Take the cast of Brawl
, turn the setting into a cynical urban wasteland with appropriate makeovers for everyone, put an emphasis on violence and black humor, and let the bad times roll.
Honestly? It sounds like a bad idea — someone's idea of being edgy or "funny" on a 'Net where hope and idealism aren't cool anymore.
Except this one is... good. No, not just good. It tells a compelling story on its own terms, though it requires a certain familiarity with the Nintendo universe (and a stomach to deal with seeing it turned inside out) with intricately clever writing and frequent flashes of ingenuity — and, yes, the aforementioned violence and black humor. Lots of that. One of its greatest strengths is the rampant, (almost) straight-faced use of classic game standbys against a starkly dark and cynical background. (Example: Luigi grabs a key, then rushes into his apartment as Phanto bears down on him.) The results are brilliant, and sometimes hilarious — at least if you can get into its twisted story, starring your Nintendo favorites, to begin with.
And it is
dark and twisted. Almost none of the heroes have come through unscathed; it's only a matter of how much — as mentioned on the main page, the baseline is our heroic "jaded drug dealer" Luigi, though that much doesn't last. Many have become outright villains. (I'm looking at you, Kirby. Fox was strangely jarring.) The "Kingdom" has fallen a long way, but there is an emphasis on what it fell from
, and a yearning for better days... even as it falls apart at the seams in an increasingly uncontrolled mess of crime, corruption, and violence. The last one, at least, kind of comes with the territory.
This series is hard to seriously criticize, apart from its own pervasive, "HBO"-style darkness. Personally, one thing that bugged me was the sheer amount of girls specifically turned prostitute — which is to say, virtually the entire female cast of Nintendo, with four exceptions, two of whom are worse. (Saria?
) Author Appeal
(While I'm on the subject: Nana is terrifying
. Great work, Ms. Tolin.)
For what it is — whatever
it is — it's about as well-made as it can be. (Not intended for viewers under the age of 17, though. Seriously.)