Sweet Valerian

December 9th, 2004

Sweet Valerian is suspended somewhere between “how adorable!” and “wtf?”. :-)

I can see the scene clearly:

The ladies of CLAMP are sitting around after work one night, drinking, maybe sharing a few hallucenogenics between friends, relaxing and having a few laughs.

Tsubaki asks, “What haven’t we done yet?”

And Mokona answers, “Well, we haven’t done a magical girl series in a while.”

Everyone boos Mokona down, but about then the acid kicks in and they start to brainstorm.

Satsuki has another sake and posits, “Hey, let’s do it! But instead of a magical girl thing, we’ll make them turn into bunnies.”

“Yeah!” agrees Ageha, who is now leaning at an alarming angle. “And when the papers report that the bunnies have saved the world, the girls can be all annoyed.”

At which point in the conversation Tsubaki wakes up and adds, “Yes, and the art can be all Peter Max on bad mushrooms…”

There’s a pause in the conversation as they all ponder adding mushrooms to their happy-time menu….

Interrupting the silence, Mokona stands up and says, “I got it! We’ll make it a short, like, 3 or 4 minute thing, so there doesn’t really have to be a plot – in fact it doesn’t even have to make sense!”

Tsubaki joins Mokona on her feet and raises a glass to the merchandisable, yet inexplicable, new series from CLAMP. “Now all we need is a title,” Tsubaki says.

She looks at her fellow CLAMPers, but Satsuki is looking sick, “My head is pounding. Anyone got aspirin?” she asks miserably.

Ageha shuffles in her purse. “No – but I have some valerian pills. They’re pretty good for relieving stress…” And they all stare at each other, as the chill of the inevitable settles over them and a new series is born.

(The above is, of course, fiction and completely NOT meant to imply that the members of CLAMP in any way indulge in illicit drugs. Really…)

So, anyway, we meet rich-girl Kanoko, game company representative Pop and model Kate, as they go to apply for a scooter license, but instead are tricked into becoming a team of magical girl bunnies,”Relaxation Squad Valerian,” that save the world from the evils of the Stress Boys, in 3-minute chunks of surreal weirdness.

I love this anime, but I’m glad it’s short. If it went on too long, like Super Milk-chan it would begin to grate on my nerves. And like Kogepan, the super-short format adds considerable surrealism to the otherwise bare storyline.

Let’s cut to the chase – is there yuri?

If you turn your yuri goggles up and remember that fanon goes a *long* way to filling the holes, then…yes. ;-)

Take a look at this picture from their origin episode.

Note how cute Kate and Kanoko look together. Remember that there is virtually no character development in this goofy thing. Now close your eyes and write a little story…. There! There’s your yuri! LOL

Just to up the yuri potential through the “6 degrees of yuri” game, Pop’s voice is done by Asakawa Yu, who we know and love for doing Sakaki from Azumanga Daioh and Jura from Vandread.

As an added bonus, Kate, the monotonal model, also has a yuri voice credit to her name. Her seiyuu played Subaru from .hack/sign. Feel free to write fanfic, draw fan art, connect the dots, fill in the blanks and otherwise make this series a yuri-fest. :)

Ratings:

Story – What there is, is a silly 7

Characters – 8

Art – Intentionally simplistic and surreal, 8

Yuri – 4

Overall – 7

I mean, come *on!* Magical *bunnies*! And, erm, some yuri fanon potential. Just watch it already.

P.S. – A visit to CLAMP’s official website has just netted me the info that Sweet Valerian manga will be begin running in February’s Nakayoshi magazine. I’ll definitely be looking for it!

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