The unusual premise of this OAV series (a deadly power struggle between teenage girls?), it's exotic title (which translates to something like "trouble-maker schoolgirl detective"), and the fact that it could be had for about 10 cents per minute of air-time hooked me (I'm talking about a 2004 sale of VHS tapes). The charachters have a sort of pleasant absurdity to them. Saki's trademark weapon is a weighted Yo-Yo which can cave your skull in. Sampei falls in love with Saki at first sight, though she initially wants nothing to do with him. In case there is any doubt just how evil the Mizuchi sisters are, drawings of venomous snakes are interspersed with their appearances. At least one of them actually seems to have the eyes of a snake, while another sometimes displays a glassy, soul-less stare. Each seems to exemplify a human flaw, namely greed, vanity and simple cruelty. Fights are fast-paced, exciting, and a bit outlandish as charachters leap to incredible heights in the air. The animation is pretty good, considering this OAV came out in 1991. SD employs what another reviewer described as the "Go Nagai style of anime/character design". Sometimes scenes end with a still drawing done in a different style than the animation. The plot achieved a nice balance between being simple and predictable and being unnecessarily complicated and confusing. Saki is a likeable character, who starts out just wanting to get the job done, but can't help making a couple of friends. When things get personal she tracks down the Mizuchi sisters one by one and deals with them. There's very little fanservice, just a brief shower scene in Volume 1. The story is unusual in that it has a female main character, yet sexuality has little or nothing to do with it. I may be wrong, but I don't recall Sampei ever striking a villain or kissing Saki; he has to settle for friendship, and it's clear that she is completely in command. What didn't I like? Though I can accept the notion of a Yo-Yo as a lethal weapon, seeing Saki use it to carve a path through literally dozens of opponents is going a bit far. Then again, maybe making this story believable wasn't exactly a high priority. Where else have you seen a High School that has become the home base of organized crime, involving extortion, mind-controlling drugs, and a helicopter gunship to boot? Be warned that certain scenes, near the end, might be considered disturbing--a man is impaled, and a brainwashed girl commits suicide--definitely not for kids! A number of ideas occurred to me during my most recent re-watch regarding small improvements which could have been made to the show. But the show in general was fun (otherwise I wouldn't have re-watched it in the first place), and I wonder why this premise hasn't gotten a more lengthy anime TV series. I would definitely watch it, if the quality was anywhere near that of this OVA.|
Last updated Friday, September 04 2015. Created Monday, April 14 2003.