Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|The Law of Ueki The Complete Series Box Set|
Actors: Kappei Yamaguchi, Romi Pak, Soichiro Hoshi, Cole Howard, Tomoko Kawakami
Genres: Action & Adventure, Comedy, Anime & Manga, Animation
Over 1200 minutes of crazy power battles!!The fate of the world rests on Ueki, an average junior high student. Average until he gains the power to change trash into trees. Granted to him by the enigmatic Mr K., Ueki?s stra... more »
A Massive Tournament Filled With Oddities
ONENEO | Buffalo, NY | 06/25/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Law of Ueki is but another title that would have been forever lost to the recesses of time with the demise of anime-giant Geneon. Fortunately Funimation has seen fit to rescue many such properties through a recent distribution agreement meaning Ueki can be enjoyed by North American audiences in all of its (massive) glory once more.
Coming in at an incredible runtime of 1275 minutes, The Law of Ueki the Complete Set spans 12 discs and comes packaged in a double-clamshell case (each of which houses six dvds). The clamshells themselves can be coupled together via the included blots of glue or separated depending upon the shelf-space options of the viewer but be forewarned, in either configuration this set takes up quite a bit of space.
Wearing a very conservative 13 & up rating, the show really is all-age friendly save for the grand theme of martial arts fighting and cartoon-style violence. Language is quite clean, there is no nudity, and gore is nonexistent.
Extras come in the form of two versions of textless openings, five versions of textless endings, Japanese promotional trailer as well as the US promotional trailer. The biggest draw perhaps comes in the form of the fact that this set contains 11 never before released episodes.
The language options are typical sub & dub, which of course means that the viewer is given the option between the original Japanese dialog and the English dub (both presented in Dolby Digital 2.0) with the choice of English subtitles available with either.
The plot is shonen in the strictest sense of the term- and is definitely quirky enough to set itself apart from a broad field of competitors (from the likes of Dragon Ball Z on up to Bleach).
The story goes something like this: Kosuke Ueki, a teen with a heart bigger than his brain, must battle other young "power-users" on behalf of his schoolteacher Mr. Kobayashi. This "Mr. K" as he's known is one of 100 candidates vying to become the Celestial King, and to win that honor, his candidate (Ueki) must defeat everyone else's in one crazy but grand tournament. Whichever fighter wins gets a reward too: the "Talent of Blank," which can be any power he desires (hence the blank part of the name). However, using their powers on non-combatants will cause existing talents to disappear. Gradually, Ueki learns the ways of battle as he meets other rivals with strange powers that drag him across dimensions in one battle after another.
Pacing is fairly consistent, if on the slow side as one might expect in a 12-disc series. The ups and downs of the protagonists are typically resolved in each show, with a few story threads (see fights) taking a couple episodes to fully conclude. It's pretty clear that the show's creative staff clearly had an idea for the conclusion of the grand story arc when they set out to work on The Law of Ueki but left the minor details to sort themselves out as the story progressed. I say this because often times the entire tale seems to nearly conclude only to be rejuvenated by a character adding something to the effect of, "Oh I forgot to mention it before, but there are four more rounds of fighting after this one."
It's forgivable in this case because anyone seeking a masterwork of modern story telling is probably barking up the wrong tree with Ueki anyway. The show's greatest strength comes in the form of a likeable, upbeat cast of heroes and their ensuing struggle to win a mystic tournament against insurmountable odds. Viewers can expect some of the craziest special abilities to ever grace an anime series (and that's saying a lot); things like Ueki's own ability to turn trash into trees or a kid who can turn bath towels into iron, another guy's strength stems from spitting out poems (haikus to be exact), and another still can turn blueprints into the real thing.
Perhaps stranger than the powers is the motivations- characters are simply driven by the strangest things in Law. Take our buddy who can turn towels into iron for example: He wants to fight dozen upon dozen of grueling battles in effort to win the coveted "Talent of Blank" (any power he desires in the universe) so as to be able to dig a hot spring one day. Hmm, wouldn't be a lot easier to simply buy a shovel (or better yet turn a towel into one) and skip the fighting altogether?
A majority of each episode focuses on what fans really want in a shonen series: fighting. In fact what makes Ueki stand out above the rest is that the formula for victory is typically quite complicated. So complex in fact that it often takes on the form of solving a mystery for fans watching along (don't worry, the answer is revealed at the conclusion of each battle and sometimes requires a solid nine-minute explanation). This works surprisingly well because the rules of the tournament are only less complex than the strengths and weaknesses of any given character's abilities. Limiting conditions, combos, and teamwork all play a role in each and every battle (especially later on) so expect at least as much strategy going into each round as sheer physical effort.
