Follow TV Tropes


Anime / Genji Tsuushin Agedama

Go To
For a normal kid, this wouldn't exactly be the ideal way to spend a summer vacation.

"Kiai ippaaaaaatsu!!"
Agedaman, as he falls into the camera in the second opening

Planet Hero is the origin of the superheroes we know. Not much is known about them, but their summer vacation is the equivalent of one full Earth year, which implies that their orbital period is at least six years, making for an interesting solar system. Retirees sometimes migrate back to Earth to live secluded lives and are perceived as gods or ghosts, while residents with “evil hearts” are stripped naked, rendered amnesiac and exiled to distant planets.

One such denizen of the planet is a young boy named Agedama Genji, a fourth grader and superhero-in-training (under the guise of "Agedaman") who happens to land in Morisoba City on his summer break, though at the behest of his father. Along with his small computer companion Wapro and the motivation of his new love interest Ibuki Heike, he fights against the vain and vindictive Rei Kuki and her family's criminal organization that can turn humans into synthetic beasts of various types.

Genji Tsuushin Agedama (ゲンジ通信あげだま) is a 51-episode action and gag anime from 1991 produced by Nihon Ad Systems (NAS) and Studio Gallop that aired on TV Tokyo. Starting with this series until the ending of Kodocha in March of 1998, Gallop would produce all of the anime series that would air on TV Tokyo's 6PM Friday timeslot. This series was the collaborative brainchild of screenwriter Sukehiro Tomita, game designer Akira Sakuma (Creator of the Momotaro Dentetsu series), and game developer Oji Hiroi (Creator of Mashin Hero Wataru and Sakura Wars and a good friend of Sakuma during their university years) in an attempt to create a multimedia franchise. This included the anime (more or less the franchise's bread and butter), two separate manga series (the first of which predates the anime by at least three months), and a side-scrolling Run-and-Gun video game tie-in made exclusively for the PC-Engine, all of which were also released in 1991. The latter is no surprise, as NEC was a major sponsor that was involved in the series' production, though the first manga as well as the video game adaptation were based on early concepts of the series, which explains why many characters, Agedama and Ibuki in particular, look radically different from their finalized anime counterparts. There's even some Product Placement thrown in, as Wapro is a nod to one of NEC's word processors, and some of Agedama's abilities are powered by small cards that are based on the PC-Engine's HuCards. On top of being an obvious superhero anime targeted at primary school kids, the series is also an Affectionate Parody of those shows and contains several Shout-Outs to other anime series and many other kinds of media that were popular in Japan at the time, including western properties such as Batman and Indiana Jones.

The series contains examples of:

