Gedächtnis: Did you learn capoeira?
Fireball is a series of anime shorts depicting the antics of Robot Girl Drossel and her gigantic, one-eyed robotic servant Gedächtnis, who dwell in a mansion in the center of a huge robot city, somewhere in the 49th century. Later the duo is accompanied by Schadenfreude, a robotic monkey of sorts.
Drossel looks like the robotized version of a pigtailed spoiled princess and pretty much behaves that way, complete with stylized poses. The discussions she has with Gedächtnis are generally nonsensical, with lots of emphasis on speed of delivery and flights of fancy, although occasionally they become more serious in tone.
The series was produced by Toei in cooperation with Disney Studios and is notable for the usage of pure 3D imagery, in contrast with other anime where this is often blended with cel shading or other types of animation.
- After the End: Or is it before?
- All CGI Cartoon
- Animated Actors: The Making of Fireball DVD special has interviews with both Drossel and Gedächtnis' "actors" - Drossel is a cheerful Genki Girl who has trouble keeping quiet on set and doesn't always understand the script, while Gedächtnis is a gravel-throated Man of a Thousand Voices who hates filming and hadn't bothered reading the book Fireball is supposedly based on.
Gedächtnis: The original? Never read it. Rather than going by the original, I made the character my own.
- Art Evolution: Drossel and Gedächtnis have both received updated character designs in Charming -- Gedächtnis in particular is significantly more detailed. These may simply be examples of older hardware, however, considering that Charming is a prequel to Fireball.
- Badass Cape: Drossel wears one in an episode of Charming.
- Bolivian Army Ending: Implied in the last episode of the first season. Conspicuously, the second season is a prequel.
- Book Ends: The first episode of Charming starts with a dream Drossel has of standing in a classroom, in front of a chalkboard cluttered with writing. In the last episode of Charming, the classroom and chalboard is seen again as a representation of Drossel's memory and loss of which as she wipes the chalkboard clean. More importantly, however, is Drossel's wiping away "Gedächtnis", and the first season's Running Gag of Drossel's inability to remember Gedächtnis' name. When Drossel mentions that this might happen, Gedächtnis laughs. The fool.
- Breaking the Fourth Wall: Gedächtnis does this one time to disable the laugh track.
- Catch Phrase: "Incidentally, my name is Gedächtnis." In Charming: "M'lady, it's time for the ball."
- Drop the Washtub
- Dystopia: The imagery of the town gives that feel.
- Everything's Better with Monkeys: Yes, even robotic ones.
- Expressive Hair: In Charming, Drossel's "pigtails" have been replaced with a single articulated ponytail-like... thing.
- It's kinda like a third leg attached to the back of her head. Creepy...
- The Faceless: After Drossel has her Juno-XIII face taken off (to be refitted with the Juno-XIV), whatever was beneath is conspicuously not shown.
- Flower Motifs: Blue Roses. Drossel gets one for her birthday. Apparently they are biohazardous. Also, the antiquated puppet representing human beings contain blue rose petals, and blue roses are components in Drossel's "bed"/stasis chamber.
- Genre Savvy: At one point Drossel remembers having seen an anime. Gedächtnis also references anime in another episode.
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In episode 2 of Charming, Drossel makes an entrance by slowly sliding down metal poles and finishes it off with some stretching...
- Glowing Mechanical Eyes: Drossel also has a flashlight feature in her eyes.. which renders her unable to see.
- Gratuitous English: The game board robot in Charming episode 9 says "WOULD YOU PLAY A GAME?"
- Gratuitous German
- Hurricane of Puns
- Hartman Hips: Charming Drossel (AKA Juno-XIII) design sports these.
- Keigo: Gedächtnis speaks in this fashion, to underline his butler-like persona.
- Laugh Track: One starts playing in one episode, much to Drossel's dismay.
- Lonely Rich Kid: At times Drossel gives that impression.
- Meaningful Name: Gedächtnis is German for "memory". Schadenfreude is German for ... Schadenfreude.
- Meido: The mansion apparently has thousands, but they are all invisible.
- My Name Is Not Durwood: See the Running Gag about Gedächtnis' name.
- Necktie Headband: Gedächtnis during the "flower viewing" in the Charming finale. He does not appear to be drunk otherwise.
- Not So Stoic: Gedächtnis actually screams aloud when Drossel shows him that the human vehicle has "Warning" written on it.
- Ojou: Drossel. And how!
- Once Per Episode: See the Running Gag about Gedächtnis' name.
- Overly Long Name: The 19th Lord of Uranos' Kingdom's Tempest Domain, Drossel Juno Vierzehntes Heizregister Fürstin von Flügel.
- AKA Juno-XIV.
- Rapid-Fire Comedy
- Ridiculously-Human Robots: Despite being a robot, Drossel appararently has a (deceased) father. She also has some human quirks, like arrogance.
- Robot Girl: Drossel, but no effort has been made to make her humanly cute.
- Running Gag:
- Every episode, Drossel summons Gedächtnis using the wrong name. Gedächtnis reminds her of his correct name only for her to tell him to not interrupt her and then use the same or a new wrong name.
Drossel: Hey, Durum Semolina! Durum Semolina, where are you?
- Also, Drossel referring to her obvious capoeira movements as "karate".
- Seinfeldian Conversation: Quite.
- Shout-Out: Several, but most notably to The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
- Most of the alternative names for Gedächtnis that Drossel comes up with also qualify.
- Let's not forget about the reference to The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy while discussing dolphins (i.e. humans are number 3 on the intelligence scale).
- The training program in Charming episode 2 is a reference to the one Paul Atreides undergoes in Dune.
- In episode 8 of Charming, Gedächtnis claims that if she so chooses, Drossel can reverse the earth's rotation to turn back time.
- The human-puppet throwing the Vulcan Salute ("peace and prosperity") in the Charming finale. Maybe the Charming Mankind did show up for the Ball.
- Drossel starts humming Daisy Bell as she is being prepared for stasis at the end of Charming.
- On meeting a human in Charming ep 1, Drossel holds out her hand as if for a handshake, then uses the Curwen hand gestures from the movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
- Drossel's eye beams from episode 1 are reminiscent of Astro Boy's eye beams, right down to being a gift from her father.
- Time Skip: Years and years pass between each episode. It doesn't affect much.
- Title Drop: In the first season, "Fireball" refers to a plan devised by Windstille regarding the war with mankind. In the second season, "Charming" refers to the stage of mankind that will be devoid of senseless warmongering.
- Widget Series: Maybe not as weird as some, but still quite... out there.