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"Variable Geo" Serves Up Good-Looking Food, If Not Much Substance

by on October 17, 2004

Variable Geo is a martial arts tournament. Women will fight with immense special powers in this contest, but behind the scenes, something sinister is going down. Yuka Takeuchi is a rising star in this contest, having succeeded her friend Satomi at the fighting. But what’s the prize? Money, land, and… the title of the toughest waitress in the world?!

ImageEpisodes included on this disc
Episode 1: “The Strengthening of the Goddesses”
Episode 2: “The Complex Relationships of the Goddesses”
Episode 3: “Elegy of the Goddesses”

“Variable Geo, the martial arts tournament fought to determine the toughest waitress in the world.” That’s how the show starts off describing the fighting, and… well… at that point, you realize you’re not going to be watching this for Cowboy Bebop levels of drama or for Love Hina levels of love story or anything. At that point, you take your brain out, sit back, and watch the eye candy.

And what eye candy there is.

Yuka Takeuchi, the heroine of the cast, works at Hannah Miller’s. If you’ve ever shown an interest in Japanese culture (or read Megatokyo, the famous faux-manga), you know what that’s parodying. If not, in Japan, there exists a restaurant chain called Anna Miller’s akin to, I guess, Waffle House or Hooters, that employs young and pretty girls. Remember the episode of Seinfeld where Elaine swore the diner they always went to was hiring buxom waitresses? That’s the place.

In this over-the-top world, waitresses fight for honor, land, money, usual tournament stuff. In these VG Fights, the girls miraculously (and inexplicably) whip out moves the cast of Dragonball Z would be proud of. Flaming punches and energy blasts, all the better for the waitress outfits to get ripped to shreds.

That is, until someone loses. Penalty is that the loser has to strip.

Remember how I told you that you had to take your brain out? Now, they say it’s to add humiliation to the pain of defeat, but we all know that this is just an excuse for fanservice. All the waitresses have extravagant outfits (you’ve got cat ears, bunny suits stolen from Hef’s Playboy Mansion, and the aforementioned Anna Miller’s) that fit a certain stereotype (you’ve got the brainy one, the jailbait one, the tough biker one, the evil, fair-skinned, long purple hair woman…), and they are definitely entertaining.

I’m not going to BS you. You’re not going to be watching this for the plot. Yes, there is a plot, but it’s not the clearest thing in the world. Yuka has surpassed her friend Satomi, Satomi’s brother is in the hospital, somebody kidnaps someone and turns them evil, and so forth.

If you’re watching this, you’re watching for the visuals. Variable Geo pulls off a successful mixture of fanservice and flashy action. Honestly, it’s as if Pamela Anderson’s VIP was turned into a fighting animé. It even gives off that vibe of “weekend afternoon production quality,” despite the video and audio actually being top notch. Maybe that was because I watched this over the span of two Sunday afternoons. There’s only three episodes (the complete series, sadly), but you might want to work some intellectual stimulation in between episodes by, say, watching anything else.

You would have thought there could have been some super-special extras, considering the brief length of the series. Commentary, commercials, behind-the-scenes, etc. all would have been nice, but all you get is the, um… the trailers for other ADV productions. Really weak in this area, like… Waffle House hot cocoa! (See, I knew I’d be able to bring back the restaurant references!)

Should you buy it? Here’s the best test. Do you go to Hooters for the food or the atmosphere? I go for the atmosphere, and I enjoyed the show. The food may not be the best, but that’s not why you’re there.

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