I first saw this show on a preview on another anime DVD my friend bought. Right away we both knew that Excel Saga was something special. Just watching the preview made us laugh. While browsing through a store just about a week ago I found Excel Saga volume 5 just sitting there so I decided to pick it up and check it out. I was expecting a lot of humor, but this thing just blew me away. I jumped right into it without even watching the previous volumes. That's because theres absolutly no story line to follow? Sound strange? Well that's exactly what Excel Saga aims to do. The only story line that is there they explain throughout the DVD.
Every episode usually begins with the Writers trying to come up with new ideas for the show, which usually results in them double crossing the author of the original manga, Koshi Rikdo. This was the first interesting thin I noticed in the show. The writers and author actually put themselves in the show, which results in great humor, especially whenever the afro-bearing Nabeshine appears on screen.
The two main characters, Excel, a hyperactive young lady who seems to be in love with their groups leader, and Hatchan,a "Kenny" from South Park type of character who always appears to die for no reason, even though she is a beautiful girl. They both work for the group ACROSS under the almighty Illpallazzo, another extremely funny character, whose ultimate goal is to take over the city for some reason.
Another character that I fell in love with is Pedro who dies in a fire and turns into a ghost, which leads him into a story that makes no sense at all, and every time he screams "No!" it brings a smile to my face.
Another interesting thing is that the characters actually know they are just playing roles in this so called wretched story. It's always humorous to hear the characters refer to the writers as idiots, or some other form of the word.
The DVD contains fours episodes of non-stop humor. The first episode, episode 18 out of 26, is a huge spoof of The Power Rangers, and they do a great job of it. I don't remember the Power Rangers going around and blowing up people with guns though.
Episode 19 is the only snag in this wonderful DVD. It just doesn't have as much humor as the rest do, mainly because the whole episode follows the "soon-to-be-food" dog Menchi, as he travels around the world with a girl for some reason. The show is just way to serious here, and there's not enough of Excel and Hatchan here.
Episode 20 begins with the writers not having any idea of what to do with this episode. The soon decide that instead of worrying about it they'll just make another flash back episode dedicated to Pedro, and forge Rikdo's signature on the paper. Excel and Hatchan host the show in a "PUke Bar" with the bartender popping in the tapes into the VCR, as Excel make a rather interesting host, while Hatchan sits at her side, spitting blood out of her mouth.
The entire episode takes a look back at the episodes before with Pedro, which was good because I really didn't understand his story, that is until I realized his story didn't make sense anyway. I never know a flash back episode could be so good.
The real treat of this episode is at the end when the bar tender reveals he has the continuation of Pedro the Movie, which ultimatly adds on the insanity.
Finally is Episode 21 which is the best, as Illpallazzo reveals that ACROSS HQ is making changes via a messenger. The messenger, Key, shows up hours late, and begins hitting on Excel, which is when we get a very humorous look inside the mind of Illpallazzo.
Key trys to relay the message via a rock song, which again leads to a lot of humor, as Key says he cannot sing under the unsatisfactory conditions. Basically the whole episode is about Excel and Hatchan taking Key around with them, waiting until he can sing again.
The English voice over are superb, and couldn't be any better. Especially Excel, whose hyperactive way of speaking can be hard to understand at times. The original Japanese voice overs are all here, along with the english subtitles. Plus a cool little feature where every now and then a Menchi bubble appears to explain a joke, or a fact with you. Use this when listening to the Japanese voices to understand what's going on since the Japanese use a lot of puns and such as humor.
The thing I really love about Excel Saga is that you fall in love with every character you see. Unlike some other anime I've seen, every character has his or her own personality, and you love them for that. The each have a different style of making you laugh. Plus they don't all get along so it makes things fun.
All in all I love this DVD, it's a must have for any anime fan, or anyone who just wants a bunch of good laughs. You'll watch this thing many times and laugh every time you do. It would be a horrible idea to live with out this DVD.