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Excel Saga
Excel Saga, Volume 1.jpg
Cover of first Excel Saga tankōbon volume
(Ekuseru Sāga)
Genre Action, Parody, Science Fiction
Author Rikdo Koshi
Publisher Japan Shōnen Gahosha
English publisher United States Canada VIZ Media
Demographic Seinen
Magazine Japan Young King OURs
Original run 1997 – ongoing
Volumes 23 (List of volumes)
TV anime
Director Shinichi Watanabe
Studio Japan J.C.Staff
Licensor United States ADV Films
Network Japan TV Tokyo
English network United Kingdom Sci-Fi Channel, Rapture TV
United States Anime Network
Original run October 7, 1999March 30, 2000
Episodes 26 (List of episodes)
Anime and Manga Portal

Excel Saga (エクセル・サーガ Ekuseru Sāga ?) is a manga series written and illustrated by Rikdo Koshi. It has been serialized in Young King OURs since 1997, with individual chapters collected and published in tankōbon volumes by Shōnen Gahosha. The series follows the attempts of Across, a "secret ideological organization", to conquer the city of Fukuoka as a first step towards world domination. The titular character of the series, Excel, is a key member of the group working towards this goal, while the city is defended by a shadowy government agency led by Dr. Kabapu.

The manga was adapted into an anime television series by Victor Entertainment. Directed by Shinichi Watanabe and featuring animation from J.C.Staff, the series premiered on TV Tokyo in 1999. TV Tokyo only aired twenty-five of the series' twenty-six episodes, with the finale having been intentionally made too violent and obscene for public broadcast. As such, it was only included in the DVD release of the series, although it has since been broadcast in other markets.

The series has enjoyed some critical success coupled with respectable sales.



Believing the World to be corrupt, the secret organisation "Across" plans to conquer the world. The first step in the plan for world domination is to begin by focusing on one city in order to minimise setbacks. Across consists of the leader of the organisation, Il Palazzo, and officers "Excel" and "Hyatt". Excel and Hyatt live in an apartment building in the city, along with their pet dog "Mince", who is also their emergency food supply, and are later joined by Elgala, another Across officer. Living in the same apartment building are three friends Iwata, Sumiyoshi and Watanabe, along with co-worker Matsuya, and later Ropponmatsu, who work for the Department of City Security under Dr Kabapu. Eventually the members of Across begin making appeals directly to the City's citizens before Il Palazzo publicly declares the existence of Across and it's intensions to the public. Hyatt is captured and Excel and Elgala are later held in an immigrant detention center before being rescued by Il Palazzo, who begins the new phase of his plans.


The series was created by Rikdo Koshi and based on a dojinshi he had previously created while in High School named Municipal Force Daitenzin (市立戦隊ダイテンジン). Excel Saga was created as an evolution of "Daitenzin"in order to develop the character of Excel, as well as to laugh off the vision of a depressed and pessimistic view of the world.[1][2] Excel Saga is set in Fukuoka City and the names of characters and organisations are derived from local locations and buildings.[3] Rikdo would later become influenced by the anime series due to it's quick broadcast in comparison to the monthly schedule of the manga.[1]

Victor Entertainment contacted Shōnen Gahosha about adapting Excel Saga into an anime, and the two companies approached Rikdo. Shinichi Watanabe was chosen as director. Watanabe added his own alter ego, Nabeshin, and expanded several elements. He says that the Great Will in the manga was "conveyed just as words," and he himself developed its appearance, eventually settling on the "swirling, talking cosmos." He also increased Pedro's role in the story from a single frame in the manga. Watanabe says he was pleased with that aspect of his work, noting that "Pedro's situation was considered unsuitable for broadcast in Japan".[4] The anime production staff was given the freedom to do anything they wanted as long as they kept the theme of the series intact, and Rikdo requested they created a separate timeline. The anime makes frequent use of parody and in-jokes as Comedic devices, with each episode having a genre based theme. This extends to the animation, with several characters designed in the style of other works, such as those by Leiji Matsumoto.[5] Kotono Mitsuishi was chosen to play the role of Excel, and Watanabe was impressed with Mitsuishi's rapid delivery of her lines, saying that "she really pushed herself to the limit and beyond." He also says, "at times she was too fast, and there was plenty of time left to match the lip-synch" . In such cases, either he would add new material or Mitsuishi would ad-lib.[4] At first Rikdo felt stunned and uncomfortable at hearing Excel speak, but he called the casting "amazing" and was pleased to hear his favourite voice actors read lines from his work.[1]



