- Master of Mosquiton (1996-1997: Radix and Zero-G) 6/6 eps.
Anime, especially OAVs, have a habit of appearing to be one thing and then in reality being something entirely different, such is the way with Mater of Mosquiton. If I told you that Inaho made a blood pact with a vampire named Mosquiton in order to attain immortality then I’m guessing you have a very specific, Bram Stoker inspired, idea of what that would look like. Let me tell you now that this show is nothing like that at all.
But before we get to what the show is really like let’s talk about who made this! There was a 4 volume manga that essentially came out concurrently with the OAV series but it is significantly different in terms of plot, with the later Mosquiton ‘99 being much closer to the manga. The manga was written by Satoru Akahori (Saber Marionette J) and Hirokshi Negishi (Judge and Tenchi Muyo). The art for the manga was done by Tsutomu Isomata and apparently this is the only thing he has done, making me suspect that this is a pseudonym although though I have no proof of that. The anime was directed by Yuusuke Yamamoto (Sgt. Frog, Knight’s & Magic, and Welcome to the NHK).
This an action-romance-comedy and Inaho, our main character, is an awful person. She is outrageously self-centred, treats everyone like a slave, is emotionally manipulative, and impulsively violent. I think we are supposed to like her but in reality she is such an awful human being that watching her isn’t all that fun. Her blood pact with Mosquiton essentially makes him (and his two familiars) her slaves as she scours the globe searching for the mysterious O-Part, which will grant her eternal beauty. This globetrotting adventure is actually quite fun despite Inaho. The whole show is set in the 1920s, a time anime doesn’t often cover, and includes a ton of famous figures such as Rasputin and Hubble. Sure, their inclusion makes for some ridiculous coincidences but it does work with the light hearted tone. It is actually quite comparable to the Brendan Fraser Mummy films now I think about it with that nice mix of light action and comedy. The comedy isn’t quite as good as the Mummy films though, as it falls into that “wacky anime comedy” style that I’m not a massive fan of. Outside of Inaho the other characters are alright. Mosquiton is a bit dull as he veers wildly between being a bit of a damp squib and being quite villainous in an over the top kind of way, basically every episode involves Mosquiton having to drink Inaho’s blood in order to fully power up and defeat a foe but this unlocks his full vampiric nature and makes him a bit evil until he is inevitably staked and the blood pact renewed. The two familiars are quite fun as they are sort of audience stand-ins who spout out pithy one liners and point out obvious courses of action. The baddies are so undercooked that they barely matter and at no point are really a threat, which is a shame because there are some great designs in there, but no design is going to matter when you have all of 3 minutes screen-time. Finally, there is another main character who appears mid-way through, but I won’t spoil who they are. All I’ll say is that they have by far the best character writing in the show with actual human motivations and thought processes, oh and Mosquiton is kind of awful for what he did to them.
The one thing that is great is the visuals. The art itself is super 90s and sadly a bit generic, however it is very well done on a technical level. The animation though is superb with a ton of really fluid motion that is directed in an incredibly dynamic manner. Top billing has to go to the aeroplane sequences as that is something we rarely see outside of Ghibli films and they were just so full of energy. Unfortunately, it is quite obvious that they felt they needed to boost sales as there is a noticeable uptick in fanservice part way through the series, which is incredibly distracting.
I do have one other issue with the show though: the central romance. Inaho is 17 and Mosquiton is hundreds of years old. In my country age of consent is 16 so at least Inaho is legal, sad that this has to be said when it comes to anime, but it is still a bit odd and creepy. There are definitely shades of Twilight (holy crap it has been over 10 years since that came out!?!?) in terms of how it makes me feel uncomfortable with the age dynamics there. I mean, Mosquiton is at the very least 300 years older than Inaho.
Despite sounding quite negative for the majority of this write-up I actually quite enjoyed this show. Sure, the main duo are kind of crap but all the other characters were a bit of fun and the plot, while utterly bizarre, allowed for a nice globe trotting adventure. The action was really exciting with great direction and animation that really injected some energy into them. I think my earlier comparison to The Mummy is apt because it isn’t a show I would recommend going and seeking out but rather if you are channel flicking it is a decent thing to end up watching. Of course the nature of anime, and especially OAVs like this, doesn’t really allow for channel surfing so that puts it in an odd spot. Maybe throw it on while your doing an afternoon of housework, the dub isn’t too shabby after all and the music decent.
Final score: 6C