  • Aerith and Bob: Agedama is a pretty bizarre name when compared to standard Japanese names such as Ibuki, Rei, Raizo, Kensuke, Katsuo, and Hikari (who takes shots at Agedama by purposefully confusing his name with Tenkasu (in which Agedama is an alternate name for) and Aburaage.) To be far though, he's not from Earth, and many of the natives from Planet Hero are named after foods and beverages.
  • Affectionate Parody: An obvious one of superhero series, but it combines so well with several topical pop culture references that it's pretty much a parody of anything popular in Japan during the late '80s and early '90s.
  • Animation Bump: The show's animation started off looking pretty average for children's television anime at the time, but as the show went on the animation became more detailed, slightly stylized than previously, and the characters were shaded more than they had been.
  • A Twinkle in the Sky: This happens on a few occasions when Rei and the others are launched into the sky after a defeat.
  • Badass Adorable: Needless to say, all of the heroes (Agedama, Ibuki, and Wapro) fall under this to some extent, be it the way they are designed, the fact that the former two are children, or that they have either awkward or endearing personalities. Taking the cake is Ibuki's younger brother Kodama, who becomes so motivated to clear a framed Agedaman's name that he goes off on his own one night to fight Rei and her team as "Agedaman No. 2".
  • Bathtub Scene: Rei gets one in the closing credits sequence. Raizo gets one parodying it in a later episode.
  • Beach Episode: Episodes 42 has Rei move her classmates to the hilariously named "Rei-sama Island" in an effort for them to acknowledge her as their queen. This is one of the few times where almost all of them submit to her, as she offers comfortability and pleasure just as long as they know who's boss. Of course, Agedama, Wapro, and Ibuki, refuse to submit along with Kensuke-sensei and Hitomi-sensei, who willingly exile themselves from main grounds. The gang is left to fend on their own while spending much of their time on the coast swimming and relaxing. Rei then spends the second half of the episode and the next episode attempting to annihilate them but fails, of course.
  • But Now I Must Go: The series ends with Agedama and Wapro leaving the Earth, but don't worry, he'll be back after his winter break!
  • Cerebus Syndrome: Downplayed starting in episode 45, starting with the introductions of Modam & E-hub, who are extreme stoic and serious villains in an otherwise goofy and lighthearted series. There's also Wapro's overheating putting him out of comission and the subplot of Agedama's summer vacation coming to and end and the resulting emotional stress that he and Ibuki have to endure. Otherwise, the series never completely loses its humor and goofiness.
  • Clark Kenting:
    • Despite only adding an "N" to his name, no one knows that Agedaman is Agedama in disguise, even once Wapro starts making himself public. That all changes towards the end of the series.
    • In a similar case, no one realizes that Omyomiko is Rei either, and if anything, this is more egregious because Omyomiko is unprofessional and will use the synthetic beasts to get back at Rei's grudges. Despite this, No one, not even Agedama and Wapro make the connection anyway.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure:
    • After failing miserably in a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors against Tsuripan, Agedama is forced to strip off his clothes piece by piece until he's down to just plain white briefs.
    • In the next episode, Tsuripan's suspenders come loose and drop on the ground revealing striped boxers, all while cheering for Rei during her class election bid.
    • Upon being "saved" by Agedaman from being the Monster of the Week, Hikari regains consciousness but is left in nothing but tighty whities in a large crowd before dashing off out of embarrassment.
    • To no surprise, both Ibuki and Rei are often subjected to gratuitous pantyshots that are clearly done out of Fanservice.
  • "Do It Yourself" Theme Tune:
  • Early Installment Character-Design Difference: Early prototype designs of the characters would find their way into the first promotional manga and the video game. Alongside Agedama, Wapro, and Ibuki, it appears that Uroncha, Ebiten, and Okame were also a part of the main character roster during the period, and all of them have at least some differences in their appearance from how they would later be finalized in the anime series.
    • Agedama's irises are larger and his hair is brown and brushed downwards, and by default, he also wears the outfit that Ebiten would give him towards the end of the anime. The commercial and the cover art for the video game try to merge both designs into one.
    • Wapro has a green color scheme with a dog or panda-like muzzle and can fly with helicopter-like propellers on his head.
    • Ibuki's hair is pink and has twintails that would later be used in the anime's first opening. Outside of that, her character isn't developed much.
    • Rei wasn't anywhere near as prominent as she was. She was an adult character who somewhat resembled an actual shrine maiden and regularly went by her Onyomiko alias. She was The Dragon of the King of the Kanji tribe along with a man named "Kimiyokan Mikaze" and whose real name was "Kaoru Mikaze". These initial designs may have later influenced the designs of late-stage antagonists Modam & E-hub, and Mikaze's name may have been passed down to Hikari Yumenokouji.
