Kiri has been obsessed with cutting others' hair since he was a child, to the extent that he always carries a pair of shears with him wherever he goes. So when the boy accidentally meets Iwai, a young girl with floor-length hair, he's crushed to learn that due to a curse, her locks cannot be shorn by ordinary means. And what's more, she's an unwilling participant in a deadly game where psychotic wielders of powerful "Killing Goods" do their best to take her life in exchange for a prize beyond imagination. Wielding the shears he learns are his own Killing Good, Kiri must now keep Iwai safe from those who wish to murder her and help her survive this sinister game.
When this anime was first announced, I called it: having read the synopsis, I thought it sounded ridiculous (non-cuttable hair... most pointless/innocuous curse ever?), and it seemed just a new excuse for a run-of-the-mill action seinen (which feels totally like a shonen) with a pretension of high stakes and mature content. Then the show started airing, and it proved me right. First, I'll say that the premise is not original: guy with a strange fetish (Kiri) gets 'mysterious', fetish-fulfilling girl (Iwai) out of confinement and protects her from those who get in the way of their relationship (Authors) for their own goals (in this case, killing the girl apparently grants wishes). Without looking back further, that's pretty much the recent Sankarea, except that this show is more action-oriented and a tad less inane. I didn't exactly suffer to get through Dansai Bunri - even in its mediocrity, it has enough momentum not to become a chore. Still, you are not going to get anything special from this show. The storyline doesn't really get further than what the premise suggests: separate arcs of the male lead fighting this or that random villain who loses their shit and/or wants to murder the main loli. And he does this... WITH A PAIR OF SCISSORS! ... ...... CURSED SCISSORS! "Hahah... That's cute" He also becomes her daily hairdresser since the hair respawns at night like an RPG cave troll. And that's about it. Some enemies end up as allies, others fade into the background forever, and the less fortunate are killed off by other Authors. There's no major, lasting conflicts with especially remarkable villains, nor is there enough backdrop to the whole setting of Authors and Killing Goods to keep things engaging in that regard. There are hints at a major organization plotting against the protagonist duo (Gossip), but once both it and the person in charge are introduced, interest is also lost here because, really, they put no effort in actually making the organization seem interesting or at least threatening. Check it out, these guys are trouble: you can tell because they smirk, drink moose piss and their glasses reflect all light. The finale is more of the same, except with even more stupid exploitation than usual. It basically hints at a potential second season where Kiri will just keep meeting deranged individuals and defeating them. Bleh. On the other hand, we have the budding relationship between Kiri and Iwai, which never really develops considerably. Sure, at some point they seem to recognize each other as something like lovers, but that never materializes in any form other than hair-licking action (if you didn't watch the show and are feeling dumbfounded, know that I'm not done yet with this!), so in the end it feels like nothing's changed: 13 episodes later, they act around each other in about the same way as they did in the beginning. So that being said, all that's left to make up for the lack of proper plot progression in all fronts would be compelling action. I'm not going to lie, some of the battle scenes are pretty smooth and display cool movements (and a sufficient amount of blood), but they are also short and, since there's no real tension to be had in a show as predictable as this, they feel more like small anechdotes than blood-pumping, decisive deathmatches. The painful amount of melodrama and miss-or-miss humor decorating Dansai Bunri at all moments further makes my eyes roll away from the faux-excitement of the fighting. The Killing Goods' powers are not all that unique/quirky, or compelling to watch, anyway. Fear the power of science! But undoubtedly the most laughable aspect is how the show takes itself so seriously without realizing it doesn't even have a proper basis for that to work. Every character is insane in a way or another, which is portrayed in very overblown ways for the sake of childish shock factor... and this directly translates into a wide selection of obscure fetishes which are supposed to make you go ''OMGZ THIZ SHOW IZ SO MESSED UP AND KEWL!!1!", but ultimately what it achieves is making me laugh to tears while covering my face in utter embarrassment. Here are some examples for shits and giggles (missing quite a few): Hair-cutting fetish! The main attraction of this show! Syringe fetish (+yuri incest action)! A must for all self-conscious dark seinen! Asphyxia fetish! You should try it out too, all the cool kids are doing it! Whip-licking play! Spanking included in the pack! Foot fetish! This is the normal one in comparison! Hair-licking fetish! YUM~! (But a kiss in the mouth is too hardcore) Happy sudden rape! The girl seems to like it so it's a-okay! Loli pantsu! What would we do without our barely legal fanservice? Oh, and add to this the silly sadistic murderers, because no story is complete without at least two of these. Truly a lovely bunch! --- Which brings me to the characters. Kiri is your typical, average shonen-ish lead who has a special power not many possess, and his objective in the story is to use it to protect Iwai and their peaceful everyday life together. Another valid description could be ''fucking boring'', because that's about all he has to offer personality-wise (well, he's also a professional hair licker, that's gotta count for something, right?). Iwai is also average, except worse. Her main quirk is her evergrowing, uncuttable hair, and the fact the action revolves around her death and life. And with that as a plot device, she's just rendered as a figure to be protected and rarely does she show any initiative of her own. The creator simply gambled that the readers/viewers would be enchanted by her loli ''cuteness'' and sympathise with her simple, generic sob backdrop story, and thus her character never truly develops past that. The rest of the cast is, as aforementioned, comprised of one-dimensional pricks with their own insane quirks (2deep4me), and of course each of them gets a conveniently placed, hyper-short backstory to supposedly justify the fact they're all a bunch of evil deviants. And honestly, other than perhaps the little Byouinzaka sister, who actually gets a minimal amount of development, all these are just poor attempts at making me relate with near-rapists or delusional murderers that only deserve a shot in the forehead. I bet you could saw one or two dozens of them trees with those teeth, but the rest isn't worth much. --- When it comes to the technical values, the show is accomplished enough. The color scheme is gritty, varied and vibrant, shading is used considerably well and, again, the animation is decent, especially for action scenes. However, I really don't like the character designs: those square-ish heads, the way the different facial expressions are drawn, those humongous eyes even by manganime standards... it all honestly feels more amateurish than unique. And Iwai is loli enough to make you feel awkward about her thinking of a relationship with Kiri rather than about the next Barbie she's going to buy. Background music, sound effects and voice acting are unremarkable, but sufficient. They do help a lot to the ''show taking itself too seriously'' effect I was mentioning earlier, though. The opening theme is quite good. --- Overall, this covers nearly all fetishes imaginable so it's a good hentai is a mediocre seinen, more appropriate for teens, which loves to think it's heavy and dark in content because it has blood and sexually messed up individuals. The story goes nowhere, the characters are dull and overblown, and the action is not good enough to make up for everything else. It's easy to watch as brainless entertainment but little else, really. Not recommended unless you like your icecreams with delicious hair strands.
