Aizawa Ayumu is a young boy, who is sent to a small town called Tana to live with his father for a while. Even though he doesn't want to go, he agrees to do so when his mother offers him a mountain bike. Ayumu used to live in Tana before, and now his memories of the time are shrouded in mystery - apparently something happened when he was a child. Enter Miku, a young girl who knows more than she tells, weird glowing lights floating around, reflections of UFOish objects in the eyes of cats and dogs, a nosy female announcer, a forest with a mysterious past, and a weird boy called Wakkun, who wears the clothes Ayumu used to when he was a child, and you get the world of Zettai Shonen, where mysteries remain mysteries amidst a slow, normal, everyday life.
I don't write reviews, but this show only has one short review so I feel inclined to do my part.
Zettai Shonen is an anime that stays away from a lot of the normal conventions found in anime with the label of supernatural. The pace is much slower and more heavily focuses on the characters than the supernatural event itself.
Ultimately I would say that the focus is on how each character internalizes and acts on the odd things that are going on around them.
The story is broken down into two arcs. The first arc is the summer arc and the main character is a
middle school boy named Aizawa Ayumu who is visiting the tiny town of Tana for the summer. The second arc called the winter arc,takes place in Yokohama and the story shifts ahead a year and a half. Also a new main character is introduced, Tanigawa Kisa. A girl who is considered an outsider among her peers. In both halves of the show, weird creatures have begun to show up and cause confusion and mild chaos.
This story is heavily driven by character development, however the plot is there pushing the character's in a general direction. If you're looking for a story that delves deeply into the occult or the science of aliens than this is not the series for you. All of the supernatural events are shrouded in mystery and give off a feeling of long ago fairytale or folklore. Nothing is ever concretely explained what you are handed by the director is all that you will get.
The story moves slowly and things take awhile to develop. It doesn't necessarily take long for weird events to start occurring in the show, it's just that the development and progression of these events is not rushed. To find enjoyment in this show you have to like these characters, because outside of the characters there isn't much else for the viewer to grip onto. The upside is their are plenty of characters all of them vastly different from each other and playing out a different roll in the show.
It's not the most complicated or quickly paced story I've ever experienced, but if you give it enough time it grips you. With time you'll find yourself caring more for what is happening around the awesome cast, the story amps up the supernatural eventually until the plot seems nearly as important as the turmoil that the characters are facing.
The characters are the driving force of the show they are the breath by which this show breathes. Yes this is a story about odd occurences, but the important part of Zettai Shonen is how the individual characters react and change in concurrence with the strange things happening around them.
The characters in this show are strong and dynamic, they all change and grow and learn. The development of the individuals in this show feels more slice of life than anything. In fact it wouldn't be ridiculous to call this show a slice of life with a little mystery and supernatural events thrown in. There are many different people in both arcs and none of them completely abide by the typical anime stereotypes. The characters are the heart of this anime and where this story shines. You can see the motives and reasons for all of the characters actions, they don't do unnecessary things, and they react as you would expect normal people too.
I found myself falling in-love with many of the characters, especially with the residents of Tana, like Miyama Miku and Unno Shione. They were interesting and dynamic, so even as the plot dragged by slowly I could count on the interactions between the characters to keep me interested.
This is the show's strongest aspect by far, at least in the summer arc. In the winter arc I found that I was slightly more drawn to the supernatural events occurring around the cast.
The art style isn't exactly typical, but it isn't radical either. The way the characters are drawn is hard to put into words exactly, but it's very child like even kiddy, however I thought the style suited the show. The background scenes were nice, but didn't dwarf the characters or whatever events were occurring in the story. My only complaint is the CGI used for the creatures, it stuck out a lot in certain scenes where it was used. It could possibly have been done on purpose to highlight the other worldliness of the creatures that disrupt the town of Tana and Yokohama, but for me I would be engrossed in some scene when suddenly I'm pulled from the moment by a very harsh CGI image thrown into the mix. With time though it grew on me.
The music used for this show was appropriate, I really like the ending theme song too. They had this one repeating chorus that they used throughout the show, it helped build up a sense of familiarity and was usually placed in situations that were similar to each other or reminiscent to something else that had happened. As if the music is helping connect all the interrelated dots. The reused chorus is really light and unobtrusive so it doesn't get annoying after repeated use. At times I didn't even realize it was playing till it ended.
The music isn't epic, but then again neither is the show however it worked perfectly and never took away from the rest of the anime.
I enjoyed this show immensely by the time I finished it. However when I started I was only mildly interested, I had to keep going despite the slow pace, and eventually the characters caught my interest, and shortly afterward the plot did too. I loved the slow and dreamy pace and the overall lack of urgency despite the events that were occurring. It vaguely gives me the same feeling that Natsume Yuujinchou gives me, except it's not as melancholy and doesn't emphasize nature or the elements.
