It is the year of 2014, Shibuya is independent from Japan, and it becomes an independent nation. It is a town of chaos where only young people are living. The life necessity, such as electricity, water, and food are transported by the pipelines out from the Shibuya. The pipelines are running like cobweb in the sky, the young people in Shibuya looked like bugs trapped in the cobweb.
In this city, there are people called "Prayers". They earn money by the battle of music. They turn music into electric signals and inject them into brains, and destroy opponents' mind and bodies each others.
Originally created as 4-episode-OVA, it was canceled after 2 episodes.
There's often times when one watches a particular show (of any type), where the viewer suddenly realises that what they're watching is either trying too hard to be different, or trying to incorporate too many threads into the plot.
Sadly, Prayers is guilty of both.
Prayers is set in Shibuya in the year 2014. The Japanese Government has segregated Shibuya from the rest of the country, and in retaliation the popluace of Shibuya (which for some reason is mainly youths and young adults), declare their independence form mainland Japan. Unfotunately, an earthquake happens around that time as well, and the area ends up sinking below the rest of the country, effectively putting a wall around Shibuya.
The survivors struggle to make ends meet, and in this somewhat brutal environment the population has found a new form of entertainment - praying (pardon me while I laugh at the failed attempt at irony).
Praying is a form of combat whereby two musicians (or more if they're part fo a band), take to the stage and try to fry each other's brains with their music.
Add to this a mysterious girl with amnesia, an evil corporation, a secret cult, and a musical "genius" who won't kill, and you've pretty much got everything covered.
Are you following so far? No? Well neither was I...
The story basically takes the concept of the battle of the bands, and attempts to amp it up (pardon the pun), by adding various other elements to the story, most of which are either redundant, contradictory, or just plain silly.
Art and animation made this almost painful to watch. Some of the backgrounds were nicely drawn and coloured, however the "action sequences were often nauseating in their confusion. The character designs leave a lot to be desired, as there doesn't appear to be any real thought in their creation. Animation is decent enough on the whole, however it's clear that this is one of those shows which were only made because the studios needed a project to fill a gap in their schedule.
Given that this OVA is supposed to be about music, one would be forgiven for expecting something decent in the sound department. Unfortunately the music is often annoying at best, whilst the effects, and even the seiyuu, are lacklustre.
As this is a 2 episode OVA, it's understandable that the characters receive very little development. However, even this cannot hide the fact that the characters are extremely poor. Tasuku could have been a decent lead, however there is virtually no explanation (aside from a few flashbacks), as to his presence in Shibuya, his musical ability, or why he won't kill. Shoko, on the other hand, is an amnesiac lab rat, so don't expect much from her either. The relationship between the two is hammed up to the nines, with the second episode being overly dramatic when it didn't need to be. Every other character in the OVA will just make you wonder how the hell they fit into the story, or why they're even there in the first place.
Suffice to say, I didn't enjoy this. If I hadn't already watched Dark Myth, then this would have been a contender for worst anime ever. The only saving graces it has are that the creators attempted to be original (and ironic), the basic "extreme battle of the bands" concept hasn't been done before (and no, Macross doesn't count), and the fact that it actually had some potential if they'd made a series out of it.
Unfortunately, the OVA fails to answer any questions, and never explains anything. Add to this the fact that everyone from the director on down didn't actually sem to care about the quality of the show in any way, and you're left with an OVA that is better left forgotten.