Impressions of Trapeze Episode 1
Wow. That’s my impression. Wanna hear another one? OK, how about…? No? Oh, you want me to elaborate on Trapeze. OK, well…
I was wary of watching this raw because I’d heard it was a very trippy show. Visually it is, but the story’s straightforward enough. The most awesome trapeze artist in all of Japan, called Yamashita, is having problems sleeping. He’s stressed out about his debut with a new circus opening up, and the fact that the crew of foreign trapeze artists that the circus has hired to work with him are all terrible and don’t speak any Japanese.
So Yamashita goes to see a shrink (mental health provider) named Irabu. Irabu is actually a trinity: there’s bear Irabu, young Irabu (who has a puppet that looks just like bear Irabu except smaller and thinner) and adult Irabu (who sounds very, very gay). Anyway, depending on the scene one of these three will be talking to Yamashita, and we haven’t seen any transformation scenes at all.”]
Dr. Irabu has a hawt nurse called Mayumi who gives Yamashita a shot of sleep medicine in his arm…very, very sexily. That night, Yamashita is able to catch a good sleep, and from that point on Mayumi gives him shots daily. This is not a problem because Irabu loves circuses and he’s basically hanging out with Yamashita all the time now.
Eventually Dr. Irabu realizes that Yamashita isn’t that good of a trapeze artist as we all thought, and that he (and not the foreigners!!) is the cause of all their troubles. Irabu also happens to tell Yamashita that the “sleep medicine” is just vitamins. Oh..and there’s an old man (Fukuichi) who shows up every once in a while to give us (the audience) health tips.
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The art in this episode is schizophrenic, very deliberately so. The “extras” walking around in the world of Trapeze look literally like paper cut-outs. The main characters are drawn up in a style that reminds me of Mike Judge (Beavis and Butthead, King of the Hill). That said, Yamashita and Mayumi also have an alternate live-action form. They have a super-saturated coat of paint on them when they do show up in live-action, but you can clearly see that these are real actors.
The colors are wonderful, very rich, and there’s a lot of attention paid to detail (brand labels on potato chips come to mind).
The next episode involves another patient, and apparently this will be the pattern of the series. Two comments about that: 1) it’s critical that this particular patient was first, because “trapeze” becomes the main concept of the series. And indeed, life is just like a trapeze, isn’t it? Very, very high up… 2) The next patient’s problems is a permanent erection. It will be a fun episode no doubt!!