Abenobashi Magical Shopping District (2002) IMDb

Yamaga Hiroyuki (director), Kojima Masayuki (director).

The “Abe’s bridge” open mall is going out of business, shop by shop. An old man falls from a rickety platform. His granddaughter sees him caught miraculously before hitting the ground, which marks the beginning of a great escape from reality. The granddaughter and a boy make a journey through a series of alternate Abenobashis. At first they chase a goblin who seems to know how to navigate, but they soon realize that every bizarre new world the couple enters is a geeky fascination made real.

The Engrish in the opening theme ranks right up there with classics like Hellsing (2001). Loads of allusions (as always) and genre destruction. Zombie Masa-ji-Plissken-Brown was particularly amusing and this was the first time I’d seen Monty Python copied in anime. More coherence and maturity, and less mindless fan service, would have helped a lot.

References here: Mahoromatic: Automatic Maiden (2001), SSSS.Gridman (2018).

animation fiction Gainax Japanese production moving picture series