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Friday, October 22, 2021

[Review] Miracle Train
Posted by IceCreamNinja in News Articles January 13, 2010 at 09:32:23 AM




No.

No no no no no no NO. A thousand times, no. Get this abomination away from me. Would that I could only somehow pluck this show from the ether like some physical object to be thrown away and summarily forgotten, I would bind it in chains, tie a rock to the chains, throw it in the ocean, and then throw the ocean into outer space. If this show had been around while Dante was still writing his Divine Comedy, he would have had to invent a whole new level of hell just to accommodate the horrifying mind-flaying this show reaps on unsuspecting mortals.

It’s bad, is what I’m saying.



Miracle Train tells the story of anthropomorphized train stations on the Tokyo Oedo line that travel around together in a magical train with a talking dog and an elementary school girl spouting random inane trivia about the Tokyo subway system and helping women with their problems.

I could end this review right here. Is anyone really going to rush out for a copy of this thing after reading a sentence like that? Honestly, who could this show possibly be targeting? Girls aged 9-13 who also happen to be train otaku with an unnaturally specific interest in the Tokyo Oedo line? How is this possibly a viable audience? Tween Shoujo Train Otaku. I’m fairly confident I’m the first person in history who actually thought to put those words together in a sentence.

In the interest of fairness, though, I feel I should at least try to list some of the show’s good qualities first before I spend the rest of the review wailing on it. So what good things can be said about a show such as this whose premise from the outset is so horrifyingly stupid and moronic that the series has been compromised and broken before the title even crosses the screen? The voice actors aren’t uniformly terrible, I guess? I like how at least they managed to keep the talking animal that every anime feels obligated to include these days to something normal, too, like a dog. I also enjoy thinking that the dog’s voice is unable to actually be understood by anyone around him, thus relegating him to a nightmare existence where his opinions are meaningless and he can only comment on things he is unable to change. Oh, and color; the show has color. By which I mean, it isn’t animated entirely in shades of black and white. So, there’s that going for it.

I didn’t get too far in the series, I’ll admit that. Maybe something magical happens after the third or fourth episode that completely turns the series around. I don’t know. Anything’s possible, I suppose. I submit, though, that when something is bad at the outset, chances are good that it will continue in the same manner for the rest of its run. And, if by some miracle (HA, miracle) the show does turn itself around later, why would I care? Should I be glad that the screw painfully drilled two inches into my head is then happily removed later?

As long as we’re dealing in hypotheticals, allow me to raise another one. I call this interpretation “Murder Train.”



Hear me out:

So there’s this train with a group of men on it that follow a masked “conductor” around the Tokyo underground. They all live together and dress the same way, and what’s more, they all believe they’re incarnations of subway stations and take the names of different stations along the line: Roppongi, Shinjuku, Tocho Mae, etc. Each seems overly obsessed with otherwise trivial and useless information concerning trains, and each has absolutely no real personality that distinguishes them from the rest of the group aside from odd and out of place preoccupations with random things famous in the neighborhoods in which each station is located. This group thinks they live on something called “the miracle train,” which they believe is a magical train that travels around solving people’s problems—but only if you happen to be young, attractive and female. There are never any passengers on the “miracle train” when the one young woman steps on, and at all other times it remains empty aside from the men, a dog who speaks in a low voice without ever showing any indication that he’s moving his mouth, and an elementary school girl who doesn’t consider herself a station but whose presence poses several frightening questions about the state and nature of her physical wellbeing and how she came to find herself in a place with such a random group of older men. At no point is any proof of their supposedly magical origins actually offered, and in fact, the second episode suggests an absence of magic in so much as it shows the apparently otherworldly “miracle train” misjudge the next passenger’s time of arrival, causing it to pull into the station far too early. That’s right. It doesn’t appear in the station, it pulls in to the station. And then it pulls out, because apparently it’s just like any other subway and can’t wait in the station without delaying trains further up the line behind it.

Isn’t this how cults get their start? One minute, you have some guy who decides he wants to “help women,” and then the next you’re riding around the Tokyo underground in a metal murder box with a group of deranged men, a little girl you abducted and brainwashed, and your dog who you swear you can communicate with telepathically.



In all honesty? If the show took the interpretation I just described and ran with it, I’d watch that series twice. But it doesn’t. Instead, we sit around for twenty-three minutes watching a group of boring men solve the most inane and ridiculous problems I’ve ever seen. The first episode sees the men of the miracle train spending most of the episode in search of a dog that was separated from its owner by the miracle train’s arrival in the beginning, thus creating the very problem in the first place. But no, actually, that’s not the real problem. The real problem, which comes up in the final three minutes of the show, turns out to be that the girl is shy and has trouble talking to people. How do the miraculous workers of the miracle train solve this sticky situation? “Try talking to people,” they suggest. “I will!” the girl responds.

Kill me.

“Murder Train”; coming soon to a station near you.


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Posted by Kaitou Ace on January 13, 2010 at 06:04:22 PM
Lol! Glad to see you enjoyed this unique offering O_o;

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