Exper Zenon

Boy, did I ever goof up.

Back when I originally watched Exper Zenon, I thought it was supposed to be a vague interpretation of the manga story released in the United States under the title Xenon by Viz. I watched it back in the days when everything was in Japanese only; I really didn't understand any of it, so the error was a little more understandable. I thought they'd thoroughly butchered the concept, and I gave it a terrible review. Well, after checking into it again many moons later, it turns out that the two have absolutely nothing to do with one another, hence the spelling difference. So yeah, sometimes I have to admit my mistakes and go on.

The one thing that still stands from the original review, though, is that this title is a stinker.

The show starts with our hero Hiroshi easily defeating an arcade machine, impressing all of his nerdy friends. When he gets home, he finds a bizarre new game waiting for him on his computer. The game promises him a chance at winning the heart of a beautiful girl, so Hiroshi presses "Yes" to begin...only to have the screen turn to static right in front of him. Skip to the next day. Hiroshi starts telling his friends about this game, and they aren't sure what to believe. But right then, in the middle of the class, a huge electrical storm hits, leaving in its wake a lone white egg. When Hiroshi touches it, the egg opens, revealing a beautiful (and stark naked) green-haired girl. This girl, Hiroko, gives Hiroshi the name Zenon and gives him all sorts of powers, including ESP. That's all well and good, but right afterwards all the way to the very end, Hiroshi/Zenon winds up battling all sorts of evil bad guys and huge meanies non-stop to protect his new sweetheart. End of story.

Zenon actually has some nice artwork to it, and some of the battle sequences are nice, but that's about where my patience with this title ends. This show is essentially just a huge extended battle, one combat right after another. There's no character development, no real thought to the whole thing, no relationships, just tons of things blowing up.

Now granted, I watched it in Japanese still, and though my understanding is greatly improved, I still didn't understand everything going on. But there's not much time for dialogue, since it's just non-stop violence. What you'd never expect is that action that never stops just gets boring. It's the breathers in-between that make action what it is; otherwise, it's a snoozefest.

There's also the issue of rampant silliness treated seriously. Our protagonists get blown out into space on a rocket, but due to Zenon's powers, they are able to float back through the atmosphere no questions asked. Air isn't a problem, nor is re-entry through heat strong enough to melt all sorts of metals, let alone flesh. This isn't the only logic-defying touch, but it's probably the kicker.

Exper Zenon is one of those titles you might get as a collector from a rare tape trader to try and impress your friends with how eclectic and avant-garde your anime collection is. In this case, don't bother.

Exper Zenon -- violence, nudity -- D