Here’s another series I dismissed, with all too much prejudice, back when it was making its proper rounds in America. I assumed it was meant to be taken seriously and, with that assumption, a title like “HEAT GUY J” seemed utterly ridiculous. Were these guys aware of how silly it sounded? Well, a little time and experience now lets me see how that ridiculousness is exactly what this show's aiming for - - and I was thoroughly entertained by it for that.
A little snooping reveals that this is the brain-child of Kazuki Akane, the director of ESCAFLOWNE (one of my all-time favorite series), and it was animated by Satelight, a studio that’s produced a slew of projects which I now realize are united by their stupefying production value. Yeah, this episode sparked a slew of revelations, it did. So… I’m feeling even sillier, right now, for passing up the series.
(Still, in my defense, “HEAT GUY J” does sound like some hilariously mistranslated Engrish. And dated Engrish, at that).
Putting aside the superb, tremor-inducing animation, what I enjoyed so much about show was the way it managed to slab on a thick spread of totally gonzo sci-fi ideas whilst keeping an utterly flippant attitude about it. And this Dice guy’s really the perfect guy to lead that. Maybe it flies in the face of what I seem to be leading up to here, but I loved the quick complexity that’s established for him.
It’s like this cocky wunderkind has some real, tragic back-story and serious challenges he’s got to handle (with J’s help, of course) - - but he puts up this charming, blasé attitude for whenever he’s in the thick of things. I was half-expecting him to say, “Pssshh… Yeah, I’ve got a robot bodyguard. Big deal, right?” at some point.
I’d love to follow this deranged buddy cop story further, but there’s only so much time to watch all this damn anime. Supposing I don’t ever get to see the rest of this, would any of you lunatics care to break HEAT GUY J down for me, as whole? I can enjoy it vicariously through you!
Watch this episode, "Guy (City)” here and decide for yourself.