Hidden Gems of Anime: Gokudo

Though I consider this show obscure, I was amused to see that Kaichou wa Maid-sama alluded to this show in that episode where all the characters are in costume on some kind of adventure.  (After much urging, my sister convinced me to watch this show, which isn’t bad for a shoujo.)  The events which they claim might transpire after opening a magic box is exactly what happens to Gokudo during one underwater adventure.  Having said that, I still think that only a small portion of Japanese, and an even smaller portion of American fans marked this allusion.  Which I recommend people should remedy, because Gokudo stands as one of the most unique fantasy anime ever made.

To start, our hero, who loves introducing himself as Gokudo Yucott Kikansky-sama, prides himself on being an absolute rogue: he’s shameless, crude, selfish, and completely cynical.  It’s possible that you’ve seen such a character before, but rarely is the execution so well performed.  The series opens with an old witch staring Gokudo in the eye and saying, “You’re life is in danger.”  After some initial shock, Gokudo agrees to here the old woman’s story over dinner, for which she pays the bill.  Afterwards, he steals her wallet anyway and escapes through unleashing a most dreadful fart.  (There are a few such moments where this comes in handy, but don’t worry.  The low-brow humor is not overdone.)

Unfortunately for Gokudo, his very actions precipitate the very adventure which “Granny” wished him to undertake.  Upon returning home, he finds that the old woman’s purse only contains a rock, out of which a genie named Djinn appears (very creative name, right?).  Djinn promises to grant Gokudo three wishes only to have his offer greeted with skepticism.  After convincing Gokudo that he really can grant wishes, Gokudo wishes for his three favorite things: money, women, and power. Instead of granting his request, Djinn forces Gokudo to sit through a long lecture lasting several days about of what true happiness consists, in which Djinn downs several bottles of saké without Gokudo being allowed a drop.

To Gokudo’s good fortune, his landlord interrupts this lecture with the news that his daughter’s been abducted.  Gokudo, even though he owes back rent to this very landlord, accepts a hefty payment in order to save his daughter.  Then, he and Djinn start on this adventure; yet, once they’re out of town, Gokudo admits that he has no intention of rescuing the young lady.  But, they meet a black knight on the road, launching a series of events forcing Gokudo to undertake the landlord’s job.

The above should give you a good understanding of this show’s feel.  In addition to Djinn, Gokudo picks up several new friends during his adventures.  He is either led on by greed or compelled by dire consequences to his person to undertake various quests.  The conflict between the magic kingdom and the gods provides some good plot structure; however, the comedy is this series’ major strong point.  Usually, we find ourselves laughing at Gokudo’s willingness to leave or even place his friends in terrible predicaments, the misfortunes Gokudo’s own selfishness brings upon him, and his friends exasperation with his conduct–even though they don’t seem willing to leave his side.  Also, the story arcs tend to be rather unique.  And even though certain characters are a little stock, Gokudo’s conduct brings out some interesting sides to them.  So, I hope that you’ll find time to watch this show.

Legens, scribe sententias tuas.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s