Tattoon Master

Title:Tattoon Master
Keywords: , , ,
Notables: Animation - AIC Spirits
KOUDA Mariko
R1 License - ADV (Renamed)
Hibio (or "Eric" in the dubbed version) is a teenage boy who has been embittered towards women in general as a result of his mother deserting him and his father. His mother, Masae, is an anthropologist who is fascinated by an obscure tribe which is supposed to possess awesome magical powers. Unfortunately, the tribe would prefer to keep this so-called "Monyo Power" a secret, and Masae gets caught snooping around. Luckily for her, High Priestess Nima ("Balla" in the dubbed version) is intrigued by a photo of Hibio, and a deal is struck: Masae will be spared in exchange for granting Nima permission to marry her son! Needless to say, Hibio has no idea that his marriage has been prearranged, and is taken completely by surprise when Nima shows up in his hometown, performs a brief ritual, and declares him to be her husband. Hibio suddenly finds himself with a de-facto wife who possesses the Monyo Power, and, as if this wasn't enough of a problem, it turns out that his High School class president, Fujimatsu, has been secretly in love with him as well. Fujimatsu ("Lisa") doesn't take kindly to this new rival for Hibio's affection--and she possesses a very dangerous skill of her own.

The second half of this hour-long OAV involves a man named Hydra who comes looking for Nima. He's out for revenge, because his brother was another unlucky anthropologist who he believes was killed by Nima. Hydra, however, has succeeded in learning some of the secrets of the Monyo Power.

2 Episode OVA. (each about 27min)
Animation by AIC.
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 8 7 9 Jan-Chan [series:551#967]
My mother visited a strange tribe of women, and all I got out of it was a wife. I was surprised to find out that this ADV release dates back that archaic age of VHS tapes, and it was never transferred over to a DVD format, so I had to make due with an English-only VHS release.

The main character, Eric is a sour angry teenager, who has basically sworn off of women because of how his parents relationship turned out. He smokes cigarettes, gets involved in fights, is always in a pissed-off mood, likes yelling at everyone, and does everything he can to hide his nice guy side. Eric is the type of person who can take a good day and make it a bad day for everyone without even giving it a second thought. His father is a twisted hippie type, with a voyeur fetish, (who posted images of Erics mother on the internet, which is why she left.) OK, does this sound weird enough? Now, into Erics life jumps Balla, a heart-of-gold blond bimbo priestess magic girl, who tells him that they are now married. Right!! There is another girl named Lisa who has a secret crush on Eric, and she decides to get possessive of him after Balla shows up. Well, Lisa is a very attractive homicidal archer kendo-gryl, who is about as damaged as Eric is. She and Balla get along together as say gasoline and fire .so the brawl for Erics heart starts, (and do you think that he really cares?)

A summary of one of the scenes in the series:

Balla is trying to impress upon Erich how much she cares about him and she has summoned a magic storm of wind in their apartment.
  • 1- Father "Eric, my stash has blown away!!
  • 2- Eric in reply "BLOW ME!!"
  • 3- Balla answers "OK!!"
  • 4- The scene changes to outside of the apt, the windows blow out, a cat howls, and someone yells "TURN DOWN THAT STEREO!!!"
This is one very fun (and very short) series filled with delighfully damaged and twisted people (but they are OH SO real, in fact they remind me of some of my friends and coworkers.) The characters are great! The story line is very interesting! And they stopped the series after two episodes (DERN)!!!! But it is still a very fun watch . I like this series.

Last updated Sunday, October 05 2008. Created Thursday, March 04 2004.
Buy 8 8 8 7 8 8 Stretch [series:551#628]
This is a show which has gotten a wide range of different ratings from reviewers, and I suppose I should warn you right off that I liked this OAV more than many others did. One website awarded TM a mere two stars, while another gave it two-and-a-half. In both cases, the critics felt the show didn't make sense because Nima would have to be a fool to devote herself to that jerk, Hibio, and Hibio would have to be a fool to reject a beautiful girl who falls unexpectedly into his lap. I tend to agree with yet another critic, who claims that Hibio's unusual personality is one of the best things about TM--where else has a guy with a distinct dislike for girls managed to attract a small "harem" of his own? Given that he has been deserted by his own Mother, it's hard to blame him for his attitude, and I never doubted that Hibio was good at heart. Though he won't recognize Nima as his wife, he won't stand back and let Hydra harm her either, and gets the crap beaten out of himself as a result. Another clever fight scene is the catfight that takes place when Nima and Fujimatsu come to blows--these are two determined and capable girls who don't expect to be rescued by anybody! I re-watched TM prior to writing this review, and was surprised at the way it left me feeling good at the end. It came across as a well contained hour's worth of entertainment. Though one critic found little humor in TM, my impression was that it was a good deal funnier than a number of disappointing Anime tapes I'd been watching recently--and these were programs that had gotten relatively high ratings from reviewers. I especially liked the scene where Hydra realises that he has misunderstood the fate of his missing brother--that came out of left field! One thing even the most negative reviewers of TM agree on is that the animation is well done, especially in the second half. Another thing everyone seems to agree on is that the subtitled version is infinitely preferable to the dubbed one.

I just rewatched Tattoon Master yet again, and I swear it just seems to get better every time! I noticed the effective use of flashbacks, and the skillful switching back and forth between events taking place at the same time in different places. For these reasons, and since a mere hour's worth of anime shouldn't bankrupt anybody, I've upgraded this show from "rent" to "buy".

Guess what--I've just watched TM again (sometimes having a short memory span really helps you get your money's worth out of your tapes and discs)! This show is still going strong. Having seen a good deal of new anime since my last viewing, I realise that the humor of TM is really quite clever in comparison. I was repeatedly laughing at all the "little jokes". Fujimatsu threatening to kill Nima is kind of hard to take seriously, but I think it's pretty clear that this show was never meant to be taken seriously! It really is a shame that more episodes weren't made... 9/05

In short, this show is an old favorite of mine which I rewatch every now and then. That's saying a lot, since the bulk of the stuff I watch is judged unworthy of a single reviewing--even the first one often seems a poor use of my time. Tattoon Master just has a charm to it which never dies.


Last updated Monday, May 17 2010. Created Friday, April 11 2003.

Community Anime Reviews

anime mikomi org