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…

Gaijin: should Japan embrace them or just plain ban them??

Gaijin: should Japan embrace them or just plain ban them??

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.

Major League pitcher..I mean, Bear Irabu.

Major League pitcher..I mean, Bear Irabu.

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.

”]Young Irabu, with Doll [oooh, sounds like a nice name for a painting]

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.

Going for the cute, yet hip look.

Irabu going for the cute, yet hip look.

* * *

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!!

Not only this...

Not only this...

...but that!

...but that!

~ by Haloed Bane on October 16, 2009.

16 Responses to “Impressions of Trapeze Episode 1”

  1. ;_;

    The only people subbing this are [gg], apparently. I mean, hell, even Frostii chose Nyaan Koi over this.

    Maybe I should just get stoned and watch the trippy visuals?

  2. Thanks for the summary, off to watch raw now. Looks like exactly what I’ve been looking for this season.

  3. Looks like it’s EXACTLY what I expected. As expected.

  4. Honestly, I’ll probably skip on Trapeze; I generally have no patience for shows like this -_-;

  5. […] On Green HQ On Depositfiles On Mediafire On Megaupload […]

  6. Initially, I was very excited about the series due to the staff involved and potentially interesting adaptation of the book, but now I am not even going to check out the first episode! 👿

  7. […] Anime Kritik is careful not to assign a gender to Irabu-sensei and says the art reminds him of Mike Judge. Good call! […]

  8. Like you noted, despite the trippy visuals Trapeze is actually surprising accessible; it lays things out fairly clearly, if in a quirky visual style. We can see long before the good doctor pronounces his diagnosis (via video analysis) that Yamashita has trouble trusting or getting close to people.

    Other gags are also quite readily grasped, such as the role inversion that is apparent during the injection segment – woman doing the penetration, etc.

    What strikes me as more interesting, is, as you note, the trinity of Irabu – or more in particular the perceptual changes we get regarding Irabu and the current patient. At some points Yamashita’s head transforms into that of a bird – all in sequences where he shows meekness or social withdrawal; and Irabu seems to change along with the tone of the current scene. I’m curious to see how this will play out further and if there’s actually a rhyme and reason behind it.

    • Yes, yes, yes. I think you’ve laid it out all very neatly: the straightforward, the funky and the sexy each have their own well-defined role to play in this series…

  9. […] On Green HQ On Depositfiles On Hotfile On Mediafire […]

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