"Quod Subigo Farinam" - Terry Pratchett (Feet of Clay, 1996)
Once upon a time Sega were a powerhouse of the videogames world, but these days they appear to have lost much of their former glory - mainly because their most visible releases are little more than revisions of Sonic the Hedgehog. Fortunately the blue rodent isn't the only weapon in Sega's arsenal, and the company have a plethora of titles just waiting to be rereleased or resurrected (Phantasy Star, Rolling Thunder, Kid Chameleon, Strider, Afterburner, Space Harrier, Daytona, Panzer Dragoon, Sakura Taisen, Wonder Boy, Alex Kidd, and many others). There are even a few rare ones
that fans would love to see completed (Dear Sega, Please finish Shenmue. Thanking you in advance).
In addition to their massive back catalogue of games, Sega also own a role-playing franchise that is quite possibly the largest and most diverse in the genre - the Shining series (and before all the fans have a collective apoplexy, according to Nintendo there are only eighteen official Zelda titles).
The first game - Shining in the Darkness - was a straightforward dungeon crawler that appeared on the Megadrive/Genesis back in 1991. Subsequent additions to the franchise ventured into the realms of turn-based strategy, tactical role-playing, third-person action/adventure, and even first-person RPG - and repeatedly demonstrated Sega's desire to experiment with the fantasy genre. Since that time the series has proven to be extremely popular in various parts of the world, and the release of the 30th title - Shining Blade on the Playstation Portable - only serves to highlight the strength of the franchise.
With such a history behind it, what could possibly go wrong with an anime adaptation of the 29th game - Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan.
Set on the quaint little island of Wyndaria, the story follows the deeds of Rick - a handsome amnesiac castaway who now works at the island's bakery alongside the three young ladies who appear to own the business - Airy Ardet, Neris Filiam and Amil Manaflare. Everything is peaceful as Rick learns how to heroically knead the dough in order to bake loaves of manliness, croissants of courage, baguettes of bravery, and other such things on his journey to make the titular "Bread of Happiness".
Unfortunately the arrival of another castaway called Kaguya throws his world into the mixing bowl and forgets to add any sort of raising agent.
There are many varieties of bread in the world, and some of them are quite tasty in their own right. Shining Hearts is, unfortunately, nothing more than a mass-produced white loaf that's in dire need of a little bit of cheese or some kind of filling in order to make it palatable. The formulaic plot is made up of basic storytelling ingredients that appear to have been added using a shovel as a measuring cup, and the resulting narrative tends to fall apart - even though the writers have struggled to mix everything together before getting baked.
The first half of the series is little more than a glorified meet-and-greet as Rick and his female companions find themselves in the middle of several rather placid adventures that all seem to be resolved using bread - and no, they don't hit each other with baguettes (more's the pity). The storyline does show some improvements during the latter half of the show, but by that point there's simply not enough broadcast time to offer the answers to some important questions (i.e. Who is Rick? What is the Island of Wyndaria? Why am I watching a fantasy adventure about bread? etc). This results in a string of important storyline events occurring one after another as the show tries to cram as much as possible into the narrative in order to tie up various loose ends.
Shining Hearts is filled with all manner of quaint buildings and pastoral scenes that highlight the rural nature of the island, but while everything looks pleasant enough, there's a distinct lack of imagination on display. The problem lies in the fact that this is an adaptation of a fantasy JRPG - and in many cases these games will feature towns and villages that have a certain ... continental flavour to them. No-one seems to fully understand why, but for some reason there's a tendency amongst developers to assume that all fantasy adventure games take place somewhere in Europe (e.g. Sword Art Online, Tears to Tiara, .Hack//, Ragnarok, Druaga no Tou, etc).
When it comes to animation things are a little more muddled as there's a surprising blandness that permeates a number of scenes - even though the quality is generally pretty decent for the majority of the show. Part of the reason for this is the character animation and the tendency to rely on stereotypical behaviour patterns in order to make specific female roles more appealing to a certain audience. This mentality lies at the heart of the character design as well, and aside from a few minor modifications, everyone looks much the same as they do in the game - but that's nothing to be proud of as pointy chins and almond-shaped faces are the order of the day.
Which brings up an interesting point about the aims of the producers - but more on that in a bit.