The series began serialisation in Japan in 1997 in the monthly anthology Young King OURs.[6] The individual chapters began being collected and published in tankōbon format by Shōnen Gahosha in April 1997.[7] Volume 23 was released on September 30, 2009.[8]

Viz Media licensed Excel Saga for an English language release in North America in 2003.[9] The first volume was released on August 13, 2003, and as of December 2009 twenty volumes have been released.[10][11] Each volume of the Viz edition includes a section called "Oubliette," which consists of a sound effects guide and production and cultural notes.[3] The series is also licensed for regional language releases in France by Kabuto and in Italy by Dynit.[12][13]


Shinichi Watanabe dressed in the style of his 'Nabeshin' character.

The series was produced by J.C.Staff and directed by Shinichi Watanabe and ran for twenty five episodes on TV Tokyo from October 7, 1999 to March 30, 2000.[14] At the publisher's request, the anime series follows a different storyline from the manga, however Rikdo was pleased with the adaptation.[15] Victor Entertainment produced the music of the series, which was composed and arranged by Toshio Masuda, and directed by Keiichi Nozaki. Director Shinichi Watanabe wrote the lyrics for the opening and closing themes, which were performed by the "Excel♥Girls" (Yumiko Kobayashi and Mikako Takahashi), and he claims to have written the opening's lyrics "on the train, five minutes before the deadline".[4] The opening theme was"Love (Loyalty)" (「愛(忠誠心)」 "Ai (Chūseishin)" ?) and the closing theme was "Menchi's Bolero of Sorrow" (「メンチの哀愁のボレロ」 "Menchi no Aishū no Borero" ?). The two themes were released together as a CD single on November 3, 1999.[16]

A twenty-sixth episode, "Going Too Far" never aired on TV Tokyo because it was purposefully too violent and obscene for broadcast in Japan, but was included as a DVD bonus. Watanabe commented that it "felt good to go past the limits of a TV series", although he thinks it "is not something that you should do too often".[15] In Japan the series was released on 12 DVD's between March 1, 2000 and January 24, 2001.[17][18]

The series is licensed for an English language release in North America and the United Kingdom by ADV Films, and in Australia and New Zealand by Madman Entertainment. The English adaptation initially starred Jessica Calvello, with Larissa Wolcott taking over the role after episode thirteen after Calvello had damaged her voice during production.[19] In North America, ADV released the series on six dvds between June 11, 2002 and April 8, 2003. [20][21] A complete collection of the series was released on July 6, 2004 as "Excel Saga - The Imperfect collection" and re-released in different packaging on August 1, 2006 as "Excel Saga - Complete Collection".[22][23] In the UK, the series was released between May 19, 2003 and March 15, 2004.[24][25] The complete series was later released as "Excel Saga - Complete Box Set" on July 2, 2007.[26] The UK license for the series expired in January 2008.[27]

In the United Kingdom, the series was broadcast on Rapture TV from January 2, 2007.[28]


Several albums were released featuring music from the anime. Excel Saga - Original Soundtrack Experiment 1 (エクセル・サーガ ― 大いなるサウンドトラック実験1) was released on January 1st, 2000.[29] The album was later released in North America on August 9, 2005.[30] This was followed in Japan by Excel Saga - Original Soundtrack Experiment 2 (エクセル・サーガ ― 大いなるサウンドトラック実験2 おまけ 寸止め海峡) on March 23, 2000.[31] A North American release followed on November 1, 2005.[32]


Since its August 2003 release in North America, the manga has been among the 50 top-selling graphic novels on three occasions.[33][34][35]

The English-language reviews of the Excel Saga anime were broadly positive and enthusiastic. Mike Crandol of Anime News Network puts it in the same class asAirplane!, National Lampoon, Tex Avery, and Monty Python, adding that the "combination of character-based humor, outrageous slapstick farce, and a plot that is engaging if only for how weird it is make for a thoroughly enjoyable comedic experience".[5] A contrary opinion is expressed by Joel Pearce from DVD Verdict, who says the series is "occasionally clever and funny," but that "much of it is gratingly obnoxious".[36] Many reviewers express displeasure with middle and later episodes, saying they were "more of the same," that they had "stale" humor, that they were "tiresome,"or even "painfully unfunny."[36][37] [38] Episodes fourteen through sixteen, starring the Ropponmatsus, bear the brunt of this criticism, but several reviewers consider episode seventeen, "Animation USA," to be one of the best.[36][38][39][40]

