High school student Takeru Takemoto works part time as a (motor)bike courier. During one of his deliveries, he saw a mysterious light passing him and fell into a forest. What he had found was a beautiful girl coming out from a glowing cocoon, calling herself "Hikari." While Takeru was quite embarrassed because of Hikari's nudity, a strange monster suddenly showed up and immediately attacked the two. Both Takeru and Hikari demonstrated the power of their other selves before Takeru had a clue of what's going on.
They sure got it right by putting 'ugly' in the title.
This marvellous piece of crap is a terrible anime about aliens, boys who love them, and boobage.
The story was bad, but who cares? Boobage!
The art was poor and looked like it was recycled from the early 90s. But does it matter?? Boobage!
Who can remember the sound? There were better things, I think. Boobage!
The characters were flat, cliches, and underdeveloped. The boys seemed to be horrible clashes of several bad male characters, and the female characters had no personality and were nothing more than fanservicers. However, there were several pairs of things the
girls had that were developed. Boobage!
This was a very bad anime. It was short, but it felt like an eternity that wouldn't end. There was very little that made it salvageable. Maybe the interesting title was the best thing about it. Boobage!
This anime is definitely a gem, but like any gem in the rough, it's not without its flaws. A lot of them, unfortunately.
The story is quite interesting, and fairly original. The quality of its presentation varies throughout the series, however - foreshadowing, for example, is plentiful and very well intertwined into the story, so that little details that you might notice but not think much of turn out to be intricate plot points later on. On the other hand, there're the cheesy "OMG! The sky is falling!" bits usually associated with fantasy series surfacing all around the second half of the series which definitely
hurts the suspense of disbelief. Another flaw is the climax being stretched into the last 3 episodes which could've easily fit in a single one.
Not bad, but nothing to write home about. It's detailed and fairly pretty, but the sudden switches from ultra-contrasting (butterfly clouds, Hikari's hair and dreams) to ultra-pale colours (most secondary characters, slice of life sections) that happen every few minutes are annoying. The deformed butterfly logo is a definite plus though - very memorable.
The opening/ending songs are quite generic, but the last episode's ED is nice if only for the fact that it's meaningful in the context, which is a rare occurrence in anime. Background audio is hardly noticeable, but it completes the atmosphere well enough so that's good.
I'm a bit torn on this point. On one hand, the four main characters are very likeable and by the end I definitely cared about their fate. On the other, however, apart from Akari, all of the characters bring on a sense of deja vu; a reckless protagonist with a funky hairstyle, a troubled past and superpowers - check; a jealous childhood friend - check; a calm and popular big brother - check; a busty foreign drunkard who is actually wise and "cool" - check as well, and those 4 is just the icing.
Enjoyment / Overall
I've enjoyed the series, personally, but it felt like I had to go through all the silly action segments, plain stupid fan service, boring showcases of jealousy and unfunny jokes to get to the few excellent romantic scenes here and there. On the whole it was worth it, but it could've been much better if they didn't try to put in a little of every genre and concentrated on getting just one or two right.
This anime sounded promising, the concept of an ugly yet beautiful world where life is cleansed and reborn every so often fascinated me. After a promising start however with a great opening battle with great action, the anime seems to have shifted gears and quickly became a ecchi / school-life, slice of life comedy. Then it sprinkled some "sad, but true" stories of the past.
Let's start off with the good. The art is fairly decent. For the most part, colors are nice, and natural features such as the trees and character outlines are quite nice. Hikari's outfit in particular is great. Sound isn't really
noticeable for me until near the climax, in most cases it was absent at all, which sometimes is a nice change of things. The humor and ecchi was entertaining, I found myself cracking up from time to time. The side characters do a surprisingly good job blending in, almost better than the main roles!
My biggest irk with this series was the fact that it starts to become interesting right from the start. Then suddenly, it sidetracks into something different. Only near the end are we reminded of the first episode, and "Oh, by the way, the world is in trouble!" The idea behind evolution and fate is an interesting one, but it's a bit difficult to comprehend and follow. You are left with a lot more questions than answers. The producers kind of through you into it and expect you to eat it all up and nod your head. Some characters are decently developed, while others are flat and stale. Sure it was only 13 episodes, but I've seen animes do better with fewer episodes. I personally am not fond of the guy loves girl concept occurring after only the first episode.
There are two sides to the story. Akari's side and Hikari's side. I found Akari's more interesting than Hikari, maybe because Ryo's personality was interesting and mysterious. Takeru on the other hand is a piece of work...
