The story centers around an illness-stricken, constantly bullied orphan girl named Minori. After one rainy day, she doesn't turn up at school, having been admitted into a hospital in a distant town. Two months pass, and the girl's two school friends, Takashi and Kyouko, receive a mysterious email with no sender listed. The email reveals a summer festival taking place at a nearby town...
I know that for most people when they see a show with a sub 6 rating on MAL they instantly must think that it is a terrible show that should only be viewed to see what terrible shows are like. But that's not true. I've seen several good or decent shows with really low ratings.
However, this show is not one of them. In fact, this show is exactly the show that someone thinks of when they see that low MAL score.
Everything about the show is bad. Characters, story, art, sound. It's like critiquing a drawing made while drunk with one's hands behind their back. Yes,
it's terrible. Yes everyone can tell it's terrible. There is nothing good about it. There's really nothing nice that can be said about it. Not only are the ways that they set up the stupid scenarios the most forced and hamfisted ways, the animations sheer lack of quality makes it that much more hilarious. It's hard to make bullying funny, but when a show misses as bad as Clione no Akari does, it makes it a whole lot easier. It's also very hard when it's clear the characters are just a poorly designed vehicle to push that message.
The story likes to wander around in weird ways. It took a long time just to get anywhere in the story and it keeps on trying to inject filler so it doesn't have to get to the point. Furthermore, their ordering of events is really weird and can be quite confusing. It shouldn't be that hard to follow but Clione no Akari likes to leave out important points and focus on filling up time.
This show is bad in every way. I don't think I can think of one good thing this show is. If you value your own time at all don't watch this show. There's nothing to get from it.
This is one of the shows i’ve barely heard anything about during the season it aired, nobody I knew was talking about it, nor was anyone caring about doing so anyway, which alone says a lot about it’s obscurity. I personally was instantly drawn into the show simply from the synopsis, and as someone who had gone through a bit of bullying in primary school, these types of shows instantly catch my attention, and it takes my interest most of the time.
Bullying has always been an issue with schools, and it isn’t a matter of childish spats either. It can decrease reputation, which in
turn gives people bad names and more peer pressure. This can essentially turn your life sour and effect you in the long run, and not just for the bullied, but or the bullies themselves too. Bullying someone can end up in potentially massive regret if something goes south to the person you bullied. Another fantastic example of this is shown in A Silent Voice, which tackles similar themes of bullying.
Now that I think of it, probably my love for the film is what enamoured me in the concept, and possibly what helped draw me into this show in the first place.
The story is centered around a girl named Minori, a girl who was orphaned at a young age and also stricken with illness. Due to her weak fortitude and health, she was an easy target for teasing and blame. Eventually, her whole class got onto the habit of bullying her, blaming her for things she hadn’t done, and made her life miserable. Despite this Minori has always been silent, not often trying to defend herself, which in turn just made her a larger target.
Although in that same class, two children, Takashi and Kyoko, had always felt guilty about Minori. They never bullied her directly, and wanted to stop the bullying, but they never had the courage to go against their own friends, let alone the rest of the class. Due to this, they always stood by and watched as Minori got constantly oppressed by the people around her. Eventually the two ran into Minori in the streets, and seizing the opportunity, they befriended her. They eventually give Minori their phone numbers even though Minori didn’t have one, in hopes they could send emails and text for when she did get one herself.
The plot otherwise is very expected, Takashi and Kyoko do their best to deepen their friendship with Minori by going to multiple places and enjoying their time together. However, this show only has a less than 10 minute episode runtime, so not a lot of progression of the plot or development can take place. But with the time it has, it relays the basic concepts and story messages fine. However due to this, it also has a few plotholes and some story aspects have to be left up to interpretation and imagination. I’m personally a fan of this, as it adds a layer of fantasy to the story, however some might not be used to this.
The art of this show is a part of the show that I really like, it’s simple in areas, but at the same time, it looks really nice. The style of the art is very round and soft, but the art can also be quite pretty looking for certain scenes. Specifically in the opening, the use of lighting and animation is something I absolutely praise the art for. The scenes like the traffic light scene and the scene where Kyoko is sitting with her book are full of really good lighting and minute details.
Overall the art really shines in areas of the show, and clearly the budget was focusing on those scenes more. While the art does shine quite a lot in these areas, there are also other bits where the art kinda looks off, especially with the facial expressions. Animation is also minimal and basic, lots of quick reused animations and weird movements. Overall while the show does look good, it also shows that it’s been cut short in some areas.
This is a little on the side that’s going to be a bit interesting to judge. On one hand, I think the theme song and the tracks that do exist sound really nice, the ED compliments the moments that the episodes ends on very well, as it’s slow yet peaceful tone allows you to truly feel the moment and emotion in these scenes. The OP is also very upbeat and cheerful, yet it also sounds smooth and nice to listen to, the vocals fit the song and the overall setting of the show.
However there isn’t a lot of tracks or even sound otherwise, folley is simple yet it seems that sound effects were not really considered very much, nor are there a lot of songs to set the atmosphere other than a few piano tracks to set the mood for certain scenes. The voice action is very mediocre, the characters all sound very soft and lacking of any intense emotions, but this does fit well when these characters have an internal monologue, however when trying to display another emotion like sadness, I don’t feel like the voice actors are quite there yet.
I have to admit, the characters feel a bit on the basic side, which is to be expected for a whole show that is less than an hour and a half in total. They are made to play through the general story and their roles as well as add a few character quirks in the mix, and that’s really it. Lets start with the. girl this story is centered around, Minori. Minori is very quiet, she’s a child at heart and acts very innocently. You don’t really see a lot of her anguish when she gets bullied because we aren’t often shown her get bullied in the first place, but she is a character that gives off the impression that she isn’t deserving of the harassment she gets, and is a girl that could use some protecting.