Reviewers also agree that the series suffers from too much "filler" in its later episodes, with Crandol describing the show as "spinning its wheels."[41] Yegulalp reserves his harshest words for the unaired "Going Too Far," calling it "pure, idiotic, wretched excess." He goes on to say that the episode has "the feeling of trying to deliberately enrage the audience by resorting to the only tactics left: genuinely offensive subject matter." Joel Cunningham at Digitally Obsessed disagrees, saying that the episode succeeds just in time, "with one of the series' funnier sight gags,".[42]

The series generally receives high marks for technical aspects. Cunningham feels the animation is "flat-out gorgeous," but Crandol considers it merely above average. In the latter's opinion, its quality wanes as the series progresses and increasingly relies on super-deforming the characters for comedic effect.[43][38] ADV's release earned praise for the quality of the video transfer and the DVD extras (particularly the Vid-Notes).[5][42] Reviewers especially appreciated the English voice acting: Crandol calls it "brilliant," and several note that Calvello and Wolcott were each able to capture Mitsuishi's Excel.[5][38][40] Pearce, in contrast, found the English cast to be "pretty bad" and its Excel to be "dental drill" shrill.[36]

Akadot's reviewer of the manga writes that "some of the strange events go on a little too long and do not have the impact that they do animated," but that Rikdo's Excel Saga is "graced with fantastic visuals and a hilarious story," and that the English edition is "a masterpiece of the translator's skill."[44] Barb Lien-Cooper from Comic World News concurs that the manga cannot keep pace with the anime, but she finds Excel herself to be wittier in the manga and that the manga's plots "make more sense" than the anime's.[45] A reviewer of the French edition also praises Rikdo's work, noting that it is an "...easy read without problems of clarity."[46]