The story was rushed and it feels as though we're sidetracked for six entire episodes before things start to get interesting. By then, it's too late to save the show and the ending is predictable.
It will please some certainly and like other have said, you could watch the first two episodes and then skip to near the end and not lose site of anything. If you can look past the story and just take it rather lightly and enjoy the humor and cute girls, then you might be alright, but even that gets stale eventually. If I wanted to watch several episodes of filler, I'd watch something else. This anime tries to be too much - an action, school life, ecchi, and romance/drama. My advice is to give it a shot, and if you find yourself not being drawn in, then walk away. It wasn't a complete waste of time, but it fell far short of what I had been expecting it to be.
Time to travel back to the past and review another "lost" series that anime fans have forgotten! Put on your Indiana Jones outfits, because we are going deep into the obscure for this bit of anime archaeology. "This Ugly Yet Beautiful World" which I will hereafter refer to as "TUYBW" is a series that came out in 2004, but was completely forgotten shortly after despite a decent budget and being produced by freaking GAINAX themselves! How could a Gainax anime become so quickly forgotten despite the legions of fanboys that will swallow anything Gainax shits out? The answer is timing and overshadowing. If another
series has a VERY similar plot and premise, but becomes much more famous and came out at the exact same time, it is possible for the twin series to be completely buried. An example of this would be Independence Day vs. Mars Attacks, which came out the same year. Tim Burton is usually much better liked than Emmerich, but Mars Attacks was completely forgotten and overlooked because of the hype surrounding Independence Day. I will explain in the next paragraph.
TUYBW is about a bland male protagonist who finds a naked girl in the middle of the woods. This naked chick suffers from amnesia, but rather than take her to the hospital or police station, he decides to take her home. Unfortunately, this chick has multiple personalities and one of them is an evil killing machine! This was the year 2004. At the same time TUYBW was airing, another anime called Elfen Lied came out with the same plot and quickly gained fame online for being "over the top madness" and one of the goriest anime people had seen in years, because no one cared about the utter bullshit that is Gantz. Elfen Lied spread through word of mouth, AMVs, and youtube clips like wild fire, whereas TUYBW was simply overlooked in favor of its bolder cousin.
The interesting thing is that TUYBW came out BEFORE the Elfen Lied anime, but after the Elfen Lied manga. So is one a ripoff of the other? Not really. The plot of a clueless male finding a beautiful, injured chick that claims to have amnesia, but is really a psycho killer and bringing her home despite ALL logic was actually started way back in 1952 in the novel East of Eden by John Steinbeck. That's right kids! If you need to blame someone for that ridiculous sub-plot, blame Steinbeck, because it is entirely his fault!
So what exactly made Elfen Lied take off in fame and TUYBW languish in obscurity? The most obvious answer would be "shock and awe". TUYBW was aired on regular Japanese cable and couldn't afford to push the envelope with gore, nudity, and controversial topics such as child abuse, animal abuse, and graphic human experimentation. This was one factor that made Elfen Lied catch people's eyes much more effectively than TUYBW. However, the real answer is one word: "ambition". TUYBW never tried to take itself that seriously, remotely challenge the viewer's worldview, or really try very hard in any category. The reality is that TUYBW is completely average to mediocre across the board from characters to soundtrack, to animation. Elfen Lied is a highly divisive series that is either considered complete garbage or a freaking masterpiece of anime. The reason is that Elfen Lied no matter how much some people hate it actually DID try. EL had a unique opening for its time that referenced classical art while playing a rather haunting, yet serene Gregorian hymn. TUYBW just has a VERY generic opening. Elfen Lied tried to use CG mixed with traditional animation, whereas TUYBW is one time Gainax did NOT go all out in the art department. It is simply par for the course animation. Elfen Lied offered rather memorable (even if completely insane) characters and tried hard enough in its plot that you WILL remember it whether you love it or hate it. TUYBW is the type of anime that is so generic that you watch it and forget the next week that you ever watched it.
Am I saying that TUYBW is a buried gem that was unjustly overshadowed? No! I just wanted to shed some light on an obscure series and try analyze why some series get famous and others are forgotten. To be honest, TUYBW is a very average and cookie cutter series that no one should really have a reason to watch. It isn't good, but it isn't memorably bad either. It is forgettable vanilla, which in my opinion is the type of anime that is least worth watching!