|Mysterious Thief Saint Tail
|Also Known As: Saint Tail
|Format: 43 Episodes
|Allegiance: Tokyo Movie Shinsha
|Intelligence Agency Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
|Recently, Seika City has been hit with a major crime wave. A mysterious thief calling herself “Saint Tail” has struck again and again, taking rare and valuable items under cover of night, rendering the police helpless. In response to this crisis, the mayor of Seika City appoints Asuka Jr. head of the Saint Tail investigation team. But there seems to be something odd about this Saint Tail, and how all her victims wind up arrested for some reason or another…
|Field Agent Report by: Kuzu Ryu Sen
It was evident from watching the opening dozen or so episodes that Saint Tail tried to be better than the average mahou shoujo. The first dozen episodes had a tremendous energy to them. The characters were all lovable, the art was great, and the show was funny as heck. The combination of these things created the perfect tone and mood to suck people into the series. All it needed now was the introduction of a good antagonist to give balance to the plot, and to give Saint Tail some direction.
Alas, it was not to be. After the first dozen episodes, Saint Tail utterly fell flat on its face. No antagonist developed, and the plot sank down into a “theft of the week” format, to the extent where it took all the will power I had to play the next episode at times. Secondary characters became one-dimensional props for the sake of cheap comedic relief, as all development screeches to a halt. Despite a few bright spots here and there, the middle portion of the show almost destroyed what the first few episodes had managed to accomplish.
Luckily, the lifesaving rope comes in the form of a wonderful (albeit somewhat abrupt) ending. Finally, an antagonist arrives (and stays) who manages to give direction to the plot and end the “theft of the week” episodes that had nearly driven me insane. While the antagonist is introduced too late for any character development, the very touching romantic ending manages to at least salvage the series somewhat, and made struggling through the middle worthwhile.
Ultimately, Saint Tail, despite all its potential, is nothing more than a poor man’s Card Captor Sakura. In other words: average. Still, it’s a good watch for all fans of the genre. Be warned though: if you’re not the patient type, or a mahou shoujo fan, then this show has the potential to either put you to sleep, or illicit fits of disgusted rage caused by disappointment and boredom.