Reviewed by: Azure
Released by: ADV Films UK
Age Rating: 12
Region: 2 - UK
Volume 1 of 3
Length: 100 minutes
English Dolby Digital 5.1
Japanese 5.1 Surround
Pirate King Bruce is dead, but his fortune is still right there for the taking. Trouble is it’s stashed on a planet named Graceland that’s set to be blown up by the government. The infamous criminal Mister escapes from jail days before he is set to be released so he can make it to Graceland before it’s too late.
Coyote Ragtime show follows on the heels of anime such as Cowboy Bebop and Trigun as a modern sci-fi Western. The combination of SF and Westerns is hardly new, after all the concept of Star Trek was loosely based on this idea. As with Bebop and Trigun though the idea is more overt. The first episode starts with an investigator named Angelica Burns who is trying to locate a notorious criminal known only as ‘Mister’. She is under the suspicion that he has been incarcerated under a pseudonym, and sets off to investigate. She soon realises she’s been tricked and her visit is all part of a plan by Mister to escape. Add a third party the strange twelve sisters, a group of gothic lolita androids and you have an explosive first episode.
The rest of the DVD focuses on Mister collecting faces from his past in order to crew his ship so that he can get to Graceland. Among his crew is Franca the daughter of the dead pirate king. Franca’s relationship to Mister is complicated, whilst she obviously looks up to him she also believes that he only looked after her because she has information regarding the location of the treasure. As is standard with this type of show there’s plenty of flashback action, with the best episode of the disk focused on the story of Pirate King Bruce’s greatest heist. So much so a small part of me wished that the anime was about Bruce, hopefully he’ll get more flashback scenes later.
The animation is pretty solid throughout, there’s plentiful use of CG but as if often the case with TV anime it just doesn’t quite sit right with the 2D drawings. The music is also of a constant standard, but apart from a energetic theme song nothing really stands out.
The extras on this DVD are light with the standard clean opening/closing and a production art gallery. The sound is top notch in both languages, the Western feel means that this anime is particularly dub friendly.
Coyote Ragtime show is a lot of fun, it unshakably squeezes in big Hollywood style set piece action sequences alongside traits unique to anime such as the android lolita. It’s probably inescapable that it will be compared to Bebop, but CRS is far lighter fair. Like many a Hollywood heist movie, Coyote Ragtime Show is very load, and a lot of fun.