The opening sequence features a track called "Jisei-kai ~Toki Sekai~" sung by Aizawa Mai (Neris), Itou Kanae (Amil), and Mikami Shiori (Airy) - alongside some tourist-friendly images of Wyndaria and the seas around it, scenes where the lead characters run in a group or gaze heroically off into the distance, birds flying, and the obligatory bread shots. It's a fairly typical beginning that ticks many of the boxes in the "How to Make an Anime OP" handbook, and the ending is no better. The closing sequence features lots of background bread in different shapes and sizes, and the three lead actresses perform "Fuwafuwa no Mahou" while their respective characters pose and dance in a manner that is designed to pander to fans with a tendency to shout "kawaii!" and "moe!" at anything female, humanoid and vaguely attractive.
Shining Hearts features some diverse and well-crafted audio effects, but their usage is hampered by repeated issues with timing, choreography and intensity. The background music - a mixture of light-hearted fluff pieces, medieval-inspired ditties and dramatic/serious melodies - is more subtle than one might expect, but several scenes can have an odd feeling to them because of the style and composition of the tracks on offer. In addition to this the script is fairly bland and doesn't appear to have taxed any of the voice actors - which has resulted in the dialogue being delivered in a rather banal style that is typical of many shounen anime where action scenes involve lots of shouting and pouting.
Sadly this workaday attitude extends to the characters themselves - many of whom are little more than eye-candy that moves around and does ... stuff. The reason for this is the lack of any real conviction where relationships are concerned - which is basically what happens when someone decides to remove a major familial bond without thinking it through or replacing it with something equally important. In addition to this the speed of the narrative appears to have caused the producers to ignore or forget the purpose of supporting characters, and because of this the lead roles are severely under-developed for a show of this type.
Which brings us back to the aims of the producers - a factor that is closely tied into the design of the characters.
In a very real sense any visual media is similar to food in that the first bite is with the eye, and many people will make a snap-judgement about something based solely on how it looks. This is the reason why games developers are often quick to capitalise on popular trends - especially those that are rooted in otaku or geek culture - and the most common is to utilise the talents of well-known artists - some of whom have made their names in hentai or eroge. Unfortunately this approach does not guarantee success as titles that rely on the marketability of the lead designer are often aimed at specific audiences - and even though there may be lucrative merchandising opportunities, the lack of publicity will severely affect the popularity of a game.
In the case of Sega's primary RPG franchise, Shining Hearts is the third of four titles that feature the talents of popular eroge artist Tony Taka - and therein lies the problem with the anime.
Like many adaptations the producers have simply regurgitated the character designs from the source material, but in this case that means that the lead female roles consist of a buxom tavern maid, a busty milk maid and a sexy nun - all of whom apparently work as bakers. Add to that a supporting cast of female characters who are little more than walking merchandising opportunities and it becomes obvious that this is simply an attempt to capitalise on the popularity of the franchise, and to a lesser degree the artist.
The sad thing is that even though the story that lacked the depth of other food-based shows (Yakitate Japan! for example - and that's saying something), Shining Hearts still had potential if the adaptation had run for longer and been more true to the game. Unfortunately the titular "Bread of Happiness is nowhere to be found, and viewers are left with nothing but a bitter selection of inane details that would be right at home in any middle-class anime fan's conversation book.
Bread isn't famous for its peacemaking abilities. Cake would have been an understandable alternative (unless the story is about the French Revolution).
Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan seems to suffer from an identity crisis much like its protagonist, initially starting off as a serene slice of life about bread making and ending up as a fantastical action anime. Ultimately, although it executes both sections well, this change alienates both the viewers who wanted action and those that wanted a charming Aria-esque show.
There's one thing you can't deny about the show, and that is the high quality art and animation. It's incredibly consistent, the characters faces and the beautiful scenery remain brilliant throughout, and I doubt you'll see food look so delicious in anime for some time. The
animation was clean and precise, there were no sloppy errors and only a couple of scenes where they had obviously saved on budget. The soundtrack is just like that of an RPG game which I thought was nice as it displayed the roots of the anime, and there were one or two tracks that were particularly good, overall it's a bit generic but it's enjoyably and compliments the series effectively. The voice acting is strong, although I doubt the Seiyuu were stretched much in their roles. The OP is fairly nice but forgettable, however the ED is incredibly catchy and by the end I found I knew the words and the dance far too well.
The characters have the traits you'd expect from a slice of life show, and cover the fantastical range of Dwarves, Elves, Witches and Furries that you'd expect of a fantasy RPG. The side characters are likable and it's a shame that you see some of them for only one or two episodes, a consequence of the fact it's based on a game. Onto the main characters, the trio of girls are perfectly pure and cleanse your soul, making you feel slightly better about life. Rick the protagonist is initially just as innocent as the rest of them, however he receives development during the series and becomes a more complicated individual, although he is still rather plain.
