Deep in a forest on a remote tropical island, far removed from the mainland, lives a peaceful village. The people there live in a strange combination of the modern and the old. Access to modern technologies yet sticking to the old ways is the way things get done around here. One little family that lives in the village consists of the mother Ueda and her son Hale.
Hale is a hyperactive loud kid, who up to now has enjoyed his life. He enjoys his video games tremendously, even if he does occasionally forget to save them.
But the village’s peaceful lifestyle is about to change. Enter Guu. Guu is a young girl who is found and adopted by Hale’s mother. But there is something strange about Guu. She has two distinct personas and she swallows things. Whole. In fact, the more Hale looks at it, the less human Guu is.
But Hale is certain of one thing though – wherever Guu goes, problems are sure to follow.
Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu is a highly entertaining comedy romp that aims to tickle your funny bone as much as possible. Set in a modern-day jungle, the story revolves around the hyperactive and highly stressed Hale and the mysterious, anarchy-bringing Guu. Hale is basically a very nice boy with his own set of troubles but who is always thinking of others. Guu on the other hand is not even remotely human. Able to swallow almost everything in sight, Guu appears to be from a completely different dimension. Packed into the body of a young girl, Guu seeks to cause chaos and generally make Hale’s life as difficult as possible. Playing on Guu’s otherworldliness, the show takes on a very surreal aspect. However, this allows for a lot of unexpected and extremely hilarious humour to creep into the show. The series consist of loosely connected once-off stories that put Hale in a series of difficult situations.
However, one is always reminded throughout the show of a slightly darker story thread weaving its way through the series. Things like why Hale’s mom is living in the jungle in the first place and Hale’s missing father adds depth to an otherwise pure comedic series.
The characters that inhabit this show are a bright and bawdy bunch, each with their own personal wit and charm. The jungle is also inhabited by a variety of very strange and unusual-looking creatures, the strangest of which probably being the Pokute.
The animation is bright and fairly simplistic. However, the characters are well animated and the use of caricatures and super-deformed artwork during the show works very well in the comedic moments. In fact, the general smoothness of the animation allows for a lot of the show’s humour to seamlessly be brought to light.
The music score for the series is upbeat with a great jungle rhythm. As the show progresses, a slightly more dramatic style of score does however begin to creep in. However, the show is generally characterised by its fun and upbeat musical score. The voice actors for this show are really good and Hale’s hyperactive, energy-driven character is perfectly carried out. Guu’s slow, monotonous voice is sheer brilliance as well.
This show won’t tug at any heartstrings, but it may very well tickle your funny bone. Sit back and enjoy the weird, surreal world of Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu.
(Historical Note: This was written back in June 2004. Thankfully my writing has improved greatly since then.)