Amada Anime Series: Super Mario Brothers
Released Year : August 3, 1989 to ????
No of Episodes : 3
Genre : Adventure,Comedy,Shounen
Plot : The Super Mario Amada Series are a series of short Japanese fairy tales anime that is found and released only in Japan. The series are released in August 3, 1989 once again only in Japan; making it extremely rare to people not living in Japan. The series is based on one of the three Japanese fairy tales that are told to children. Additionally, the series contained Mario series that are played in the three short Japanese fairy tales. The characters introduced Mario, Luigi, Princess Peach, Bowser, and his Koopalings during the fairy tales. Each fairy tale shown in anime consists of about 15 minutes. The three Japanese fairy tales contain; Momotaro, Issunboshi, and Snow White. (Source: AniDB)
Our Review : What, there is actually a Super Mario Anime?? Yeah that was pretty much my thoughts when I found out, in fact there a few versions of it.......plus a movie! This review however, will be regarding the title: "Amada Anime Series: Super Mario." (which come as three 13 minute OVAs)
Well it certainly doesn't stay linear that's for sure, basically all three OVAs tell a different style of story, two of which show different origins of Mario himself. (one as a Tom thumb character, the other has him born from a peach in space) These stories play out more like a wacky fairytale than anything else. While Princess Peach and Mario do face off against Bowser in ever episode, its done untrue to the video game before it, which may bum out some fans of the game. We only get backstory and depth on Mario himself really, and never on anyone else (which is okay, since this is quite a short series). Most of the time it seems like they just happen to be walking along when they discover Mario. The plots can be childish, cheesy and predictable overall, yet it never really ceases to keep you entertained the whole way through, since the gang is always in a different situation with the story. I can't say whether you will like the exaggeration to it or not, but it certainly isn't the worst I have personally seen.
Truly the best part of the series, while the animation can be quite stiff at times, the characters themselves are drawn exactly like they should be (perhaps even more so than the American cartoon), all complimented with bright colorful artwork that really will make you feel like your in the videogame itself. It should be said though that this title was made in 1988, so it definitely shows its age when compared to today's stuff.
Most will probably feel its the worst feature, as it is overall nothing more than generic sounding 80's elevator style music, none of which is from the video game itself, which was kind of a bummer to say the least, and will most likely come off as boring. Not to mention there is no opening theme, only a closing one; which again comes off only as an instrumental piece. The character voices are decent though, I really liked Peach's soft lighthearted voice, and Mario sounded appropriate as well with his teenager style voice. Though Bowser had this higher pitched voice which came off as down right silly!
Mario, Princess Peach, Bowser, the Koopa kids, most of the main side villains and even Luigi himself make an appearance in this. Their good for the most part, each one keeps their personality to a point from the show, yet add their own style of wackiness to the mix (this is especially true with Mario and Bowser). Mario's personalty was a bit lackluster though, he didn't really give off any kind of distinctness to him. Most of the time he would just keep a strait face, or a more angry one when Peach was being threatened. Overall though, they did a decent job of trying to recreate the game in a Japanese style way, even if it does come off as exaggerated!
Bottom Line: 5/10
Amada Anime Series: Super Mario does suffer from being cheesy, silly and childish, which might turn away most viewers. Had they stuck more true to the story of the video game and not the fairytale stuff, I think it would have been a lot better! At the same time its still one of those titles you can't help but find interesting. Certainly won't be everyone's cup of tea, but it does do an okay job of keeping you entertained for one viewing. I recommend it to the big Mario/Nintendo fans out there, or to those who are young at heart! Not a bad series pre-say, it just doesn't do anything in a particularly memorable way, yet since it was never released outside of Japan, it can at least be considered an interesting find.