They're cute, adorable and three of the most powerful Espers the world has ever seen: Kaoru, the brash psychokinetic who can move objects with her mind; Shiho, the sarcastic and dark natured psychometric able to pick thoughts from people's minds and read the pasts of inanimate objects like a book; and Aoi, the most collected and rational of the three, who has the ability to teleport herself and the others at will. So what to do with these potential psychic monsters in the making? Enter B.A.B.E.L., the Base of Backing ESP Laboratory, where hopefully "The Children" and others like them can become part of the answer to an increasing wave of psychic evolution. It's a win-win solution... Unless you're Koichi Minamoto, the overworked young man stuck with the unenviable task of field commanding a team of three pre-teen girls!
#1: "Over The Future" by Karen Girl's (eps 1-26) #2: "MY WINGS" by Karen Girl's (eps 27-45, 47-51) #3: "MY WINGS feat.THE CHILDREN" by 'The Children' starring Aya Hirano, Ryoko Shiraishi, and Haruka Tomatsu (ep 46)
I really didn't know what to think about the first episode from Zettai Karen Children and kinda dropped it, but a nice bearded guy from YouTube recommended this show next to Hayate No Gotoku and Excel Saga.
So what is this anime about ? Imagine a world where some humans gain special abilities. They are called Esper. Some people regard them as the next step of human evolution, while other people think they are just a disgrace to mankind and will destroy the world as we know them. This is where the organization Babel steps in. It is Babel's intention to create a world where ordinary humans and Esper can live and cooperate in peace. Which is not really easy, because some terrorists and Anti-Esper groups want to stop this. Next to Babel there exists Hyoubus's Pandra. Like Babel Pandra wants to group all Espers in this world, with the difference that they don't respect normal humans. Logic dictates that normal people are inferior to Esper, so why bother ? Exactly this conflict between both sides make this anime so interesting and thrilling, although it is on a superficial view very lighthearted.
Within Babel it is Minamoto's responsibility to train and guard three young and talented Espers, called "The Children". Kaoru, Aoi and Shiho are pretty good in solving minor criminal cases, but due to their indisciplined behaviour they often make their leader Minamoto upset. Kaoru is very tomboyish and has the ability to move items. Aoi is able to teleport people, while Shiho is able to read and scan the environment for learning more about the past (kinda like this fish-guy from Hellboy).
Now there are dozen of Espers in this series with different and interesting abilities. They are categorized into different levels which is pretty interesting because it gives every fight a strategical dimension, for example a Level 3 Esper can't beat a more experienced Level 7 Esper and so on. Sometimes several Esper like the Children have to regroup to beat this and this Esper. The anime is also not afraid to show the more funny side of Esper's abilities. For example the Esper boy Akira is able to switch his mind with an animal, with the result that the mind from the animal tries to move Akira's body ^^
Don't expect another generic Shonen or another X-Men rip-off, because Zettai Karen Children is much more than that. Interesting fights and more lighthearted comedy scenes switches with more serious and thoughtful parts. In this regard it reminded me a lot of one of my favourite anime CodeGeass, the king of bipolar anime like I always say. What I really liked about ZKC was how well written all characters were: Everybody had their own motivations, eccentric quirks and funny moments. I get tired by characters who feel very superficial yet take themselfs very serious, thanks to god ZKC succeded in this area. I can't remember a single annoying character, even the annoying Weeaboo Espers from America or the HardoGay Esper were likeable in their own way ..... Did I mentioned HardoGay ?
But seriously, I think the characters are well written. Just look at Minamoto:
Although he is not an Esper, as the Leader of the Children he can identify with the emotional problems from all Espers. Why ? Because he is actually a genius mind and already felt as an outsider in school, if not everywhere in society. As a genius, he is neither a normal human nor an Esper. What I also LOVE about him is that he always reacts appropriate in every dangerous situation.
About the girls:
You could be very nitpicking and say that they only serve as fanservice material for lolicons. But this is not true. Even the Children have well developed personalities.
