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Psychic Wars

Bennett The Sage - Anime Abandon Episode -01 Psychic Wars

Date Aired
April 14th, 2011
Running Time
13:18
Next review
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Psychic Wars is the premiere episode of Anime Abandon, hosted by Bennett the Sage. After collaborative anime reviews with The Spoony One in Space Thunder Kids and Garzey's Wing, Bennett starts the bi-weekly Anime Abandon series with this episode. The episode was posted to That Guy With The Glasses on April 14th, 2011, and was posted to YouTube on May 13th of that same year.

Episode TranscriptEdit

(Anime Abandon Opening)

Sage: I find it harder and harder to call myself an anime fan nowadays. Not because of any kind of fear of being stigmatized or being associated with weird, creepy pervos that really should be on some kind of FBI watch list, but because…I don’t care about current anime. Like, at all.

(Speaking of weird, creepy pervs, we cut to a scene of the infamous Strike Witches)

Sage (VO): Yeah, I know it’s closed-minded of me to dismiss an entire genre simply because it’s new, but I look at the anime of today and it just seems wrong to me. I’m not just talking about the sickening overabundance of shows centered around little girls, or the fangirl-baiting schlock. I’m talking about the entirety of it. It simply isn’t the anime I grew up with. You wanna know what I grew up with?

(Cut to the opening sequence of Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory. That’s more like it.)

Sage (Recoils in his chair): Ooh! Oh, man! A man could die from so much ‘80s!

(Cut back to the footage from Gundam 0083.)

Sage (VO): Truth be told, Gundam 0083 was before my time, but I caught this on Adult Swim way back in the early 2000’s, and it changed my life forever. That single programming block turned me into the person that I am today. Bebop. Outlaw Star. Yu Yu Hakusho. Pilot Candidate, to a lesser extent. These are the shows that got me hungry for more anime, and led me to buying an embarrassing amount of DVDs, which were mostly repackaged OVA’s from the late ‘80s and early ‘90s. In my mind, this was the pinnacle that anime achieved, and it will never be this good again.

Sage: Even all the horrible stuff that I’ve bought over the years, I’ve still got a special place in my heart for them. And that’s what I hope to do with this series: cast some observational light on the anime that I bought and see how anime evolved into what it is today. Now, you might be asking yourself what this has to do with today’s anime, Psychic Wars. Well…(sighs) when it came right down to it I was either going to give you my history of the genre and help explain my context and viewpoints of it, or I was going to look at the DVD box with a look of utter shock and scream, “What the hell am I holding?”

(Sage pauses and looks over to his right hand. It looks like this series is going to be the latter.)

Sage: What the hell am I holding?!

(Cut to the footage of Psychic Wars.)

Sage (VO): When I first saw this, I honestly thought this was a cut-and-paste job, just like Space Thunder Kids. But no! This is presented exactly as intended! Watching Psychic Wars is like having your best friend sit you down and force you to watch some stupid show he’s found…but he keeps fast-forwarding to all the action scenes!

Sage: To give you an idea of the kind of editing we’re working with here, I’m going to let the show play uninterrupted for 30 seconds. Just…30.

(We cut to an operating room where a bespectacled doctor is ostensibly operating.)

Doctor: Swab.

(Almost as soon as the doctor’s forehead is swabbed, we jump cut to an old woman consulting with him.)

Woman: There is a cancer growing within me. It will be unlike any you have encountered before. You must remove it.

(Cut back to the operation, and suddenly, green blood spurts out of the old woman, accompanied by a guttural growl.)

Doctor: What the hell is this thing?!

(The hits keep coming as the show then cross-fades into a panning shot of Tokyo, I assume.)

Sage (VO): See what I mean? The editing is so choppy that the plot is near incomprehensible!

Sage: Although, this is the perfect chance to flex your imagination and make up your own plot…which I’ve already taken the liberty of doing!

(Cut back to the film, with Sage narrating like a promo narrator.)

Sage (VO): Psychic Wars is the epic tale of one doctor’s triumph over adversity and…also Don Johnson blazers! Armed with nothing but his medical knowledge and a wicked uppercut…and a falchion, he chops down all those who dare oppose the rule of his beloved Queen Venomsnatch! But trouble brews as the queen’s kingdom is threatened by the Blue Meanie from Yellow Submarine! Can Doctor Wide Body defend his Lady Venomsnatch’s honor from the invading horde? Does your mama’s twat smell like the inside of an old shoe?

(Cut back to Sage, a little disappointed that his idea doesn’t fit the show too well.)

Sage: All right, yeah, that’s not what happens, but come on, who wouldn’t wanna see that? We can have Robert Rodriguez to produce and we’ll have it out flat in a month!

