Honoo no Labyrinth

Title:Honoo no Labyrinth
Labyrinth Of Flames
Keywords: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Notables: ASANO Ruri
CHIBA Susumu
IIZUKA Shouzou
NAKAE Shinji
R1 License - Central Park Media(Defunct)
Galan is a strangely troubled university student who is a big samurai fan, and when a fellow student, the lady Natsu gives him an ancient Japanese short sword as a gift, he can only geek-out with joy. And when the lady Natsu invites him to visit her hometown, a traditional Japanese village located in Russia, Galan can only answer yes. But what Galan has not yet been told is that his college lady-friend is a princess in the village and her gift is a betrothal heirloom.

Natsu is desperate to get out of an arranged marriage setup by her very perverted and oversexed father and she has set her eyes on Galan. But there are other problems that quickly overshadow these family concerns, when two thieves find out the real reason as to how an entire Japanese village moved to Russia and threaten to reveal a secret that has remained hidden for some three hundred years. It falls upon Galan to defend Natsu’s family and with the assistance of a cowgirl Interpol agent, the battle with the two sexy thieves begins.

2 OVA episodes (released in 2000)
Produced by Bandai Visual & Studio Fantasia

Licensed for R1 release by CP Media
Distributed by U.S. Manga Corps

1:11min English Language Trailer - ANN Video
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Rent Stretch [series:1225#628]
This is truly a laugh-out-loud show. As I watched the OP sequence I wondered if this was really a comedy as I'd heard, or if it was serious. Before long a joke involving a sidewalk puddle had me LOLing, and the humor never stopped from there. There is something fresh about the comedy; it's simple yet funny. Labyrinth of Flames is great at showing the last thing you'd expect to see--like the anemic maid Kasumi who has a surprising capability. Despite being a pretty nonsensical show, a skillfully written plot comes together which makes sense and in which each character plays an unexpected and amusing part. The animation is a little crude, but that's no big deal. There is a strange Russian element to it; it's not often that an anime production puts so much emphasis on the culture of another country. The title is in Cyrillic, and the ED song sounds like something you'd hear at the Moscow Opera House. And then there's the Indian dancer Erola--the letters "ero" in her name were no accident. Pantsu fanservice is constant, and made me cringe a little, but this was made by the same people as Agent Aika after all. All-in-all, a pleasant surprise! My only reservation is that I'm uncertain whether this brand of humor would work as well the second time around. I wonder why I hadn't heard of this one for so long...

My favorite line: "How bitter is my snot" --Galan

Last updated Monday, September 03 2007. Created Monday, September 03 2007.
Rent 9 9 9 9 7 7 AstroNerdBoy [series:1225#436]

I might have enjoyed this more had it not been for CPM's outrageously annoying subtitles! Egad! I cite this anime title as another case-study item in why Japanese honorifics should NEVER be force-translated and why domestication is bloody evil! Every attempt was made to turn this VERY Japanese title into something more American and is SUCKS! CPM should go out of business immediately if they can't do things right. But I digress...

The story itself is mildly interesting and somewhat entertaining. Natsu comes from a powerful family going back to the feudal era and is opposed to her arranged marriage to Datenoshin. For whatever reason, she's in love with Galan-kun, who very much wants to be a samurai and even has some skill, even if he does live in a fantasy world. Natsu's best friend is the ninja Kasumi, who seems to have more than a friendship/bodyguard interest in "Natsu-sama." However, her heart belongs to Datenoshin, whom she refers to lovingly as "Datenoshin-sama." When Natsu gives Galan a real samurai short sword as a present (and an engagement item), little did they know that there would be more to it than that.

Perversion is the name of the game for this OAV. Every excuse in the book is done to throw out excessive amounts of fan-service, mainly in panty shots, but also with a fair amount of cleavage shots. Surprisingly, there's not actual seen nudity in this OAV. In my opinion, this is the weakest part of the OAV. However, I suspect that much of the fan-service is done as a parody.

Speaking of parody, that's the 2nd name of this OAV. There's the parody of the samurai genre as well as the parody of shounen titles where the characters have supernatural abilities and attacks. The more of such titles you've seen, the more you'll appreciate that aspect of the humor. There's also the parody of the romantic comedy titles (and even romance titles) out there.

Bottom line: a decent parody OAV with too much fan-service. CPM's domestication of the Japanese script is very wrong, more so in light of how very Japanese this title is. Discounting that, I'd say this is worth a "rent" if you like wacky comedies or parodies.

Last updated Saturday, December 31 2005. Created Friday, December 30 2005.

Buy Forbin [series:1225#1573]
Drama : None
Comedy : High
Action : Med
SciFi : Low
Ecchi : Med

OMG I loved this so much! It was extremely funny even though it didn't make a SPIT of sense! I was watching at first thinking it was serious then after a few minutes realized this was a parody of many different Animes including Excel Saga and Those Who Hunt Elves.

I marked it a buy because it was extremely good for a parody.

Last updated Thursday, December 29 2005. Created Thursday, December 29 2005.
Rent Jan-Chan [series:1225#967]
What a very-perverse and absolutely-silly 60-minute story this is. This series is right up there with Usagichan De Cue in its very comedic and strange tale of adventure.

While the underlying story is sound, the characters are all just off the wall. Natsu decides to beat the truth out of her father, unaware that he really is into the S&M scene. And everything somehow manages to go playfully downhill from there ……

While this will never be a big-anime-hit, it is a very fun <rent> if you can find it. Central Park Media has put this title on their cheap release list and if you check the <rightstuf>, you can find the DVD for about $9, which might just be worth it ... but only if you are into this type of absurdest, escapist and very light hearted type of anime series.

I posted some pics of the first episode.

Last updated Tuesday, October 14 2008. Created Thursday, November 03 2005.

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