Often what makes anime stand out in the minds of its fans is its not-so-subliminally marketed potential for out-of-left-field WTF-ery. Last season saw a rebirth of such examples via series such as Kill La Kill and (to a lesser yet still formidable extent) Samurai Flamenco. However, Kill La Kill, as wrought by Hiroyuki Imaishi and Kazuki Nakashima, is reminiscent of one of their most memorable creations, Gurren Lagann, and Samurai Flamenco is more or less a parody of super sentai or an exercise in surrealism regarding the same. Because of their reliance upon similar or existing concepts, respectively, neither series truly evokes the WTF-originality brought to mind by the utterance of “anime” despite the awe-inspiringly odd elements therein. Sometimes, instead of an entire series based around the fantastic, it takes a banal show with a specific moment to remind audiences of the triple- and quadruple-takes anime is capable of causing. With that in mind, let me introduce to you what I’ve deemed “The Dragon Dick Minion Portal” from Wizard Barristers — one of the Winter 2014 simulcasts.
Within the world established by Wizard Barristers, there are wizards as well as prosecutors and defense attorneys who specifically deal with incidents involving the mischievous or malicious use of magic. The opening scene is of one such crime, where a rogue wizard takes out an entire train and a few helicopters while being chased. Suspension of disbelief requires the world to operate by its own rules, so fine: it’s a beautiful action sequence and looks like something that could probably happen in the real world given the existence of magic. After this exciting scene, there’s exposition: we meet the main protagonist, she takes a case before even getting to the office on her first day on the job (which consequently makes her late for her first day on the job), we meet her coworkers, and then a mechanical dragon that drops out of the sky becomes a dinosaur and grows an erection that spews bank-robbing minions!
This scene plays out like Grimlock getting a chubby while staring at energon cubes and ejaculating nanobots to collect the energy for him, and it’s the first thing in anime in a long while to make me sit up, not in disgust but in genuine befuddlement, and ask if I really saw what I just saw … and then rewind to watch it again … multiple times. Sure, the camera and framing doesn’t allow 100% substantiation of where the minion portal is placed, and the portal itself isn’t specifically drawn as a penis, but the suggestiveness is too overwhelming to overlook. And who’d want to anyway? After all, this is a fantastic reminder of how anime can still shock and awe.
Wizard Barristers is currently streaming on Crunchyroll.
Snapshots is a monthly column in which one of our writers reflects upon a particular moment from an anime, manga, or video game. New entries are posted on or around the 15th of each month. To read previous entries, click here.