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11 of 12 episodes seen
Incorporating elements of drama, moe and SoL, Chuunibyou is a superb show, displaying a remarkable level of literary and technical depth, and appealing to many different viewers as well.
Drama, characterization and plot are well executed, making this show one of the most enjoyable this season. It is only around the later episodes that one truly comes to appreciate the level of thoughtfulness and sophistication that went into the creation of this show. Whilst the first 1-8 episodes seem like pointless interactions, it is later revealed to be metaphorical to the inner struggles of Rikka, the female lead. In this respect, it is even better than Clannad which, for the first half IS just messing around.
Story and character is superb. Rikka steals the main focus of the show in the latter half of the show, reveling an interesting, well fleshed out character. Yuuta, as the level headed male lead, provides the driving push behind the plot. On the other hand, Nibutani and Dekkomori act as supporting characters, at times providing support for Rikka and at the same time assisting in her character development. Nibutani is an interesting character in that she hides part of her character. Her personality is caustic, and yet she acts as the motherly figure for many of the characters. To top it off, she, like Yuuta, is a past [spoiler], which adds to the comedy. Whilst it is true that each character falls under a specific archetype, they are all masterfully expressed and their personalities certainly do not feel overused.
Humor is well executed, drawing on the various quirks of all the characters to provide an enjoyable watch regardless of the story. One criticisms I have is that both Isshiki and Kumin could both be removed without impacting on the overall show, although both are integrated in a way that is hardly obtrusive to the developments of the main characters.
As expected from KyoAni, art and sound is equally as impressive. Character design is original, with the short quick "Chuunibyou" scenes allowing KyoAni to show off their animation skills. Another criticism that could be added is that the art is rather typical, and there is certainly a high level of similarity in the way the eyes have been drawn. Despite this, the art is certainly superb. Shading, detail and lighting has been well done, contributing greatly to the general feel and atmosphere. Music is fitting, and the OP sets a lighter tone for the darker themes in the latter episodes. Elements of moe has been undoubtedly incorporated, and expressed mainly in Rikka(heck since when has KyoAni made anything that doesn't have moe). Although some may object, the moe certainly adds to Rikka's character, reminding us at times that she is still a (human) girl. And to be honest, I like some moe fanservice.
Overall, Chuuinbyou has been an excellent show that has stood out in this slightly lackluster season. Highly, highly recommended.
Revision #3 read more
7 of 24 episodes seen
Seeing a shockingly high 8 for a show like this... I'm not sure what to say. Admittedly, it's only been five episodes out of a 24 episode anime, but to be frank I fail to see the prospect of in depth character development or plot. It's off to a rough start.
I've watched a lot of dramas. Bad ones and good ones. Some I score very high - such as Hanasaku Iroha. Some are are quite good - the overly melodramatic Kokoro Connect comes to mind. Some I don't think really focus on the drama, like FMA:B, but was equally superb. All of these share one thing in common: an unpredictable yet compelling story line and "interesting" characters. It brings freshness to anime. Now when I say interesting, I mean characters that have a back story of sorts - something that makes them uniquely interesting. Unfortunately, Sakurasou has none of that. The main character is your typical cliche'd, insensitive main with an inferiority complex - his flaws lie with his overused personality seen time and time again. The female lead is an emotionless walking blob of fanservice, moe and boringness. Sure, she might be completely socially dysfunctional, but it does not interest me to the very least. And I forgot to mention, there's also the not-so-secret-crush-but-main-character-is-too-dull-to-realize, the supportive-knowledgeable-guy and the irresponsible teacher. The characters feel misplaced, and no, it isn't because they are very quirky. Other anime have managed to make quirky characters fit together snugly as a jigsaw, so there's no excuse why Sakurasou couldn't do the same. IMHO Jin is the most interesting character.
As for the comedy, I am a fan of comedy SoL anime and that was what drew me here. Sadly, the comedy is mediocre at best and mostly from ONE character who I feel is there for the sake of being a source of comedy, namely Misaki. In my eyes, comedy revolves around the skillful utilization of each character's quirks. Sakurasou lacks the skillfully element, and simply features ridiculous, ludicrous situations that I find mildly amusing at best.
