Excel Saga
Type: Series (26 Episodes)
Genre: Comedy
Version: Region 1 DVD
Reviewed: 01/21/07


It is an epic that excites the imagination, intrigues the senses, and tickles the uvula. It stretches the mind, slices it into ribbons, grinds it into a fine paste, eats it, digests it slowly along with several other vital organs, eventually regurgitating it until you are no longer able to tell up from north, west from pancakes, and orange from an orange.

Excel Excel is special. Freshly graduated(?) from high school, she is ready to devote her full attention to the task of taking over the world, as a key member of the organization “Across,” led by the bishounen dictator Lord Ilpalazzo. However, as Excel is loud, annoying, hyperactive, and the only member of said organization (at first, anyway), this makes world domination difficult. Mix in adorable aliens, a dog that doubles as an emergency food supply, and a woman who can and will spontaneously die with little to no provocation, and Excel Saga becomes a hodgepodge of insanity that is very nearly palpable.

Screen Shot
“You’ll be delicious roasted in garlic.”

Much of the humor in Excel Saga is found in… well, everything. Every episode is packed full of horrible Excel puns, cultural in-jokes (translated with the aid of pop-up commentary), and the off-the-wall humor the Japanese are known for. There are also quite a number of running gags that last through the entire series, and a lot can be missed during first and even second viewings.

The animation is above par for mid-late 90’s era anime, and many of the visual jokes couldn’t have been executed as well as they were, were it not for the attention to detail. The voice acting fits the series well, some of it overacted, but this being perfectly acceptable as many of the characters would be deemed mentally unstable, had they existed in real life, anyway. Indeed, Excel is so energetic that halfway through the series, her voice actor was hospitalized because of it and had to be replaced. As far as the soundtrack goes, none of the music is very memorable, and is easily swept aside by every other aspect of the show.

Screen Shot
Just… One… More… Level…

The main draw of Excel Saga is the humor. The episodes are loosely tied together through the various ongoing side-stories of several different characters, but otherwise the plot is nonexistent. Oftentimes the ridiculousness can be overwhelming as well, and it is not recommended that one view the entire series in one sitting as this can and probably will cause tumors to form in one’s brain in the shape of a Puchu. However, this does not stop Excel Saga from being what it is, an over-the-top sci-fi/action/fantasy/sports/shounen/shoujo/drama anime lightly sprinkled with seventy quadrillion tons of insanity.

If you find that that sort of thing forms the perfect anime for you, you should probably get yourself checked into a mental institution. For the rest of you out there, Excel Saga is highly recommended.
-Quinton Alexander