Trapeze #01 – Psychotropics Not Required

October 15th, 2009


But probably recommended.

Season Premier Disclaimer:

I like to check almost every new show out. The value of a show is in its execution, not its premise. That said, my tastes are mine and mine alone. Some things bother me, some things don’t. I will attempt to be as cogent as possible as to my complaints or compliments for each show, but be aware that my views skew heavily towards the center. Nothing is perfect, nothing is irredeemable. That said, my tastes and my opinions are mine and mine alone and should not be construed as fact or, god help us, some kind of erudite critical analysis of the entire series based on the show’s first 20 minutes. Feel free to leave your own thoughts on the show if you’d like, but invective and similar will be mocked or deleted depending on which amuses me more at the time.


Well, let me begin by saying that I think that there’s a definite difference between good direction and artistic direction, and while this embodies the latter, I’m not sold on the former. Production values are about as terrible as expected, but I don’t think anybody was ever expecting this to be an artistic masterpiece anyway. Music was actually really good for the most part, but I will take slight offense to the abuse of cliche classical music. It dabbles in a large number of artistic styles, many of them not particularly easy on the eyes, and loves the distance shots or views of the backs of people’s heads while they’re talking almost as much as Shaft does.

So then, onto the direction. As it has been promoted, Trapeze is a surrealistic juxtapositioning of myriad styles of presentation against a psychiatric cast of characters in order to create an expressive world. In the vernacular of the lesser folks, one might say that it’s TRIPPIN’ BALLS. Unfortunately, the blending of the styles doesn’t really work particularly well. The live action parts in particular just look awful. In fact, they made me think of Toonstruck if anything. The direction decision to literally cut frames out and make the movement during it choppy also somewhat baffles me. Other of the style blendings worked a little better, especially given how much of the scenery is CG. It’s also a little hard to take the direction seriously when they spend a minute sexing up the nurse (including a slow zoom on her cleavage and full body pan) and then leave you with about 25 straight seconds of one frame while you listen to panting until the guy’s face contorts and he bellows. If you were hoping to get away from fanservice with this one, guess again. Dr. Fukuichi (?) popping out of walls to deliver probably about two full minutes of random exposition total through the episode also kind of belies the idea that a great deal of thought went presentation beyond making it look psychadelic.

At the end though, all that really matters for me is that I didn’t really find anything that I was drawn to about this episode. You may find the direction unique enough to carry it for you or you may think that it’s a bunch of pretentious twaddle. Whchever swings your trapeze.

Posted in Anime | 8 Comments »

8 Shouts From the Peanut Gallery

  • Rewriter says:

    Wow, looking through the pictures really took a toll on my eyes.

  • P-Dash says:

    This kinda reminds me of the music video for Take On Me by A-ha.

  • Yue says:

    My appreciation for anime shows with simple backgrounds just went up. ^_^

  • Anonymous says:

    They can never do it like Shaft.

  • kamina121 says:

    Uhhhggggg… Looking at the pics gave me a headache.

  • Chris says:

    “They can never do it like Shaft.”

    who cares ?

  • Voiced says:

    Interesting..trippy as hell though.

  • […] Tenka Seiha is pretty negative, and actually attacks the directing, which I thought was the episode’s major strong point. We can get into that more as the show goes on, though. October 20th, 2009 | Tags: arthouse, doctor irabu, episode one, kenji kakamura, Kuuchuu Buranko, masaaki yuasa, mononoke, Trapeze | Category: Kuuchuu Buranko […]