Reviews: Coyote Ragtime Show

If you like good anime, make sure you watch the first episode.

And then make sure you don't see any more of it. The first episode is a tightly plotted tale of an inspector and a local cop who you just know will become her sidekick trying to find a famous criminal being held in a prison, then getting caught up in an attack by the 12 Sisters, a groups of Robot Girl assassins, only to watch their quarry escape via sandworm stampede (leaving the prison full of people to die in the stampede). The sisters go after him and our protagonists are left to clean up the mess, find the clues, and resume pursuit in a great tale of intrepid police work struggling against a group of assassins who will kill anyone who gets in their way and an amoral master criminal.

And hold. Burn the disk, delete the files, just never ever watch any more of it than that fantastic first episode. Any imaginings you can make of how they defeat the assassins and finally capture the thief for good are immeasurably greater than the actual material. I'll spare you the details, but the amoral crook? Actually the protagonist, intended to be likeable and moral and generally of a desirable mindset. They act as though his Chaotic Evil is actually Chaotic Good. It is not. It is very not.

To recap, watch the first episode and none of the rest. Ever.

Good fun, not a masterpiece

This show is basically the classic heist movie. You have a hidden treasure, a group of misfits that are trying to get it, another group of criminals who are not so nice, the police agents who are trying to capture the first, and a giant vault in the middle of a warzone that they have to break into.

Why watch it? Because itís a visually stunning action show that doesn't pretend to be anything less or more. The cast is visually and ethnically diverse without that weird 'Japanese people are just better' vibe a lot of anime have, said characters actually look like their bodies have enough room to contain life sustaining organs, the action scenes are amazingly well animated and they even get the guns right. The English dub is enjoyable to listen to, and the plot is tight enough to withstand the first viewing.

Itís not Gi T:SAC or Cowboy Bebop. It's entertainment, sometime campy entertainment, not art. They characters don't discuss philosophy or ethics, and the story doesn't hide behind layers of cultural references that only an otaku can get. The characters try to find solutions to their problems, argue amongst themselves and act like people whenever there isn't an action scene. The main protagonists are basically thieves, so they aren't moral but they aren't assholes either. A lot of the anime snobs are going to hate it because of that. Still, if you like action or adventure movies then its damn good fun to watch.

Give Coyote Ragtime Show a chance. If you like it, great. If you don't like it, that's fine too.