Amu Hinamori is a student at Seiyo Elementary, where she has a reputation for being "cool and spicy"; however, her real personality is that of an extremely shy and easily intimidated girl. One night Amu makes a wish that she would have the courage to be reborn as her "would-be" self. The next morning Amu finds three brightly colored eggs—red, blue, and green—in her bed. Each egg eventually hatches into a Guardian Character: Ran, Miki, and Su. Guardian Characters are angel-like beings that aid a person into becoming their "would-be" selves and fulfill the person's dreams. The Guardian Characters accomplish this by giving encouragement and advice, but they can also temporarily change a person's personality and abilities. With the Guardian Characters, Amu's life becomes much more complex as she now struggles to deal with her new personalities and the Seiyo Elementary Guardians—a student council group where each member has their own Guardian Character—who recruits Amu to search for and seal the X eggs and X Characters, corrupted forms of people's dreams.
The Mahou Shoujo genre is all too often populated with casts of sweet, brightly animated lolis who are surrounded by perverted adults and magical animals. Couple this together with overly long and usually indecent (given the ages of the characters) transformation scenes and stupid inane plots that make watching children's programming with your kids seem smart by comparison. Shugo Chara! takes those stereotypes and blows them up completely, and leaves us with one of the most wonderful and enjoyable anime experiences ever.
I found this series to be a breath of fresh air. While the premise of the story is nothing that we
haven’t seen before, it just feels like an original idea. The plot is very much typical of a Mahou Shoujo series. If you’ve seen a series such as Sailor Moon, then you’re going to find a lot of similarities. Our heroine, Amu Hinamori, finds herself thrust into a magical world she never realized was around her until she wakes up one morning with three eggs in her bed. These eggs soon hatch revealing her Shugo Chara, or Guardian Characters. We soon find out that everyone has these eggs in their hearts as a representation of their hopes and dreams for the future. Amu becomes friends with others who have guardian characters and begins to battle against the evil organization called Easter, to protect everyone’s heart egg and find the mysterious one known as the embryo.
The story moves along nicely early on, introducing us to the world and the characters while explaining origins and back story. There is a lot of pretty good magical action and surprises along the way. What was maybe the most surprising to me was the depth of the romance and relationships part of the story. Considering the ages of the characters, I was not initially all that optimistic about a story that myself, a twenty-something adult could relate that much to. But I was surprised to find Amu to be a very complex character with a lot of emotional depth. She grows tremendously as a character from the beginning to the end of this season.
However, Shugo Chara! is not without its faults. One of the most glaring is the number of recap episodes throughout the series. I never have understood the necessity to devote an entire episode towards a recap in this day and age. In the age of DVRs, internet streaming, and downloading, the necessity to have recaps for new viewers seems like a waste of time to me. The other major issue was that there was a lot of what I would term "filler" episodes. Stories that did nothing to advance the overall plot in anyway. For filler they were not bad stories and a lot of them did serve to let us get to know the series huge cast. But really the most annoying was the amount of it after the main plotline from the second half was concluded. It felt a bit anti-climatic and was disappointing to have to sit through 7-8 episodes before the season finally concluded with something involving the main storyline.
The cast for Shugo Chara is enormous. Normally I would say this is a major drawback but in this case it really wasn’t. The key to the whole series is Amu and her guardians. For me, Amu has already moved into my favorite anime characters of all time. She is someone I think every girl (and boys too I think) will find something to relate to themselves. I think her internal insecurities and her outside persona and the struggle to be accepted by society yet still be true to yourself is something that will resonate with viewers. Her conflicted heart over her romantic feelings for various boys and her own lack of confidence over her own "true self" I believe will also strike a nerve. In a lot of ways I think she is the most "real" anime character I’ve ever seen.
There are simply too many other characters to cover in detail with the scope of this review. Amu's guardians Ran, Miki, and Su are adorable and lovable aspects of her personality. The same could be said for all of the other guardian characters and their relationships with their owners. The most important and interesting of the supporting cast is Ikuto. I see him as a Tuxedo Mask type character from Sailor Moon. He comes to Amu's rescue when she needs it but isn’t necessarily on her side. His intentions remain obscure for the entire season so we will have to wait to find the answers to that. The rest of the cast, while enjoyable, is far more stereotypical and shallow. You’re bound to have a few favorites from them and even the villains, but this is a story about Amu.