Sage (VO, giving a short, exasperated sigh): Well, review the movie you have, not the movie you want. This is Ukiyo Retsu, a talented surgeon who is contacted by a mysterious old woman, to remove a cancer that has attacked her body. No questions asked, or at least, if there were, the OVA didn’t show it.

Woman: There is a cancer growing within me. It will be unlike any you have encountered before. You must remove it.

(Cut back to Sage, trying desperately to think.)

Sage: Is this some kind of weird universe where doctors hand out surgeries like they were religious pamphlets? What the hell is the old bag paying the doctor with, candy apples?

Sage (VO): I’m sorry, I know I’m dwelling, but for some reason a show about a doctor slaying big, blue demons with a four-foot sword doesn’t bother me. But an HMO-covered surgery? I call bullshit.

(Cut back to the operation, and it’s déjà vu. Green blood spurts out of the old woman.)

Doctor: What the hell is this thing?!

Sage: Yeah, that’s pretty bad, but I’ve heard worse things said during a doctor’s appointment.

(Cut to some homemade animation Sage is in a doctor’s office as the doctor snaps on his rubber gloves.)

Doctor: Now, I assure you, Mr. White, this is just a precautionary procedure. The best way to prevent prostate cancer is (starts trailing off)…to detect it…early.

(Cut to a pink-tinged shot of Sage’s backside accompanied by “My Heart Will Go On.” Cut to the astonished look on the Doctor’s face.)

Doctor: Magnificent…

(Cut back to the film.)

Sage (VO): If it wasn’t made obvious before, this show leaves no breathing room before it frantically shifts gears and jars the viewer with a completely different and disjointed scene. In the span of four minutes, Ukiyo surgically removes the old woman’s cancer, goes on a late-night country drive for no reason, finds an old shrine with a golden statue, becomes the Chosen One, and places second in Japan’s Asian Hank Hill impersonator contest. (A picture of Hank Hill from King of the Hill is shopped over Ukiyo’s head, and we cut back to Sage)

Sage: Well…to be fair…this is just a product of its time. I mean, OVA’s during the ‘90s weren’t exactly known for their top-tier stories and otaku had to be grateful for whatever they got their hands on. I mean, you have to be pretty lenient back in…(Sage looks at the DVD cover and drops his hand from the revelation) 2002.

(Cut to a list Sage made, entitled, “A Short list of Anime licensed and released in 2002 that are infinitely better than Psychic Wars." The anime shown are Berserk, Excel Saga, FLCL, Osamu Tezuka’s Metropolis, and La Blue Girl Returns with the subtitle, “Yes, porn is better than Psychic Wars.” Cut back to the film and Sage’s voiceover.)

Sage: This is just baffling to me. Why in the world would any company spend the thousands of dollars on licensing, translating, dubbing, advertising, and distributing…for this?

(Cut to a scene with another blue monster flying over Retsu. The monster is quickly undone by an uppercut right to his nads.)

Sage (VO): You’ve probably begun to notice that I’ve been jumping around the show for this video. Well…it’s because there really isn’t much of a story at all. Even disregarding the choppy editing, the show never goes beyond “Ukiyo punches demon that appears for no reason!” Hell, the most creative the show ever gets is when Ukiyo ditches his fists for a gigantic sword he finds in the past. Oh…yeah the show features time travel too because why the fuck not?

Sage: I’ll admit I’m being very unfair to Psychic Wars, but what do you expect me to say when they have a steroid freak doctor punch an evil Staryu in the face?!

(That scene does indeed happen. Said Staryu is basically what one would get if you dipped a Staryu in the vat of chemicals that yielded The Joker. As we take a second look at this scene, Sage is giggling.)

Sage: Hehe. A-a-actually, I’m not gonna lie, that was kind of awesome. Although, what a way to spoil such an awesome display of badassery. Couldn’t they hold onto that scene a little bit longer? You know, let us savor the moment? That’s another thing this show gets completely wrong: whenever it manages to have a cheesy and glorious scene of ultraviolence, it immediately spoils the mood.

(Cut to a scene of stuff burning that sort of looks like the Terminator 2 opening credits. The Terminator 2 homage continues as a demon has his skin blow off leaving only the skeleton behind. Ukiyo simply gives the badass walk, but then collapses to his knees as a woman—ostensibly his girlfriend/wife—runs towards him.)

Ukiyo: Fuyuko…

Sage (VO): Oh yeah, because when you just come back from disintegrating a motherfucking demon in the flames of a spilled oil truck, you immediately wanna follow it up with obnoxious ‘80s synth and unappealing blue sex.