For example Kaoru comes from an actor family, where she hardly get any love or attention from her own mother. It also doesn't help that Kaoru is an Esper and only confuse her family. Shiho on the other hand gets a lot of love from her family, but because she is able to scan her environment (like the thoughts from criminals and murderers) she has developed a very cynical and cold personality. Even Aoi, the megane girl has to fight with her inner demons. As you can see, the anime has more depth than most people expect.
KYOSUKE - BEST BAD GUY EVER ???
Nah, I don't think so. Although he is clearly Babel's antagonist, his group Pandra have good intentions towards all Espers and sometimes Kyosuke helps the people from Babel (for cheap hedonistic entertainment of course ^__^ He wants to marry Kaoru someday, while his own allies call him a pedo all the time ) ! By the way, Kyosuke is something like 80 years old ! Thanks to his Esper power he is able to alter his own body cells, hence his white hair. In episode 37 (at 09:44) he imitates a famous pose from CodeGeass, which was really funny for me because I always thought he looks like Lelouch !
Talking about references, there are MANY in Zettai Karen Children and I went through all the trouble to write them down. Here are my favourites:
- Ep 27 Strike Witches, Macross F
- Ep 30 Saint Seiya, Nabeshin
- Ep 31 Bonny and Clyde
- Ep 32 Initial D ?
- Ep 33 Hayate No Gotoku
- Ep 37 Code Geass
- Ep 46 Death Note
There you have it, an entertaining anime with an interesting plot(twist), hot girls, hardogay (is that even a good thing ?), likeable characters, great action, many references, a very interesting bad guy, an open yet satisfying and conclusive ending, great humour and catchy music at the same time. Zettai Karen Children tells us that even outsiders in society should stand up and fight for a better world, regardless what some people think of you. I think the greatest strenght of ZKC is at the same time its greatest weak-point, the sudden jumps between humour and more thoughtful parts do not always feel balanced, but that's subjective. I can't complain and to be honest, I'm a bit sad that I have just finished another great anime *sigh* ....
My rating: 8/10 read more
Mostly it appeals to many loli fans and who like magic or esper or any kind of thing. The plot is okay just needs to be a little bit remodeled overall it is pretty good to watch. The humor spent on this anime is actually very entertaining mostly goes with the whole faction of it being loli and appealing to grown ups.
The action is pretty okay though not so hardcore that drags up to like two episodes like other animes, but yet its a quick and straight to the point anime. It actually has a solid plot and well so far it is developing itself for the climax, straight to the point with entertainment.
Overall its an 8, for any loli fans who love the humor this is one of the must see anime.read more
A fairly enjoyable series which has either been watered down too much, or not enough.
Overall - 6/10
From the Animesuki thread, I read that the manga is more hardcore with blood and depth in comparison with the anime. While I have not read the source material, I can already sense in the anime that things have been watered down to an extent. This has all to do with the series airing at 10am on a Sunday. I feel things are still too hardcore (i.e. targeted at Japanese Otakus) with the constant perv/service/loli references, to be suitable for kids.
On the other hand, the general over-action of the BABEL boss, and the limiter de-activation scenes have certainly been created to make kids laugh and enjoy. While I thankfully do not know the tastes of a hardcore Japanese Otaku, I found my attention span dropping in the scenes that are meant for kids.
So where exactly does this series want itself to be placed?
Story - 7/10
The story follows the daily lives and missions of 3 children who are exposed to events that usually, only grown-ups can comprehend mentally. Thus the events, missions, conversations and the experiences that the Children face are crucial in influencing the way that these children grow as characters. It is known in the story that these Children have an almost equal chance of becoming "good" or "evil" when they grow up and I liked the latter episodes where the events may greatly influence their mindset.
The style is standalone episodes with quick action and conclusions, but they follow a logical and linear timeline and the way they made it so episodic, yet so continueous in a smooth manner is commendable. However, the time constraints per episode may have compromised depth.
