Striking The Wrong Note: Pumpkin Scissors

For every epic OP out there that not only sells the show its about perfectly, or manages to be a work of art unto itself, there’s ten that just don’t seem to get it right. Or worse, actively make the show look worse than it actually is.

We’ve all seen them. Those OP’s that look like they were thrown together in a weekend, that tell you nothing about the show you are about to watch, or just plain make no damn sense at all. Somewhere along the way, something went wrong, and the OP just failed to be what it could, or do what it should.

Now, that’s not the same thing as those that are terrible, because the show is terrible. I’m talking about OP’s that are bad, for shows that are actually pretty good, or at least, watchable. OP’s that just fail to sell the concept, or don’t seem to have anything to do with the show they are actually about. OP’s that are just… off somehow.

You know the ones. You’ve seen them.

Case in point, the OP to Pumpkin Scissors, a show that already has a terrible name attached to it, so really needed a solid OP to help sell the story. It didn’t get that. It got this. Which is a mess.

Pumpkin Scissors set in an alternate universe Europe, at the end of the First World War, and focuses on a war relief unit officially called Section 3, but unofficially known as Pumpkin Scissors, as they fight against corruption in their efforts to help rebuild their nation from a grueling eleven year war. The inherent message about the ramifications of war, not just on soldiers, but on a nation as a whole, are incredibly well put together, and the story itself is pretty good.

Based on a manga by Ryotaro Iwanaga, this 24 episode 2006 series from Gonzo, mostly follows a young and inexperienced officer of noble birth, Alice L. Malvin, as she charges ahead into the war relief effort with total conviction, and occasionally, complete naivete about just how corrupt the country has grown.

She is joined by a former member of 901st anti-tank unit, Randel Orland, a psychologically conditioned solider who was trained to ignore pain and fear so he could fight armored vehicles from point blank range. A gentle giant of a man, when he opens his blue light lantern, he becomes a vicious killing machine, and is desperately trying to make up for the horrors of what he did during the war.

The two make a good team, and the story, while it ends on a somewhat unfinished note, is a decent enough of a watch, that deals in its themes and ideas with a fair bit of confidence.

It’s not a total waste of twelve hours, is what I’m getting at.

None of which you would get based on the OP, which is just a jumbled mess of images and music, none of which conveys what the show itself is about, how these two characters affect each other, and the general ideology and goals they share.

Probably would have helped if they’d not made the dog look like a major character in the story. It’s just a dog. A good and helpful dog, but still just a dog. If it’d been a cat, I could totally get it, but no. It’s a dog.

Also confusing is that there is a sizable cast of characters in this show, and the OP tries to cram all of them into it, without even a little context as to why. It adds to the confusion, as you aren’t sure how many of these people are actually important.

It also kinda implies a romance between Alice and Randel, which doesn’t actually happen. So, don’t be expecting that seeming hint to go anywhere. She’s engaged.

Most of all, though, is that the OP makes the series look as if it is about the war, not the efforts to rebuild after the war. Going in, if you are expecting a story about the horrors of war, you’ll still get that, just in a very different way than you expect, which can be off putting to many.

While the OP may utterly fail to be a proper introduction to the show, its characters, and central themes, I’d still recommend Pumpkin Scissors. It’s not a bad show, but much like the OP, it did suffer from some mismanagement, and what could have been a great show, ends up just being a decent enough way to kill twelve hours.

Just don’t take the OP’s word for that. It lies. Like a dog.


2 thoughts on “Striking The Wrong Note: Pumpkin Scissors

  1. I don’t remember much of this show, except that I liked it well enough when I saw it. I’d forgotten the OP entirely but seeing it now stirs some vague memories.

    I kinda like the song though. And what have you got against dogs, Cain? They’re perfect angels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The song is nice, and while the show is good, it is fairly forgettable. Which is kinda sad, since I think it could have been amazing, rather than merely good.

      I love dogs. Dogs are awesome. That dog, however, wasn’t a main character. I recall expecting great things from the dog, which never materialized, making the inclusion a bit misleading.

      Still, dogs are awesome. Not as awesome as cats, but still awesome.

      Liked by 1 person

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