Yousei Hime Ren is a short OVA from the mid 90s. Dangun Pictures did the animation for this. And it’s not exactly a well known OVA but short, comedic OVAs tend to be either really good or really terrible. So, let’s take a gamble and check it out.
We follow a young self-proclaimed treasure hunter named Gou as he follows the universe’s most random treasure maps to try and find treasures. Naturally, he leaves devastation in his wake. He escapes one outing, nearly falls to his death and encounters a naked fairy named Ren. Why is she naked? Because she was doing a Princess Sally cosplay and her boots fell off while she was flying. Or because this was designed for fourteen year olds who can’t get a hold of actual porn.
That’s pretty much the entirety of this OVA. Gou goes somewhere to try and find treasure, some sort of mechanical device gets activated and Gou manages to wreck it by accident. Let’s discuss the big problem with the humour. The bulk of it is based around characters shouting, failing at basic communication and then something breaking in a contrived, over the top way. And characters shouting while failing at actually conveying anything isn’t funny. It’s just really, really, really annoying. You can have loud acting and still make it work. Galaxy Angel did. So did Muteki Kanban Musume. But they had actual jokes.
You want to know how to be funny with your dialogue, loud or otherwise? Clever word play, jokes with a strong use of comedic timing and just generally giving a shit about comedy. none of which are present here. It’s like Big Bum Bim just drained all the comedy and replaced it with obnoxiousness. A complex contraption falling apart for absurd reasons can be funny, but it’s not executed well in this series. So, it isn’t.
Gou might be one of the worst comedic leads to watch. He’s nothing but a constant stream of annoying prattle. The best part of the OVA are those few scenes where someone hits him. Which should happen considerably more often. He actually reminds me of the portrayal of Sonic in that one cartoon where he does nothing but shit Looney Tune style bits to the robot chicken and drill handed bloke. Except that was marginally more tolerable. Mari is just the typical “she has a crush but the guy she’s interested in is clueless, has no redeeming qualities and will probably die of an opium overdose when he’s twenty two.” Ren is just boring. The fairy who follows her, Leen, is just a tsundere. Gou’s many identical older sisters are just vaguely ambitious strong women. And there aren’t any compelling characters to be found. There aren’t even any with vague shticks that are funny once.
Like many poor excuses for comedies, Yousei Hime Ren tries to make up for its lack of quality comedic content by having overblown fan service. Quite literally every major female character in this is shown nude at some point. Both fairies, Gou’s older sister (they all look alike so the specific one doesn’t matter) & Mari. So, if you really want some tacky fan-service, there you go. Aside from that, the art is pretty bad. It’s lazy, they have no good visual gags and there’s just nothing noteworthy about it.
Dangun did get some solid actors. They have Hisakawa Aya in this and Yamadera Kouichi. Both fine actors who have portrayed much better characters in anime like Sailor Moon or Cowboy Bebop. sadly, if you only heard them in this you would probably not get the impression that they’re good at what they do. You would probably get the impression that they’re kind of shit because the direction in this calls for everybody cranking up the volume, shouting out their words quickly and exaggerating like all hell. Because if you don’t have a headache from watching this, they’ve failed their purpose in making it. That’s right, this is actually a promotion to sell more aspirin. They just made it as loud and annoying as possible so you would need some. The music might be the best element of the entire work and it’s sub-par, at best.
Leen is tsundere for Ren, and snogs her at one point with no apparent provocation. Luckily for her, Ren doesn’t seem to mind and will not be filing charges.
Honestly, it doesn’t surprise me that this OVA didn’t get enough of a positive response for them to put out a third episode. It’s loud, obnoxious, painfully unfunny and just a bad experience. It may not be the worst comedy of all time, but it’s down there in the excrement. I give it a 2/10. Next week Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san. Which, realistically, will almost certainly be better than this. Not that that’s a high bar to surpass.