As a child, Yuu Kusaka made a vow upon a shooting star that he would stand on the side of justice and defend the weak. However, the death of one of his friends robs him of the desire to live up to that vow, and he turns a blind eye to the misery of others, using the mysterious power he possesses as a means of making money instead of helping those in need. His days of living only for himself continue, until he's forced to fight for his life against another classmate with powers similar to his. He's saved by a mysterious girl named Eimu Yoake, who also has strange powers.
Eimu reveals that his powers stem from a creature known as an Ayakashi, a parasitic being that grants the user special abilities at the price of slowly draining the life of the host. She helps him fully awaken his own. Now aware of the ayakashi he possesses, Yuu must live up to his childhood vow, putting his ayakashi to use and fend off those who would use their own for evil, all while unraveling the mystery behind the death of his friend.
Ayakashi was a very entertaining show in the end. It took a bit to get started but I found it a brillaint watch, for a show thats about magic powers, like Night Wizard or Prism Ark, but makes it bloody, throws human ethics onto the production floor.
The base story aids this in its presentation. Although the premise is simple, Yuu holds within him a powerful Ayakashi and finds himself the target of villains wanting that power (played superbly by Tomakazu Sugita) while his friends suffer (the first of which was his childhood friend and crush Izumi. As nw Girl Eimu shows
up to protect, Yuu the story develops nicely along a stadily paced path, with implication's of romance, violence, the price of death, among other themes. Whats intersting about these powers, is that using them, the Ayakashi eats at your own life force, andthe more you use it, the more you get injured, and permanent effects like blindness tart to take place, which offers a more subdued battle show that makes it all the more entertaining. The link between Eimu and Izumi is also nicely developed, taking the series in a nice direction that one doesnt expect making watching the developments very rewarding.
However their are a few niggling problems in story terms that stop this show from being up there with the classic anime. Such developments over the episodes are not linked together effectively and something that doesnt appear to clearly happen, has actually happened (Pam's changing sides seemed to happen overnight) and characters seem to have a tendency to change their minds without much prompting (The Yoake sisters seemingly having the worst problem with this. However most character's are entertaining, if a bit clichéd. Yuu is your typical hero, but he is a bit flakey in his opinion's, Hime is the sweet best friend, Eimu is the stark serious one, all archetypes used before, but played to a mostly decent level that you feel somewhat emotional when character's die. And the show doesnt hold back on innocent sacrifices, which is what sets it apart from other super-power based shows and into the murky realms of Death Note and the like.
And if there is one thing that helps this dark atmospher its the nice Animation. Aesthetically, the art takes a bit of getting used to but really fits well with the piece. The colur palette for character's are varied from piks, purples, light blues to deep greens, but the vibrancy is degraded, and when placed on top of grey morbid backgrounds, really sets up a dark fantasy setting effectively well, without skimping on the attractiveness of its female cast (except maybe Hime, whose desgin seems dull and unattractive). The sound only serves to keep the dark morbid atmosphere and up the tension on a frequent basis and is well used to attempt to make the fight scenes more tense than they actually are. And thats one of the shows other weak points. Despite many conflicts, the battles seem dull and unispired, even if the art smoothly flows through each sequence, its just nothing really happens in 80% of the fights. Still it feels like a minor flaw compared to the show's interesting character developed plot. Wiht the beautiful animation and the appropriate soundtrack this anime is aesthetically pleasing, including one of my personal favourite Ending songs (that i'm listening to as I write this over and over) as it helps really enhance the despair and emotional impact the series can have on its audience and its main cast.
If you want something deep in dramatic tension, with a decent amount of blood and violence (that thankfully doesnt overdo it) with a dark foreboding atmosphere, you can go no wrong with Ayakashi. Its one of the darker tales of its genre, and as animation goes as a whole, its decently executed. Its never going to reach any lofty heights due to being weighed down from uninspired fight scenes and parts of the drama that are glossed over too quickly, but ignoring these little flaws, its a worthwhile 12 episode series that deserves more attention than it has garnered since its release.
Ayakashi, was...not bad. I was bored for a while and had already finished death note but a little advice for people who finish a GREAT MATERPIECE OF ANIME, do not wathc this atferwards, you will feel like crap and think "I could of done better". Ayakashi was okay but it just gets annoying after the first 5 episodes but atleast we get a nudity scene in ep. 4 or 5. :D
Check your brain at the door, it'll just get in the way.
The show starts off with an interesting premise, but ultimately, that's all it is. The show feels like it was created by hobbyist highschoolers shooting for "cool" by being violent and "edgy" with pseudo-intellectual "dark" moments, but the execution was mishandled and it just comes off a convoluted mess.
Too much stuff happens in too quick a succession (pacing problems), and things are conveniently forgotten and parts of the story skipped (lazy writing). You'll find yourself thinking, "Wait, why is that happening? Did I miss an episode or something?" much too
often, and it's not because you missed a detail, but because they couldn't be bothered to explain and just decided to jump ahead.
