Ever have one of those experiences where you’ve read a book or watched a film and you can see all the parts that should make it good and enjoyable but for some reason you can’t put your finger on why it just doesn’t work for you? That is my current predicament with Disgaea (pronounced: Dis-Guy-Ah).
Based on, what sounds like, a really epic Tactical RPG, Disgaea follows a trio of characters, Flonne a angel in training who was sent to assassinate the demon King Krichevskoy but arrived to find his castle in flames (he was dead already she just didn’t know it), Laharl a demon prince son of King Krichevskoy and heir to the throne who has been asleep for a few years and is very eager to claim his rightful place on the throne and Laharl’s not so loyal vassal Etna and her squad of Prinnies (giant penguins that say Dood a lot).
The journey to reclaim the throne is treacherous filled with other contenders for the throne, Captain Gordon 37th defender of earth his assistant Jennifer and their Robby the robot clone Thursday interfering by trying to kill prince Laharl to prevent a supposed invasion by the demon realm upon the earth and Prinnies that want a nation of their own without demon’s to order them around. It’s told in a mainly episodic fashion with some minor linking between stories and the last few episodes tying up all the loose ends of the series in grand epic fashion.
If all this sounds good that’s because for the most part it is. It’s just been done before and better in other stories… except maybe the part with Captain Gordon. Captain Gordon is surely a parody of bad B movie plot lines and over the top acting and for that I must salute him. I knew from the cover art that Disgaea would be kid friendly anime which is generally not my bag. I’ve come to despise any anime show that could quite easily fit into the programming before school starts on channel ten. It’s a harsh stance I know and it’s wrong to hold up an anime because of one’s own prejudices.
Animation is fine for the most part, designs look excellent and budget isn’t a major problem. Although I have one complaint, I know the main characters are probably older than they appear but do they have to look like kids that are dressed like that!? Laharl saunters around in shorts and a cape bare chest for all to see and the female main characters don’t get much more cloth to cover their bits either. It just seems wrong, particularly in something that seems to be aimed at young children.
There is nothing horribly wrong with Disgaea apart from some strange costume design choices but what anime show doesn’t have strange costume choices. My problem is that it’s just not something that I personally see myself watching if it weren’t for review purposes and even then it took me over three months to actually completely watch and review it. A recommended audience for Disgaea would be for anime fans that want to introduce their children to anime with something simple, that has a good message in it’s telling and isn’t overly violent like a Naruto or a Dragon Ball Z.