The artwork and animation is outstanding. I absolutely loved the character designs and styling. I felt it was a very fresh look. The backgrounds and settings are a bit over the top at times but beautifully drawn. The guardian characters are completely adorable and are a certainty to steal your heart away. The various magical transformations, even in their full form are reasonably short and devoid of pedo fan service. This was possibly the most refreshing aspect of the whole show. The music is equally brilliant. The various opening and ending themes were catchy tunes that captured the spirit and essence of the show.
My enjoyment of this series was really off the charts. I really wanted to give this show a perfect score but the way the story drags on with little happening towards the end hurts its overall score. If you’re even have a passing interest in Mahou Shoujo stories, then Shugo Chara! has to be at the top of your watch list. For everyone else, your mileage may vary but I think your seriously missing out if you don’t give this show a try.
At first, I wasn't sure if I should begin watching a maho shojo anime about elementary school characters. However, when I began watching it, I couldn't have been more wrong. The story, art, and sound were all above average, but what stuck out most was how well the characters were designed, and how much each character developed through the course of the story. However, the thing that held it down was just how much filler there was throughout the series.
Shugo Chara tells the story of cool, and "spicy", elementary student Amu Hinamori, who actually turns out to be a shy girl who has difficulty
expressing herself. One day, she hears on TV about the guardian characters (shugo chara) that are always protecting them. The next day, she wakes up and find 4 eggs, each containing their own guardian character, and each a person that Amu wants to be. Throughout the story, she meets others with guardian characters, and X eggs, which are the guardian characters of those with no hope, which Amu has the power to purify, and the Embryo, the mysterious character egg the corporation Easter wants to get their hands on.
To me, this is one of my favorite MANGA ever for a multitude of reasons. First of all, the characters and story were absolutely amazing, a romance that actually made sense, and some genuinely funny scenes. On the other hand, the art and music were only slightly above average unlike the latter. Flaws included the below average, slow, "action" scenes, that were honestly unneeded (you'll see what I mean if you watch the show).
*A few minor spoilers*
What killed the ANIME nearly entirely were the absolutely terrible amount of useless random characters and an entire unnecessary story arc in the anime. This extends the show far more than it needed to be, and really undermines Amu's special abilities and the X eggs introduced in the beginning. The supposedly rare and exclusive X eggs and Amu and the rest of the Guardians' character transformations are completely put down. Most of the episodes are the same useless thing, in which the guardians find some random kid with a troubled mindset, who gets an X egg, and the guardians come purify them. This becomes worse, and more prevalent close to the end, and every time I saw the same garbage over and over, I wanted to put a gun to my head, because it nearly ruined how great Shugo Chara is supposed to be.
In my opinion the manga is honestly the better of the two, as it retains everything great about Shugo Chara, but without the things that kept down the anime. However, if you simply don't like reading, then feel free to watch the anime, as it is still an enjoyable anime as long as you don't think to much in the many filler episodes.
Shugo Chara! is about a teenage girl named Hinamori Amu, who acts cool on the outside but is actually very shy. She wishes to become her would-be self and gets three shugo chara which are like guardian angels that represent your would be self. The story revolves around the guardians a soceity of people with shugo charas includingAmu and their adventures to find themselves and the ledgerndary Embryo which grants any wish.
This anime has a unique storyline and is a pleasure to watch. Like any typical magical girl anime you have flashy transformation and destroying evil which takes the form of X eggs and characters
in this anime, because of this it can be a bit cliche. The story does have some interesting developments but it also contains a lo of fillers which can be quite annoying at times. It is lighthearted and comical with a tinge of drama.However, for such a long series the story still lacks depth and this could have been made up by using the filler episodes to create more developments in the story.
The art was so-so. Nothing special, just your typical shuojo style characters with big eyes and varying hair styles.Nothing bad about it but nothing good either.
