Whenever a press release touts a series as ‘wacky’ or ‘zany,’ you just know it’ll be anything but. And as noted last issue, if your lead characters are a pair of fruit, it’s pretty much assured to be an international kids classic. I mean, c’mon, all kids love fruit. Right?
‘Portfolio Entertainment gets fruity at this year’s MIP-TV and announces acquisition of Klik Animation’s wacky animated series Klootz!’ So reads the release in front of me. Apparently Klootz ‘follows the adventures of an utterly hilarious comedy duo of pears.’
‘For this pair of pears, no task is too minor to mess up! Small Klootz knows it all, and tall Klootz attracts disaster like bees to honey.’ Someone had to have a real pair to offer up a series about pears. I once had an idea about some animated prunes, but my demographics were way off.
Klootz is a funny name, but does that word mean anything in another language? Is Klootz German for pears? It sounds pretty ‘zany’ to me!
A clever name is an important part of a successful kids show. Our friends at Saban are offering up this catchy title at MIP: Transformer Car Robot. Sorta just rolls off the tongue, doesn’t it? This anime-action show has ‘benevolent transformer car robots who combat the sinister forces of Destolonga (evil robots) and save Earth from destruction.’ As long as they don’t run out of gas first, I suppose.
At least it sums up the plot. Most anime distributors have titles that don’t make much sense, but they sound cool. For example, this year at NATPE, you could have bought Magical Stage Fancy Lala or The Secret of Lovely Eye Patch from Bandai.
These titles make a little more sense when you understand their simple plot lines. Fancy Lala is a about a nine-year-old girl who befriends two fairies from Time & Memory Wonderland. The grateful fairies give the girl a magical pen and sketchbook, and after a couple of doodles, she becomes a 15-year-old ‘idol singer.’ Uh-huh.
Lovely Eye Patch is about a ruthless 18th century swordsman who is reincarnated in the body of a modern-day teenage girl, as long as she keeps a heart-shaped eye patch on her head. See? I told you they would make sense.
I can’t begin to tell you what Edens Bowy is about. The one-sheet I received, from Sotsu Agency and M3 Entertainment, features a large ‘cat-girl’ holding a little elf-boy in her hands. That’s my only clue.
There are plenty of other anime shows with extra-large tongue-twisting titles-from TV Tokyo Medianet’s Extreme Orbit Shoot Beyblade to 4Kids’ Kinnikuman Ultimate Muscle. Whatever happened to the good old days when a title like Pokémon would suffice?
To the many single-word series-the producers of Goomer, Pumby, Slurps, Pecola, Braceface and others going to MIP-I salute you. Keep it short and sweet. Like a pear.