There’s just something about a hapless thief. We love them. It’s just that much better when a thief has to fight another thief to get back what is rightfully theirs or to lay the blame at the right feet. Whether it’s Indiana Jones, or John Robie, when we want a rollicking adventure, a hapless thief-type character always scratches that itch.
Umesato the Third! (三代目は梅くくり!) is just such a tale. High school student Kukuri is the third thief with the name “Umesato” and she feels she has pretty high standards to uphold. With her partners “Niki-‘nee” and Maruo-san, Kukuri works hard at thieving, less so at school and always seems to come out behind in the final count. When another group of thieves helps themselves to her bounty, it’s simply intolerable.
The setting for Umesato the Third is slightly futuristic. If you’re a fan of belts that allow people to fly and hovercars, you’ll find yourself right at home. Unlike many sci-fi settings, this isn’t urban dystopia – it’s typical Japanese suburbia, just a few gadgets into the future.
There’s a fair amount of mild service here – Kukuri and Niki walk around in crop tops and bicycle pants, and Maruo-san, although he seems to have some conscience ends up seeing them partially dressed rather often. When Kukuri takes off, we’re rather more often than not treated to an underwear shot. As seinen series go, it’s mild. The violence is more mild than I would have expected from a Birz title as well – totally in keeping with the movie-feel of the story. In fact, this would make a cute live action, I think.
Yuri is random, but not unpleasant. Kukuri has an admirer and friend, Hana (with hover car) who is occasionally drawn into Kukuri’s schemes. After destroying her car in a high speed chase, Hana is chastising Kukuri for getting her in trouble and Kukuri (most likely to shut her up) kisses her. It’s a pretty intense kiss and is seen by one of the plot complications. It’s played for laughs more than anything, but Hana’s pretty obviously not complaining.
Art- 8 On the goofy side, which made it more fun
Story – 8 Same as above
Characters – 8 Same again
Service – 3
Overall – 8
There was nothing world shaking about this series, but as a rollicking good tale about a hapless thief, it was a lot of fun.