I give this show a solid eight, I really liked it from top to bottom, the art style is a little young-looking, if I can describe it as such. At first glance it doesn't look like much, but it really delivers if you're willing to give it a real chance.
You have to be willing to sit down and watch three or four episodes before you can even begin to understand or appreciate this anime. It's not a show for those looking for action or even romance. Really I want to compare it to Haibane Renmei, in that there is a story, but the nitty gritty of the story isn't the most important aspect.
If you have time on your hands and want something that is very character driven almost slice of life like, but with a little more flesh, then Zettai Shonen is a great anime to pick up.
I'm writing a review in an attempt to express my feelings on an anime I feel few have heard of. Zettai Shonen is in my opinion a masterpiece of storytelling and is my favorite anime/tv show of all time.
The guidelines say not to summarize, but I'll give my take in this paragraph if anyone is interested: The story is split into two halves. The first deals with a city boy spending a summer in a small, somewhat boring town, quiet but for the constant, tremulous calls of cicadas, but the summer becomes more interesting when supernatural occurrences begin to take place. In the second half,
we are taken to a city in the winter to follow a reclusive girl who has stopped going to school, whose life also changes due to similar supernatural events. The two arcs are related but loosely.
The story is not ambitious or complex, and it is actually this simplicity that lends it such strength. The conflicts are small, perhaps even microscopic; but in the attention to minutiae I perceive such a deep love for the characters that I've rarely if ever seen matched in another visual storytelling work of art. I actually do not like supernatural events in animes I watch and prefer slice-of-life; however, the supernatural blends so well with the day-to-day that it doesn't feel like a gimmick or a ploy to keep you interested. Instead, the characters interact authentically with these happenings in a way that deepens your perception of them, rather than distracting you from them for the sake of a showy plot.
The story-telling is slow. Don't watch if you are looking for revelatory twists, sabotage, or some slow build-up leading to a fantastic climax where all the questions are answered. The twists are more "hmm" than "aha!", there are no grand schemes, and the climaxes come, but again, they are focused more on the characters than on the universal ramifications. We're not here to scientifically chart out something new but to just spend some time with some individuals.
With that said, I will state that the characters are somehow a bit simple in their depth. They are SO un-distracted in pursuing their personal truths that they don't seem like people you would actually run into on the street. Watching I felt almost as if I was getting to see humans who were more human than actual humans, due to the busy chaos of how life goes. But that's more of a pleasure than a complaint.
The art and sound are somewhat marked by the time the anime was made, though I personally like it that way. They seem old-fashioned but still beautiful. Even though the rural setting of the first arc is more naturally arresting in my opinion than the city setting, the team has a way of making even the crowded metropolis seem humanized and rightful in its existence.
I feel there really isn't a drop of hate, fear, or outlandishness in this anime. I suppose the closest it comes to outlandish are the supernatural child characters, which I forgive them for. As for hatred, the characters can be quite cruel--don't get me wrong. But it is the patience the anime has for these characters, somehow even supporting these cruelties, and its inclusiveness of them as a part of life, that make me feel as though the anime reveres the human experience like no other I've seen.
I'm sure I haven't done the anime justice, or perhaps I've soured its qualities by speaking too highly of them. If I've exaggerated what it is, that's my mistake. But I truly believe it is an anime worth watching--certainly not for everyone, but perhaps for some, even worth watching again and again. If you are in the market for a slow-paced anime to chill you out or perhaps get you to think about things you don't always have time to think about, I recommend Zettai Shonen. In its embrace of the mundane, it is a character-driven powerhouse.
Once in a while, we see Slice of Life shows that are incredibly slow paced and are heavily atmospheric. These shows have a pretty static setting and allow you to dive into their world. I like to call these shows Slice of Nothing shows, simply because there's not a lot happening that actually contributes to the plot's development. Zettai Shonen is a slice of nothing show that slipped under the radar when it aired and never really saw the light of day. Which is a shame really, because it was a breath of fresh air and off the beaten track.
Zettai Shonen is an anime
about Ayumu, a guy who moves to his Dad's (yes, the mythical species known as normal fathers exist in this anime) house in Tana. He spends his days exploring the countryside and meeting the local residents. However, he soon realizes that things aren't quite as normal as they seem. Mysterious objects that look like tiny UFOs start to appear all over the place and seem to have a special affinity for Ayumu. There is also a second arc, which focuses on another protagonist, this time a girl called Kisa. She too attracts these UFOs. Slowly, the two teenagers start to wonder what these things are and why they're attracted ti them. All they know is that it has something to do with their dark and murky past.