  1. ^ a b c "Interview with Rikdo Koshi". Excel Saga DVD Volume 5 (ADV Films).  
  2. ^ "Anime Expo - Press Panel with Koushi Rikudo". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  3. ^ a b Koshi, Rikdo (2003). Excel Saga vol.2. Viz media. p. 202. ISBN 1-56931-989-8.  
  4. ^ a b c Unattributed (November 2002). "Interview with Excel Saga director Shinichi Watanabe". Newtype USA 1 (1): 84–8.  
  5. ^ a b c d Crandol, Mike (June 17, 2002]). "Review - Excel Saga DVD 1". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 8, 2009.  
  6. ^ "Excel Saga". Viz media. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  7. ^ "エクセル・サーガ 1 (ヤングキングコミックス) (コミック)". Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  8. ^ "エクセル・サーガ 23 (ヤングキングコミックス) (コミック)". Retrieved December 28,2009.  
  9. ^ "Viz Announces Seven Exciting New Graphic Novels Available in August". Viz Media. March 6, 2003. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  10. ^ "Excel Saga, Vol. 2". Viz Media. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  11. ^ "Excel Saga, Vol. 18". Viz Media. Retrieved November 12, 2008.  
  12. ^ "Excel Saga" (in French). Kabuto. Retrieved June 11, 2008.  
  13. ^ "Excel Saga" (in Italian). Dynit. Retrieved June 11, 2008.  
  14. ^ 「エクセル・サーガ」でのドラマデータベース検索結果,,エクセル・サーガ&x=0&y=0, retrieved December 28,2009  
  15. ^ a b Shinichi Watanabe. Excel Saga Volume 3 - Interview with Shinichi Watanabe. [DVD]. ADV Films.  
  16. ^ "愛(忠誠心) [Single"]. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  17. ^ "へっぽこ実験アニメーション エクセル・サーガ その1 [DVD"]. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  18. ^ "へっぽこ実験アニメーション エクセル・サーガ への12 [DVD"]. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  19. ^ "Nan Desu Kan 6". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  20. ^ "Excel Saga Vol. #1". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  21. ^ "Excel Saga Vol. #6". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  22. ^ "Excel Saga - The Imperfect Collection". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  23. ^ "Excel Saga -Complete Collection". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  24. ^ "Excel Saga - Vol. 1 - Episodes 1-5". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  25. ^ "Excel Saga Vol. #6 (Uk)". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  26. ^ "Excel Saga - Complete Box Set". Retrieved December 29, 2008.  
  27. ^ "ADV Films UK Switches from US-Run Office to UK Partner". Anime News Network. Retrieved January 2, 2010.  
  28. ^ "Excel & Hyatt Crash Rapture Tv in January 2007!". Anime News Network. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  29. ^ "エクセル・サーガ ― 大いなるサウンドトラック実験 1". Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  30. ^ "Excel Saga, Vol. 1 [SOUNDTRACK"]. Retrieved January 2, 2010.  
  31. ^ "エクセル・サーガ ― 大いなるサウンドトラック実験 2・おまけ 寸止め海峡 [Soundtrack"]. Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  32. ^ "Excel Saga, Vol. 1 [SOUNDTRACK"]. Retrieved January 2, 2010.  
  33. ^ "Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual--October 2003". Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  34. ^ "Top 50 Graphic Novels Actual--December 2003". Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  35. ^ "Top 100 Graphic Novels Actual--February 2004". Retrieved December 28, 2009.  
  36. ^ a b c d Pearce, Joel (September 9, 2004). "Review - Excel Saga: Imperfect Collection". DVD Verdict. Retrieved June 20, 2006.  
  37. ^ Cunningham, Joel (February 24, 2003). "Excel Saga #5: Secrets and Lies (2000)". Digitally Obsessed. Retrieved June 3, 2006.  
  38. ^ a b c d Crandol, Mike (January 14, 2001). "Review - Excel Saga DVD 4". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 1, 2006.  
  39. ^ Arnold, Adam (February 2003). "Animefringe Reviews: Excel Saga Vol.4: Doing Whatever It Takes". Animefringe. Retrieved June 12, 2006.  
  40. ^ a b Cunningham, Joel (January 13, 2001). "Excel Saga #4: Doing Whatever It Takes (2000)". Digitally Obsessed. Retrieved June 12, 2006.  
  41. ^ Crandol, Mike (march 10, 2003). "Review - Excel Saga DVD 5". Anime News Network. Retrieved June 1, 2006.  
  42. ^ a b Cunningham, Joel (April 8, 2003). "Excel Saga #6: Going Way Too Far (2000)". Digitally Obsessed. Retrieved June 3, 2006.  
  43. ^ Cunningham, Joel (January 14, 2001). "Excel Saga #1: The Weirdness Begins (1999)". Digitally Obsessed. Retrieved June 6, 2003.  
  44. ^ "Excel Saga". Akadot. September 16, 2003. Retrieved June 3, 2006.  
  45. ^ Lien-Cooper, Barb. "Excel Saga Volume 3". Comic World News. Retrieved June 29, 2003.  
  46. ^ Full quotation (French): "En ce qui concerne la mise en page, celle-ci est particulièrement dynamique avec un enchaînement impressionnant de cases les unes sur les autres et qui laissent, malgré le nombre, une lecture facile et sans problèm de clarté." "Critique de Excel Saga". SciFi-Universe. Retrieved June 8, 2006.  

External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Excel Saga (1999) is a comedy anime directed by Shinichi Watanabe (ja. Watanabe Shinichi) and based on a manga series written by Koushi Rikudou. The complete Japanese title is へっぽこ実験アニメーション エクセル・サーガ, translated as Quack Experimental Anime: Excel Saga. Excel is the heroine of this series. The director Shinichi Watanabe is featured as Nabeshin in this series.


Season 1

Koshi Rikdo Assassination Plot [1.1]

  • Excel: How dare you live in a place with a roof, you user of INK!?

  • Excel: Please just pretend you were bitten by a stray dog and DIE. MY WHAT A TENACIOUS BASTARD!!!

  • Excel: There is one Earth! If it splits, there will be two!

  • Good Excel: The bullet of justice, caps evil's ass!

The Woman From Mars [1.2]

  • Watanabe: Hey! Ano problema mo?!? Can't you be a little quieter while I wallow in misery?

  • Nabeshin: "Ramdam kita....... Space Butler.... HYOOOOOOOOH!"