This brings me to the story, if you want to watch it for the action, then don't, because there is a distinct lack of it and so the series is unlikely to please you. If you want to watch it only for the pleasant slice of life, then you'll be happy for the most of the show, but won't be at the end. This is the problem with the show, it's tried to please both demographics but has ended up letting down both. If you like both action and slice of life then you'll have less of a problem, and to the show's credit it does build up to the action well throughout, creating a sense of mystery and intrigue, but in the end I would have preferred it to be a simple slice of life the whole way through, even if it had to deviate from the story of the game it was based on.
Why? It's because the slice of life was done so brilliantly, it was relaxing and almost therapeutic , the characters as I've mentioned were nice and all lent themselves to the experience perfectly. Nothing much happens, they may go to a nearby castle to deliver bread to the tsundere loli witch who's trying to make the perfect ice-cream, they may visit the elves or go reef diving for treasure, it doesn't matter, you may complain of a lack of plot but that's all a delightful show like this needs. It didn't need an aim, it just needed to provide a pleasing experience every week, which is why I feel the plot introduced at the end was unnecessary.
The whole of Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan feels like a prologue, at the conclusion of the series you'll wonder where everything and everyone went from there, and it's a pity because I think a second season is unlikely, and you'll want to see many of the characters again. Overall I thought the first half was excellent at being a heart-warming experience about four pure people making bread, and if you enjoyed Aria, I'd say this was worth a look, even if the show eventually loses sight of what it was good at.
I write this to you as a fellow anime fan; a comrade who you can trust... someone who only wants to save you from the fresh hell that is this anime. Leave now. And never look back. Usually a show has SOMETHING to offer, whether it be by way of characters, plot, fan service, or other devices. Shining Hearts' one forte is the ability to lull you into a deep sleep, one which you wish never to wake from.
Story - 2
What story? They bake bread, offer no foreshadowing, then fart out a deus ex machina ending and treat it as a special twist. It is
a half-baked attempt to knead some plot into a stale series. All puns aside, the story is trying to be both a battle fantasy and a slice-of-life-harem. It focuses on one throughout 90% of the series and snatches away what could have been some modicum of a satisfying slice-of-life-harem conclusion and replaces it with the most terribly written battle sequence ever produced. If you're going to have the story focus on romance the entire time, BATTLES AND FURY does not a good ending make.
Art - 8
Character designs by Tony? Yes please. Decent production quality all around, but a sexy looking turd is still a turd.
Sound - 2
No memorable tracks, and by god the ending is scary to watch.
Characters - 2
Picture a blob; a peach colored gelatinous ball of goop. Now imagine this blob growing three heads; one blonde, and two brunettes. Congratulations! You've successfully imagined the three main heroines of this story! They are a perfect match for the main character because all four of them share one thing in common! Can you guess what it is? Thats right! They're all characters with no personality! Rick, in his infinite sadness, spends his days contemplating the meaning of bread while commanding his three mindless sheep to run the shop. And the sheep do exactly that. What, were you expecting character development? Or even characters to begin with? Shame on you.
On a scale from "Oh god my insides feel like they're being incinerated in a sea of napalm, kill me - KILL ME NOW" to "It was aight yo" I'd have to say its at about a "Oh god my insides feel like they're being incinerated in a sea of napalm, kill me - KILL ME NOW"
Overall - 3
By the powers vested in me as a fellow peer and anime watcher, I sentence the plot to be improved by a grade schooler. I sentence the character designs to be the source of many doujinshi. I sentence all copies of the OST to be delivered to Beethoven so he - and only he - can listen to them. I sentence the characters back to their childhoods in hopes that whatever stopped them from having a personality doesn't occur again. Finally, I sentence that the show and all it's merchandise be cursed by blackbeard and cast into the endless sea in hopes that none shall ever be taken by its evil clutches ever again.
After just watching the first episode, I can tell that Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan is objectively one of THE BEST shows this season. And by objectively the best, I mean its pretty good. And by pretty good I mean I liked it. Well, I didn't hate it. At least not after muting it, turning the subtitles of, and playing metal at maximum volume.
After I did that, WOW! The art was excellent, the music was excellent, and the combination of dark music with the sweetness of this show made for a perfect balance. I certainly would watch again (only) under the same conditions.
YES I SAID IT RIGHT! BREAD!!
(Now all bread-lovers and bakers can jump up for joy cos this anime makes pastry Light up your life!)
Now the story's about BREAD! That's all its about! I was... awkwardly forcing myself to watch this.. for the girls of course. Story was.. Neegghh-blegh
Frankly I thought there would be more romance, but unfortunately the love seems to revolve around the bread that the protagonists (and his lovely girls) make!
