Bakuretsu Hunters OVA: Back to the Beginning

Way back when I started, before I knew what the hell I was doing, I reviewed a Xebec series called Bakuretsu Hunters. I basically said it was bland, generic fare with great acting and music, weak characters and an over-abundance of fan-service. Well, I’ve come a long way since that review and that series had an OVA. So, we’re looking at that today.

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Story:

Each of the three episodes deals with something different. In the first, our protagonists find themselves at a hot spring where Carrot is determined to have a night visit with anyone except Tira or Chocolate. Meanwhile, a young boy we’ve never seen before but the characters know named Potee is also looking for a visit and Chocolate plans to sneak into Carrot’s room.

The second deals with them hunting a sorcerer who’s turned a town into zombies so he can have a really shit rom-com about a zombie protagonist. That’s right, he wants to make Kore wa Zombie desu ka. That evil bastard. Actually, he just wants the necronomicon to increase his powers. Which is why Big Momma is sending her hunters out to stop him.

The final episode deals with the group going back to their home town to visit a magic tree during a festival. Naturally, Carrot wants to use the romantic legend surrounding the tree to hit on any girl who isn’t Tira or Chocolate.

The first major problem with this is the focus on comedy. In the series proper there was more of a balance between the generic plot and the comedic scenes, which made them somewhat tolerable, but in this the comedy is pervasive and shite. It’s mostly based around Carrot being a crazy pervert who gets whipped by Tira and Chocolate as comeuppance. There are also “jokes” about Gateau and his sister, Eclair, doing macho poses in their undergarments. Because showing off your muscles is a proud Mocha family tradition going back generations. They may or may not be related to the Armstrongs. There’s also the predatory bisexual guy in the second episode who hits on everyone in the group. Why does bad media never have a bisexual character who just acts like a normal person? They’re always over-sexed. Then again, this is Bakuretsu Hunters where that can describe a whole slew of characters.

There’s also the love triangle to talk about. There’s this stupid thing in the franchise where both Tira and Chocolate have things for Carrot, in spite of him having no redeeming qualities, and he chases after every girl he meets except the two of them. That continues in the OVA and it’s still dumb. We also meet Daughter’s boyfriend and the series treats them as this overly mushy, romantic pairing while also having her say literally the least romantic thing possible to him. “Let’s make a child.” Just, yuck. You’d be less gross telling your significant other “I have severe constipation from that cheese pizza” or just reciting the lyrics to Ninja Sex Party’s Romance Novel. 

About the best I can say is that it can be cathartic to see Carrot suffer. It falls short most of the time, but there are a few cases where it works.

Characters:

It’s pretty similar to the main series. Carrot is trash. Gateau, Marron, Chocolate & Tira are boring. The OVA also adds Potee & Jii. They’re awful, like a child and old man Carrot. We also see Carrot’s dad, who is pretty much just like him in the minute and a half we have with him. They also add the predatory bisexual, Millefeuille, Potee’s mum, Salad & Gateau’s sister, Eclair. None of which are interesting in the slightest.

Art:

The biggest issue is still the fan-service and it’s even worse in the OVA. Tira and Chocolate don’t just strip into glorified swimwear in this. Tira goes into bondage gear while Chocolate goes into tiny string straps that only cover her nipples and even then it’s barely. Surely, the most protective outfits to wear when you’re going into battle. There’s also a lot of nudity in the hot springs episode. Aside from that,the backgrounds are fine and the action sequences are functional enough.

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Sound: 

The acting is really strong. Xebec got a lot of people who were way too good for this script including Hayashibara Megumi, Madono Mitsuaki, & Mizutani Yuuko. The music is, by far, the best part of the OVA. The theme tunes for this are legitimately really good. Kawai Kenji deserves credit for the composition. Hayashibara Megumi & Mizutani Yuuko deserve a lot of credit for the performances.

Ho-yay: 

There’s a bit. Unfortunately, it’s all gay jokes. In the night encounters episode, Chocolate accidentally glomps Salad in the dark and Salad seems okay with the situation. There are also some gay jokes about Potee and Jii. Of course, there’s also Millefeuille hitting on Carrot and saying he’s also interested in both Marron & Gateau. Which Gateau seems completely okay with.

Areas of Improvement:

  1. Zany humour based off of strong comedic interactions. I think it could work if the characters had strong comedic quirks instead of being largely boring.
  2. Characters who are properly dressed for the weather. Because the fan-servicey outfits are just crass.
  3. Build up your characters. Characters need to have one of two things to work. Depth, or strong comedic quirks that play well off of each other. This franchise has neither. Given that the main series proper was a bit more story driven with attempts at comedic elements throughout, I’d be inclined to say it needs characters with depth who also have quirks that tie into their personalities.

Final Thoughts:

This OVA is pretty bad. It takes everything wrong with the main series and leans heavily into it while ignoring the story elements that had any promise to them. So, I’m giving it a 3/10.

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