  • Ensemble Cast: While Agedama's the lead in this story, with as big as a cast this series has, it may be hard to believe that. Rei has so much screentime, including in both closing credits, that it would be easy to forget that she's not the main character. She even has to balance her screentime out with her grandfather Raizo and their three butlers, all of whom we learn more about as the series advances. Meanwhile, Ibuki is the character that gets the most Character Development out of anyone in the cast, going from your typical "Girl Next Door who needs saving every once in a while" to a strong-willed leader-type character with much hidden strength.
  • End-of-Series Awareness: In the end credits of the last episode, the usual line of "Rei-sama, the ambulance has arrived!" gets replaced with "Rei-sama, this is the end! Bye!"
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: Ibuki has twintails in the first opening (as well as the first manga adaptation and the video game), but she's always wearing her hair in a ponytail in the show.
  • Fan Disservice: While Rei taking a bath is a treat for the eyes, her grandfather doing the same is not.
  • Free-Range Children: Both Agedama and Ibuki along with their peers are allowed to roam all over town, and even Kodama seems allowed quite a bit of freedom for his age.
  • Heel–Face Turn:
    • Subverted. Since it was already episode 39 (of 51, mind you), one may expect Rei to start growing by this point, and when she learned about the value of work and money and that Ibuki is someone she can work with, one would expect this to last. But no, as episode 42 shows that she'll blow up a regional jet and she'll transform into a beast and throw Ibuki into an electric fence in the next. Even considering her goal of trapping everyone on the island, it was completely unnecessary because no one but her butlers could fly the plane.
    • Think losing their mansion to the Greater-Scope Villain will make the Kukis treasure anybody still willing to stand with them? Well, think again on that one too.
  • Instant Fan Club: Tsuripan leads a fan club entirely devoted to serving and completely kowtowing to Rei.
  • In the Name of the Moon: Ibuki, who like Usagi Tsukino is voiced by Kotono Mitsuishi, parodied this like everything else in this show. it's not even a coincidence, as the show's co-creator Sukehiro Tomita, was also a scriptwriter for several Sailor Moon episodes, which first aired just five months after.
  • Limited Wardrobe: Ibuki's outfit is always a pink blouse, green tie, and a miniskirt in darker pink. Still, she's a bit luckier than the other two, since at least she has long and short-sleeved blouses and a cardigan that she wears from mid-November to mid-July. Agedama and Rei each have one everyday outfit (A red and yellow short-sleeved polo shirt with blue shorts for Agedama and a pink long-sleeve sailor blouse with dark blue kerchief and tight dark magenta mini skirt for Rei).
  • Love at First Sight: It doesn't take even a second for Agedama to fall in love with Ibuki upon meeting her in class. Rei thinks he's complimenting her here, but she's unsurprisingly enraged when she gets brushed off.
  • Monster of the Week: The usual baddie formula as expected of shows like this. Every episode has Raizo and Rei think of a bizarre synthetic beast combination that is formed and "piloted" by one of their butlers, kidnapped outsiders (Hikari and Kensuke-sensei), or one of the Kukis themselves in an attempt to wreak havoc upon Morisoba City, or in Rei's case, settle a personal grudge.
  • Mythology Gag: At the beginning of episode 33, Rei can be seen playing a nearly identical replica of the PC Engine game on what is a handheld that questionably resembles a PC Engine GT.
  • Nice Mean And In Between:
    • Ibuki is the nice one, though she can be stern and a bit demanding (especially towards Agedama and Kodama), she means well and is overall a kind, friendly, and approachable if slightly timid person.
    • Rei is undoubtedly the mean one, as she can be best described as vain, narcissistic, bossy, and petty, all of which get amplified when she becomes Omyomiko.
    • Agedama is somewhere in-between, as while he's proven he can be an All-Loving Hero as Agedaman, he can be hotblooded, a bit ignorant and insensitive sometimes, and can hold grudges towards rivals (notably with Hikari).
  • No Celebrities Were Harmed:
    • In episode 6, one of the guests at the dance contest is a blatant copy of African-American rapper MC Hammer.
    • Thethe host of episode 22's "Morisoba Crossing Ikebana Quiz" is based on Akira Fukuzawa (voiced by Bin Shimada), who had just became the new host of Trans-America Ultra Quiz at the time of this series' broadcast.
  • Ship Tease: Being the series' two lead characters, of course, Agedama and Rei would have a few moments of this every once in a while, so much that Ibuki tends to get jealous. While he's dead set on Ibuki's heart, Agedama has moments where he'll try to be nice and warm up to Rei and Rei slightly warms up to Agedama during the final arc.
  • Shout-Out:
    • The Galactic Hero System, the galaxy where Planet Hero lies is named after Legend of the Galactic Heroes.
    • The lines and gestures that Agedama makes towards the synthetic beast Jakuninu during the game of rock-paper-scissors in episode 4 are similar to those of Ken Hayakawa in Kaiketsu Zubat.
    • In episode 10, Agedaman quotes the legendary pre-battle speech of Shigeru Jo of Kamen Rider Stronger.
    • There are a few nods to Ultraseven, including paying homage to the transformation scene (Raizo puttings on "seeing glasses" that allow him to see through invisible spiders, and uttering "Duwah!) and a scene in episode 48 (where Agedama has a fantasy of him confessing to Ibuki that he's Agedaman).