The scene is where a government organisation called B.A.B.E.L is responsible for policing and looking after espers, with their objective to show the world that both espers and non-espers can peacefully co-exist. B.A.B.E.L. faces against both extremes, organisations that are determined to create a world ONLY for espers, and those who want a world without espers. This creates a Gundam SEED-esque mess which I like because both sides have very "human" reasons for their opinions and objectives. Such a setup also creates potential for depth and involvement. All in all, the story has a very solid foundation.
The series ends nicely, but with lots of loose ends that were left untied. It seems to be implied that a sequel is possible, which would justify the loose ends.
Art - 5/10
Being a 52 episode season, one couldn't expect spectacular art due to budget constraints and indeed, the art and animation are nothing spectacular. I found the art and animation to be of fairly average standard where nothing really stood out. Animation had jerky moments but it was far from "framelaggy" as in the case of You're Under Arrest - Full Throttle. The art does its job and is fairly consistent. To sum it up, it was good enough.
Sound - 6/10
The music and sounds are fairly repetitive and what can one expect from (supposedly) a kid's show? I found the BGM to be fairly convincing and I definately liked the music where the limiter was deactivated. However, not much else really caught my attention aside from...
...Over The Future, the first OP. The voices sound a little weird because it had been transposed up a minor third for the TV series - the full song has a lower pitch. This song definately caught the spirit of the series and I really love the feel-good feeling. I do question the use of *real* kids to sing this. While it gives them opportunity to shine into stardom (and what a solid performance in the MV), this show screams "Japanese Lolicon" at times and I feel there's a moral issue. The seiyuu's could actually sing this to an acceptable standard as heard on Youtube.
I found the voicing of the characters to be very good, with excellent performances from cast of The Children - Hirano Aya, Shiraishi Ryoko and Tomatsu Haruka, all who have provided great performances in the past.
Character - 6/10
After the initial 10 episodes or so, when The Children are tamed down enough to be sent to school, I feel there was limited character development, save for Kaoru being subtly manipulated. I felt that the episodes in the runup to the finale would have a real impact in defining Kaoru's future (and turning evil or not), which I throughly enjoyed.
We however get to know the backstories of the major characters which were definately interesting and links in well with their current behaviour.
If there is a second season, then I would feel that the limited development is justified, as Zettai Karen Children by its nature is a dragged out series.
Enjoyment - 7/10
I actually enjoyed this. The dumb things and the abuse of power that The Children can get up to is just entertaining, including whacking people into walls, when there was a lesser option that is just as effective. Watching the antics of moderately bad kids is definately funny. Of course, I also got a lot of enjoyment from the story.
However, I didn't really feel as involved (glued to the screen) as I could have done.read more
Before you start citing my review as "Not Helpful", read what it says in the asterisks. Thanks.
**Review Edited as of Episode 9**
Well, it's odd i haven't seen a review of Zettai Karen Children yet. Well anyways..
Story: - 8.2/10 (B-)
The story is about a trio of girls who have superpowers and save the world. Before you start accusing it of being like the Powerpuff Girls, i just gotta say this: The way they made it, it makes more sense than PPG. The first episode was hilarious, with Okami Muscle (Gay Muscle..? lol) just made me laugh in a good way. And Kaoru, man oh man she's hilarious. Acts like a perverted guy when it comes to boob sizes and weird fantasy stories. I really like this show already.
Animation: - 8.6/10 (B+)
The animation is really well made. With the entrance for the trio, and Muscle's er..flashy attack. Of course, i need to watch more to fully review it.
Sound: - 7.7/10 (C+)
It's not the BGM is awesome or crappy, sometimes it fits and sometimes it doesn't. But the Opening, "Over the Future" is at some parts, really well sung and some other parts, kinda annoying. Each break of the song, and the singer's voice is way high-pitched. Haven't heard the Ending yet though.
Characters: - 8/10 (B)
Well we have Aoi, Shiro, Kaoru and Kouichi so far including the members of B.A.B.E.L. So far, so good. Hopefully i get to see some new characters soon. Now that more and more characters
Enjoyment: - 8.6/10 (B+)
For now, i really like Zettai Karen Children. As someone who is easily turned away from fanservice, i thought that Zettai Karen Children would be just that, but i was wrong. I think everyone should watch this show.