Needless Volume 1

“The clergy of England have no more influence over the people at large than the cheesemongers of England.” – Sydney Smith.

This series will make you go through a range of feelings. These include shock, worry, panic, and discomfort, the last one coming from the main character, a man who dresses like a priest and has a lolicon fetish.

Needless is set in a post-apocalyptic future. At some point in the 21st century World War Three breaks out. During this a massive bomb crater in the remains of Tokyo is created, known as the “Black Spot” because there is little electricity and so in the night sky it leaves a dark patch when looked at from space. A bomb that landed in Tokyo screwed with people’s DNA, resulting in the creation of the “Needless”, people who possess individual powers or “Fragments” like controlling water, fire or gravity, and who are shunned by the rest of humanity.

Later, in the year 2130, a young human boy called Cruz is chased by robots created by the evil Simeon group. His sister is killed, but Cruz is saved by the Needless Adam Blade, a man who dresses like a priest (except for an open leather overcoat showing his muscular chest, his huge metal collar, and his dark glasses), who has the power to learn other Needless abilities. Blade takes Cruz under his wing, with the help of his Needless partner Eve, who has power to shapeshift, and old scientist Gido. The four team up, and, assisted by some allies they find along the way, decide to take on Simeon and its leader Adam Arklight, who plans to gain possession of Blade’s body.

There are some things I do like about this show, namely the battles. While some of them are rather long (indeed the longest one has not finished by the end of this collection of episodes), there is quite a bit of variety in terms of the powers that each of the Needless possess. I also like some of the wordplay. Eve gets her words mixed up, while one of the villains, the mute Kuchinashi (who fights with body-controlling fragrances) often has to cross out words she spells incorrectly when communicating with a large paper pad. On the downside, concerning Kuchinashi’s writing, when the subtitles come up, the subtitles are often crossed out too, making it hard at times to read what she got wrong.

However, there is one overwhelming issue: Adam Blade has one flaw that Eve cannot abide, which is that he has a thing for young girls. This leads to many attempts by him to flirt with such girls, most of whom are in Simeon’s “Beautiful Girls Squadron”, and nearly all of whom appear to be underage. Not all of them are underage, it should be pointed out. One of them, the robotic Disc, looks young but is 100 years old. But there some sequences that made me feel uncomfortable. For example, on more than one occasion the youngest-looking character (no actual age is given), the super-strength Mio, attacks Blade using her panty-clad buttocks.

The DVD comes with both subtitles and a dub. In this collection the subtitles are the default setting.

Some of the humour could prove too crude for some people, but other parts are amusing. I am unsure however if the more clever parts make up for the dodgy smut.

5 / 10

Ian Wolf

Ian works as an anime and manga critic for Anime UK News, and is also the manga critic for MyM Magazine. Outside of anime, he also is the editor of On The Box, data specialist for the British Comedy Guide, is QI's most pedantic viewer, and has appeared on Mastermind.

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