King of Bandit Jing is a
fantastic series. It has plenty of funky color, whacky irreverent plots,
engaging action scenes and fast paced story lines.
This series is simple
and inspiring on initial viewing, which given its PG rating, indicates kids
are the primary audience. However, there is enough humor and adult references
to keep parents or traditional Manga fans as happy watching this, as the kids
will be. A prime example of the adult humor is the relationship between the
main character Jing, (King of Bandits) and his side kick Kir, a talking bird.
Their main attack on foes is to throw a green power ball from Kir's throat
called "Kir Royale", an alcoholic drink for those who remember. Also Kir's
penchant for women is amusing to say the least, as clearly the humorous notion
of interspecies love would be lost on younger audiences.
This DVD has four
episodes on it, Capital of Thieves, The Ghost Ship of Blue Hawaii, The Adonis
Capital of Time Pt 1 and Pt 11.
Capital of Thieves is
the introductory story which establishes the relationship between Jing and Kir.
Jing is the unflappable, ever lovable, righteous, serenely intelligent young
boy, who is King of the Bandits. This a secret to the people Jing meets, which
he uses to his advantage at all times. The underlying motive behind this is so
Jing can get what he wants, help who he can on the way, and the still ride off
into the sunset as the honorable thief.
Kir, is a talking bird
with only one thing on his mind, human female attention. His purpose is comic
relief, companionship and the provision of the "Kir Royale". They wonder
through strange landscapes fighting evil, looking good, with a minimal of
overt violence and always coming off with goods.
The Ghost Ship of Blue
Hawaii tells the tale of a ghost ship haunting a sea side town and how Jing
and Kir overcome it. My favourite part of this DVD is when a Piggy Bank
monster is apparently killed and then regenerates as all coins in the area
flow into his body. His comment to Jing as he prepares to fight again is corny
but you have to laugh: "You'll witness my true power when I combine all of my
savings. And now I think you can pay me back what you owe me... with
interest!! To which Jing replies, "you're nothing but pocket change?.."
The final two series
deal with a town enslaved by the purported demon of time and how the people
are executed for the modest crime of being late.
This was actually a two
part series and displays for the first time a Jing that isn't on top of the
situation. Unsurprisingly, Jing prevails and he gets the booty he was chasing
A little quirk I picked
up was the inclusion of a crazed smiley face in each episode. If you are going
to look for it, it's on the front DVD cover in the middle of the clock.
As I stated earlier,
King of Bandit Jing is a fantastic series, one that is well worth your time
4:3 Frame ratio. King of Bandit Jing display clean vivid
colors, which get exponentially better the larger the viewing screen. It's the
sort of eye candy animation style that kids of all ages will thrive on. To
illustrate the point, at almost all times the main protagonists will keep
their colors, despite the environmental conditions. This is unashamedly
deliberate and works very very well.
English 5.1 with and without subtitles
Japanese 2.0 with English subtitles
The English translation was quite average, with a lot of voices doing what I
can only describe as "overacting". Also the translation wasn't checked quite
thoroughly with obvious mistakes. The worst being in the first episode where a
lizard-bird is referred to as him, when clearly it lays eggs and is called her
only a few sentences later. Watch the Japanese version otherwise you are doing
the DVD a disservice
Very cool cover, which may not sound like much, but a good
cover is hard to find, and ultimately if you don't know anything and are
browsing a good cover will catch your eye.
-Creditless openings and closing,
-Trailers- the previews for angelic layer, Chance pop
season, Nadesico series and the impressive looking Voices of a Distant Star.
-Production sketches- only a few sketches not worth looking
at -DVD credits