Review of Abenobashi Magical Shopping District (2002)
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 Japanese animation. More coherence and maturity, and less mindless fan service, would have helped a lot.