Wednesday, 17 August 2011

臀撃おしおき娘 ゴータマン ゴータマン誕生編 / Dengeki Oshioki Musume Gōtaman: Gōtaman Tanjō-hen / Butt Attack Punisher Girl Gautaman

With a title like that, it’s going to be a comedy, right? And so it is, a very strange piece of ecchi irreverence from 1994. I got this out to amuse people at a con, and it didn’t fail – Buddhaaaa became one of the in-jokes of the weekend.

A surreal comedy, it centres on a girl who in order to protect her best friend is granted the powers of the Buddha (Gautaman being ‘Gautama’ rendered in superhero style), which for whatever reason entails getting sumo powers, complete with the traditional loincloth. The joke, then, is that there’s a cute girl wearing very little with some absurd powers.

While religious irreverence in cartoons is pretty commonplace, and after all the precedent goes all the way back to Journey to the West, it’s actually quite rare to see Buddhism treated in such a silly way.

It’s 45 minutes long, and very slightly overstays its welcome, the joke wearing thin by then. But for something absurd and funny – with the added veneer of respectability being over ten years old for whatever reason anime is granted – you can’t go wrong with this.

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