Sep 4, 2014
Sei Michaela Gakuen Hyouryuuki is a pretty interesting two-episode OVA.
The story is quite original, and it kept me interested right up until the very end. It's presented well, paced well, and doesn't overstay it's welcome. I did think it went to some weird places towards the end, and the entire theme of the OVA seems a bit... misplaced. However, If you don't think too much about the subtext of the plot, it ends up being an enjoyable tale, one which is also reminiscent of classic 80's horror films.
Art: 6/10 (Art Style: 7/10, Animation: 5/10)
The art style is pretty nice looking, despite being a bit
rough around the edges. It's about what you'd expect out of something from the early 90's. Character design isn't very varied, but the fundamental designs are still good. Backgrounds look nice for the era.
The animation tends to range between "poor" and "pretty good". Most of it treads the line between the two, looking a lot like the TV animation of the era. There are also some nice looking shots that would have been impressive at the time, but don't hold up quite as well nowadays. However, there were also some really bad looking shots with severely limited animation. Thus, the animation tends to balance itself out, and between it's somewhat impressive moments and somewhat poor looking moments it ends up looking very average as a whole.
Sound: 8/10 (Soundtrack: 9/10, Sound FX: 6/10, Voice: 8/10)
The soundtrack is well done, creating a creepy atmosphere, and also having some great, creepy moments when all of the girls start to sing. It's one of the standout parts of the production, for sure.
Sound effects are a bit low fidelity, and feel somewhat dated... but they're fine for the era, and they are mixed well enough.
The Japanese voice actors did a wonderful job of portraying their characters, and had a lot of passionate delivery for their lines. There isn't any real standout acting here or anything, but the performances from the cast are all very solid and work extremely well.
Most of these characters are all fairly standard, but the nun characters tend to be kind of interesting with how strict they are about enforcing the rules. The main character also tends to have some interesting quirks about her, and ends up feeling pretty original.
Overall, this OVA tells an entertaining and interesting story, reminiscent of classic 80's horror films. It's perhaps not the most groundbreaking story, but it's ambitious, and has some really good moments throughout. The production values are somewhat low it seems, though... and it definitely feels like a production created on a small budget. However, that doesn't keep it from being an enjoyable one.
I would recommend this to fans of the horror genre, especially if you're into classic 80's horror... as well as fans of psychological thrillers. Just don't go into it expecting too much.
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