First and foremost, I have to warn you. This anime is slow. Incredibly slow. Its buildup is even slower than Goku charging a Spirit Bomb...and trust me, that is slow. There's almost no action and hardly any movement. Generally, it may be a bad thing in case of other anime, but it works out really well in the case of Zettai Shonen. The plot isn't really moving forward, but the atmosphere feels so...atmospheric! It just has these melancholic undertones with an air of mystery around - an experience not too unlike Haibane Renmei or Ghost Hound. It's one of the most unique features of the anime.
And I say most because this anime stands out from the rest for many of the quirky little things it does. Let's start with the realistic and down-to-earth characters.
Despite what the title of the anime says, this anime isn't really much of a shonen. The guy doesn't have any superpowers, the women don't give him any (neither are they cliched tsunderes) and the side characters don't fit into any particular TVTrope either. The supporting cast is bland, but hey, rather bland than annoying (read: Any random Hana Kanazawa character), right?
Ayumu, the main character of the first arc isn't really the most charismatic or lively guy you're going to see. To be frank, he has the emotional range of a tea-spoon. But again, he fits well into the Zettai Shonen niche of being a low key and mellow anime. Kisa is a pleasantly creepy girl whose anti-social side has gotten the better of her. And no, she is not his childhood friend. Her character is something like a mix of Yuki Nagato (of Haruhi Suzumiya franchise) and Moeka (of Stein;s Gate). The thing is, all these characters have this rustic charm to them and seem to grow on you.
One of the things I really liked was how the interactions between the characters shaped the story moving forward. The conversations were normal and weren't blown up or exaggerated. For example, most anime contain this scene where the protagonist is talking intimately with the female lead and suddenly an adult walks in and they jump, scream and fumble all about "I-It's all a misunderstanding!". See how neatly Zettai Shonen does it (video at 4:20).
The animation too, is funky. It's drawn like a childish cartoon, with very little detailing. You'll also notice immediately the heavy usage of still frames. They're gonna have one picture and move slowly across it and probably repeat the footage in another episode as well. The studio probably knew this anime wasn't gonna sell a lot of DVDs...and they were right. This anime comes from Genco, the studio that's produced some of the best Slice of Life anime in the past decade such as Nodame Cantable, Kino's Journey and Honey & Clover.
Zettai Shonen is a mystery and supernatural blend that works out really well. The two arcs come together nicely and while the show doesn't really explain much, it hardly matters, because it's a case where the journey matters more than the destination. Although I described this anime as a Slice of Nothing anime, it's not that there's completely nothing in terms of plot, it's just that there's relatively less action even by a SoL anime's standards.
Overall, this is an anime you have to be patient with. And if you are, it rewards with you some of the most gripping story telling you'll ever see. If you're looking for an anime that's off the beaten track with a really spellbinding atmosphere, then this show's the real deal. It's calm, yet compelling. A definite recommendation for fans of Haibane Renmei, Dennou Coil and Ghost Hound.
The story is pretty simple really, people got involve with the spirits sprites in the Summer Arc (Ayumu), and the evil sprites in the Winter Arc (Kisa).
If I got the information all wrong, sorry, because I didn't wacthed this on youtube. 8/10
The art is pretty good. Zettai Shounen's artwork is kinda like Kamichu, but with slight weaker animated thingimajig. Oh with 3-D. 9/10
Sound? Well, you get to hear a lot of it, and yet, I'm not impressed. For an anime that doesn't 'talk much', the backround music kinda irks me. The dub where i 've watched it? They've improve it.
The characters doesn't give themselves much histroy, but it's enought to understand. 9/10
Enjoyment, is really good, it ups points if you watch it at dawn, where the sky is dark (Not at night, that's a good way to watch horror series.)
BUT, I don't recommend you watching this anime by force. It's really broing unless you have nothing else to do. Those who wat to watch it, cannot stay for more than a few episodes, you should have a strong will of heart if your watching this online. (There's a big difference on your attention span between TV and Online, so if this is broadcasted on your local station. WATCH IT.) 9/10
Overall, well I have nothing to say except, the only real excitement here is on episode 17. (or was it 18?) 8/10
Sifting through the dark, forgotten recesses of My Anime List like some sort of anime hipster, our writers have brought you 15 of what they consider to be the most underrated anime out there. Under appreciated masterpiece or stinker that got the reception it deserved; you decide.
If you ask the general public to name anyone associated with anime, they’re almost certain to name a certain director – Miyazaki Hayao. But for anime fans themselves, the director is a crucial component of anime success that’s too often overlooked.