Final Thoughts on Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera (Includes Episodes 9-12)

Oh god. It’s finally over. I’m not sure whether I should be sad or relieved. I guess a proper finale post is in order. Anyways, I’ll pick up where I left off, except only several months too late. Yep, this is me pretty much failing as an episodic blogger.

Episode 9 and 10: Stop Them! Tengu-san!

Giant Tengu. One of them uses a giant lighter as a flamethrower, the other uses a giant electric fan. Shenanigans ensue. Enma gets distracted by Yukiko-hime like always. Kappaeru get’s owned again. Que unhealthy amounts of Kancho. Then suddenly, “I think it’s time we do that.”

Also, Enmazingaigar vs. Getter Geta bots? Hey now, don’t be making fun of those getas. Mugen uses them to block incoming attacks. By the way, Geta 3 confirmed for most awesome.

Episode 11: That’s Got Nothing to do With Me!

Penultimate episode. Let’s introduce a new character! Also, Markangel is running the show. Apparently, heaven and hell drain the souls of humans to for power and due to their low reserves, King Enma decides that mass genocide is the way to go (it’s okay though, flamboyant Norio Wakamoto makes everything alright).

Episode 12: Until We Meet Again!

It’s now the Underworld Team vs. the Heaven team with the fate of humanity on the line. Crazy things happen and I don’t even know what’s going on anymore. Also, say hello to Kekko Kamen Honey, she finally makes an appearance. Spoiler: It is love, not spread eagle, that saves the day this time.

And so it ends. Overall it has been an interesting ride. Meeramera’s got a crazy nature to it that, I would argue, even surpasses that of the original 1973 TV series. I haven’t seen all of the original, but the remake just seems more lively and colorful compared to the 70s-ish color pallet. Meeramera manages to push boundaries, envelopes, and my brain cells to levels that didn’t even know were possible.

Dororon Enma-kun Meeramera comes at a time where it’s not really needed. At least, that’s what most people would probably say (I, on the other-hand, am quite fond of Brain’s Base’s remakes of old Go Nagai properties). But these people do have a point: do we really need more of the same 12-episode/fanservice/gag/comedies? Perhaps that’s why many people dislike Go Nagai. It’s quite easy to equate his name with all of the “less-than-stellar” raunch we see today. Personally, I had to prove to myself that this show was different somehow, or else I’d be contradicting myself when I say this show is good.

I think what this show really does is serve as a reminder to all fans why anime intrigues us so much. Especially now that the Tokyo Youth Ordinance bill is in effect. Go Nagai himself was supposedly a staunch opposer of the bill. It makes sense considering the ecchi manga Harenchi Gakuen was his breakout work. Back then, Harenchi Gakuen was considered so foul that the PTA when all up in arms and began hounding Nagai with mass protests and media coverage. Children and fans, of course, were loving it. After all, it was something new, something strange, something different. 

Nowadays, the sheer amount of late night anime programming makes Harenchi Gakuen seem like small-time. It’s gotten to the point where ecchi and fanservice is the norm. No longer are we gasping in horror at the latest installment of Overfiend. No longer are we sweating buckets during that ONE sex scene in Megazone 23 Part II. Most of us now watch anime the way Duke Togo would watch anime if he watched anime. What was new and different back then has become stale and exhausted. I can’t speak for all of anime fandom, but I get the feeling that most people I know are jaded. We are constantly looking for that new show that completely breaks the current mold. We’re always looking for the next Go Nagai (in a liberating sense).

But here’s the thing, Go Nagai isn’t young anymore. This isn’t the 1960s. He’s not changing anything like he did in the past. To make a lame chivalric analogy, he overthrew the precedents of the past to become king and now we’re trying to overthrow him 40 years later (some people anyways). That job falls in the hands of a newer generation. For one, Ikuhara might be on to something with Penguindrum this season, we’ll see. Even still, I really do feel like Enma-kun is a reminder of how, once upon a time, the raunchiness and fanservice was “cool”. The show revels in it constantly and isn’t afraid to hide that fact. Yet, I think another message that the creators may have been trying to convey is one of perseverance and longevity.

Of all the arguing we fans do over which anime is crap and which anime is going save the industry, we sometimes forget the fact that we’re all fans of anime in the first place. If it takes a turn for the worse, we can find another hobby, but until then, why all the hate? We should spend more time enjoying whatever comes our way. At least, that’s what I think the creators of Dororon Enma-kun were trying to tell us, albeit very indirectly.

Anime is a lot of things, but at the end of the day, it’s still anime. Even though I may not always like it, I will always have respect for it. It’s given me so many good moments for me not to.

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