Severe internet addiction has become an epidemic infecting the nation's youth, ultimately resulting in their extreme dependence on the world wide web. Those who are too far gone are enrolled at Elite Reeducation Academy in order to help them grow into successful adults. Hibiki is one such teenager who awakens in the facility unaware of how he came to be there. He learns from the head instructor that he was knocked out and brought to the school at his mother's behest, concerned with how belligerent her son was becoming as a result of his internet addiction.
Stuck in a place more akin to a prison than an academy, and with no escape from the abuses of the instructors, Hibiki decides to end his life by jumping from the roof. But as fate would have it, he meets a mysterious man named Shin who promises to give his life meaning...
That's was my exact reaction after watching the first episode of Evil or Live. A show that was misunderstood at first, as the tag of horror confused a lot of people, me included. But in reality, it doesn't really matter. Evil or Live is a shitshow no matter from which angle you look.
Suprisingly enough, the overall story isn't really that bad, atleast in comparison to other aspects of the show. We are introduced into a world, where internet addiction became a common disease for the young population. Hence, a new "treatment" school is founded, and nerds with the
mentioned addiction are sent there. Sadly enough, the school doesn't turn out the way people imagined. Excersicing under tough circumstances several hours a day, receiving food that tastes like shit, being scolded by the instructors. You name it! The school is as fucked up as it could possibly be, but even then, everyone would like to rule it. If it's either the students or the instructors, everybody is in need of power. And that is the main premise of the story.
Now actually the story might sound not appealing from my description of it, however it still is the best part this anime has. It has it's decent moments, but overall still has many plotholes as well as pacing problems. And even writing problems, but more about that in the character department. The whole premise of a fucked up school system doesn't sound that bad and some of the characters actually have decent back-stories around themselves. As you come along, you'll learn that not just this school, but the whole world is a little off. Maybe getting a little edgy at times, I certainly call this darker side of this show a good thing. It has it's own share ammount of problems, but the main ones lie outside of the story itself, hence in the end this is the one category I can call (atleast) decent.
So you wanna know something about these other categories, you say? Well then wait no more, because up from this moment my ultimate shit fest has begun. And I mean it. I won't hold myself back.
Characters.... Oh god, this could be a review all for itself. Let's start with a little banter. "And the award for the worst MC in the history of anime goes to.." yes, you guessed it. It goes to Hibiki, the main character of Evil or Live. I actually wonder how did anybody write such a terrible character. No honestly, like how? He starts off as the biggest freak ever, thinking the school is only a videogame. Fair enough. Then he proceeds to act like a hero and starts protecting everyone. Great. Then he gets beaten up, so his personality makes a 180 turn around and he is suddenly the strongest, smartest and most-athletic guy on the campus, despite sitting behind his PC 24/7 before he got there. Spectacular. Now honestly, does that sound appealing? Nah? I don't blame you. Even at the start when you think he can't get more annoying, with every one of his personality changes, it gets ever worse. That guy seriously won a battle against 20 guys all on his own, even though he got beaten up by just one fellow an hour earlier. As I was watching, I was constantly asking myself: What the heck? Did anyone even read the freaking script?... Just for the record,after his change Hibiki goes back into his I'll protect everyone kind of thing, then he get's beaten up again and then he becomes badass again..... Do I fucking need to say more??
I would like to cool my head a little, but there are some other characters too, so I better forget about that. Anyway, despite the rest of the cast being atleast better than Hibiki, it's nothing to write home about. Everybody, even the instructors, is dumb, almost every character is written horribly and there are even some who seem like they were supposed to be in a different anime. They look dumb, they act dumb, they believe everything some random guy says and most of them are just straight up annoying. And those who are not aren't helping the story in any way. Nobody has an IQ of more than 80 and they fall even for the most obvious baits. There is one exception tho, and that is Shin. Once and for all a decently made dude with an actual brain to support his head. Just one isn't enough to save this however and the overall grade won't increase even though I can call him a good one. #freeShin
The art is... shit? Yeah, that's the right word. Lackluster in every single way, from unapealing and forgettable character desings to bad looking backgrounds to absolutely hilarous overall animation, especially when it came down to action moments. Voice acting and sound-effects are just horrible and the OST has like what, one decent track?
I just feel like somebody is joking with me, what am I supposed to say about enjoyment? The whole thing just sucks. It was the first time in my history of watching anime that I was purposelly skipping certain scenes, purely because I just couldn't control my anger anymore. That's how bad this thing was. That's how bad Hibiki was. And that's how bad the studio that made this is. Now for the sake of it, yes, the whole idea of Evil or Live isn't that bad. But what about it? When a show does absolutelly nothing to support that idea, what do you expect? At the start, I expected something, but I got absolutelly nothing...
If you're coming into Evil or Live with a mindset of "I might like this", please face the reality straight away. It's greatest case of the decent idea, terrible execution kind of thing. And I'm begging you, the decent idea isn't worth the pain you have to go through. Honestly, if you have eyes and a bit of critisism in yourself, you know this show is as shit as it could possibly be. End of story.
I came into this anime with open eyes; but honestly, it's not that good. (It's horrible)
Overall, the story is a little better than the common hero saves someone. The plot is unique, but you'll likely be unable to immerse yourself into the story due to the horrible execution.
Art is just a joke. Obvious frame shifts, poor movement, etc. all make the anime a cringe-fest to watch. The animators seemed to not care at all when trying to find shortcuts and just taped a bunch of pictures together for the animation instead.
The characters laughs, grunts, voices, their everything just sucks. It
sounds like they were still practicing on what each sound had to be; but, ran out of time.
Just a bunch of poorly developed characters you'll form no attachment to. At this point the major plot change happened for the main character, and it still is extremely stupid. 50% of the time the characters are moping, 25% laughing, 25% getting beat up randomly (no addition to actual plot).
Enjoyment & Overall 3
Honestly, even though the execution is horrible, the story itself is unique. I would never recommend this to anyone unless they have nothing better to do.
Evil or Live has ended this season. I do not hesitate to say this is THE worst show of this fall season. Its strange to think I somewhat enjoyed this show. This show is about a shitty kid with internet addiction who gets sent off to a school in the middle of no where. In this school, the kids are treated harshly with multiple public beatings every day. There is a lot of corruption and schemes everywhere. From drug trafficking to sexual abuse, its all very edgy. Now, this show has no positive characteristics. Absolutely nothing about this show was good. The animation is choppy,
the music is almost non-existent and when it is its garbage and doesn't fit, characters are dumb and bland, ass pulls everywhere the eye can see, and even the most basic sound effects aren't done correctly. I enjoyed this show despite its mistake of existing, because of how bad it was. Evil or Live is the representation of being so bad, that its good. I especially enjoyed how the main character changed completely half way through the show for apparently no reason or for a reason that shouldn't be enough for this kid, who is addicted to the internet, to be a badass. I give this show a 2 out of 10. I'd recommend this to someone who just wants to laugh at a bad show. This has been your spoiler free but not really review on Evil Or Live.
This is my very first review and the reason I am writing this is because of the low score this anime has, even though it's actually very enjoyable.
While this anime has a very low budget, which can be seen by the real life images used for props and such, I find the anime itself very enjoyable. Character's movement can be awkward at times and effects aren't all that great, but it is very watchable and excusable since the anime is a great one in my opinion.
The story is quite good and it makes you want to know more, although the ending felt a little
rushed and I wanted to know a little bit more before it ended. But that doesn't mean it's not worth watching.
I'd say give this anime a try, despite the low score it has on MAL, I found it very entertaining and that is what it is all about after all, not the animation quality.