With each successive episode of this show, I feel a greater need to recant any wish I made about seeing more adventures with Ed and Al after SACRED STARS OF MILOS. I’m getting a very clear picture of what stories in this world that haven’t been devised by Arakawa are like, and they’re… less than inspiring.
That’s not to say that BROTHERHOOD was necessarily a perfect show. Two of my biggest gripes against it concerned its rather slipshod vision of alternate European history and its wild mood swings - - and both of those issues surface again in this one-off introducing what might as well be anime’s answer to Catwoman.
For the former, there just isn’t that cohesive a feel to this Venice analog where the bumbling inspector from LUPIN III (basically) scurries around; but that really isn’t too bad...
For the latter, well… I often described BROTHERHOOD as being like “DUCK TALES does FAUST” because it’d tackle dark and heady philosophical issues, then punctuate it with silly histrionics that’d better fit a Saturday morning cartoon. This was more the case early on, where every time I tried to get into the show as an epic fantasy, somebody would go chibi and the peak-a-boo made me suddenly very self-aware that I was a grown man taking a children’s show too seriously.
BROTHERHOOD was eventually able to sort those kinks out. Because this version lacks the fabular direction that balanced out the kinks (we’re ten episodes in with no definite purpose yet), the kinks are all that’s left to focus on.
Look, this kernel of this plot is worthwhile - - Ed and Al learning a hard lesson about feminine wiles that nothing in their books could teach them. The gag of them showing up to each demolished site, and still being big rubes about this gal, is funny as well. But… it’s also kind of dumb. As in all the characters are acting dumb and all the surprises are dumb (this chick has super-powerful cleavage). As in, it's dumb enough to make me feel pretty silly for taking this show seriously enough to write a quick write-up like this.
And we can’t have that, can we?