Now the first episode pretty much sums up the whole story; allow me to explain myself why it does
-Protagonist: Bread maker, wakes up to make bread.
Girls love protagonist (obviously), Girls love bread. Girls deliver bread and spread the love. Hence:
Bread = Love
-Finds a hurt cuddly creature, gives bread to eat. Creature heals! and is filled with bread joy! Hence:
Bread = Awesome Healing power
-Serious unsocial elf lurks and shoos them out of forest.Protagonist attempts tries to make good relations with elf and offers bread; Bread denied. Protagonist finds another hot elf, and her tummy rumbles. Gives her bread, and a connection is made! Hence:
Bread = Persuasion Power
-Trouble brews with upcoming storm. Protagonist and girls gets ready for it; makes more bread than ever and spreads news to villagers of the impending doom. Stocks up on breads to survive storm. Hence:
Bread = Survival
-Least but not least. The ending song o_o'' MORE BREEAADDD! D:
First, I did not play the visual novel so I cannot say how faithful is this adoption to the visual novel. Instead, I will judge it solely on the anime itself.
Nothing much can I say than the synopsis, but the dialogue is bland. It is just your average conversation rather than big speech where it is life and death. The story moves really slow. I am three episodes in and did not learn much about the characters.
The art is done really well for the main character and the scenary. If you are a fan of Tony Taka's art, then this anime would not
disappoint you. I found all the three girls are cute and maybe it is their eyes or their hairs, but something about their looks that I always look forward for to them. Scenaary is detail, but not stunning.
Nothing much can say in this part since the music is so average. From the sound of it, I think they took the OST straight from the visual novel. So far, there isnt one that is rememberable excluding songs. It is not amazing, but better than the average character's insert songs we often seen in anime since they did hired Lia rather than getting the main character to sing it.
All characters are so boring. All they talked about are bread, helping people, and the typical daily chore. I don't have any problem with it, but three episodes in and I did not learn anything important about the characters. The side characters feel like your typical RPG characters where they tell you to do this, get this, give you hint, and etc. Nothing really stood out.
I have never felt so bored when watching an anime. I can tell this show has potential and if I stay with it, it might pay off. However, with the lack of character development and combine it with boring dialogue, I have to drop it.
If you like Tony Taka's art and don't mind slow pacing story, then you will like this anime. Other than that, nothing about this show really makes me to look forward to the next episode.
Since I already wasted my time by watching this anime to its end, I decided I might as well do something of doubtful usefulness by writing this list of why Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan is an utter and complete waste of time.
Story: 2/10 Character: 1/10
This anime is a pseudo action-fantasy/slice of life, that does really badly at both genres. If you consider it as a slice of life, you keep getting barraged by random mystery plot shadowing scenes every few
minutes, making you think "OMG GET ON WITH THE STORY ALREADY!" By the time the series gets you to resign on how the story will never advance, it suddenly gets thrown into a hasty, 2 episode conclusion and sudden ending that ruins the slice of life atmosphere.
The show is even worse if you consider it as an action/fantasy, since the story progresses really, really, really slowly. The first 10 episodes are used to introduce new characters that do not really appear in the finale, and the climax is very disappointing, especially with the 10 episode buildup and you just want the story to end already. The final fight scene lasts all of 3 minutes, and the show is over without anything being resolved. In conclusion, this series would have been better off as a 9 episode slice of life + 3 episode OVA. Of course, you would also have to remake the entire story, scrap all the characters, and remake everything from scratch.
Aside from being confused as to what genre it is trying to be, the show also has many other aspects which makes it horrible. One of this is that the characters and setting just plain suck. The ISLAND the characters are on, is isolated. In fact, there are no indications that other people exist in their world. So in a pre-technology village with 100 people, with nothing of value in it, why is there a CASTLE, with hundreds of guards, 2 rulers, and a treasury filled to the brim with gold? Furthermore, around 80% of the main characters seem to have come to the island by washing up on the shore, has complete amnesia, don't seem to care they have amnesia, nor find it strange this phenomenon happens every few days. Why is there an antique shop, and where the hell do antiques even come from since there is no trade at all - the island is isolated remember? And why the hell are there PIRATES in the village? Who the hell do they plunder treasure from, if the village (where they come from) is the only livable settlement in the entire world? Either the creator just randomly adds factors to attract viewers (wow this anime has pirates, it must be good) without any effort to create a logical world, or the animation completely fails in portraying anything of significance to its viewers.
Another point that makes this show terrible is that it is filled, completely, to the brim, with inconsistencies. If any effort was made to answer the inconsistencies however, there would have been no story at all, so I guess the creators can't be blamed for this, right?
