[small screen] Please allow me to summarise Excel Saga: Lord El Palazzo (who looks just like the super-bad space pirate in Tenchi) is head of the evil conspiracy Lacrosse (sp?) whose only agents are Excel who is very enthusiastic and Hyatt who dies a lot. Except that it took me ages to figure out that Hyatt is called Hyatt because Excel always calls her Ha-chan. Anyway, they wear shorts (well, Hyatt's are more like micro-culottes) and try to take over the world, in a different genre every week. You know, horror, romance, sports, swimsuit specials ... on the opposing team are civil servants of the city Watanabe and his two embarrassing friends, whom I shall call Spikey Hair and Silent Toad Man. Their boss is female and bad-tempered, and her boss is male and very, very odd, which (speaking as a government employee myself) is actually quite realistic. They live in the next door flat to Hyatt and Excel which is convenient both for romance (Watanabe ♥ Hyatt) and conflict. Also resident at Excel's flat is Menchi*, their pet cat-dog and emergency food supply. It lives a very tragic life, although not as tragic as Pedro's, an ex-coworker of Excel's (she got him killed through poor traffic direction) whose marriage and subsequent affair with the Great Will of the Macrocosm (represented as a galaxy with arms) have both gone badly. How will it all end? Well, the SciFi Channel's showing it daily (at 5.30am, bad for non-tivo-owners), so I should know fairly soon.
[big screen extra] Oh, and Kitchen Stories? Just brilliant. Just ... yes. Great.
* apparently the DVD version has a special feature where Menchi pops up every so often to explain some of the more obscure cultural references. But-but that would spoil the fun!