Werewolves. Where wolves? Not here…
Oh my, where do I start describing this thing…
I may start from the translation, where they managed to mis-gender one of the main characters. She’s called KONO Ayumi, which is a girl’s name, she’s part of a group of girls, she’s clearly drawn with a female figure, but it’s “Mister Kono” and “he”, both in the dubbing and in the subtitles. I don’t want to think the error came from her first line being «Do you love me?» directed at another girl. I doubt the translation will be fixed before the commercial release, though. I’d also like to know why the cameras that record everything everyone does are called “storage devices” (a fansub has them as “image collection devices”, which sounds like a better translation), but that’s just a minor nit.
Then, the setting. Sometime in the future. There’s been peace everywhere for about a century. People tent to interact mainly on-line, so schools have to convince pupils to have actual in person contact. Also, food shortages have been eliminated by a company that makes synthetic meat from plant matter (no, don’t ask why they can’t just eat plants). But, violence and murder are still around.
There’s a series of murders, and four girls get involved: Yuuko gets nearly killed, Mio wants to know what happened, Ayumi has witnessed the scene, Myao has hepeld save Yuuko, Hazuki (our point-of-view character) is just dragged into the whole mess because she’s part of the same “in-person communication group” as the first two girls. Their teacher / supervisor / whatever is asked to cooperate with the investigation by a shifty figure in the police; her boyfriend (?) is also part of the investigation. A few things happen: while trying to discover who’s the killer, and to avoid getting killed, the girls practise a dance routine from an old video recording (no, I have no idea why, it’s totally unrelated to the plot); Mio hacks into the surveillance network, and near the end she goes around inside a robot; Myao kicks ass (she’s Chinese, so of course she’s good at martial arts); Ayumi rambles philosophically; Hazuki is generically encouraging; there’s explosions and more deaths; there’s a vague explanation at the end, where we discover that the title (“werewolves” in French) comes from the fact that some people will behave like beasts for whatever reason.
The drawings, animation, and music are not nearly good enough to make up for the shoddy setting and plot. I feel, honestly, that I’ve wasted a hundred minutes watching this.
Loups=Garous is released on Blu-Ray/DVD combo and DVD today by Manga Entertainment.
Distributor: Manga Entertainment (UK)
Edition: Blu-Ray/DVD (2013)
Extras: promotional videos and trailers; a "movie digest", a "picture drama", and a "pilot film" (very similar to each other); interviews with the cast; two versions of the music video the girls rehearse; and an interview with the actual singers of that video.