- The bakers are very successful. But when the furnace breaks, they have 0 life savings and can't afford to fix it. However, one of the main characters, despite washing up on shore unconscious, with nothing but the clothes on his back and a sword, owns a SHIP, which, because they are on an island in an uninhabited world, is very important, can't sell it, and get money to fund a new furnace.
- The "broken" android who disintegrates an entire fleet of ships with a single laser beam, suddenly loses the ability to do so again when she is finally repaired.
- The completely loyal android whose only task is to keep her master safe decides to use the village and castle as a shield to protect her master. Then after a few seconds, changes her mind and decides the best way was to remove the only item that would protect her, bring her into the middle of the enemy troops, and leave her there.
- Rick, the "great swordsman" who lost to a cat burglar, suddenly acquires wings, a sword that fires energy beams, and manages to nearly get killed when he fights too low and gets knocked down by someone on the ground, and that is the climactic fight scene of the entire series.
- The "great swordsman" is the only person who can save their village, manages to lose within 2 minutes of fighting. The fight is actually won by the mage (there's magic in this show?) and by the blacksmith's cannon "I guess being the only person who can save the village" means, being the only idiot stupid enough to become bait.
- The "Robin Hood" character steals from the royal treasury, to donate to the orphanage. This shows that the government in this show is despotic. This image is further strengthened by how the soldiers seize stuff that isn't theirs, randomly decides to try to kill a civilian, imprisons the thief and take credit for funding the orphanage, and how the prince lies and deceives the main character to sacrifice his life for the village. However, the rulers are still supposedly "good", "care" for the village, best friends with the main characters, and loved by all. Right…
Aside from this (yes there's more), the show is littered with a ton of random, one shot characters, that do not do anything for the story. This includes 2 elves (what there are elves too?) that 2 episodes devote to, a girl who makes ice cream (who is a loli of course) who takes up an entire episode, and the very important character the entire summary talks about, the mysterious "girl with amnesia that pirates are chasing". In truth, the "girl with amnesia" is nothing but a minor character with a smell fetish, with 10 lines in the entire series, 8 of which are "this smells good."
However, the VERY WORST aspect of this series is that it utilizes the "we are the game masters, we can do whatever we want" philosophy. There is no set plot, no set story. Instead, things are randomly included into the show, for no reason, and with no explanation. Come to think of it, it is already quite fail how the show can easily make up a story, or make any person suddenly acquire any random skills at an expert level by just saying "I have amnesia, I must have learnt that in a previous life" (and again, almost all the main characters have amnesia). The fact that the creators have to resort to the "there's a different dimension" explanation just to get the story moving just confirms once again how incompetent they really are. It's like saying "we can't kill an unconscious squirrel with a gun, can someone buy us a grenade launcher please? (while standing beside a grenade launcher they just have to pick up)." The ridiculousness includes
- In a fantasy, pre-technology world, there are suddenly flying androids who can decimate entire fleets with her laser, using the VERY CONVENIENT explanation of "there are actually two worlds, I'm from the other one."
- There are suddenly beast men, lizard men, and elves in an otherwise isolated island in an isolated world. Unless the humans in this story can breed with their dogs and cats, where the hell do these different species come from? From the fanservice gods of course!
- In the final battle, magic suddenly exists, which, just watching the entire anime, there is no indication of existing.
Art: 9/10 Sound: 9/10
The art and music is pretty well done. However, like all my ratings, I don't really factor both these in how an anime does overall. I mean, if I wanted fanservice anime, then I'd watch fanservice anime after all. And if I wanted to listen to great music, that is what iTunes is for. The reason I would watch an anime, TV series, or a movie, is because I love reading/watching/listening to great and interesting stories. And that is what I base my anime ratings on. That said,
Enjoyment: 3/10 Overall: 3/10
Watching the show as a "therapeutic" slice of life just managed to piss me off. Because some kind of mysterious foreshadowing is randomly inserted every 3 minutes, I keep expecting something exciting to happen. And watching it as action/fantasy just made me bored to tears.
The Anime has nothing going for it. There is practically no action even when the big climax comes about. The interactions of the characters aren't there either and even a small amount of romantic inclinations between the main character and one of the girls would have spiced things up nicely to pull this Anime out of the doldrums it tanked out with. There was also way to much pandering the concept of a bread that makes everyone happy no matter what. Really? The only good thing about this Anime is the beautiful art work.
Shining Hearts is a beautiful anime to watch. The artwork is really well done and the characters are fun and enjoyable to see. You can see alot of green nature and interesting houses and places. It has a calm and peaceful progress in the story.
