Striking The Right Note: Excel Saga

Ya know, I’m not gonna try to explain this show. I don’t think there’s any way it can be explained without breaking the limits of space time and causing all of reality to be folded into a mobius strip from which there is no escape.

What I am going to do is tell you a little about how this show came to be. It won’t help you understand the series, because the series has no actual plot. It’s just a grouping of episodes with a few similar themes that frequently changes genres for no real reason. It’s funny as hell.

Okay, so Excel Saga began as a manga, the way most anime do. It was the brain child of Rikdo Koshi, who appears as a character in the anime for reasons, and follows the adventures of the dim witted Excel as she attempts to help the leader of the secret organization Across, Il Palazzo, take over the world. Beyond claiming that it is because the world is corrupt, I’ve no idea why Il Palazzo wants to take over the world, but he’s a sensible global dominator, and figures it best to start by taking over a single city, which he frequently fails to do, because his only subordinate is an idiot.

When J.C. Staff got the chance to create the anime, they hired Shinichi Watanabe, a dude known for his rather outsized personality. Watanabe gained a great deal of prominace when he worked as the chief director for Lupin III: Da Capo of Love, and soon after, began dressing like Lupin. He is well known for his massive afro and loud suits, which he claims helps him stand out and get attention, but really, I think he’s just a goofy cool dude who is totally okay with himself.

When Watanabe was brought on to direct the anime of Excel Saga, creator Koshi gave him free reign to do whatever he wanted, so long as he created a new timeline, and more or less followed the story of the manga, which Watanabe manages to do, while still having no actual plot. Besides inserting Koshi as himself into the anime, Watanabe also inserts himself as the character Nabeshin, and we’re only scratching the surface of how weird this show gets.

Seriously, it treats the fourth wall like a piece of tissue paper. The entire genre of the series changes from episode to episode, with on entire episode being a recreation of 80’s era American adaptations of anime. Excel Saga is flat out weird.

At it’s best, it’s like watching Monty Python. At it’s worst, it’s just strange.

The main reason I’ve selected it as an OP I want to feature, however, is because Watanabe wrote the opening song himself. Like she show, it’s weird as hell.

Most of it features Excel and her sidekick, the perpetually dying alien Princess Hyatt, actually singing the opening music in a variety of strange locations, hinting at the disjointed nature of the show. It also has the cast running a lot, which is kind of a jab at the many opening and ending credits out there that have characters running for no obvious reason. Since Excel Saga, as an anime, frequently pokes fun at anime in general, this should kind of be expected.

The big thing here is that, as an OP, Excel Saga does set the stage for the show you about to watch. It is irreverent, funny, weird, and at times, purposefully offensive. Most of all, it does successfully summarize the entire show in a minute and a half.

I still have no idea what the hell was going on with Pedro, though. Dude got it on with the will of the cosmos.


6 thoughts on “Striking The Right Note: Excel Saga

  1. Another classic anime that (ofcourse lolπŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚) I still haven’t seen yet. Ah…I have missed so much Anime…but I am doing my utmost to catch up with things. And ofcourse posts like these help. Ps…I have yet to respond to the post you wrote about yourself from earlier this week. I am going to do that, but that will probably be on sunday, where I have a little bit more time to read some of the bigger posts πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Not sure I’d list this one as classic, but it is an experience in the bizarre. The absurdist in me loves it, even though my usual sense of humor leans more towards comedy like Working! Which is another one you really should put on your list. It’s one of the best comedy animes ever.

      No worries about commenting. While I always enjoy getting to talk with you, don’t feel like you have to comment, man. Considering I’ve got about fifteen posts across four sites I’m behind on reading, I’m in no position to say anything anyway. :p

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Haha…yeah, I think it was Weekend Otaku who recently commented that blogging is sometimes a balancing act πŸ˜€ It really is. I had to work yesterday, and upon coming home I had 40 new Unreal posts waiting lol πŸ˜‚ Still, I always try to comment when I can, especially on blogs I really enjoy like yours πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, this was a bit strange.

    I heard the title before, but it was one of those shows I put into the back of my head where “General Anime context” like the title “Patlabor” goes and I never looked further into it. I thought Excel Saga was a lot more serious than you’ve described it to be. I mean.. the title makes it sound epic doesn’t it?

    I kind of love this OP though. Princess Hyatt coughing through it is great. Also “banana no kawa de koronde mo.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The title does imply something more, and I admit, there is one episode that’s less comedy and much more dramatic, but even then, it quickly turns back to absurdist comedy towards the end. Really, the whole show is an experiment in craziness, complete with an unaired final episode that broke every tv rule in Japan, just cause it could. Which is kinda sorta epic in a way.

      And yeah, any song that includes banana is always gonna be something I enjoy. Here, though, it’s just so silly that it goes right along with the rest.

      Sometimes, we need silly in our lives.

      Liked by 1 person

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