Bounty Dog – Review

Bounty Dog

with Nobuyuki Hiyama, Steve Graf, Hekiru Shiina
Directed by Hiroshi Negishi
Written by Mayori Sekijima
by Chad Van Wagner

In his book Contemporary Japanese Film, critic Mark Schilling voices the complaint that the vast majority of Anime (Japanese animated film) is made “for otaku by otaku (geeks).” There’s simply too much fetishization of technology, too much melodrama for its own sake, too much of everything, with nothing at its center. Add to that that much of the voice acting in the English versions of these films can charitably be called “poor,” and there’s not a lot going on here for the average film fan.

Bounty Dog isn’t going to change anyone’s mind. It’s got all the marks of the genre: Impossibly-shaped women, futuristic weapons, major violence, and technologically-based bad guys. This DVD is actually two episodes of what I can only assume is a television series (the promotional materials made it look like a feature film). While there are certainly worse ways to spend sixty minutes, not being an otaku, I can’t help but think “what’s the point?”

In case you’re wondering, the Bounty Dog in question is actually a team of mercenary intergalactic troubleshooters, who, in this case, must destroy an evil something or other that has been living on the dark side of the moon since before the dawn of man. It does actually have some dramatic pull, and the film never drags. The artwork is standard anime, but no less pleasing to look at because of it. There’s a sequence inside the moon (yes, inside) which is really quite impressive. But, for this viewer, it all adds up to a diversion, not a conversion.