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Saber Marionette J Again
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 03/16/2004

With Faust's change of heart and the revival of the human female through Lorelei, everything is just perfect on Terra II. Otaru and his marionettes are residing peacefully in Japoness... until Faust's saber dolls appear on their doorstep. It seems that due to the way they were brought up, the saber dolls can't cope very well with normal life. They can't control their strength nor can they perform domestic chores such as cooking or cleaning. Faust puts the saber dolls under Otaru's charge for "live-in etiquette training", much to the shock of Lime, Cherry, and Bloodberry. However, that is actually the least of their problems. A new marionette with a maiden circuit awakens, and she somehow ends up with Otaru and the gang as well. The problem is, for some reason President Joy of New Texas wants this marionette terminated... and he'll do everything in his power to do so, even if it means endangering Japoness.
It's no secret that sequels are usually bad. Even so, I started watching Saber Marionette J Again with a very open mind, not expecting anything positive or negative.
In some aspects, I actually found Saber Marionette J Again to be a lot more fun than its predecessor. Pacing was snappy and it was a real treat watching the saber marionettes and the saber dolls try to co-exist under one roof, all trying to learn everything they can -- from household chores to seducing human males. Otaru becomes the subject of experimentation for the saber dolls. They deduced that since he's a human male like their Lord Faust, whatever success they have with him would also surely be achieved with Faust. The series evolves into a racy Tenchi Muyo-esque comedy -- putting Otaru in Tenchi's shoes, albeit I found the characters in this series to be generally a lot more likeable than the Tenchi cast.
Marine is the new addition to the marionette ensemble. She too is equipped with the maiden circuit, but unlike the rest, she has three maiden circuits instead of just one. This turns her into a living time bomb, since a single marionette body could never accommodate the power and intensity of three fully matured circuits. A greater purpose for Marine's existence is haphazardly thrown in, as if not to let her impending doom go to waste. She's suddenly the key to saving Terra II from an impending global disaster. I don't really mind the obviously contrived effort to try and give the series a definite direction, but had they stuck to the overall comedic theme it would probably have worked very well.
Saber Marionette J Again's art and animation show a vast improvement over the original series. Character designs remain more or less the same, but everything is rendered so much more vibrantly this time around. Each scene was just so strikingly clear and richly colored. The English dubbing is still decent, but I could never pass up the star-studded original Japanese cast. Everyone pretty much reprises their roles (Megumi Hayashibara, Koyasu Takehito, Hikaru Midorikawa, etc.), with the exception of Kikuko Inoue who played Panther in Saber Marionette J. In this installment, seiyuu Emi Shinohara (also Sailorjupiter in Sailormoon) takes over Panther's role.
While some may find Saber Marionette J Again to be rather predictable and overly risqué, it's just too amusing and laugh-out-loud funny not to enjoy. It was very refreshing to see all the marionettes reveal more of their personalities and quirks as opposed to just watching them fight all the time. Needless to say, you really shouldn't be watching this if you have not yet seen Saber Marionette J since this is the epilogue the shows us what happens to characters we're supposed to already know after all is well in the world again.
Saber Marionette J Again is comprised of 6 episodes. The Ultimate Collection DVD set contains three complete series, namely Saber Marionette J, Saber Marionette J Again, and Saber Marionette J to X.

Saber Marionette J Again
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Review Title:
Saber Marionette J Again
Alternative Titles:
Mata Mata Saber Marionette J
180 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Suitable For:
Action, Comedy, Romance,
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