The story itself to me isn't that important. it is not the main focus of the anime. It is nice as an add-on for people who desire that. In my opinion the story was allright.
It's mostly about baking bread and who doesn't like bread? :). You can sniff the smell of the bakery as if you where there yourself.
The opening and ending animations are colorful and swingy and the music is catchy.
Well there is more to say here. It is about the relationship the characters. Rick, Airy, Amil and Nerris, and others. And how to cope with thoughts of the past while living there new lives. It has 12 episodes in all. And for the things that happen it's really well done.
Well this anime is pretty damn disappointing.... they seal the action and I barely able to finish it..... First things first
I accept the first episode just a prologue I though it'll be a Lord of the Ring style settings but it's a big disappointment I though elf will play a major role in here... I keep waiting and waiting and yet no action come... and the fuck with it? making a story with a bread?It's pretty plain boring. And it's very annoying all people says "Hmmm It smells good" over and over again...goddamnit!! it's getting on my nerves...If you plan to watch it you better
Atleast the art is acceptable... very well detailed... atleast this anime has a good art not bad
Well the sound is pretty calming for this anime befitting it's genre.. (thought it's not really action pack)
All of the character is pretty BOOOOOORING... All of the women is pretty annoying for not letting Rick have an action... and as of Rick his weak resolve makes me kinda irritated... don't watch this
I could not say less it's Booring Pathetic and worst anime I've ever watch so far....
It's dreadful... well I respect the people who watch it and stay with til the end and have a little enjoyment in here... This is pretty damn booring don't watch this if you are expecting a LOTR like anime
This is extremely fun paranormal world series ,although bit short ,it remained enjoyable and imaginative.
The stories character art is very good and fits the story well. The characters are not introduced like most anime in the first episodes but revealed and learned very later in the series. it can be bit confusing .you mostly wonder if there should not have been a previous series. but I think that's one positive attribute about this series..... its different.
for those that does not much care for spoilers ..the world of this series is filled with humans ,elves,dwarfs and attractive cat beasts .
I must say the
elven parts and sub characters was pretty too fast revealed mostly only 1 episode .I would have believed that the elves would play a bigger roll than just one episode.
Overall it remained very good and I could not stop watching .Hope I can get more series like this just bit longer.
You know... with all the talk from someone over in the Wapanese Animu Industry about "calming / soothing anime (?)," you'd think that this show would pop up in your mind. Because; despite ALL of the characters being cool and kick-ass, the story is BORING AS HELL.
I'm sorry, folks. I needed to say that. I compared this title to all of the "guys are pussy" animu of this spring season. And while it's nice to see a "grown-up anime for and about grown-ups;" that "energy," usually found in the lot of retarded animu playing on the other side, is not there.
"Shining (Heart; Happy) Bread" reminds
me of "Campanella's Blessing:" You have the near-remote island, the ALPHA populace and the visually wacky cast of characters, the near-round-the-clock happy faces, and that RPG-style atmosphere.
A major note about the male lead herein. Rick is a hard working type who's skilled in a few crafts; his fighting skills are "passable" and CHICKS DIG HIM. The otaku-base HATE this type of guy because he's the exact definition of being "alpha." (Said otaku-base are F###ING BETA; wanting someone to either relate to or step on; so yeah.)
Major props go to Tony Taka for his art style. I wish he did more hentai anime than regular anime; but it's still all good.
A harmless show. Not a good show. You won't be staying up late watching it because you just *have* to see what happens next. You'll watch it because it's bright and happy and well drawn. The plot goes no where and you want to take it into the corner and yell at it for not even making an effort at being interesting.
The person who created it seemed to suffer under the misconception that if you are a cook and you are emotionally unbalanced then it will negatively affect the taste of the food you prepare. I have personally eaten food prepared by
people who were manic, depressed and borderline sociopathic and it was delicious. I however when even in my best mood cannot cook worth a damn.
Shining Hearts is...about bread, and Rick...who makes bread. So I guess one shouldn't go into it expecting a whole lot. Like most slice of life animes, not all that much really happens.
The pacing was really strange. It was incredibly slow and slice of life, then tried to cram all the magical action into the last two episodes. Not even that really, all the action together wouldn't have been a full episode, it was just spread into two. Then...it was incredibly anti-climactic.
I think it leaves you with more questions than you had any answers. Who are all
these characters really? Especially Rick and Kaguya. What about Queen? (how does she get repaired anyway?) What about the other worlds? Is everyone on the island from another world? Why is the princess the only one with magical power? (It's not that way in the game apparently) Why is Rana/Elwing even in this? Or Melty. They have cameos to seemingly waste episodes because they are never seen again except maybe a 3 second scene in the last episode. I have more but none of them were answered so I'll leave it there. Maybe the video game tells you more?
