Out of all the titles included in Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia’s third anime release slate which is now available in stores, Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan is the most interesting and brings a lot of promise from the company. Unlike their other titles that are fairly mainstream amongst the anime community – Shakugan no Shana III, The Movie and Ergo Proxy, Dokuro-chan is a very niche title and is their biggest surprise so far in that I don’t believe it is a title any of the other publishers in the region would consider picking up.
Why is it the most promising? Given that Universal Sony Pictures often involve themselves in Geneon Entertainment / Geneon Universal Entertainment titles, there is a backlog of not only mainstream but also niche titles we may be fortunate enough to see a release of in the future…. Umineko: When They Cry? Strawberry Marshmallow? Perhaps something a bit on the “Australian exclusive” side? I look forward to seeing what they have in store for us!
But moving back to the review at hand, with Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan now available at Australian retail stores on DVD with an R18+ classification for High Impact Sexual Themes (and strong impact violence), does this excessive and over-the-top content make or break this series?
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-Chan revolves around middle school student Sakura Kusakabe who despite apparently harvesting no lolicon complex at the time, will in the future discover immortality in the real world. The apparent side effect of this immortality is that all females never age past childhood. As the angels seek to prevent this future from ever coming to fruition, they send the angel Dokuro Mitsukai to murder him. Rather than murdering Sakura, she believes that it is possible to refrain from killing him and instead opts to reside with him and protect him from other potential angel threats. So fortunately… or more likely unfortunately for Sakura he now has an angel residing at his house… who is only too willing to decapitate him with a spiked club Excalibolg whenever he accidentally toes the line.
It is hard to describe Dokuro-chan as being either a fantastic series or a terrible one. As with many series that rely on comedy, it all comes down to your sense of humor and personal tastes as there is little weight in the plot development even at its conclusion. While maintaining some degree of storyline which can best be described as “School Life w/ Gore”, most of the series is over the top violence, silliness and a short attention span – similar to the progression found in Excel Saga only less refined.
There are a few staples across the episode that they do make an attempt to diversify, namely the main protagonist finding himself gorily bludgeoned several times per episode in different comical ways and finding himself restored through a cutesy magical chant. These bloody scenes are complemented with some heavy fanservice scenes, which as the R18+ classification indicates, makes this series highly inappropriate for younger audiences.
Throw in a few other quirks here and there and you have a distinct series, that if it appeals to your personal preference of comedy, should serve as a solid series to throw a few hours into watching. While most of the comedy was hit or miss with me and felt way over the top at some points, Dokuro-chan stands out in a market where many are out there for something different.
Universal Sony Picture’s release of Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan is based on the North American “Smashing Special Edition” that contains the full eight half-episode first series and the additional four episode second season – so you are getting the complete experience in the one collection.
Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan was developed by Hal Film Maker before it was absorbed by Yumeta Company back in 2009, and was responsible for a number of rather well designed series including Princess Tutu, the Yotsunoha OVA episodes and B Gata H Kei. The design quality of this series was overall average – with average environment and character designs for its time. The only area they really try to go over the top in is the blood and gore department, especially considering all episodes are uncensored and provides the opportunity to see entrails and other pieces of what was once Sakura splatter everywhere before being revived.
Music / Voice Acting
A total of two opening sequences are present across the two seasons present in this collection, both performed by Dokuro’s Japanese voice actress Saeko Chiba and are in fact the same song albeit slightly different instrumentals / lyrics – “Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan” and “Bokusatsu Tenshi Dokuro-chan 2007”. The upbeat tone to the theme song is contrasted by the brutal visuals showing Dokuro torturing Sakura in different means and Saeko Chiba singing the lyrics with gusto. The remainder of the series’ soundtrack is present but doesn’t stand out.
Produced many years ago by AnimeWorks / Media Blasters, the English dub contains a number of big-name English voice actors / actresses who are still active in the industry today. Johnny Yong Bosch (Itsuki Koizumi – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, Yu Narukami – Persona 4 the Animation) and Wendee Lee (T.K. – Digimon Adventure, Haruhi Suzumiya – The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya) do strong performances of Sakura and Dokuro respectively, although still don’t live up to the levels of insanity present in the Japanese dub.
Unfortunately there is very little in the way of bonus on-disc content in this collection, limited to Textless Opening and Ending sequences on the second disc. Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment Australia have also produced another set of their exclusive book-cover packaging which you can read up more on HERE.
Final Words on Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan
As mentioned above, the appeal value of Bludgeoning Angel Dokuro-chan relies primarily on your personal preferences in comedy. It has the potential to be hilarious across both seasons and plays to its strength of being over-the-top, but if this is not your style then you may be better off looking elsewhere.