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L/R: "Everything They Touch Turns Into Excitement"

We may not know which is the L and which is the R, but this stylish show is the newest Cowboy Bebop patch to come along, and possibly the most entertaining

Like many anime fans, I really miss Cowboy Bebop. Thus, when a new show appears that has excellent (if questionable for the setting) music, cool characters, and a unique scenario, I get my hopes up. Who knows? I might find something equally worthy of becoming an addiction.

It's more frivolous than Cowboy Bebop, but L/R tries to present entertainment in its own way nonetheless. If quirky is what you're looking for, you've come to the right place.

Jack Hofner and Rowe Rickenbacker are the two lead characters of this story. Agents of Cloud 7, and known in the industry as L/R, the polite Jack and crude Rowe protect the interests of the crown of Ishtar, a European nation that doesn't exist. If it did, you'd probably call it Britain. Or England. Or that place where The Beatles came from.

Don't look for world-threatening situations here, however, for most of L/R's missions tend to be more whimsical than dramatic. For some of us, that's no loss.

L/R is far more concerned with protecting the integrity of the royal family than anything else. Rather than serve as bodyguards, L/R is more like a duo of highly skilled snappily dressed PR agents with nice cars. For example, one such ongoing threat is Ishtar's missing princess. She's been gone for more than a decade, and lately, more and more young girls have appeared claiming to be the lost Lady. Jack and Rowe deal with these problems personally, and despite their outgoing ways, they end up doing their jobs with incredible discretion.

In the third episode, we meet Noel, a young girl who actually claims to be the aforementioned lost princess, and though she doesn't reappear on the disc, there's a great chance she'll be seen in future episodes. Her best friend (or at least, constant companion) is a little monkey that provides additional comedy as the show moves along.

Interestingly enough, the background music for the series is completely in English, though at times it's heavily accented Japanese English. The songs are dominant in setting the tone of the show, and due to their light-hearted nature most of the time, they've led me to believe that this is not a show that will hold up well to an in-depth psychological breakdown. However, it is a show with catchy music, and Pioneer was kind enough to release a domestic version of the soundtrack at the same time that the first DVD was released. You can check out a review of the CD in this month's issue of Animefringe as well.

In the end, I'd say this is no replacement for Cowboy Bebop (I'm not sure anything could easily do that), but it's shaping up to be an entertaining diversion for the time being. As I said earlier, that's enough, at times.

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