The Sacrificial Lamb of the Venomous Great Escape of Hell [1.3]

  • Excel: FREE AT LAST!!!!

  • Army Captain Guy: You have the right to breathe. You have the right to blink freely. You have the right to pick your nose.

  • Excel: Who is this place? Where are you? Me am Excel!

  • Iwata: Awww...Come on, we just used your porn magazine for a potholder! Heck, the gravy stains might even enhance the experience!

  • Army Captain Guy: "Ah! Very good Nabeshin! I see you're still a ninja commando from hell!"

Love Puny [1.4]

  • Watanabe: "I'm.... a....... a....... CIVIL SERVANT!!!"

  • IlPalazzo: Who puts a bomb in a dating game?!

The Interesting Giant Tower [1.5]

  • Excel: Come on scribbles on the bathroom wall! Please show me the path that I must follow!

  • Nabeshin (Singing): I'm Nabeshin, my afro suits me, it's easy to clean, just wash it once! The babes all like it 'cause it's fluffy and I like it 'cause I don't have to brush. Shaggy and curly, frizzy and messy, my afro do is the best for me. I'm Nabeshin and the chicks dig me. It's a wap-doo-wap doo-wap-doo-wap hair! Do-didididi-dey!

The Cold is Winter! Snowed Under Episode [1.6]

  • IlPalazzo: Resources, resources! You must obtain more resources!

Melody of the Underground Passage [1.7]

  • Three dying Puchuus: "Doo-Wop!"

Increase Ratings Week [1.8]

Excel: "I'm sexy"

Bowling Girls [1.9]

  • Nabeshin: "I ain't dead."

Elegy to the Dogs [1.10]

Butt Out, Youth! [1.11]

Excel: By the way, Mr. Aesop, education starts with just how you get close to those naïve young hearts. Categorically yelling at them produces the opposite effect. What we need on the modern battlefield of education is... Yes! A glass of tomato juice!

Big City Part II [1.12]

The New Year's-End Party Hidden Talent Contest [1.13]

Prop [1.14]

More! Prop Memorial [1.15]

Take Back Love! [1.16]

Animation USA [1.17]

Excel: In the name of the moon, I'm going to slap yo' butt!

Municipal Force Daitenzin [1.18]

Menchi's Great Adventure 2 - Around the World in 80 Hours [1.19]

The Best of Mr. Pedro [1.20]

Excel & Hyatt: Mitsuo! Menda! Naha Naha!

Visually Appealing Type [1.21]

Invasion, Mother [1.22]

Legend of the End of the Century Conqueror [1.23]

For You, I Could Die [1.24]

We Will Not Be Held Responsible [1.25]

Pedro & That Man: One shot is all we get!
That Man: Chinpyourousupoun!
Pedro: Nabe-hame-ha!

Going Too Far [1.26]

"Don't worry, girls, explosions fix everything!"

Unidentified Episode


  • "Aww, it's so cute...BUT WHO THE HECK CARES!?"


  • "I will make it [the mannequin] a Staff Officer, and the thingy a Unit Captain!"
  • "Oh, so they intend to take over the planet all at once, do they? I can only say that it's an idea for fools who can only grasp the most generalized of concepts."


  • "I'm Nabeshin!"
  • "And now, it's time to Nabe-leave!!"
  • "Don't worry, girls, explosions fix everything!"


  • "NO!!!!!!!!!"
  • "...well maybe Pedro should show you a flashback instead."
  • "I cry twin waterfalls!"


  • "Puchuu!!"
  • "OWWWW! That hurt! You make-a me bleed!"
  • "Ow! That shatters a bone!"
  • "Why you kill-a me so easily?"
  • "Divine Retribution"
  • "Burn in hell!"

Watanabe, Iwata, and Sumiyoshi

  • "Shut up! Shut up and die!" -Watanabe
  • "I don't like you guys!! And give me back my doughnuts!" -Watanabe
  • Watanabe: "My sensitivity isn't the issue here! Surely you can see that!"
  • Iwata: "Don't call me Shirley, I'm Iwata!"


  • "That's life. Those are life. This is life. They're all lives." -Tetsuko


External links

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Simple English

Excel Saga (エクセル・サーガ Ekuseru Sāga?) is a comedy manga made by Koushi Rikudou. There's also an anime.

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