Brief Thoughts On: Elf 17

Elf 17 is a 1987 anime adaptation of a manga by Atsuji Yamamoto. Its story follows a band of merry travelers who are on a madcap cruise through the galaxy to amuse an eccentric prince. They get into all sorts of trouble wherever they go, usually resulting in widespread chaos. This is all completely fine, so long as high royal highness finds it entertaining.

PHOTO: The crew staring off into the distance together.

Joining him are the elf warrior Ruu and a mecha operator by the name of K.K. Two young troublemakers who share the prince’s carefree attitude and lust for adventure. At the same time, however, they are not malicious. Their curiosity and competitive drive can tempt them to do bad things, but they don’t mean any harm by it. They help those in need of aid and stand up against villains when necessary.

Their adventure throughout Elf 17 is full of banter, slapstick, and other comedy. It’s all very lighthearted, even foregoing opportunities for intense violence when they seem so obvious. So many of its contemporaries dabbled in gore and sex, so I appreciate that Elf 17 focuses on keeping the action fun. It’s a breath of fresh air.

PHOTO: Ruu headbutts a goon several times her size.

Still, I am left with my usual complaint. Elf 17 is good, but serves to promote a manga that is basically unattainable. The original manga ran for 8 volumes, none of which ever released in The West as far as I can tell. It’s also not on Bookwalker or any of the usual back alley sources. It’s enjoyable as a standalone movie, but may leave you craving more.

1 thought on “Brief Thoughts On: Elf 17

  1. Hmm, this sounds like something fun to watch if you want to see something retro but don’t want to have to dive too deep for it. There are a ton of really great space anime from the 80’s but a lot of them have a long and intricate backstory, and can be intimidating to try to get into. This anime seem very accessible for more casual retro anime fans.

Leave a Reply