Gokudo-kun Manyuki
Genre: Action/Comedy
Format: 26 Episodes
Allegiance: TV Tokyo
Director: Kunihisa SUGISHIMA
Vintage: 1999
Intelligence Agency Report by: Lady Sage
Gokudo is rude, crude, and greedy – in other words, the perfect adventurer. His main purposes in life so far have been to eat good food, get lots of gold, and piss off as many people as possible. But all that’s about to change when he manages to obtain Jinn, a lecturing drunkard of a genie, and goes off to rescue the kidnapped daughter of his landlord (after charging an exorbitant fee, of course). And what was that old lady in the inn yelling about, anyway?

Field Agent Report by: Lady Sage
Overall 7.75
(not an average)

Gokudo is something most serious anime fans would never admit to enjoying: the humor is crude, the animation is mediocre, and the protagonist has absolutely no redeeming qualities. But it does have something many series lack: a sense of fun. And that is what makes Gokudo so enjoyable.

The animation of Gokudo is thoroughly mediocre, with lots of thick black lines and blatant shortcuts. It has a low budget, but it’s not ashamed of it. Instead, it makes fun of itself: for example, instead of animating a certain fight scene, they animated it in the style of old 16-bit action RPG games, and apologized for the budget cuts. Character designs are attractive enough, just not particularly original. The girls are all cute, and the prince is properly gorgeous, but all in a conventional way; nothing innovative going on here.

The music is surprisingly good, with three gorgeous theme songs, although the background music is not especially notable. The voice acting is fairly well-done, with good performances all around, not that the series calls for moving dramatic performances. Ishida Akira particularly stands out, as per usual, as the titular character. Normally a voice actor gets props for bringing out multiple sides in an otherwise-inscrutable character – not so here. Gokudo is an unashamed asshole, and Ishida positively revels in portraying him as such.

The plot of Gokudo is divided into five more or less interwoven story arcs. Each could easily stand on its own, but in combination they present a larger picture. Each plot arc makes fun of at least one eastern myth, such as Journey to the West or the myth of the goddess Amaterasu. But no matter which myth is being skewed, Gokudo and his band of tagalongs somehow manage to louse things up for everyone else. The characters are all one-dimensional, the sole exception being Jinn, who actually gets a considerable amount of development in the last few episodes.

Gokudo is much like its protagonist: unabashedly crude and nasty. But unlike its protagonist, it does have a redeeming quality: its ability to poke fun not only at the myriad myths incorporated into its storyline, but also at itself. It’s an easy recommendation for lovers of fantasy parody in the vein of Slayers and Dragon Half, although fans of the more serious, Tolkien-esque fantasy best keep their distance.