The plot.... oh god. It was 100% predictable. Not my cup of tea.
As for the art and sound, both were on the positive end of things. OP and ED are your typical J-pop, soundtrack is your typical SoL soundtrack, and art is what you would expect from your average modern anime. Not bad, but nothing really stands out.
To be frank, Sakurasou is one of those typical forgettable anime. It's only been 5 episodes so far, and hopefully there will be something enjoyable within 19. As for now, this review is sticking. It's an O.K. 6 - just watchable. read more
12 of 12 episodes seen
The first 3-4 episodes focused on mainly building the setting on which the rest of the show would be based on, and from there it took the direction of a typical romantic comedy SoL type anime. Being a fan of many SoL anime, I found the rest of the show to be enjoyable. Those who do not enjoy SoL shows may be disappointed after watching the well paced, plot based first 3 episodes when the majority of the show is a character based comedy.
As for horror and ecchi, both were incorporated into Sankarea in an unobtrusive manner. Whist the first 3 episodes had horror undertones, the rest featured horror in a more comedic manner. Nothing overdone or such. Ecchi was also incorporated smoothly and presented in a subtle manner. Nothing too distracting and in-your-face yet still enough to provide service to ecchi-fans.
Individual score breakdown
After the first 3 or so episodes, the plot of Sankarea quickly breaks down into something similar to a SoL, with periodic arcs. Nothing really remarkable. Heck, the majority of the anime IS character/comedy based. It's still enjoyable, just don't expect some amazing plot.
The art is simply superb. Not only is the quality excellent, the character design is also well done and each character takes on their own unique art style and appearance. The background is nicely detailed, and the atmosphere and lighting done just right. Animation is smooth as well. After watching the absolutely stunning animation/art of Fate/Zero though, I really can't give Sankarea a 10/10.
Voice acting is well done and brings out the personalities of all the characters. Background music could be a bit better, but it still integrates into the show quite well. The OP and ED are both excellent. Being an audiophile, I found everything to be recorded nice and squeaky clean.
Other than the story, the character was the second weakest part of the show. Both lead characters were well personified and likeable to some degree. Unfortunately, every character was a subcategory of a cliché, but kept me interested through the rather... unusual circumstances the lead goes through.
Much of the enjoyment stems from the comedy. Although it is no where as good as the better SoL/Romantic comedy/Comedy I've watched, Sankarea was mostly entertaining.
I believe Sankarea deserves better than a mediocre 6 or 7. The whole quality of the show is very impressive, and even though the plot and character is slightly weak, I give Sankarea a very good 8/10. read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Set in a family restaurant, Working!! focuses on the relationships and troubles of the staff working there. Although there is almost no plot, it's obvious that Working!! wasn't created with the intention of providing a gripping story for the viewer. Claustrophobics beware though; most of the story takes place inside Wagnaria.
Colourful and bright, the pallet used gave the anime a warm and happy atmosphere. The character designs complemented the respective personalities and traits of each character, and were skilfully implemented. The restaurant interior was quite detailed, although many locations were recurring, so I'm not surprised if they reused cells.
The OP was... fun and cute. You'll probably be humming someone -WAN-WAN after watching this. The soundtrack was good, although not a tear jerking musical masterpiece, it did match the atmosphere and enhance the overall enjoyment. The seiyuu's were all great, and they matched the characters well. Fun fact: the voice actor for Inami is Saki Fujita, which Hatsune Miku was sampled from.
This is where Working!! really shone. The characters were all highly unique, with no obvious stereotypes (e.g. tsundere), and used each of their individual traits to a comedic effect. Not only are each and every character unique and interesting, they are all shown to a reasonable degree of depth, which made this show much more than just a boring animated sitcom.
The show was definitely enjoyable. The plethora of characters and their amusing reactions and interactions kept a smile on my face throughout every episode. Certainly a great watch for someone looking for a light hearted anime. read more