When it comes to influential mangaka, Go Nagai ranks near the top with the likes of Monkey Punch and Osamu Tezuka. Many of his series that include Devilman, Cutie Honey, Getter Robot, and Violence Jack have been dubbed classics by the Japanese comic industry. His most popular of his works -- at least in Japan -- is a horror comedy called Dororon Enma-Kun, which found itself being remade into a brand-new anime series called Dororon Enma-kun MeeraMera. The real question, however, is whether or not this ecchi comedy is still relevant in the anime world.

Dororon follows the adventures of Enma-kun, the leader of the Demon Patrol, and his cohorts Yukiko the Ice Princess and Kapperu the not-very-helpful water nymph. Discovered by the human Harumi (who replaces Tsutomu, the original human protagonist) the trio decide to unofficially let their new friend join their quest to battle all the escaped demons throughout the world; when I say the rest of the world I mean just Japan. Together the Demon Patrol face off against evil, bad puns, and the inevitable fan-service moments that get the perverted Enma-kun in more trouble than he can ever ask for.

Produced by Brain's Base (who also animated such instant classics as Durarara!! and Spice & Wolf II) the animation style stays true to the original manga, only crisper and much more heavily detailed. The show shines brightly, especially during the action sequences. While there is the usual stock footage reusing technique found during Enma-kun's final maneuver, it's still cool to watch each time. It brings to mind how they revamped Yatterman a couple years ago, where the only thing they had to worry about was modernizing everything from its 1970s counterpart. (Dororon's remake took a more cautious approach, having it being set in its original timeframe.) The voice acting is standout, too, and it's funny to hear Kappei Yamaguchi bring to life such a perverted character, considering he's better known in America as L from the Death Note anime.

When it comes to the show's overall plotline there isn't much to discuss. A monster-of-the-week series each episode features a similar guideline: a demon appears, wrecks havoc throughout Japan, followed by the Demon Patrol intervening and defeating the demon, only to discover that each of these monsters that appear are connected somehow by an unknown assailant. Also you cannot forget about some fan-service here and there throughout. While some of the more ecchi humor seems to be there for the sake of ecchi humor and nothing else, Dororon has enough good, classic humor to both balance it off and be forgiven for its perverted ways. (In one instance there is a ghost that transforms everyone he touches into round fatties, which lead into some silly sight gags that even include an abrupt halt to the Vietnam War.) After all, this is Go Nagai we're talking about, the mangaka who perfected the ecchi comedy series.

Sadly we live in a much different time than when Dororon Enma-kun was first brought to the world. Back in the 1970s this sort of perverted humor was so far and few between that it was considered a breath of fresh air to those wanting a good, unique laugh. Unfortunately here in the 21st century every mangaka and their grandmother has created an ecchi comedy, forcing Nagai's original work to be cast into an ocean of really bad imitators. A real shame, considering that many of these perverted comedies lack the key ingredient that both Go Nagai and Dororon have kept intact after all these years: the ability to be clever in its comedic delivery. It's this trait that luckily keeps this series above those tired waters, and while nowhere near unique this anime winds up being both funny and entertaining.

There is some good news, however: Americans will be able to see the new Dororon Enma-Kun series sometime next year, as it has been licensed for release by NIS America. While it may not win any awards anytime soon -- nor will it be a standout hit when it's unleashed to these United States -- you can bet that this redo of a classic series will keep you laughing throughout its thirteen episode run. Just don't expect it to be a thinking man's kind of show; leave the brain at home, and enjoy its madness. Also, be prepared to have the theme song stuck in your head for days on end.

*** ½ (out of five)

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