For our next visit to the Lost Continent of Forgotten Anime of Time of Land, we zip ahead to the year 1998, to a 52-episode TV series, also produced by Tohomei, called WATASHI-TACHI WA YAKUSOKU SURU, KANOJO WA 19 NEN FETISHTASTIC (roughly, We Swear to God, She's 19 Years Old: Fetishtastic). This is a family-friendly sitcom about a boy named Toki whose parents inherit a robot maid named Fetishtastic. The first thing you notice about this show is that it has an incredibly complicated backstory (Fetishtastic is a creation of the evil Fetish-O-Matic Corporation who plan on taking over the world with their curiously young-looking but apparently legal robot girls) that gets explained by voice-over in the first five minutes of each episode, but the episodes themselves never seem to involve the backstory at all. The second thing you notice upon watching any given episode is that they are constantly stressing the fact that Fetishtastic is 19 years old-- it's the first thing mentioned in the voice-overs, and at least 3 of the characters will work it into their dialogue every episode.
Most of the plots, such as they are, seem to focus on Fetishtastic's relationship with Toki; he is a painfully shy boy of about 15, and even though it's never actually mentioned in the course of the series, I think he's supposed to be psychologically traumatized or something-- every time Fetishtastic (or for that matter, any female exept Toki's mother) so much as brushes against him, he bursts into tears of anguish, and emits such a terrifyingly wretched wail of existential agony that I have to turn the volume down on my TV. I mean, this is meant to be a kid's show, so I doubt they actually had themes like survivors of sexual abuse in mind, but how else do you explain things like episode 18, "Cute Maid! What Effect Will Dusting Have?"-- Fetishtastic puts her arm around Toki and he screams his lungs out for the entire rest of the episode. This was a little distressing to me, since she puts her arm around him pretty much right at the beginning of the show, right after the backstory narration, so he screams for a solid 20 minutes straight (yes, I timed it). I'm not sure what's going on with that.
I'm also not sure what's going on with the rest of the series, frankly. Aside from Toki screaming, the main focus is on whatever Fetishtastic happens to wear. She doesn't really wear the maid outfit you see at the top all that often-- in fact, in episode 40, "Quarrel! Is This The End of Friendship?!", all you see of Fetishtastic for the ENTIRE episode is her feet, which are encased in a pair of enormous platform sandals. What the hell?? Then there's the 6-episode story arc where she turns into a giantess and walks around "squishing" all the male characters under her delicate but gigantic toes (despite getting squished, they all emerge unharmed at the end of each episode). But I think the weirdest episode has to be number 23, "School Hijinks! What Will Come Next?", in which Fetishtastic demonstrates her skill at acting like a boa constrictor by SWALLOWING TOKI WHOLE. That's not even the worst part-- she then REVERSES the process, slowly (and I do mean slowly, it takes like 15 minutes) spitting him back out, all covered with saliva. I won't go into the earth-shattering shrieks Toki emitted during THAT episode. I tell you, I had to take a long, hot, scouring shower after watching that one. I felt dirty for weeks, and I'm not even sure why.
Oh, and the less said about that furry mascot suit she wears without explanation throughout episode 5, "Amazing Maid! She Does Windows", the better.
All contents copyright © 2003 Shaindle Minuk.