Tokyo Underground
Series 1 Boxed Set

Starring (voice): Haruhi Terada, Kaoru Morota, Souichiro Hoshi and Tomokazu Seki
Manga Entertainment
RRP: 39.99
Certificate: PG
Available 27 March 2006

Deep beneath the city of Tokyo, there exists a vast forgotten world known as the Underground. There, people called Elemental Users exist - people who have the ability to control the elements: fire, water, lightning, magnetism and ice. From this subterranean world escape two mysterious but important figures - Ruri Sarasa, the "Maiden of Life", and her bodyguard Chelsea Rorec, a gravity user. Ruri and Chelsea cross paths with two average high school students living in Tokyo, Rumina Asagi and his best friend Ginnosuke Isuzu. It is a meeting that will change all their lives forever. When villains chasing Ruri and Chelsea appear on Rumina's doorstep, a fierce fight ensues and Ruri's miraculous powers awaken Rumina's latent Wind Powers. Resolving to protect Ruri from the evil forces pursuing her, Rumina embarks on a long and dangerous journey of adventure...

The Tokyo Underground: Series One boxed set features all 26 episodes of the show's entire first series - none of which have ever been seen before in the UK - spread over six discs and packaged in a deluxe digipack.

To be honest I'm still not entirely sure what I think of this series. There are some seriously clichéd anime elements that will have those that are used to settling down to more modern shows (like Gantz and Full Metal Alchemist) reaching for the off button.

The first episode sets everything up with Rumina and Ginnosuke being shown as typical kids. Then Ruri and Chelsea turn up, after breaking out of the Underworld. The following episodes see Ruri and Chelsea being chased by different villains until Ruri is captured and Chelsea and the two boys have to go and rescue her.

Rumina then accidentally discovers that he can control the powers of the wind to knock villains off their feet (must have been a strong curry - oops! Sorry, couldn't help myself) and what follows is the basic plot of any one of a million console games, as villain after villain is sent after our heroes.

Comic relief is offered in the form of Rumina's perverted grandfather - who likes lusting (quite innocently, really) after young girls. Not only has he a twinkle in his eyes for the ladies, but he's also a bit of a demon when it comes to fighting. He may look like a decrepit old man, but he moves like the wind - which is probably where Rumina gets his ability to control wind (no laughing at the back.)

There are no real features to speak of, but then it's doubtful whether the target audience (anyone under 13) will really want to listen to audio commentaries or features.

This series starts fairly weakly, gets a bit better, then worse, and ends on some interesting episodes. Sadly though, as cheap as this collection is, I'd strongly advise you rent this and watch a few episodes before you commit to buy. It's not something I'll be rushing to watch again, but it does have it's moments.

Pete Boomer

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