Haven’t heard of it? Good, I won’t sound pretentious then.
Guten tag! I’m not German btw, not really sure why I started with that greeting. Just sorta felt like it, I guess.
Anyways, let’s get to it. This is my review of the 2004 anime adaptation of the Yugo manga, Yugo the Negotiator.
Yugo the Negotiator follows Yugo Beppu, the world’s most successful negotiator, as he is hired to persuade a group of terrorists to release a hostage in one arc and becomes involved in a Russian conspiracy in the second arc. Yugo uses his unique skills, his way with words and his unyielding will to overcome trials and manipulate people. It’s a story of thrill, adventure and suspense that has remained relatively unknown to most anime watchers which is a real shame.
If you’ve heard of the negotiator-profession in anime, it was probably through the show Big O, where a Bruce Wayne look-alike named Roger Smith played the role of negotiator to the highest bidder, in a city that had completely lost it’s memory. That show has a lot more sci-fi and supernatural elements to it, and the negotiating really to the backseat other aspects of Roger Smith.
In Yugo however, it’s a lot different. The show is all about trying to read people and situations and the methods that are used in order to succeed despite everything and everyone going against you. Yugo becomes caught up in plots and webs but never stops until the job is done, even at the risk of his own life.
While the show is decent, it does suffer from some problems. First, there is the somewhat idiosyncratic animation. It’s of an older time and while I wouldn’t say it is too fundamentally different, the animation does reflect the maturity and realistic nature of the content. Clearly, it wants the viewer to take it seriously. However because it is somewhat older, it may take a little to get a hang of it. In some ways, it is reminiscent of some of the more mature cartoons that appeared on North American television in the early 2000’s.
Another problem is the show’s pacing. The plot can seem to slow down from time to time if you aren’t patient. Yugo, like older anime, suffers from a problem that many anime today don’t have: it doesn’t care what you think. In order to tell it’s story fully and completely, it paces itself in a manner that allows it to do so, even if the viewer wants things to go faster or slower for the sake of their own attention span. I appreciate that and respect it. Others may not, which is fine. It is a matter of personal taste. Yugo the Negotiator only has two story arcs, as a result of the slow pacing. I do not anticipate future adaptations of the manga, as much as I would like that.
Yugo is an interesting, albeit serious, show with enough adventure and suspense to slake your thirst. If you feel like giving it a chance, I would recommend doing so when you have time and energy to give it your full attention. This isn’t one of those shows I would just watch on the side.
That’s all for now folks. Thanks for reading, and have a great day!