Yugo the Negotiator is a lot like Ronseal. He does exactly what it says on the tin, and whilst this descriptive and succinct approach may have been taken on the title, the anime is anything but. God, it goes on a bit...
The titular Yugo is a negotiator of some renown, and rarely fails to talk his way out of trouble with militants, terrorists and other less than sanitary individuals. He's a hotshot at the top of his game, and he takes his role very seriously.
As I watched Yugo fighting terrorists in Pakistan, I too fought my own battle. Against tedium. In the end I succumbed to a sort of numbness I'd suffered only days before when watching Nic Cage in The Weatherman. Both feature bland expository dialogue which require the occasional electric shock administered to your nether regions in order to keep you awake.
To be fair to Yugo, it does take an adult approach to proceedings, and those of you who appreciate more intellectual, slow burn anime may find the pace to your liking. I consider myself a film buff, and I can watch drama with no action quite happily, but what we need is gravitas or chemistry to make us give a damn about what happens on screen. Frankly Yugo may look cool, but he's about as interesting as drying paint.
The English voice cast sleepwalk their way through the dire script, with Jason Douglas stoically attempting to imbue his onscreen persona with charisma but falling somewhere between a lawyer and an accountant.
Everyone introduces themselves by their roles, so the electronics expert, who sounds like a duuuude rather than a nerd, exclaims, woodenly, "who the hell do you think you're talking to, I'm an expert radio technician y'know". Yawn. He's a smack talking beach bum nerd robot, though not as interesting as that description implies. Maybe he'll do something interesting in a future episode. Like get shot.
Even when the action picks up (which it does, sort of) I was too far gone to give a damn one way or the other. The animation and designs are nice enough, but the colours are as dull as the rest of it, and with only 3 episodes on this disc, it isn't even good value for money.
In summary, this is the sort of anime people might tell you they watch in an attempt to sound intelligent and worldly wise. Maybe they are, but if this what they class as entertainment, politely refuse any invitations they make to a dinner party.
Clean opening/closing animation
What is Yugo the Negotiator
Interviews with everyone involved from designers, story writers and voice actors.
The Japanese depiction of Pakistan