This review is part on a little push I wanted to start on the blog. I wanted us to review more shojo anime. Not a lot of it gets made and I feel we hardly review it enough on the blog and I think all genres of anime and manga should be examined on the blog. How much this title counts is a matter of opinion. Unprecedented Game aka Hatenko Yugi aka Dazzle has an unusual history as a manga that makes classifying the anime a bit tricky. The manga started out in Square Enix’s shonen anthology GFantasy but after book 3 it switches to Ichijinsha’s shoujo magazine Comic Zero-Sum. But the most important thing we should get out of this is it is a story that can appeal to both genders quite well. It is a show with a nice mixture of seemingly hard to mix elements: action, romance, drama, comedy and horror. A pot luck that really blends well together.
Why is this called Dazzle in the TokyoPop release anyway? It gives absolutely no clue as to what the story might be. Maybe it refers to Rahzel’s magic powers? Baroqueheat’s tricks? Alzeid’s good looks? Well, whatever, still seems like a silly name. I also didn’t realize for a while that Dazzle and this anime were one in the same. I had watched a bit of this show sometime ago, found it amusing, and then promptly got distracted.
Rahzel’s life is turned upside down when her father throws her out of the house an declares that she must learn to fend for herself. Not long after leaving on her forced journey she meets a handsome albino named Alzeid. She vows that she will travel along side the dour man until she can inject some joy and adventure into his life. They are soon joined by Alzeid’s friend Baroqueheat from the military who falls in head over heals in lust with Rahzel. They head out on the road using their spell casting and fighting skills to survive while taking odd jobs to make money. While most of their jobs start off simple they often take a sinister twist.
The format of the series is going to be love it or hate it with its episodic and roaming nature. Besides the first episode where characters meet, the order of the episodes is unimportant and could be random. However, the mystery solving slant of the show lends itself to the format and doesn’t feel particularly jarring. Though I had to laugh as a one point I realized it reminded me of Scooby-Doo, especially when they all of a sudden in a snowy area and have new winter outfits. The tone is more a mixture of Slayers and a little Kino’s Journey thrown in. There are plenty of laughs but ultimately they usually learn a sad secret or truth behind whatever it is they have stumbled upon.