic episode in another anime so usually, my mind is still filled up with the story from the other anime.... But the story develops quite well all-in-all so yeah... THe animation is great! It's not exactly different, but not the same as other animes either. Its hard to explain but i liked it! The music fits the anime extremely well! It's random, but fits each scene perfectly! The opening song is completely random and catchy so it definitely fits the anime! For the ending song, they slowed things down but it still had a steady, catchy beat, fitting for the touching/random scenes of the anime. Each character's voice matched them extremely well! And i respect Hale's voice actor for screaming and acting out Hale's part really well in each episode. Guu's voice is so monotonous that hearing it just makes me laugh! (Sometimes, I try to imagine what's going on in the voicing studio while they're recording and crazy scenes always comes to my mind.) The characters are all fantastic and extremely different and they are what makes the anime so random! For example, Hale, who is constantly stressing out over everything, Guu, who swallows everything and does completely weird things and causes uneccesary trouble for Hale to fix, Weda, who is completely carefree, the doctor, a complete pervert who is constantly being hunted by Dama until he dyes his hair black, Dama, who thinks every man with white hair is her deceased husband coming back for her and chases them to the ends of the earth, and the teacher who does almost nothing but sleep everyday, and MUCH MUCH more! You see what i mean? Anyways, this is definitely an anime worth watching! Wish you a happy watching~
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