January 9, 2007

Yawaraka Sensha Teaches Futility, Cuteness Of War


Translated variably as The Fragile Tank or The Soft Tank, Yawaraka Sensha is a Japanese Flash animated series on Livedoor, a big Japanese site run by a guy who thinks he's Mark Cuban.

A bunch of cute little tanks talk a lot but never actually fight--though they do get blown up. Humor-wise, it seems to plot somewhere between Trey Parker and Matt Stone, Richard Linklater, Get Your War On, and Red vs. Blue, if that makes any sense. Unlike other weapons, the Fragile Tanks don't mind losing, or getting gnawed by a kitten, so long as they make home alive.

Only problem is, they talk so damn fast, and with such high-pitched voices, it's really hard for this non-native speaker to keep up. I can tell you that Episode 4 is where Onisha comes goes on leave and meets his baby son, and that the marching song at the end of episode 8, the little baby tanks get so hungry, they can't sing about anything but their bottles of milk. Very cute [I think], but I'll be as glad as the rest of you when these things get fansubbed.

Yawaraka Tank is produced by some guy known only as Rareko. This underground one-man-show aspect doesn't mean there's not a giant fleet of Fragile Tank gear to be had, though.

For the kiddies, the best is probably the medium-sized plush toys, which I'm guessing are about 20cm tall.

Yawaraka Sensha nuigurumi plush toys, (M), 2,310 yen [livedoor.com]
Watch Yawaraka Sensha on Livedoor or on YouTube, which at least has a pause button [livedoor.com]

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