(Cut to Sage cringing at the statement he just made…or is it the music?)

Sage: Ewww!!! It sounds like Vangelist if he grew a vagina!

(Yup, it was the music. Cut back to the film.)

Sage (VO): Hell, even when the show can get its shit together and put on some decent demon-killing action, they still find another way to spoil everything!

(Cut to…the Thunderdome, apparently, as we see a demon with a purple cylinder of light, addressing a horde of demons before Ukiyo shows up, intending to wreck more demonic shit.)

Ukiyo: Hold it!

(The Blue Meanie turns towards Ukiyo, giving a guttural growl.)

Ukiyo: Sorry, but I can’t let you go into the future!

(A random explosion behind Ukiyo accentuates the line, but Sage is not impressed.)

Sage: Ah, please. Just saying that you’re gonna stop them isn’t a one-liner! It certainly isn’t awesome enough to warrant a background explosion! Can you imagine how lame Schwarzenegger movies would be if he had to use lines like that?

(Cut to more guest animation. Metal music plays in the background while masked soldiers are guarding something. Arnold busts through the door and speaks.)

Arnold: You bad guys are going down! Because I have big guns! And I will shoot you with them!! AND YOU WILL BE DEAD!!

(One of the soldiers raises his eyebrow, but Arnold makes good on his promise, dual-wielding handguns.)

Arnold: NYAAAARRAHHAHRRRAHHAHHHAAAAAHHHH!!!!

(Cut back to the film.)

Sage (VO): I think what galls me the most about this show is that despite having a completely illegible plot, it still tries to cling onto its partial-birth abortion of a narrative. So, Ukiyo basically kills every demon in the past to prevent them from coming to the future to destroy humanity—which is stupid because they could just stay in the past and keep on killing the cavemen like they were ALREADY doing—but then he finds out that there’s still the Demon Queen to take care of. And it turns out the Queen of the Demons…is Ukiyo’s shoehorned love interest, Fuyuko.

Fuyuko: And there is still a further tragic twist to this tale…

(Cut to Sage, who has clearly been worn down by this anime. He can’t muster up any enthusiasm for this and speaks in a monotone.)

Sage: Oh please. Do tell. (Throws up his hands in frustration.)

Fuyuko: Foolishly, and despite myself, I fell in love with you.

Ukiyo: There’s no way! Everything you ever told me was a lie, so don’t expect me to believe you now! You forget: I’ve seen the demons murdering the Jumon people with my own eyes, whatever you say can’t change my mind! I know you’re a liar!

Fuyuko: Very well. You give me no choice.

(Fuyuko begins her transformation, but a face keeps us from seeing the transforming lady’s breasts. Fuyuko turns into a pale demon with red hair.)

Fuyuko: I will destroy you, and then I will destroy the entire human race!

Sage: (Sharp, dismissive exhale) Women. Always turning into demon queens intent on ruining everything. Am I right, fellas? Can I get a wut-wut? (Raises hand for a high-five, but is left hanging, as there is nobody in the room. We faintly hear something off-camera, though…)

Disembodied voice: Wut-wut?

(Cut back to the film and the final battle between Ukiyo and Fuyuko)

Sage (VO): Well…as much as I bash the show, I’ll admit the final battle has its moments, culminating in a pretty brutal death scene for the queen.

(Ukiyo leaps into the air and stabs the demon Fuyuko through the forehead. This reminds Sage of something…)

Sage: OOOOHHHHH!!! Right between the eyes!!

Sage (VO): You just got Ganondorf’d, bitch!

(Cut to the finishing blow Link gives Ganondorf in The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker, and then back to the epilogue.)

Sage (VO): But God help me, this show couldn’t leave well enough alone, because they once again ruin one of the few kickass moments they have…for more schmaltz. And for the final insult, we’re played out with what sounds like a drunken Japanese karaoke version of a Peter Cetera song.

(Cut to the credits, and said song drones on, but thankfully, it’s brief. Cut back to Sage for his conclusion.)

Sage: So…yeah. Psychic Wars. Can’t say I was expecting much, yet I’m still disappointed. (Sage angrily tosses the DVD off-camera) But as I said at the beginning of this video, this isn’t just about the bad anime. There’s a light at the end of this tunnel… a golden light.

(Sage holds up a DVD of the next episode’s subject, Golden Boy, and looks at it excitedly.)

Sage: ‘Til next time.

Footage and SoundEdit

-Psychic Wars

-Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory

-The Legend of Zelda: The Wind Waker

-The Gonk, by De Wolfe Music

-The Glory of Love, by Peter Cetera

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