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed. In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it. So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be. ART: Art is fine. I've said it before and I'll say it many more times: It is near impossible to screw this up these days. SOUND: Again no complaints from me. I can no longer remember any of the music used but this is how I prefer it. Voice acting were decent even if they get to do the same thing over and over. CHARACTERS: Main character is the Kiri. He is a gentle person who is fixated on cutting hair. Iwai is a young girl living alone in a huge house after her father died. She doen't leave the house due to a little issue with her hair. It is cursed and can't be cut by any means. Yamane/Houko are two sisters who have cared for Iwai for years. After some issues they become sort of friendly with Iwai and Kiri. STORY: For as long as Kiri remembers he has been fixated on cutting hair with his family heirloom, a pair of scissors. It is then that he meets Iwai, a young girl with gorgeous long hair. She claims that it is cursed and that it can't be cut by any means. Kiri tries and discovers that to be true. It isn't until he uses his family scissors that he manages to cut her hair. Iwai is naturally very happy as she can finally go out again and pick up her life. Unfortunately it also starts something else as the reason for the curse becomes clear. Iwai is the Queen of Hair and she is not the only cursed person around. She learns that the one who kills her get a wish granted and everyone wants it to be them. Kiri tries to do his best to keep her alive. RANT: This anime is ok. It is not a masterpiece by any means but it is not pure garbage either. There are many flaws and stupid things but considering the concept I can overlook a lot of this. There are some interesting points here like the descendents of brutal serial killers inheriting the weapons and traits of their ancesters. The fact that every killer is after Iwai adds more to the mix, especially with Kiri protecting her. This sets things up nicely for what comes next. To control the killing urges each killer has a substitute. This is a person who can take whatever the killer dishes out without dying. This is usually done why enacting the deed without the actual death. There is a lot wrong here though. Most I could ignore but some just pissed me off. The one time when they met a blind killer who uses a piano to kill. When she plays a song to the end the target of the song will die. Her substitute is a man who is completely deaf so she can play for him all she wants but he won't die as he can't hear the song. The problem I have with this is with the execution (pardon the pun). As her substitute he does everything for her. Things like tune her piano so that she can....Wait what? Uh, yeah. He is completely deaf yet tunes her piano. To be fair this is possible. You have to use special equipment to convert the sound fibrations into something electronic to do it but it can be done. Sadly he uses conventional means to tune the piano such as a tuning fork and such. There is also the fact that they have entire conversations with each other while he is not looking at her. So how does he know what she says when he can't read her lips? Simple, he doesn't? He doesn't only answers her though but also guests in the restaurant. All without looking at them to read their lips. Then there is the remark on the DVD box. The remark that fills me with dread every time I see it. These two little words: Complete Collection. In the past these words actually meant something. It meant that you got a complete product with something of a conclution of an arc. These days it means that you are about to be ass-fucked by the producers because the serie is anything but complete. This is one of those series where you have to break out the lubricant and spread your cheeks. Yes, just as the serie reveals another layer it simply ends.
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge (The Serving Crime Edge) is a dramatic battle series submersed in a number of sexual fetishes. Despite that last statement, this series isn't really ecchi except for a few select moments. Gotta admit, I like this series even though it is pretty cheesy in many instances. The action is pretty over exaggerated which is somewhat funny but adds great entertainment. You'll get a kick out of this series for it's exaggerated fight scenes and budding romance. Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge primarily focuses on character development more than it does on fighting scenes. Maybe it would of been a better idea to focus more on the action and survival. The characters are made up of your basic cast from most shonen series. the headstrong white knight MC (Kiri) and the helpless danzel in distress (Iwai). The arch nemesis that has never really tried to kill the main characters but constantly says they're enemies along with a loyal and mentally disturbed partner (Byouinzaka sisters). There are a cast of other below average characters and the only ones that seem to really stand out to me is the blind pianist Hitomi and her deaf Instead, Houichi. Sadly neither of them get any real screen time and are just seen for about eight minutes in total. The characters don't really stand out and are each pretty generic including the cheesy romance between Kiri and Iwai. Their relationship is exactly what you would expect from your average action/romance series. Alone, each character aren't exactly anything special but their interactions is where the entertainment comes in. Despite how serious Crime Edge attempts to be, what really seems to be the most enjoyable part of the show are the slightly comical battles. The fight scenes are actually somewhat funny. Just imagine seeing a dramatic battle set in a dark hallway at sundown between a guy holding a pair of scissors and a girl holding a needle. That's pretty much the first battle in this series and it might be as funny as what you're imagining. Crime Edge is actually a pretty enjoyable show to watch if you're not a hardcore shonen anime viewer or a very critical judge of anime. It's a bunch of fun to watch and I recommend it. Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge definitely has some high entertainment value.
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