Quite an unexpected find by me, as I wrote this anime off last year as some funny shounen fluff. The basic premise of the plot was quite absurd by my standards and the first 3-4 volumes of the manga of it that I read was really nothing much, with the generic justice vs evil thing going on.
Then my friend introduced the DVD to me, and I might add that he’s quite an Ueki fanboy. Initially, I watched it on my SIDS week. The first 10-15 episodes was as boring as the manga for me, but I stuck to it due to a few factors, mainly the awesome *seiyuu* work of Paku Romi in bringing Ueki to life, the funky OP, Falco by Shimatani Hitomi, the slow waltzing ED, Kokoro no Wakusei by Kayou Aiko, and the above average OST by Tada Akifumi.
But the episodes after that, specifically after the appearance of Rinko Gerad, voiced by none other than Noto Mamiko, and I’m pretty sure that anyone even remotely reading my blog knows that I’m a Noto fan, turned awesomely good and had such a addicitive pace to it, I found myself marathoning episodes 15-25 in one shot, which I don’t rather do that often.
Part of the best things about Ueki is the uniqueness, or specifically the “WTF!!!!”-ness of the fights. The power system in this series is rather funny, with absurd powers ranging from the overtly powerful ones like Robert’s power to change ideals into reality, Marilyn’s power to stretch one second to ten seconds to absurd powers such as Ueki’s power to change trash to trees, Sano’s power to change towels to steel and Mori’s power to make anybody a *meganezuki*. Later on, the introduction of the ***Jingi***, or Heavenly Powers, although sound powerful, but are still as unique as the others.
Normal thinking would say, “what the heck can they do with such powers?!!”, but somehow, they manage to make the fights as good as possible with those funny powers. Part of the joy of watching the battles is the problem-solving by the characters as they try to use their powers against pretty much overwhelming odds.
The humour of Ueki also stands out as there’s tons of “WTF” scenes in it and appearing at unexpected moments. It never makes me fail to laugh out loud as I watch their antics.
Ueki is truly a great shounen series on par with, if not, on par with the other shounen greats of our time, such as Bleach and (ugh!!) Naruto(definitely better :). It’s a quite undiscovered but, do give it a try. It’s truly an appealing show to the shounen side of my soul :).