Mezzo DSA (2004) Review

Synopsis

The Danger Service Agency will do almost any job no matter the risks if the pay is right. It’s not all glitz and glamour, however, Kurokawa, Mikura, and Harada have had a hard time keeping the lights on, and lately, it seems that someone wants to put the DSA out of business permanently.

Review

Mezzo follows some of the more exciting business endeavors of the DSA, and is a series based almost entirely on action, comedy, and a little bit of fan service. There is quite a bit of variety in the episodes, with missions dealing with everything from extraterrestrials to mummies, both of which seemed a bit awkward and contrived, but that’s not the point.

There isn’t really any cohesive storyline, although there are some small details of treacherous dealings mentioned along the way. These details come into play in the last two episodes to form a very short conclusive arc that ties up most of the loose ends. Personality is something the show has a lot of, from its cast of characters to the Jet Set Radio meets NYPD Blue setting.

The characters are a lot of fun, and though none of them are very deep, you do grow to feel concerned about them, if not attached.

Mikura is the street smart muscle of the team, despite her cute appearance, and her mouth is as fast as her reflexes. She has some delightful dialogue with Kurokawa, the noodle-loving ex-detective leader of the group.

Asame is the irresistibly cute protog of Mikura, who finds a second family in the DSA.

Harada is somewhat under-appreciated in the series, although he’s a likable character. His specialty is making androids, but unfortunately, that aspect is never really utilized in the show. I was also disappointed that the apparent feelings Harada has for Mikura were never explored.

Although not the characters are not the most profound, there are probably at least three episodes that delve into each character’s respective past, which is respectable for such a short series.

Despite the emphasis on action, the series doesn’t contain non-stop action – just almost non-stop action. The first two and last two episodes contain the most, with the rest simply making do with a swift kick to the head by Mikura, for the most part. The action sequences that are present are very well done, with smooth animation and creative, believable choreography. Mikura really has some brilliant martial arts skills, so it’s a shame that they aren’t displayed a bit more.

The soundtrack is peppy, and though it’s not a personal favorite, the upbeat rock elements really accentuate the energetic nature of the show.

The animation is really respectable too, for a series. Although in some episodes, the characters? faces appear somewhat askew, the overall quality is high and the action sequences flow smoothly. The setting and character designs are also very distinctive, with the apparel, environments, and decor all reminiscent of a themed nightclub.

There is a good bit of comedy, in various forms. The running gag about Kurokawa’s noodle obsession was humorous, but it did grow a bit tiring by the end. Mikura’s constant teasing of pops was usually funny, with comments usually centering on his receding hairline or age.

Unfortunately, there is also a significant amount of objectionable content, despite its light-hearted feel. The language is not gratuitous but is far from necessary. In addition, there is some brief nudity and innuendo.

I do like their car, though…

Conclusion

For those wanting an entertaining romp full of action and comedy, this is a respectable series with movie-quality animation. It’s a shame that it has such an abrupt finale since the likable characters weren’t given adequate time to develop. Still, for what it is, Mezzo delivers fast-paced action with dynamic characters and a unique setting.

  • Audio: Nice energetic rock/pop sound & good voiceovers
  • Video: Near movie-quality animation (most of the time)
  • Plot: Served on a need-to-know basis
  • Style: Unique future-punk setting (bright colors)
  • Characters: Funny, likeable cast – not fully explored
  • Violence: Moderate to High (blood)
  • Language: More than necessary, but not gratuitous
  • Nudity: Mild (suggestive attire)
  • Genre: Action
  • Episodes: 13
  • Rating: 2.5 of 5

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