Striking The Wrong Note: Coyote Ragtime Show

There’s two things that, as an anime fan, you kind of end up getting use to. The first being the rather terrible naming that many shows get. I mean, you guys have noticed that there’s a lot of anime out there with titles that give you entirely the wrong idea as to what it’s about, right?

For example, Coyote Ragtime Show. What the hell kind of name is that? Even if you’ve seen the entire series, only a third of that makes any kind of sense.

The second thing, of course, is OP’s that, while they may be pretty, or have good music, don’t tell you a single damn thing as to what the show is about. We all know that, of course, and like many of you, I often find myself wondering just what blend of pot the crew was smoking hen they thought an OP was a good representation of their show.

Again, I must point to Coyote Ragtime Show for a perfect example of this.

Ya know, there’s something I want to address first, before we get into this OP, and all the ways it fails. Coyote Ragtime Show is a fucking GREAT anime. Probably one of the best sci fi animes out there. I’d stack it up against Cowboy bebop any day of the week in terms of how awesome, well made, and just generally enjoyable it is as a piece of fiction.

Which the OP, and the title, will make you doubt strongly. Because they are terrible.

Coyote Ragtime Show is an original work of fiction, not based on a preexisting manga, released in 2006. Running 12 episodes, and coming from studio ufotable, the gang behind Fate/Zero, and a few other shows that probably flew under everyone’s radar, it’s easily one of the more original animes out there.

Which… is actually kind of hard to explain, since nothing about it is original. I guess the best way to say it is that it isn’t what they do, it’s how they do it.

The story follows a notorious space pirate known only as Mister, due to his countless aliases making it impossible to be sure who he really is, as he is accidentally released from prison. He bee lines from there to the Franca, daughter of his former captain, Bruce, because Bruce made him promise that if anything ever happened to him, Mister would make certain that Franca got her inheritance.

Which would be the millions Bruce stole from a bank that was, allegedly, impossible to steal from. Bruce then secreted the haul away on planet Graceland (yes, really), in a vault that only he could break into, because it was an exact replica of the vault he’d stolen all the money from in the first place.

Next thing Franca knows, she’s on Mister’s ship, The Coyote, as they haul ass for planet Graceland, which is about to get blown to shit. Along the way, every cop, crook, and politician in the galaxy is out to either stop them, catch them, or get there first, what with there being millions just waiting to be grabbed, and a very short time to grab it before the whole planet goes kablooey.

Coyote Ragtime Show is a classic caper, wrapped in a pirate story, set in space. It’s awesome, fun, silly, and heartwarming. The treasure is not what you think, and Mister is way more than just a pirate. It’s a hell of a ride, that really, truly, sticks the landing.

The OP, however, tells you exactly jack and shit in terms of what the hell this show is about. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it tells you so little, it might actually make you think the show is something else entirely.

I know, for several years, I passed on it, because the title and OP made me think it was gonna be something completely different than what I got. The only reason I ended up giving it a go was because Funimation dubbed it, and John Swasey was playing Mister.

He was Telligory in Le Chevalier D’Eon, and I’ve been a fan every since. It’s this whole thing.

Ya know, never mind. Let’s just move on.

The opening music is, appropriately enough, “COYOTE” by Naoki with Power Sound. It’s a pretty good song, and I like it. It’s everything else that’s wrong here. The visuals and imagery do not tell you anything, and make it look like either a bad action show, or a comedy.

Don’t get me wrong, Coyote is often funny, but it isn’t a comedy. Any more than the action makes it an action series. It is, first and foremost, a story about family, keeping your promises, and staying true to who you are. It’s deep, sweet, and full of great characters.

That OP, though. Just lots of gun battles, space battles, and other randomness. Talk about a good way to turn your potential audience off.

If you’ve never seen Coyote Ragtime Show, do yourself a favor, and check it out. Just skip the OP. The more you watch, the less sense it makes.


3 thoughts on “Striking The Wrong Note: Coyote Ragtime Show

  1. Thanks for this post! I’ve seen bits and pieces of the show when it aired on the Anime Network, but like you, the OP really had me thinking it was apparently something that it isn’t.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I never heard of the one, but just seeing the op and reading this post,it does seem that it really is terribly misleading. I am currently watching School-live…which has a cute and funny almost sing a long kind of song, while it is essentially a zombie show. The one thing I have learned these psst few months since I really started my revival of watching anime is to not judge a book by it’s cover anymore. Half of the time your wrong, and you could miss out on a potentially great series 😊 As this post demonstrates 😀 Thanks for sharing, and for adding another anime to my to watch list lol 😂


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