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[ a parent's guide to anime ]

[ rated pg ] Saber Marionette J

A Parent's Guide to Anime
Rated: PG
Parental Guidance Advised

Review by Daniel Enss

Although not always evident, this story takes place in the future on the planet Terra 2 where there are no women. When the colonizers first arrived, an accident happened leaving only six males, who then used genetic manipulation to create a population of clones to colonize Terra 2. This story takes place three hundred years after this accident. On Terra 2 they have built robots that are made to look like women, called marionettes. These marionettes only look like women though; they behave like mindless robots. This series is the story of one young man on Terra 2 named Otaru who stumbles upon three marionettes that are far different than any others. These three marionettes, named Lime, Cherry and Bloodberry, behave just like people. The series is about the love for each other that Otaru and the three marionettes develop, and about a mission that was begun three hundred years ago to revive women on Terra 2. The show for the most part is a comedy with some fast paced action throughout. Later on, as you get into the story, the plot becomes more complex and in the last eight or so episodes, there is less and less comedy and more and more drama with the characters. More than anything else, this show is about the power of love and has an extremely sad ending.

Parent's Guide Rating:

Yellow (parental guidance suggested)

There are often battles, but there is almost no blood whatsoever and is somewhat cartoonish, with a lot of big explosions. There is not a lot of death in the show, as most of the combat is with marionettes who simply explode, but there is a small amount of blood, and near the end of the series, the marionettes are faced with the death of loved ones several times, but they are always "not quite dead yet" or come back. Don't worry, no grisly corpses rising from the ground or anything. (I'd tell you what happens but I'd hate to spoil the show for you). There is an occasional swear word uttered by Otaru but it does not happen often. There is no nudity, but there are scenes throughout the series where one or more of the three marionettes is trying to garner more of Otaru's attention and Bloodberry has a habit of using her breasts (covered, but sometimes only barely) to do this. Another problem that some parents might have is the character of Hanagata. As the show progresses, it becomes more and more evident that Hanagata is homosexual, as he is also contesting with the three marionettes for Otaru's affection.

The series can raise some very interesting questions, on various issues like the essence of humanity, happiness, or love. In the second episode, Lime asks Otaru (much like a child would ask a parent) what the difference is between machines and people. The problem is that she is a machine, and yet experiences love, joy and anger. What is the essence of humanity, and why can't a machine be human? Otaru doesn't answer the question, he has no idea how to. This question is raised again later in the episode, though not so blatantly.

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