I mean I know this story is about...bread. It's called the bread of happiness but honestly it got pretty ridiculous. Yeah, I'm sorry but honestly. The bread motif is just not enough to hold a story. At all.
The art in Shining Hearts is incredible. It was always clean, consistent, and did a fabulous job at making me hungry. The magic was well animated and the fight scenes while short, looked good. The scenery was always top notch and realistic.
All in all, Shining Hearts is a gorgeous anime to watch.
The sound in Shining Hearts is pretty bland. For the most part I barely even noticed it. They continuously reused the opening song for any "happy resolution" scene. It was in so many episodes I honestly got sick of it.
The tension/battle music was refreshing so I enjoyed it.
Shining Hearts has a lot of characters. Honestly they all have really good character design. (AKA they are all attractive) First we have Rick. He was a pretty typical hero that has issues with his memory loss. Overall I liked Rick, he was level headed, sometimes a bit emo kid but didn't drag it on too long. He was pretty mellow and I always enjoy seeing a main guy character who isn't a rash idiot.
Next we have the three girls in the bakery. Airy, Neris and Amil. None of them really resonated with me. Airy pretty much got shafted and was scene mostly in passing, she got so little screen time I wasn't sure she HAD a personality. Neris was a bit better and was probably the only one of the three I liked. She seemed to be the non-useless one but more like the mother-type. Then we have Amil, who I rather insta-hated because of my basic harem issues. She was always in the center, got the most screen time, was needy, was the only one who had emo moments over the fact that Rick might rather be a warrior than a baker and OMG WHAT IF HE LEAVES HER? (I wish he would) and had an overall personality that I didn't enjoy.
Madera was the old lady who somehow knew everything all the time. The reasoning for all her knowledge is of course never explained but she makes for a good wise old woman.
Rana/Elwing and her brother seemed there to make cameos as fanservice for those who watched/played Shining Wind. They made their brief introduction in the first two episodes, then don't expect to see them again.
Same with Melty. She had her singular episode and was gone. It seemed out of place (considering the previous episode) and I suppose she was there to look cute and because she was a character that was in the game. I don't see the point in having a character appear as a main character (I mean they were in the opening) if they have no significance in the plot.
Then we have the royalty. Prince Lagunas, Princess Lufina and their servant Rouna. Prince Lagunas was the mysterious type who was always playing his harp (usually at inappropriate times, I mean there is an armed ship headed towards the island with tons of cannons, someone breaking into your castle prison and the prince is there peacefully playing the harp? There is a big ship battle and the prince is playing his harp with a monologue about life? WHAT?) but he seemed like he had a lot of mysteries we never get to learn about. Lufina didn't get much personality/screen time but what we did see I liked. She was calm, a good ruler and had some pretty sweet magic. Rouna was there...as fanservice. The busty maid who was always tripping and showing off her assets. She was the ditz but could handle battle (by of course strapping knives to her thigh which required her to constantly pull up her skirt to reveal it)
Xiao Mei and Hank. Xiao Mei was...a typical cat girl but she was cute and nice. Her interactions with the children were heart-warming. Hank...was just kinda eh for me. He didn't seem intelligent (Who hangs a robot from the rafters that is visible just from opening the doors? I mean seriously. Have some common sense.) but he was strong and built machines.
Dylan and the barmaid Flora were cute and not what I was expecting. They were older and wiser, and I wasn't expecting either of them to give advice, let alone good advice. By the end of it I did enjoy their interactions with each other and with Rick.
Lastly Kaguya and Queen. Kaguya was unconscious about 70% of the series but once she woke up she didn't play quite the role I was expecting. She mostly came across as a hungry ditz but I felt like she was supposed to be more than that. I was curious about her role and magical powers. They didn't even explain her necklace at all. I suppose it made me want to play the game. Queen isn't remotely explained and I thought she was probably the most fascinating. I was disappointed at her little screen time and how little we got to know about her.
See? Lots of characters and in 12 episodes? Not nearly enough time to delve into them. Honestly only Rick really gets any character growth. I liked so many of them but we just didn't get enough of a chance to see them and get to know them enough to care about them.
I think I enjoyed this more for the art and the character designs than anything else. It was slice of life for the most part (which I normally intensely dislike because to me it's incredibly boring) and the the bread was honestly...lame. Yet I still liked it. I liked the characters and the idea hinted at towards the end that I wish they had expanded upon.
