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Now, I've only gotten up to episode eight so far, so I might come back to touch things up, expand on some points, or scrap the whole thing and say how actually this show sucks (somehow I doubt that last one, though). But I still think I'm ready to give a review.
When I was first introduced to Irresponsible Captain Tylor*, I knew that it involved an Idiot Hero who everyone suspects of actually being super-smart, that everything always goes his way, and that he seduces the recruitment AI "accidentally". It sounded crude, it sounded too-clever-by-half, and it sounded like Tylor would be an obnoxious Invincible Hero who would just walk through everything, killing the tension. Well, I was wrong.
The first two or three episodes are definitely the weakest, with Tylor's escapades, and especially his smooth-talking, seeming like they relied as much on everyone else being bigger idiots than Tylor as on anything else. Even so, there was an odd charisma to the writing, and I decided it was going to be something of a Guilty Pleasure. Well, not so guilty anymore.
After those first few episodes, the show starts to hit its mark, once the entire cast has been established. The show really is about its characters, who each start with strong central gimmicks (the serious professional, the drunken doctor, the gullible and motherly hot nurse, etc.), but who unveil more layers and develop as people in their interactions with each other. The heart of this lovable cast is of course Tylor, whose odd and dorky mannerisms, utter lack of malice or condescension, and genuine air of mystery (there is nothing informed or epileptic about his maybe-genius-maybe-lucky-bastard gimmick, not after a certain point) makes him impossible to hate (or nearly so, I'm sure someone has managed it, somehow).
It helps that it's tightly written, too. Chekhov's guns abound, it's always exciting to see the problem-of-the-week build up, and how it eventually resolves itself, and though each episode deals with a single self-contained event or problem, there's almost always a sense of forward momentum as well, again mostly down to the characters' subtle (and not so subtle) evolutions, and the several threads that are running in parallel (the Raalgon and United Planet's high command and their acts against Tylor, as well as the ship's crew itself).
Part of the appeal is also a feeling of Affectionate Parody. The show plays many classic tropes, like the Tsundere, but it plays them well, and isn't afraid to tweak them, when it suits. There's even a Beach Episode, somehow, despite never leaving the ship, but it's played for only the bare minimum of Fanservice, and is arguably the most plot-heavy episode so far, which I guess also makes it a Wham Episode. And those tropes it plays straightest, like its antiwar themes and message of humanity on both sides of conflict, are certainly welcome.
I expected something raunchy and full of convoluted plots and Contrived Coincidence. Instead, I got something very character driven, very tight, and very sweet. Perhaps like Star Trek, if Captain Kirk were a humble goofball, or like Series/Firefly, from some strange alternate universe where it was written and produced by Hayao Miyazaki. I'd certainly recommend it.
After the assassinatiion of The Emperor of the Raalgon Empire, the newly crowned Empress Goza XVI declares war on the supposed perpetrators, the United Planet Space Forces. Sounds like the standard Space Opera so far, right? Until Cloud Cuckoo Lander slacker Justy Ueki Tylor enters the military hoping to get a quiet office job, but when he somehow rescues an old but well-respected retired admiral, he is promptly Kicked Upstairs to a supposed dead-end position as The Captain of a broken-down ship and badly-behaved but Badass Crew. But an unlikely victory for Tylor sets up a chain reaction of events leading Tylor to become a Spanner In The Works neither side sees coming.
Irresponsible Captain Tylor takes all the old Space Opera cliches, turns them on their head, and plays them for Beyond The Impossible comedy. Its main gag is Tylor himself, who can't decide whether he wants to be dense Idiot Hero Luffy relying on dumb luck the luck of the GODS, Indy Ploy master Naruto, Brilliant But Lazy Shikamaru, full on Magnificent Bastard Lelouch hidden behind an impregnable fortess of stupidity, or a combination of any or all of the above, making Jack Sparrow look normal and both cast and audience continually wondering Or Is It? at Tylor's apparently accidental successes. Combine that with his God-like pornomancer skills capable of re-wiring AIs to have emotions, and you have one funny albeit confusing character.
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