Takashi and Kyoko have similar personality aspects yet they are also distinguishable from one another. Takashi is the most mature out of the main trio, making the most responsible decisions and acting as the guardian of the three. He is also very knowledgable in marine animals, a respectable trait from a fan of the same creatures. Kyoko is more straightforward and speaks her mind very often, sometimes causing a few small quarrels with Takashi. However both characters have similar goals and thought processes, and they both care or Minori as a close friend. Despite all this however, it all feels very empty, and maybe a little bit forced. The side characters don’t bring a lot to the table either, for obvious reasons, they are depicted as entitled pricks who pick on Minori for no good reason, however later in the show they are also shown to have a few traits to themselves and are depicted more as “typical kids”. They’re believable in that aspect yet they don’t get a lot of depth to them asides from the ending, which is where everyone in the cast asides from the main cast shows some growth, which kinda redeems them all as well.
Yes this show has flaws, but overall I had a very enjoyable ride with the show. I anticipated every episode more than most shows of the season. Due to it’s short nature, it wasn’t a hassle to watch, yet the plot itself feels engaging and I wanted to complete it so I could grasp at the full story. Although as i’ve said, it doesn’t explain everything and leaves a lot to interpretation, so it’s up to the viewer’s imagination to understand it completely.
I loved every episode and for how simple the show was, I found that it was a story that I liked to watch and enjoyed following. The main cast was very likeable to me despite their simple build, and they all had nice charms to get me attached to them enough to care for them. I found that the art looked really nice in areas, so I even liked looking at the show too, so i’d say I really liked this show, flaws and all.
All in all, I honestly think that this show is quite underrated, and deserves more recognition than it gets. I might be a little biased, but I think this show is very nice for what it is. For a show made out of episodes under 10 minutes, I found the plot to be very entertaining and engaging, and the show itself doesn’t drag long either. Clione No Akari’s short story can be completed in no time, and due to the mystery elements, you still get a feeling that you want to at least complete the show before judging it in it’s entirety.
The art as i’ve said really shines in areas, it does cut back in certain scenes but it also can look fantastic in others. The opening itself is very cheerful and positive, and even has some foreshadowing for the events later in the show. The ED itself fits into the show’s environment and manages to blend in well, overall, i’d say this is a solid show for what it is. It’s not the most amazing thing out there, but for shorts, it’s a decent watch, and I do recommend it for those interested.
Everyone is constantly nitpicking about “Clione no Akari”’s technical problems: sound and voice acting are terrible, animation is mediocre at best. But are we really seeing ourselves in formalism again? It was à la mode in twenties.
Clione no Akari touches a very important aspect of (not only) Japanese everyday life: bullying. What can be said when the 8-year-old princess was bullied some time ago? Who is safe really? Certainly not Minori, the main character in said story. The authors of the anime (as well as the authors of the light novel) use a very simple psychological trick: they portray Minori-chan as a literal angel. Good,
blonde, angelic (almost christlike), innocent, weak, helpful and a little bit more childish than the others (who else talks to an artificial fish?). The rest of the children dislike her for no reason at all, bullying her all the time. Thus the classroom is a hell for her. Abandon all hope, you who enter here, Minori. This kind of author's manipulation acts on the viewer’s primal emotions properly.
But still, if it’s a scheme too easy to follow or appreciate, there are Minori’s friends, Takashi and Kyouko, whose attitude seems to change with the passage of time. They feel guilty, but they can’t overcome all kinds of pressure they are being subjugated to. They start to deal with Minori, go out with her, et caetera. Their behavior is neither 'black' nor 'white'. They are difficult to judge from various perspectives. It appears that they are the most interesting characters out there, because they are ambiguous, unlike pure Minori-chan and the hellish environment of hers.
“Clione no Akari” can be very useful when it comes to an exemplification of a certain philosophy: it is the purest realization of St. Augustine of Hippo’s theory where the evil is the privation of good. Can we blame 12-year-old kids undergoing all kind of pressure for bullying others? Is there really evil out there? These questions are made, of course, for further investigations, nevertheless I would like to note that this is an anime of great value, when we give it a chance and interpret it properly.
Apart from emotional or philosophical aspects, “Clione no Akari” has also some fantastic (see the Todorov’s theory) moments in it. Please, if you like subtle yet a little bit simple stories, give it a try!
There's quite A NUMBER of shorts for (particularly) this season, and Clione no Akari is one of them.
To starters: Don't go watching this if you don't appreciate just around 10 mins watching a short, only to end up winding about it right at the vert start.
The story resides towards Minori, the bullied one, for being different towards everybody. In that sense, Kyoko and Takashi took notice and begun looking out for her. At certain moments, the (some) sort of connection towards the Clione bears heartstrings towards both of them, and only realizing that Minori had a limited time to live due to an illness, and
thus, taking care of her to experience what she could while she's alive.
The story won't win any awards, but it keeps the pace nice and steady throughout the shorts.
Generic, and nothing much to say, except that they blend within the storyline quite well (since this is from a novel). VAs aren't bad, but so is the limited production value that gives us cringe-worthy voices.
Not a care too, but is solely decent. The art especially is of a jerkish design since it comes from a studio that pronounces their first work (this one), and probably sticks to doing shorts down the road.
The OST doesn't help much too. While they are OK in certain spots, don't go expecting a whole lot.
Unless you have spare time, then give this a try. I admire the lonesome storytelling of someone who's bullying as a context, but ended up not getting the enjoyment factor.