FUNimation rides to the rescue once again.
premier US anime company has bought up
the rights to a lot of shows that were leased to now defunct (or nearly
studios and instead of sitting on them they're either re-releasing the
and even completing series that were left in limbo.
This time it's the latter.
completed The Law of Ueki,
that was left hanging when Geneon abruptly pulled out of the US anime
Geneon put out nine volumes of
the wacky and bizarre show, but the remaining four volumes weren't
The bad news:
FUNimation is only releasing the last discs
as part of the complete series set so if you've bought the previous
you'll have to buy them again to find out how the show wraps up.
That's not too surprising or unexpected
though, with today's anime market and the fact that this is a rather
This show revolves around Kousuke Ueki, a typical middle
He's pretty ordinary until
he encounters an odd man named Mr. K one evening.
unusual person, out of the blue, offers
Ueki his choice of super-powers.
all the myriad of abilities that are offered, the young man chooses
please....) the power to turn garbage into trees.
what I would have picked, but okay.
this power Ueki has to battle the 99
other middle school kids who have also been given super-human abilities.
(And just about all of them are as odd as
One person has the ability to
turn cloth into steel, but only while he's holding his breath.
Another can turn water into fire, but only if
the water is in his mouth.)
of this tournament will gain the "talent of blank", and the 'sponsor'
granted the child the power he used to win will become the Celestial
Each battle between 'power users' will go on until one of
them is knocked unconscious.
happens the fight is over and the person who was defeated loses their
That sounds fine, but there's a
down side to this power to: if anyone uses it to harm someone who isn't
tournament, they loose a 'talent'.
talents can be anything.
Ueki loses the
talent "to be liked by girls" at the beginning.
only starts with 11 talents all together
and when they all disappear, so does poor Ueki.
Helping Ueki in this trial is a fellow middle school
student, Ai Mori.
Her favorite pastime
is to 'meddle', so following Ueki around warning him to be on the
other people with powers is just up her alley.
Also joining Ueki over the course of the early episodes are a
people including Rinko Jerrard, a power user who can change beads into
and Tenko a large heavenly beast that takes a shine to Ueki.
Tenko likes to give Ueki advice and can
change into a fuzzy bracelet if he wants so that the fighter can wear
The first handful or episodes serves to introduce the main
characters and get the early battles underway.
Right as it sets into a seemingly typical battle-of-the-week
creators switch things around a bit by introducing new villains or
Ueki to overcome.
The biggest of these
villains is the odds-on favorite to win the whole tournament, Robert
Haydn is not only a strong power
also a maniacal psychopath who kills other users for fun.
He wants to win the tournament so he can
employ the 'talent of blank' to destroy the world.
In the early episodes Ueki has some run-ins with this crazy
Haydn eventually forms a team, Robert's Ten, and together
then manage to take out a lot of other power users.
Ueki forms his own group and does some
serious training to get stronger.
a good thing because the second part of the tournament is definitely
About half way through the series the rules change.
It's no longer every man for himself.
the second part of the tournament groups
Five teams with five members
each have made it to the finals.
addition, two people, 'Robert Haydn' and Li Ho, decided not to recruit
and they get a pass to the next level.
is that fair??)
In this round the rules
are a little different.
When someone is
knocked out, they no longer loose their power.
It's only if the entire team is KO'ed that the power users will
The team that wins gets to
advance to the final round and a chance to earn the talent of blank.
While this isn't a great series by any stretch of the
imagination, it is very enjoyable.
creative and unusual powers that seem to come out of left field are
amusing and interesting, and the arenas used for some of the battles
While this is a battle-of-the-week show, the show's
creativity and sense of the bizarre make it a lot of fun to watch.
I really got into the series and reveled in
the silliness of if all.
The arena that
was a vacuum was great.
With no oxygen,
the only way to breath is to put a Cossack hat on and dance.
If a fighter stops dancing, they stop
Then there are the talents themselves.
one seems more outrageous and bizarre
than the last.
The ability to change
someone's thoughts into text messages, or the power to change a whistle
laser are weird.
Of course zipping through the episodes one after another the
show can get a little repetitive.
also a bit too much "we knew you'd do that" - "oh yeah, well we
knew you'd know!" going on at times, but it just adds to the fun of the
Not a deep or intellectually
rigorous show, it's still nice to sit back and watch some of the weird
These 13 discs come in two multi-pack DVD cases, each about
twice the width of a single keepcase.
They are shrinkwrapped together and don't come with a slipcase.
It's rather disappointing to note that the
covers to both cases are exactly the same, right down to the UPC code.
That can get confusing at times.