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Steel Angel Kurumi S1
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 09/23/2002

Synopsis:
When 11-year old Nakahito gets coerced into exploring a mysterious old house, he never expected that he'd end up kissing a beautiful and shapely android (or "Steel Angel" in this case) named Kurumi. Kurumi is activated by the kiss, which makes her recognize no one but Nakahito as her master -- much to her creator Dr. Ayanokouji's dismay. When the Imperial army comes barging in however, Kurumi defends Nakahito with an awesome display of power. Thus Nakahito, Kurumi, and the good doctor are forced to seek refuge in the shrine where Nakahito and his older brother Kamihito live. But why is the army after Kurumi and Dr. Ayanokouji in the first place? And what's going to happen when they start sending out other Steel Angels to deal with Kurumi?

Review:
Set in the 1920's, Steel Angel Kurumi is an amusing and emotionally driven series that follows the adventures of a young boy and his android.

Steel Angel Kurumi opens with a scene where some bullies force a young boy named Nakahito to go into a mysterious old house's basement. It is said that a mad doctor who experiments on young girls resides there. Nakahito indeed finds a beautiful girl there, but it would seem as if she is sound asleep. A sudden jolt pushes her towards Nakahito, and their lips meet. The girl awakens, and introduces herself as Kurumi. From then on Kurumi addresses Nakahito as "Master", obeying only his words and following him wherever he goes. Before Kurumi's creator Dr. Ayanokouji can fully explain everything however, he is snatched away by the army... which in turn prompts Nakahito and Kurumi to set off on a journey in search of the truth.

Kurumi is not the only Steel Angel in this series however, because shortly after her awakening, the army dispatches Steel Angel Saki to take care of Kurumi... and after Saki there's Karinka. As fate would have it though, Saki and Karinka end up joining the group as Kurumi's younger sisters. You can actually see how chummy these three are in the OP sequence way before Saki and Karinka are even introduced. But the forces who want Kurumi eliminated will stop at nothing to realize their goal, and so Kurumi and company must waste no time in getting to the bottom of things.

The art and animation are nothing short of superb. Character designs are very attractive, especially where the steel angels are concerned. I couldn't get over how incredibly vivid and crystal clear each scene was. There's quite a bit of fan service in the form of boob shots, and some naughty scenes such as Kurumi squishing Nakahito between her big and bouncy breasts. Slight homosexual undertones (specifically lesbian themes) can also be seen throughout. Another thing worth mentioning would be the opening theme song which is very, very cute and catchy.

For all its charm and visual splendor, Steel Angel Kurumi isn't without its imperfections. First of all, I really couldn't get into the whole romance angle between the prepubescent little Nakahito (in his quaint kiddie shorts and suspenders I might add) and the voluptuous Kurumi. It doesn't help that this uh, love of theirs is ultimately what the show is about. Secondly, I felt that the main plot twist was anti-climactic. Given, everyone wants to either harness or destroy Kurumi. But when I finally found out the reason why, I couldn't help but feel everything was overly contrived. I wasn't too satisfied with the series' rather predictable fairy tale conclusion either.

Steel Angel Kurumi is undoubtedly an entertaining series. It's cute, funny, and even kind of sweet. Since the episodes are shorter than usual, pacing is brisk and dynamic. Recommended, despite being a tad too mushy for my taste.

Miscellanies:
The series spans 24 15-minute long episodes.

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Steel Angel Kurumi S1
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Review Title:
Steel Angel Kurumi S1
Type:
TV
Episodes:
24
Duration:
360 Minutes
General Rating:
4 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1999-2000
Suitable For:
Young Adults
Genres:
Adventure, Comedy, Drama,
Mecha, Romance
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