Yep, I am hanging in there. This time, the live-action session went off the rails. They introduced people who weren’t in the anime until much later and totally skipped the one character that was supposed to be in the session.
Let’s jump into it.
The prologue of the live-action was an add-in, meaning there was no prologue in Session 2 of the anime. They did introduce Punch and Judy.
I was happy to see this intro for the duo, but the enthusiasm quickly turned to disappointment once the pair was on camera. With all the flair of an old, damp rag, they told of the bounty highlighted for the day, a bomber worth 2 million woolongs.
I am one to give creative license when adaptations are done, but I know Punch and Judy could have been done way better than it was. There was no chemistry between the two. The smiles were forced, the lines were phoned-in, and the bickering didn’t happen until much later in the anime. They missed the mark on this one by a ton.
Where’s Ein? What Happened to Hakim?
Session 2 of the anime, Stray Dog Strut, was the introduction of Ein via the announcement of Abdul Hakim, a pet abductor.
Instead, we get the title Venus Pop and an episode about a bomber, Spike meeting up with an old associate, and Vicious’s loyalty to the Syndicate being tested.
This was a head-scratcher for me. Yes, they said they were going to lean heavily into Spike’s past. That tidbit did not go over my head, but you can do that without skipping over or delaying an addition to the crew. Oh, and Faye who they shoehorned into Session 1, not in this one. It’s like she pulled a fade, not even a cameo.
Since this episode was a departure from the anime timeline, I will continue the review here.
Gren, what did they do to you, son?
This is a travesty. They took a tortured character and turned him into a parody and stereotype of the LGBTQ+ community. From the outlandish dress to the limp-wristed gestures, I was appalled. Don’t get me started on how he talked and walked. I don’t know how most of the LGBTQ+ community feels, and I can’t speak for them on this, but DAMN, they fucked up Gren. They totally misunderstood his character and purpose in the show.
Did I mention he isn’t supposed to make an appearance until Session 13? Yeah. They jumped the gun. If you ask me, they jumped the shark, all the whales, and the entire ocean with Gren.
Vicious and the Syndicate
This was another change. In this episode, they show Vicious being tested by the Syndicate, which also does not happen until much later in the anime.
The look and feel of the Syndicate Elders were done well. I will give credit where credit is due but the timing of this is way off. They tested his loyalty by seeing if he would shoot Julia.
Later, this proved to be a problem between the two with Julia telling Vicious he was not man enough to stand up against the Syndicate to keep her safe. He put his hands around her neck and squeezed. He didn’t kill her, but he scared the shit out of her, which also happened in the anime.
Spike and Jet
In another jump in the timeline, Spike disappears to reconnect with Annie, which does not happen until Session 5, Ballad of Fallen Angels. This leads to Jet questioning him about where he has been for six hours without being able to be contacted or tracked.
Spike shrugs him off, saying he went out for noodles, unwilling to tell Jet the real reason. This leads to a minor confrontation between the two and a conversation about their partnership and trust, none of which happened in the second session of the anime.
This seems like they are rushing the pacing to get to something. They’re forcing something instead of letting it play out.
I can’t shake the feeling Cho looks like someone who is trying to remember the step-by-step choreography of the fights. They just don’t flow.
As they completely veered away from the anime’s storyline here, I have no anime v live-action comparisons here. It still looks drab though.
The Wrap Up
I am not impressed. They seem to be adding people that are not supposed to appear yet, skipping over players that are supposed to be there and mixing all the sessions together to tell a story that was perfect the way it was. Not even the banter can save this one.
This episode gets one shot out of five. I was highly disappointed, and quite frankly, bored.
See you Space Cowboy…
Anissa “Maddy” Walker