Switch OVA: on the perils of having a voice fetish

And once again, the title of this post refers more to me than to the show itself… Though it wasn’t just the seiyuu I’m completely into that led to this particular impulse buy, it’s also the work of a manga group I like and had been following for a while and not to mention, this being the clincher for me: the included SCRIPT* (I’m a student of Japanese, after all!) But guess what? In the end, I haven’t even really had time to sit down and explore these OVAs properly. *sighs*

*LOL. Come to think of it, Japanese closed captions would have worked just as well…sadly, I’ve never seen them included on a DVD! And they’d be so useful for the Bakemonogatari commentaries! But let’s stop that thought here…

Switch brings viewers a glimpse of the drug underworld of Japan, as we follow two new investigators in the Narcotics Control Department (aka the “Matori”). In this OVA, the two (Hal and Kai) both go undercover in order to investigate the spread of a new drug, and the department finds itself chasing after vague shadows of a secretive but highly influential organisation…

     

Perhaps one of the problems with the Swith OVAs is that viewers cannot be introduced to the series through them. The personalities and abilities of our main characters certainly shine through: Hal is rather good at reading people and using his charisma and intelligence to infiltrate; Kai is perhaps too trusting for someone in this career, but also a genius at puzzles and can do his job well otherwise. And they both care immensely about each other, which the OVA allegedly makes more obvious than the manga does. However, it somehow felt rather empty the first time I viewed it. Having only read a limited amount of the manga, I have to admit that viewing the stage drama actually helped me understand it a lot better the second time around, particularly with regards to Akiha and the “Key to the Switch”, although secondary characters still got shafted (I don’t remember any of them except for Kagura/Akiha!).

     

Aesthetically speaking, although I prefer the art noveau feel of the manga art, the production values of the OVA format helps give some justice to the world depicted. Although some of the perspectives are somewhat strange or unbalanced, we also get gorgeous shots such as the one with Hal lighting Shohei’s cigarette (above left). I’d personally like to see a whole 2-cour (or more) adaptation, but if the production values are going to drop, then I’ll settle for what we already have. Hm…if we’re talking about DOLLS, on the other hand…(^_^;;)

In the end, the Switch OVA is really just an additional story for those who are familiar with the manga. Or for those who love the seiyuu, I suppose – FukuJun and Sakku are quite a fun commentary/talk pairing (I’ll need to watch this again after I read the manga), and this is the first time I’ve really thought: ah…Suwabe’s voice really is quite sexy… |・ω・`)

About karice
MAG fan, freelance translator and political scientist-in-training. I also love musicals, travel and figure skating!

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