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First Impressions: Trapeze

6:00 PM on 10.29.2009 // Brad Rice

Summary: An episodic series about treating peoples' problems that make me question storytelling itself each time I watch the show.

I tend to not have a lot of time to watch shows, and so I tend to lean more towards shows that will either capture my heart or make me think. I picked Trapeze because it looked weird and interesting. I only had a vague awareness of the show, and didn't quite know what I was getting into.

And I'll admit: it actually took me a few tries to watch the show. I couldn't get used to the strange art style that I was first presented with: it reminded me of Cromartie, and I couldn't deal with it. But once I got through the first episode, I was utterly hooked.

Find out why after the jump.

We follow Dr. Ichiro Irabu as he deals with case after case of patients with deep-seated problems. For example, a guy having a constant erection that won't go away. Or a trapeze artist who can't sleep, coming up on his big show. Much like Mushi-shi or Jigoku Shoujo, our dear doctor is here to teach people how to solve their problems. Usually by following them around and making snide remarks.

The plots in and of themselves are not very interesting. In fact, it's pretty generic. But what makes the story so captivating is the way in which the story is told. Trapeze is constantly shifting its art styles to match the mood and perspective of the story at that point.

Metaphors, subliminal messages and breaking the fourth wall are rife in the series. It's an art critic's wet dream, really. There's so much manipulation of the reality at work here that I end up totally engrossed in the story and I can't stop thinking about it long after I watched the episode. In fact, I've found myself watching the episodes a second time because I can't stop.

Trapeze has, somehow, taken its place as my second favorite show of the season, right behind Kimi ni Todoke. The show has a high barrier of entry into it, but if you can stick with it, you'll end up watching one of the more original animation styles in a while. Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei can't even touch this stuff.

What I liked:

  •  Amazing art styles
  • Off-the-wall humor that reminds me of Sayonara, Zetsubou-sensei, but it's more controlled and focused.
  • I think they made a meatspin reference in episode 2.

What I didn't like:

  • I thought Dr. Irabu was a girl from the promo images. I was disappoint. 
  • The initial art style reminded me of Cromartie, which is a turn-off for me.
  • Boring OP/ED
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Brad helped found in 2006, and currently serves as an Associate Editor. He's covered all aspects of the industry, but has a particular preference for the business-end of things, and... more   |   staff directory

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