    • The "Tonton Red Jellyfish Gang" from episode 19, is a direct parody of the Japanese variety show Neruton Red Whale Gang.
    • The game show that Rei aqcuires in episode 22, "Morisoba Crossing Ikebana Quiz", is a parody of the Japanese game show Trans-America Ultra Quiz. There are even a few scenes where the host and the winner shout Akira Fukuzawa's phrase "Just Meet!". Also, the prize for winning the contest is similar, though it's more of a special bath, and not a handmade hot spring like in the original.
    • The synthetic beast of episode 26 is a Batman Parody that shoots out Japanese sweets called manju, so the name "Batmanju" just writes itself. This was more than likely made in response to Batman (1989) being released around the time and the then-upcoming Batman Returns.
    • Suzuki's face as a boy closely resembles that of Tatsuya Uesugi from the manga Touch. His childhood love interest, Yuri Shiratori, who appeared in a flashback in episode 24, bears a striking resemblance to Taeko from Only Yesterday. Like the original, she runs up into the sky, which may be preceived as an animation error to people unfamiliar with the film.
    • After Ibuki finds what the class believes to be a dinosaur bone, she has a daydream about potentially finding more treasure, all done in the style of the legendary gold idol scene from Raiders of the Lost Ark. Ibuki even wears Indiana Jones' iconic fedora and a matching outfit.
    • In episode 29, in a nod to Machine Robo: Revenge of Cronos, Onyomiko uses the same catchphrase set of the main character, Rom Stoll. The typical enemy line, "Who're you?" is used by Agedaman.
    • In episode 32, the prize at the stall is a stuffed toy with the face of Hepoi de Pooh from Studio Gallop's previous anime series RPG Legend Hepoi, which aired around the exact same timeslot, but on Saturdays and was replaced the the live action series that this show replaced, Tokimeki Ōen TV. The series was also shown at the movie theater where Kensaku-sensei and Hitomi-sensei went to see the movie in episode 40.
    • There are several nods to the Lupin III film, The Castle of Cagliostro, including one scene in episode 37 where Raizo gets off the autogyro and changes clothes while walking. However, it is depicted in a slightly comical manner.
    • On top of Okame dressing the amnesic Rei as a near replica of Kiki from Kiki's Delivery Service (who was also alluded to as a doll in episode 4 during Ibuki's flashback along with Jiji), the pendant worn by Rei in episode 37 is a parody of the one from Castle in the Sky.
    • The synthetic beast of episode 39, Maru-Uno-Man, is a parody of the main character in the Japanese movie A Taxing Woman, also known as Marusa no onna. It appears and disappears like a god and seizes the villains' assets by any means necessary, to the point of swallowing them whole from the mouth, just like in the movie.
    • The entirety of episode 41 is an parody of Japanese historial drama, Mito Kōmon.
    • Episode 42's synthetic beast is a starfish that resembles Adolf Hitler. The setup may be a reference to the infamous Starfish Hitler monster that was featured in Kamen Rider X.
    • Ibuki's Transformation Sequence into Wonder Ibuki is almost copied verbatim from the namesake heroine of Sailor Moon. Remember that Kotono Mitsuishi voiced both characters around the same time.
    • In the soundtrack/drama CD Genji Tsushin Agedama FIGHT OH!, Agedama and Wapro make their own radio show for the occasion, which is titled "Agedama Genji and Wapro's All Night Morisoba". This is a reference to the long-running Japanese radio program All Night Nippon.
  • Spoiler Opening: Mixed with Bait-and-Switch Credits. The 2nd opening implies Ibuki will become Agedama's Sidekick while there are still monsters of the week. Instead, she does not transform until Episode 49 (of 51) in time to fight the Greater-Scope Villain, and was being set up as the successor.
  • Theme Naming: Quite a few characters, like Wapro and PC-ro are named after electronic devices and computer programs.
  • Two Girls and a Guy: Agedama, Rei and Ibuki all start to form this dynamic by the end of the series.

The PC-Engine game contains examples of:

  • Adaptation Dye-Job: Given that this game uses the early character designs, Agedama has brown hair here and Ibuki's hair color is pink.
  • Adapted Out: While Onyomiko (Rei) appears as a minor antagonist, Raizo, the three butlers, and all of the school are nowhere to be found, and given that the game is based on earlier concepts for the series, it implies that they weren't in the original plans and were later additions to the anime.
  • Amusing Injuries: Upon losing a life, a long and drawn-out cutscene plays where Agedama walks with crutches and bandages to the left of the screen.
  • Auto-Scrolling Level: Most of the levels in the game have Agedama automatically run through them, only being fully controllable during a boss or a mini-boss.
  • Cheat Code: At the title screen, press and hold Button I and Button II, then press Select to access what is more or less a hidden options menu. There are options to switch the difficulty, change the amount of continues you have, a sound test, and a level select.
  • Run-and-Gun: Agedama's main method of attacking is through using a series of upgradable projectiles that can charged by holding the action button.
  • You Don't Look Like You: The characters retain their pre-anime designs, which will inevitably confuse players coming from or even going into the anime.

Tanaka: Madame Rei, the ambluence has arrived!