They reuse footage quite a bit. Mostly in flashbacks and it's incredibly annoying. Incredibly. They will have some form of flashback in practically every episode (usually upwards of 3-6) past the 4th one, quite often of the SAME SCENE and even more often, A SCENE WE SAW MAYBE TWO MINUTES PRIOR to this flashback. I literally wanted to beat my head into my desk repeatedly. With a budget that can have that gorgeous art, scenery, consistency, it could have cut out the reused footage and given us something new. Flashbacks that often are NOT necessary. I literally started skipping ahead in the episode to avoid them. That is mostly what knocked my rating down. (That and the story was pretty non-existent along with reuse of music)
This could have been SO MUCH BETTER is my main thought. Maybe twice the length or cut out all the unimportant stuff. (AKA episodes 1-10) and start from there. The climax was not all that good (waaaay too short and easy). The premise and characters are good. The art was fabulous. I just wanted more answers and less questions, more character development and more action. If nothing else this defiinitely interested me in the game.
Shining hearts: Shiawase no Pan. If the title weren't already a giveaway, it's about bread. And it could've stayed that way, but the plot said otherwise.
In my opinion, it was fine simply as a relaxing anime about everyone living peaceful lives as if they were in heaven. But then the last two episodes ruined it. I get that the setting is probably a metaphor of heaven and people being washed ashore are those that have passed, but adding action to it wasn't a good idea.
Characters were really dense, especially the main characters! The protagonist himself was a flat character, never changes his personality. Heck, he
doesn't even have a personality. he's just a dull character who just happened to be the MC. The heroines were hot, though.
The only thing I liked about this series was Tony's art style. It was because it was his style that I actually watched the series. If it were someone else's... I would still watch it, but wouldn't give it a high score.
Overall, it was a fairly enjoyable anime. If you're into bread, then I recommend it because they made bread look good. But that bread will hardly give you any happiness...
The main story and characters of Shining Hearts: Shiawase no Pan start to unravell very slowly and so 90% of the time the main "cast" makes and delivers bread. Of course at the time of this review only 7 episodes have aired so i hope (and makes sense if it does) something will change soon, if not then it's been a waste of time.
~Story: Kinda decent. Just a bit annoying considering that it has potential to be a good anime. Basically it's just an island full of washed up people who can't live without Rick's bread. They even got the elves and animals addicted to it. XD
~Art: It's really good, so does that animation. It doesn't have any derp moments unlike the plot.
~Sound:The sound fits well. Except for the parts where they girls just stare blankly and give a little "ugh" one at a time as their faces show the screen.
~Character: Characters are good, their quite well developed. Except Rick, his confusion makes
no sense and causes more confusion.
~Enjoyment: Since I'm a person who gets enjoyment from a good plot I think this anime will only be somewhat good to me. It has almost no plot since it only repeats a pattern of: Wake up Rick, make bread, sell bread, make more bread, go out of the shop to sell more bread, smile everywhere, run our of bread, close the shop, feels tired, then go to sleep. It's a routine already.
~Overall: I give it a mediocre score. It does have potential to be a good anime, but with the plot already making no sense and ends up having less sense. It's already pretty much done for me. :/
How I see it:
Good voice actors
If there would be an OVA or second season I want more RickXbread! I'll be shipping those! XD
After watching all episodes have to say that it needs a bit of romance, first it started slowly, kinda boring and then everything happens at ones... The drawing is nice and in some front covers one of the characters is a panther man but in the anime there are crocodile men. The most laking thing from the anime are those 3 girls... they are following Rick everywhere!! Rick: stay away from me!! Kagura is the only fairish but seems to be dumb, well to conclude this anime is very good for kids, it's not bad but for me it laks in things ^^
when i started watching this anime i thought it would be good but i was wrong.
What i liked about this anime was that the story was unpredictable but it was too, "how can i put this" casual and boring for most the episodes it was about the same thing, it eventually got good at the last two episodes i will admit the characters were amazing all had there own individual story which was interesting
what i didn't like about this anime was the fact that it took till the last two episodes to get good too me it was boring and i felt as if
it wasn't really going anywhere.
if your into this type of anime then go ahead and watch but it just wasn't my cup of tea, considering i like a good story where it is based on wither being a serious storyline or just mindless fun
If you want to watch this anime because there is a tag saying action, beware that the action is hard to find. The story is most about a boy that has amnesia and starts to work at a bakery. There is some fantasy and a nice plottwist in the end. That is something that makes the anime a bit beareble but even with that, you really need to like watching people sell and bake bread if you want to find any fun in watching this.