By Jeremy Azevedo
I never thought I would see the day that Japanese tentacle porn made its way into mainstream American television programming, but here it is before my very eyes…
“Futurama: The Beast With a Billion Backs” is the second feature length episode of a four part series that will in turn be broken up into twelve separate episodes and broadcast on Fox next year. Sounds confusing, I know, but try not burn out your meager attention span trying to think about it and let’s just focus on the matter at hand.
The first installment of the new Futurama series, “Bender’s Big Score” was somewhat plagued by the “Look at me! I’m back on TV!” syndrome that plagues shows that go through lengthy periods of seemingly permanent hiatus. While longtime Futurama fans surely enjoyed it immensely, it maybe tried a little too hard to cram too much self reference, too many cameos and too many inside jokes into it’s meager run time. Plus there were those intolerable musical numbers... But there was a lot of Bender, which is never a bad thing, so we were essentially off to a pretty good start.
I'm happy to report that most of the (admittedly minor) problems that plagued "Bender's Big Score" have been addressed, with the second movie already finding it's stride a long way from the finish line. If "Beast With A Billion Backs" is any indication of what more is to come, than we are all in for a real treat.
The Beast With A Billion Backs follows the previous episode’s cliffhanger ending with a story about a poly-amorous creature from beyond our universe (played by David Cross) that enters our galaxy through the space/time rift that was opened at the end of Benders Big Score. Thusly we are treated to the aforementioned Japanese tentacle hentei, sanitized and satirized for American audiences to much hilarity. Fry becomes the new space pope of Universal Monster Love, Bender declares war on humanity, and Zapp Branigan is called into action to combat the menace. Brittany Murphy also makes a cameo as Fry’s latest heartbreaker.
Ultimately this installment of the new series is even more enjoyable than the last, setting up and following through on several clever jokes and plot lines including, but not limited to: The League of Robots, Kif’s home planet, infidelity, universal themes of courtship, electric sander nipple buffing and the recurring theme of robot alcoholism. I recommend that all lovers of Futurama, robots, tentacles and animated comedy hook up with The Beast With A Billion Backs.
Score: 8 out of 10
1 if you’re a big Futurama fan
2 if you’ve ever seen/heard of Urotsukidoji
-3 if you’re not a fan of the whole Simpons/Futurama/Family Guy thing (i.e. a godless commie bastard)