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Ontology on the gone!

The Journal of the Lincoln Heights Literary Society
Miscellanea and Ephemeron

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02/13/2005 Archived Entry: "Anime review: Flame of Recca, No. 2"

Flame of Recca, No. 2, Secrets of the Hokage
DVD - 100 minutes

Review by Tom Good

What goes through the minds of all the anonymous students in an anime story, the ones who are not shamen or ninja, and do not pilot mecha or channel dead Go masters or chum around with alien companions? Do they even notice how weird their school is? Or do they only read about it in the newspaper? In a funny scene in Flame of Recca, No. 2, the main characters are shocked to find a story in the local newspaper about the devastation caused by Recca's last battle. This joke works on many levels, and pokes fun at some of the "rules" of anime.

Other jokes in this story do not translate as well. For example, when Recca and his friends find out that another character's name is "Ganko" they crack up laughing. In the English version this seems very strange, as if they have suddenly gotten the giggles over nothing. But it is actually a pun, something along the lines of the English name "Ben Dover," because ganko also means "stubbornness."

Though this volume is subtitled Secrets of the Hokage, Recca does not yet learn many secrets of the Hokage ninja. Before he can get very far, powerful new enemies kidnap his "Princess" Yanagi. Recca has to face a sorcerer who uses the power of plants and can send root-like tendrils out from his body. Later he encounters a puppet master who can animate puppets and also take control of living humans. As with volume 1, the character designs are excellent, and give they story a lot of visual appeal.

The DVD contains episodes 5 through 8 of the show, and features both Japanese and English audio. I wish there were more extras than the few character sketches included here, but other than that, this is a solid anime.

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