The sound was also ok. I think the voice actors did a good job though and each character was fitted with the perfect voices(quite cute especially the shugo charas). Besides that the songs sung during the show by Utau were quite good. But other than that not much else was done to enhance the atmosphere through the songs.
The characters were done up quite well partly due to the long span of the anime, most of the characters received some kind of depth and character development was visible throughoutthe show. Perhaps the fillers could have helped create even more depth for the characters. Even the villains get some depth. Very little romance is involved in this anime and is very suttle. Most of the interactions between the characters is merely friendly not intimate but there are some small occurences here and there.
Overall, i think the anime was not not as good as i had anticipated because it lacked the depth for a long span of 51 episodes and the fillers were quite annoying towards the end with the anime not going anywhere. But it is an interesting anime to watch because many can identify with the theme of a would be self and there are some meaningful messages embedded in the anime. Hopefully the second series will outdo the first.
I don't feel like sugar coating this, so I'll just come out and say it: I hated Shugo Chara. Despite the pages of praise, the only thing I found I actually liked about this were the characters. Not all of them, mind. Just five or six.
The premise was cute, I'll admit, having a special place in your heart for who you want to be, and sometimes being able to meet that person. But by episode 30, I really wanted to stop watching it. By episode 35, I did, until someone told me the final arc of Doki was really good. Man, am I gullible.
The sad thing is, most of the fanfiction of this utilizes this idea in a better way than the canon story.
Most episodes being filler didn't help, either. They even had a formula: Amu meets n, a person who is skilled at/in love with n. At/before a really important event, n will somehow mess up/be rejected, and a member of Easter will replace n's heart's egg with an X egg. Amu wil find the egg, make the same gasping noise, character transform,l then spew some stunningly cliche trite and purify n's heart egg. n then usually proceeds to never show his or her face again. They eventually do some variations, such as the x eggs hatching (Gasp.), or the X egg is a person's chara. Expanding on that more, if someone is not a Guardian or an employee of Easter ends up with a chara, you can bet it's going to become an X Egg. Out of the 50 episodes, I recall about 30 being filler.
Characters in Shugo Chara vary greatly. Amongst the main cast, there was a pleasant diversity, although there were a few obnoxious characters. I'm not talking about the reoccurring characters like Saaya, I'm thinking of Kiseki. Was he supposed to be funny? He almost annoyed me as much as Tadase. Why did I find Tadase irritating? Because a main character should be memorable, but I can barely remember anything about him other Amu's endless fawning over him.
Onto aesthetics! The art in Shugo Chara is fine, but there isn't anything truly outstanding. I liked most day to day outfits for the characters, Amu's in particular, but I disliked ALL of the character transformations, though. If I had to pick the absolute worst of the transformations, I'd say Amulet Clover, Clown Drop, and Dear Baby. They missed cute by miles, and strayed far into the territories of awkwardness and stupidity. As for the music in the anime, the openings are all guaranteed starters of uncomfortable conversations. Generally, the sound track was unimpressive unless Ikuto was playing on his violin, or Utau was debuting a new song.
So to sum up, Shugo Chara is an anime I might have enjoyed, however the huge portion of filler, and the general dragged out impression it gave me ruined it. For me, the show (including Doki!) was dull and altogether not worth the 102 episodes I struggled through, and certainly not deserving of the praise many of the reviews give it. The fact that so many animes I adore have run for a single season, while this one goes on for 3, with two of the seasons having double, or even quadruple times the amount of episodes as them really annoys me, especially as a simple story like this could have been done in half the episodes at double quality. I wouldn't really recommend this for a person who likes seeing characters ending up together (due to how it has the most disappointing romance ending ever devised by man) , but if you're a magical girl fan, go nuts.
Hey! Listen! Legends of the fair folk go back hundreds of years and continue today with all sorts of depictions. Some fairies will help you while others are wicked creatures and you can see both kinds here!
Birthdays are something we all look forward to. We get to throw a party, invite our friends, receive gifts and stuff ourselves full of delicious cake. Let's see what anime characters get up to on their birthdays.