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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

License Line: I Want To Believe In Baka

What is License Line? Put simply, it's a bi-weekly feature on Nagareboshi Reviews in which yours truly posts about a certain anime/manga series that truly, desperately needs to be licensed and put on my shelves ASAP - from the obscure but well-deserving manga to the stream worthy but not yet DVD licensed anime.

Ladies and gentlemen, meet Prince Baka. Also known as the trolliest troll to ever troll humankind. He has come to Earth in the name of the greatest cause of all – to avoid responsibility! Despite being the greatest genius in the universe, this Prince has decided to spend his precious time on our planet in the name of some hardcore pranking of our native populace. So if you see a skinny blonde ponytailed guy with a baseball cup and big eyes lurking off in the distance, looking like he’s up to no good, you have just spotted the Dogurian race’s – and ours – biggest headache.

This Prince of pranks is the star of License Line’s latest license request as well as this blog’s newest favorite anime of recent seasons, Level E/レベルE. And quite frankly, the fact that you can’t buy Baka’s most excellent adventures in DVD or graphic novel format is an outright shame. Considering that both Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter – in both anime and manga form – have been licensed, isn’t it time that another of Togashi Yoshihiro’s works be brought to North American shores? I think so.

What is Level E? Only one of the most creatively humorous sci-fi shows that I’ve seen in the last couple of years, a shining example that such a serious genre that often go the comedy route with great success. You know, I could rehash my feelings on this wonderfully chaotic anime but I won’t bore you with a recap of my review of the Level E series tonight. But I will mention that it is based on a manga of the same name by manga-ka Togashi Yoshihiro, and at only three volumes it is a tight well-crafted read – not to mention any sort of major investment for those manga publishers squeamish about picking up an off-kilter science-fiction manga from 1995.

So what is it about Level E that begs for a license? I dunno – how about everything? It is bizarre yet charming, has a cast of characters as zany as the premise itself, and the music for it is just plain awesome. Seriously, try walking down the street when the opening theme pops up on your iPod without turning what was a normal walk into a Prince Baka-esque strut through town. This series fits in quite perfectly with Funimation’s line of similar series, and the manga would be right at home among its fellow manga-ka’s works over at Viz Media’s Shonen Jump imprint. You really can’t go wrong with more Prince Baka in your life.

If you want to find out for yourself, be sure to watch Level E currently streaming on Crunchyroll!