If could you treat this like a mindless horror-action series, all that would probably be forgiven (ala Elfen Lied and Deadman Wonderland), but unfortunately that's hard to do. The truth is, while there are some gory scenes, they all take place outside of the fighting so they feel like throwaway shock-value (they're not particularly graphically gory either, just violent in nature; and the violence is pretty much shrugged off by the characters, so there's no suspense or gravitas, making the scenes feel decidedly surreal). On top of this, the actual battle sequences are relatively boring and unsatisfying.
The animation and art are quite good, but these guys clearly did not know how to choreograph fights, so you just get a bunch of 30 second skirmishes with half a dozen action poses, and then someone "winning". It lacks the stylistic over-the-top moments that carry and elevate other shows of the type; and that may be its fatal flaw.
If you go into this not having been exposed to the action horror genre before, you might enjoy it more, but otherwise the anime is mediocre at best. It's certainly not absolutely horrible, and if you've got nothing else to do, its easy on the eyes and can pass time, but there's probably something better to watch. The concept and art style make me think this show had potential, but ultimately, all i feel is disappointment that the production company dropped the ball on this one; and that's the core reason I'm so negative on this show.
Story: 3 (The potential was there, but it was wasted :/)
Art: 7 (Visually above average for the time period. The palette and monster-character models are somewhat interesting, and the animations feel smooth... but the smoothness feels wasted, because their actions are so unimaginatively bland, and that drags it down. What's the use in making it look pretty, if you do nothing with it?)
Sound: 5 (Kind of forgettable. I do distinctly remember hearing a sound effect so hackneyed I couldn't help but laugh though)
Character: 4 (The characters are very RPG'ishly one dimensional. I read somewhere this started off as a visual novel or eroge... and it makes sense--... but then, I guess so did Fate/Stay Night. *shrug*)
Overall: 5 I've seen worse. It's watchable at least. It could have been great :/.
I'll get to the point. This is an entertaining show that I personally find to be okay because of its philisophical aspects and sort of a parody of the typical 'i want to save the weak!' kinda guys who go on to do heroic things with strong background music, lighting, and facial expressions of onlookers that all point torwards the 'right thing to do'. But in my opinion, it points out something comedians have poked fun at since superheros started becoming mainstream. When a villian attacks a town...SO many people die. When a hero tries to save people, sometimes 5+ people get cut in half.
Innocent too. So when a hero 'doesn't want to get involved' for whatever reasons...is it okay for a nunch of people to die until he decideds to get over his own moral conflict? And when he does decide to 'protect'...is it right that he only does it for his own friend? This is a common theme in superhero movies, shows, and this can be found in many countries writings and legends. (it can be found not necessarily prevelant lol).
I see a lot of reviews seeming to look for a particular show or genre they like in particular...and that is fine but it is best to just focus on the story and what it intends to tell.
I really think if you watch this...and you look at it as what I wrote above you would find that it isn't really god awful. I've watched some god awful shows that have a good intention/great story to tell but just mess up by trying to throw too many concepts along with random fanservice.
Personally, i've never liked the 'cold-hearted-barely-seems-human' characters because they come off annoying and unnecessary. Along with the character who has a special power but won't use it because it either takes over his mind, his body, turns him into an alien+, or because he simply doesn't like the killer instinct it brings out in him (I smell...a superman?).
I say this because at first, I thought this was going to be like 'that' kind of show. Episode 2 can be considered the first episode in a way...and slightly less confusing. Assuming whoever is reading this plans to at least watch the second episode...a good spoiler free 'intro' to this show is....
People have a power. Our main chatacter recieved his after wishing upon a star. Like most powers that are obtained in this way, it is a curse and a blessing. He was given the power to save the weak, and in return it takes an intense mental/physical toll which will eventually kill him. (basically)
It turns out that these powers are from parasites (this is also info from episode 1-2 so don't worry no spoilers).
Also making this series so close to a parody it is more of an answer to "what if these situations happened in real life, to young teens" without getting TOO realistic like say, GANTZ...our main character (Yu) is depressed because a female friend is dead. Whether or not it is because of him, isn't too clear but we can assume it was an accident involving his powers because this is how these shows go. NOT because i'm spoiling anything. A weird emotionless lolita-ish without the lolita clothes...but a certain badass disposition of one (you'll get it. I think) takes him out of this depression...and like usual sort of replaces said female friend who we see sometimes laying against a tree in emotional flashbacks (you can't even hate this happens in so many 'masterpiece shows' i just don't think some people realize the genres and service they are obsessed with lol)
So i hoped to do a review in a way that went along with the show. It is fairly professional, sort of realistic...feels like your hearing the story from a friend maybe who isn't the smartest but has a good idea of the genres surrounding superpowers, philosophy, and magic rules within creative writing (yes, tolken Ergon...you will like this)
I spelled the one book wrong way too lazy to look it up. forgive me. But yeah, this follows fantasy rules and real life rules. But reflects human error. I will agree with the one poster. If you are looking for something like...psychopass where it is intense, wayyyyyyyyyyyy deep like George Orwell deep...or if you are someone who saw psychopass and thought it was only point shoot and run. Go watch Toradora this isn't anything you will like and i don't mean this in a rude way at all.