Kagetsu, a member of the Kouga tribe, is in the period of his life when he has to decide which sex he wants to be. His feelings for his sensei causes him to think seriously about it. Kohryu, another member of the tribe, wants to convince Kagetsu of going back to live with the tribe, leaving his sensei behind. During that time, evil spirits are starting to threaten the village and both Kagetsu and his sensei.
Over 10 years of watching anime and I thought I had seen the worst; Sadly, I was wrong.
Let me say this first: I'm not disappointed because there was not even a kiss between the alleged couple. The reason why I gave this one such a low score, was the entire enjoyment I could get out of this, and it was close to none.
Story was decent enough to keep me engaged for the two episodes this had to offer. However, for an adaptation, this anime was quite a rushed one (original manga had 14 volumes.. freaking FOURTEEN and all we got was an hour of poor
animation). After this I kinda want to read the original though, just so see, if it's any better.
As I may have mentioned above, the art was truly pathetic. They tried to merge edited real life footage of nature with the animated characters, but the keyword here is "tried"; Every shot with this kind of footage was poorly executed and the characters just look out of place. It just seems like that they didn't have the budget to pay for more background paintings. Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (or The Tatami Galaxy, if you will) did the merging with real life footage much better, even if it was made over 10 years later. However, being released in 1998, or just being old, doesn't give this one a pass. The animation (or what animation there is at least) is dated to core and fighting scenes are underwhelming. The only thing that looked good, was the opening scene; Everything from there just goes downhill. Seriously: watch something else. For example, Fushigi Yuugi was released 2.5 years earlier (shoujo though) and it looks way more convincing than this; Almost anything does, really.
Sound design was mediocre and didn't really appeal to me, but at least it wasn't as painful as the visuals.
There's also way too many characters introduced, when there's only two episodes to fill. However, the main characters are interesting enough with good voice actors.
Overall, if you're not willing to torture yourself, stay away from this!
This anime has left me with mixed feelings.
At first I was surprised by how good the graphics were (pretty good for 1998). Especially I liked how eyes were drawn. To think of it, I might have never seen such wide ones, there was always only that big "cute" eyes. And I also liked those modified images of real wood mingling with the drown ones.
To the story, at first it seemed a bit strange. Later it was confusing. Even later I was wondering what the heck I am watching.
The story itself wasn't bad or anything, but it would be better if there were more episodes
and some things explained. Or maybe I just should read the manga.
Come to the main characters: a half-fox man who endures his inner pain and tries his very best to become part of the society, which does not accept him is parted with young boy unsure which sex he should be. Those two were slightly different and still so much alike. On the other side, the "villain" was almost nowhere to be seen; he got so little space to introduce so that you couldn't come to like him. I like villains - not this time.
The reason why I'm giving this anime a higher score than I actually planned to give is that there wasn't any sexual desire within Arimasa, which I find odd but interesting. Just why didn't he want to embrace the boy who was obviously in love and willing to do anything?
Nah, I'm going to watch it one more time to get into it a bit more.
Having completed Kashou no Tsuki: Aki Kyougen and seen the average score, I decided to say some words for this anime, because you know, it is not that bad. The matter is in wrong first impression and wrong expectations, I guess.
The story is set in distant past and follows the half-fox shaman accompanied by his apprentice. The two travel and try to get along with the society, each other - and themselves. The latter is the hardest, I guess.
The plot is somewhat incomplete/rushed and leaves a bunch of gaps indeed. I wish there was more time to uncover the nesessary details, the two-episode OVA is
obviously not enough. However, the gaps are not that huge as one may think. Much is told through details and visuals. And (the thing I highly appreciate in every anime or movie) there's some space left for the viewer's fantasy - along with quite serious philosophical matters raised. Who am I? Where is my place? What am I born for? Kashou no Tsuki gives its own point of view concerning these eternal questions.
So the mood is mostly philosophical and the flow is mostly slow-paced, leaving out some action in between. But action is not the strongest point here, I assume. Still, it is enough to make the climax decent.
Only two characters are somewhat developed - and they are the main ones. While Kagetsu (the apprentice) is more or less evident, his sensei is quite mysterious and much is left for the viewer to think of - and to invent and complement sometimes to kinda put the puzzle together.
Kohryu acted as a typical punk and delinquent, and his inners remain unclear.
The villains were a big disappointment. No decent part, no clear motifs, no any kind of plan - just rushed separate actions all of a sudden. The ending made something clear - but not everything, alas. So...
I consider art to be the strongest point here. The mix of different styles and visual effects (real life pics, negatives, wide outlining at cases, etc.) made the picture look kinda odd and psychodelic and matched the philosophical mood. The design of characters was typical for late 90s, and I liked it. For some reason I appreciate old anime artstyle more than modern one despite the fact I got acquainted with Japanese animation 7 or 8 yrs ago (wasn't a fan when I was a child, I mean). I noticed the lack of budget too, but the art (being almost 20 yrs old) still remained peculiar and outstanding in its own way.
Can't judge it as I've watched it dubbed.
-Enjoyment and Overall-
Well, Kashou no Tsuki cannot be called a masterpiece, but still I enjoyed it. Despite all cons it stayed pleasant and peculiar and gave me another view on eternal matters. I'm not gonna rewatch it, I guess, however I've seen much worse. Real animation shame is, drawing a popular character represented by several sticks and a round head, filling it with stupid jokes and calling the result 'an anime special done in a unique artstyle'.
The attitude towards Kashou no Tsuki is the matter of treatment and expectations. If you wish action or adventures or boys' love (hey man, where's sex?), it's not a proper watch then. But if you're into historical shows bound with philosophical and somewhat mystic/dark fantasy, you may give it a try then.