So I love these kinds of animes, the ones where they basically have to play games/solve puzzles. This anime is kind of like No Game No Life but they have to play the games to stay alive. I really love this because it takes those kids that aren't good at anything in the world we are in and place them in a world where they can thrive essentially. Most of the characters are also great, once you get past the initial little freak out. I would recommend this to anyone who liked No Game No Life, or animes about solving puzzles. It also moves fast
so you're not stuck listening to a lot of monologues.
Story: Think No Game No Life combined with Btooom. It's a psychological anime, yet it's unique. It doesn't even have any serious tragedy. Even those who are not into mindf@&# -like myself- will enjoy this.
It's about a bunch of kids who can't adapt in the real world being warped into a mirror image of the world and told to participate in games with their lives at stake. These games are different to what any one might expect from an anime like this and actually make sense and are exiting. You would find a cliff hanger of sorts at the centre of each episode which
will make your heart go crazy and your eyes will be practically glued to the screen. However dispite it being unique in many ways there still are plenty of similiar story lines so one might find it to be a bit of a rip-off. (9)
Art: The art is pretty and unlike most anime of the genre; doesn't have this dark and scary feeling. You'll find blood and gore in this show to some extent, but it won't colour your vision. It emphasizes on light and harmony in colours, bringing forth brilliant details, but for an anime of this era it isn't particularly spectacular. (8)
Sound: This is a bit of a let down. The sound is fine and you could say unique, but still not particularly interesting. The voices of the characters aren't the cutsy type you normally get, nor the rough types you sometimes get, but something in between - but closer to the rough type- and have the proper emotions in place. This however is not enough to make them enjoyable. There is no OP and the ED is a simple piano stereotypical Alice in Wonderland tune, but it's quite fitting really. (7)
Characters: The characters are all different and you can see the layers they might be hiding and the psychological strain they are under. They make some progress and discover their hidden abilities -like observation not like a rasengan or stuff-, but it doesn't take long as expected from a three episode long anime. Despite all this the characters are still all quite stereotypical: you get the wimp, the strong guy, the smart observant guy and etc. (6)
Enjoyment: The enjoyment is a lot more than what you'd expect from a three episode long OVA. As a matter of fact it's absolutely perfect. You will find yourself getting the whole story well enough despite the few episodes, but still craving for more. (10)
Actually Alice in Borderlands is one or my favorite manga, enjoy reading each chapter, it has been a while since I read the manga, so I wanted to see these 3 ovas to see how, after all for my Alice in Bordelands it was a great and I knew that, despite being 3 ovas, it could be a good thing from there (well I was wrong).
The story does not change much, Arisu Ryohei, tired of his life and with an inferiority complex by his brother, appears in another world with his 2 friends after seeing some fireworks, in the "new world" (which is
equal to the Earth, but without many people) there are some survival games in which Arisu will have to participate to survive, the plot is simple, but it can unleash many possibilities, but the pacing is terrible, the plot rushes so much that we can not get to Psychologically understand the characters or their actions, the ovas only take advantage that they are a game of death to play great and develop them well (that is a good point that the eggs have at least) and then forget everything else, it shows due to the emphasis to make each game fit a game and making their preparations, which does not work because the grace that the games had was to see how the protagonists faced the games in a psychological way and in a way Inamica, while here they only focused on making the game great, leaving a kind of "style over substance", since the reflections and deductions of the characters completely dislodge due to the inconsistency that the ovas had to prioritize and retract the games ( it takes very little time to explain correctly and dynamically).
The last game was the one I gave the most hope, but the flask forward (as opposed to flask back) that were recurrent in the chapter made the majority of the chapter's dialogue meaningless and explicitly let you understand that something wrong It was going to happen (which is a simple way to put tension although with everything, this game was the one that best treated the tension), without the need to resort to psychological immersion, which generates, although all the games are raised in a way correct, the latter in particular could have developed in a great way, but the little immersion with the characters and the fact that we could not get into their mentality makes their deaths do not feel like something emotional or that has weight (although the soundtrack did a good job in general), so, despite the good approach, the development was mediocre.
The characters are where the ovas weakest, in the manga the characters are undoubtedly their best element (especially Arisu), due to the duration of the ovas the characters are very poor, you can not get to emphasize with any due to the emphasis that is only given to the games and in the ingenious way to solve them, it is not at the end of the third game where you can get to understand the feelings of the characters, but that only serves to generate an emotional scene where friends of Arisu die, if not for that reason the characters never managed to express themselves correctly, the exposition of deep themes is very superficial and pretentious (we never really get to know much about Arisu's past or why Chouta feels a loading, they are only vague themes presented in a superficial way), so the exposition of themes is superficial and does not complement the characters due to their poor presentation in the chapters (although I always I talk about character designs in other reviews, here I have nothing to say, it is normal), the characters besides being poor do not get to express their personality well nor can we see great relationships with each other (which is a contradiction taking in mind that they are best friends), so outside the protagonist the other characters become very boring due to their little time on screen (it provides very badly the exhibition of characters, something that did not happen in the manga).
The animation is normal, although the scenarios are very muted and low in color that they use to express more the dark tone of the ovas themselves, outside of that the transitions are mediocre and the facial gestures too, the animation does not help to focus the viewer on certain aspects, at least the animation is not as bad as you might think at the beginning, it just does not meet decent standards.
The end of the ovas only leaves the viewer anxious, forcing him to read the manga, which makes it a concise ending, but with clear intentions, I really find that these ovas were totally wasted, the manga being a work that gives much emphasis to psychological aspects and the ingenuity of the games, the anime only gave emphasis to the "ingenuity" of the games (since the few that appear are not the big deal), well, a short review, if I don't talk about other aspects of the ovas it is because it is irrelevant, I really would not recommend these ovas to anyone, or to someone who would like an anime about people in a survival game because in the end and seeing it in retrospect it is likely that there are not many things either good to get out of this animation
Think Mirai Nikki, Btooom!, and No Game No life wrapped into a neat package of absolute adrenaline. All with an underlying tone of sweet suspense. Missing an ending.
The Story has elements of suspense and drama, but ultimately is a coming of age type of story. Missing an ending.
Protagonist is definitely one of the most fleshed out characters I have ever seen. His internal conflict is one that many face, and the anime does a great job of detailing his character in such a concise amount of episodes. The supporting characters are memorable, but for the most part cliched.
Art and Sound are good Quality,
with the art being outstanding in terms of direction and audience engagement.