The dub track isn't remarkable but holds up pretty well even against Funimation's impeccable efforts of late (albeit overacted with a lot of shouting at times). Music is catchy and upbeat and the opening theme (which is used throughout) is quite appropriate.
Interestingly, this is the first Geneon/ Funimation collaboration that I've encountered thus far that actually retains all of the original Geneon trailer previews as opposed to replacing them with Funimation titles. Even the packaging retains Geneon's full appearance (save for a tiny Funmation badge on the back).
My only real complaint to report is that who in the world thought it was a good idea not to bother putting numbers on each of the individual discs? This would be forgivable in a two or even four-disc collection but we're talking twelve discs here! Sure they each depict a different character from the show, but the only way to sort things out should you happen to get them all mixed up is to study a tiny product code on each (12752 is disc 1, 12753 is 2 and so on up to 12764). Yikes!
In all The Law of Ueki is a solid shonen entry that is sure to impress fans of the genre with its unique characters, consistent rules, and truly one-of-a-kind special attacks. The strategic element is what really separates it from the rest however. Add in the fact that this set packs in 21 and a half hours of action and you have the formula for success. Just make sure to clear a big space on your shelf first."
Very strange, but with plenty of charm
Colby Fairbourn | UT | 05/12/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This might be the strangest anime I've ever seen. And yet, through all the nonsense the series tells a story about friendship, love, and the importance of having a strong sense of morality.
-The story doesn't have any logic to it, but in a way logic isn't really needed. Law of Ueki is the sort of anime where we, the viewers, must simply go with the flow.
The junior high school teachers are in a contest to become the next God. In order to achieve this, they each have to pick one junior high school student. Once each teacher selects their student, the contest begins. The teachers basically sit around and talk while their students battle it out.
Each student has a wacky power to help them win the battle. Our main character, though there are many main characters in the end, is named Law of Ueki. His power? To change trash into trees. Sounds wacked out? This is just the beggining of the story.
From the start I enjoyed the series, which is quite long (around 50 episodes) because each episode introduced a few new crazy powers. Plus, the characters are very funny and the script is clever. The humor can be dry, and sometimes sarcastic, but its mostly slapstick material. Its just mind boggling how crazy the story gets.
And it gets very crazy. By the middle of the series the story definately picks up and we are truly invested in the characters. By this time there is also a sort of firm story line, not just random fights. However I found myself becoming bored because each fight is just more of the last.
What I mean is the series starts of strong (story-wise) but then loses some of its freshness. The humor of the battles wears off and by the end I was happy the series was over. Maybe its because it was too long.
The story would have worked better in a 26 episode series.
-Characters have strange powers, but are still human. I fell in love with many of the main characters, and truly wanted them to suceed in their battles. Each has their own goals, their own thoughts and fears, and their own pasts (however crazy they may be).
Still, the characters fit the wacky vibe that surrounds the anime, and in turn aren't too realistic. Like I said, just go with the flow.
-I'm not a big fan of this type of animation. It looks like Pokemon, Yugioh, that sort of stuff. Plus the fighting scenes are very dramatic and can get unrealistic.
If you like this type of animation, then you'll be pleased because Law of Ueki does provide some nice eye candy. Its just not my favorite.
-Its okay, very catchy but not anything I'd want to listen to as I drive in the car. It accents the anime nicely and adds to the mayhem.
-Perhaps a little too weird are the voices. Some of the characters are fine, but some are annoying. Still, every voice matched the characters and it all works fairly well.
Its not a bad series. Its just not great either. It definately has its faults and poor areas, but in all honesty its a fun anime. Its funny, fast paced, and at times very exciting. Its also inventive and imaginative, as each power is unique and strange and unlike anything you've ever seen.
In fact, the entire anime is unlike anything you've ever seen. If that sounds appealing to you, then check it out. Just remember: go with the flow.
Rating: 13 and up
-Hmmmm...I don't know if this is accurate or not. This is mostly a mild anime. There is plenty of fighting, but its not violent. There might have been some blood, but I don't remember. I don't remember alot of language, or drug content. And there is hardly any sexual content, maybe a few crude jokes. In all, I'd say its fine for the whole family. The kids will definately get a kick out of it.
Also, it looks like its very expensive on amazon. I don't think its worth that much. Try renting it, and if you really want to buy it I wouldn't pay more than 40 dollars for it."