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Streets of Sparrow’s Rage

June 25, 2013

sparrowThe 80s were a strange time to be alive. Crime was rampant. Mohawked punks roamed the streets, assaulting anyone who got in their way. To get to work, you had to wade through neighborhoods that resembled a side scrolling video game level. Everyone had to have a vengeance-based motive to even get out of the house. I had to have several relatives get the axe just to have the motivation to walk down the street to elementary school.

But those roaming bands of hooligans gotta grow up sometime. Can’t be a low-level mook out on the streets forever. You gotta get a job and become a part of the system you so wanted to beat up during your youth. That’s the world Sparrow’s Hotel exists in– a world where all those outdated punks became salarymen, yet kept their mob mentality.

That’s the only way this world makes any sense. There seems to be hoards of angry, horny, violent salarymen roaming around Sparrow’s Hotel’s neighborhood. The instant they see a cute girl, they pounce upon her with a subdued version of the predatory instinct you see in 80s movie-styled gangs. But  no one calls the cops or anything. Instead, vigilante justice is dealt out by some ninja chick who works at the hotel. It’s her job to fend off these ravenous crooks and send them on their way. Never mind that she’s viciously assaulting them, and never mind that she probably belongs to some long-forbidden ninja order that’s secretly working to topple the Japanese government– her brand of moe-fied Charles Bronson justice is A-OK in everyone’s book.

Yeah, this whole thing feels like a post-post-apocalyptic world. They’ve gone through those Death Wish/Warriors/Streets of Fire days, came out of that bleak era without seeing society crumble, but with those same street crime instincts intact. That guy who tried to knife you with a switchblade several years back is now some office worker dude, but he still has that need to try to assault your girlfriend. He’s an animal at heart and will never change. When you look at the series in that light, it makes perfect sense. The cheap animation and crude character designs suddenly feel “retro” instead of awkward. It isn’t some hackneyed 3 minute cartoon without any thought put into it– it becomes a carefully thought out throwback to a different style of anime.

Also: The martial romance between Sayuri and Billy is adorable.

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