Everyone has a different form of perception, how they see reality, and everything in it. We can see a show or movie and have different reactions to it and notice different things in it. We can have different political opinions, views on society, or subject preferences. Once you think of it, it's quite fascinating, and in many cases, outright chaotic.
After dressing itself up in psychology and philosophy Caligula is a fascinating and musically endearing, if awkward, convoluted, and jarringly done foray into just how fucked perceptions are. It jumps off from its premise to deliver a unique experience in the name of establishing the credibility
to tell you something: don't get too attached to escapism, and accept reality.
Just think about it. It's antagonists -Mu and mediocre cronies services mostly for their themes- are well-intentioned extremists who have indulged far too deeply into escapism. We get to see everyone be subjected to the most disgusting and aggressive versions of what we do to take a break on our daily life, as characters confront their true feelings and unravel themselves to us. People getting so lost into their music that they go ham on people, people engaging so hard in tea parties that they actually eat the fake silverware and stuff themselves so obscenely, people wishing so hard to become someone else that they end up living a fake life? This shit and more is all here! The presentation of this, coupled with the presentation of how off and disturbing the events are, is all directed strikingly. Even though the writing effectively has to handwaive potentially awkward shit about not perceiving explosions and managing to perforce yourself in a completely different body and life, it manages to work without much explanation. It’s such as shame that some revelations are so detrimental and that there are several asspulls and unexplained actions/circumstances -most of which are concerns with the second half-. Let’s not even mention how the final quarter falls apart until the final 13 minutes, as the way it opens certain cans of worms ranges from interesting to devastating, even more so than the second half already began doing.
However, while the narrative was mostly well-presented, the characters are in the exact opposite scenario. There are a lot of them, both on the protagonist and antagonist side. None of them have distinctly interesting personalities or motivations sans Mu, and the sheer amount means that we have to juggle a bunch of largely uninteresting characters, several of whom don't get explored in interesting ways. Even the ones that do such as Mifune, are not very memorable despite their intriguing dilemmas and breakdowns. The protagonist (Ritsu) is the second closest thing to a real character, and aside from him enthusiastically getting into psychology and sociology terminology whilst presenting them to the characters and audience, there isn't really much to him either. Even seemingly important side/characters take forever to even be introduced beyond what the opening and closing credits show us. I guess it makes it hard to write them inconsistently, as most of them are more like vessels with singular, often abandoned traits. Good writing that does make, and even with the one good character they have, its counterbalanced brutally towards the end with a certain twist villain who’s basically Seryuu from Akame ga Kill.
The dialogue is also sometimes clumsy enough to remind me that the person writing the story with the message likely hasn't entirely escaped the damages a sheltered or escaped reality has on one’s writing, perception of real people, and how they talk. Perhaps some time to iron things out and spend time with these characters experiencing the type of pain and escapism integral to their stories would make them a bit more interesting. Then again, the show is so blunt, even hamfisted about its messages that it almost hurts despite how good they are to hear, and how plentiful the themes used for it are.
Studio Satelight had about as much trouble as the writing, it seems. The character designs -sans Mu- are all a tad awkward and it feels like they had to limit the animation for the sake of keeping the sharp yet awkward (and incredibly pale) character models perfectly in check. Flashbacks galore and some occasionally jarring CGI only worsen the deal, especially when the presentation makes odd decisions like occasionally reducing characters to white or other colored silhouettes, or having them not move during their walking animations sometimes. The fight scenes are pretty terrible too, with Akame ga Kill sound effects and perfunctory at best choreography to boot. It all temporarily comes crashing down in the finale -along with the writing-. Shame given that the directing and presentation by Junichi Wada makes several sequences engaging, using static to really sell how off things feel, while constantly showing different visual perspectives and changing up the lighting and colors when things go insane. The visuals for the opening are especially captivating, with a more unique filter and overall darker and more mind-bending style.
Speaking of the opening, "Paradigm Box" by Ritsu Shikishima (Chiharu Sawashiro), Shougo Satake (Shunsuke Takeuchi), is one of the better openings of the season, with nice vocals and a somewhat unique feel in places (notably right before the chorus). The ending theme "HYPNO" by Kotono Kashiwaba (Rie Murakawa), Naruko Morita (Ari Ozawa), Mifue Shinohara (Rie Takahashi), Suzuna Kagura (Minami Tanaka) is also a worthwhile listen, even if it feels like forcing it to be 90 seconds stretches it. The vocal tracks performed by Mu are even more fun to listen to, and the lyrics are pretty good at reflecting the overall themes of each song that relate to the show (as well as the RPG game the show adapts). Sure, some get replayed quite often, and the rest of the OST is mostly just decent with the exception of the track "The Fairy of Dreams", but that doesn't stop me from listening to this OST on my own time.
It’s a shame this show isn't as well-received or as great as it could be, since it's messages are beneficial, even important for the anime community and Japan at large to hear. If only it was as worth the recommendation I wish to give it, as it was certainly entertaining in its madness and ideals. Regardless, it isn’t bad, so if you prefer the message to anything else, or want something out of the ordinary, perhaps this isn’t a bad choice to consider.
Caligula Effect explores profound theme of Western Thought -- happiness -- by gathering people in a virtual world known as Mobius, where anyone's wishes can be granted by its creator, u (mew). Throughout the series, Caligula takes us through clashes between Rebellists, the people who are disgusted by the materialized desires provided by Mobius and want to leave, and Musicians, the people who favour materialized ideals that were not provided for them in reality. Although confusing at first, the anime pulls together most of its loose ties in the final two episodes and ultimately comes to a wholesome conclusion.
There were indeed
many problems and mysteries at first the series: The biggest problem its lack of PURPOSE. We did not know HOW any of the rebellists were going to escape from Mobius. Nothing was revealed about their concrete plan until the very end, which makes most of the clashes between Rebellists and Musicians a bit trivial and inadvertently comical, other than the fact that they serve as good character revelations. Most of the Musicians, except Kagi-P, had clear motivations, but many of the rebellists' motivations were left unclear until episode 10 when character backstories were revealed. They were key in reflecting how the characters acted on previous episodes, and without knowing them, I was left unemotionally appealed to some characters that I potentially could've been appealed to if I knew them better. In addition, I was left confused by lines spoken one or two characters due to the fact that nothing was really revealed about them (eg. Spoiler Alert: Kotono yelling out for Tak-kun in the early episodes when we didn't know her backstory of being indifferent to her kid.).
The lack of motivation and character appeal in the first 9 episodes are by far the show's biggest problems, but in the end, they didn't really bother me, as nevertheless, the many interesting facets revealed in the interactions between rebellists and musicians, such as the revolting behaviours of Musicians and the diverse personalities of Rebellists pursuing a common goal, kept me me glued to the show -- not to mention, also its psychology-based elements. And in the end, I was not disappointed in sticking with the show and knowing about Mobius. The story was able to come to a wholesome conclusion, which really taught me something about happiness.
Overall, although the plot and character developments of this show was somewhat confusing, it still remained to be appealing and eventually reach a satisfying conclusion. Its psychological concepts are eye-opening, the disorderly portrayed Mobius we get to experience as viewers tell us that the world can't be coloured in black-and-white and that something else hides under the poker face. In other words, many meaningful messages are clearly explicated in this complex yet clear anime.
Caligula is what White Album 2 had looked like if it had followed its predecessor's footsteps and made its girls more obviously inanimate objects.
The story of this masterpiece of nothing is a weird one. Gay man who wears a rose instead of necktie gets stuck inside imaginary idol world where he is surrounded by sad people who all share the same music taste. When their favorite band starts playing, they go berserk and try to kill everyone. The best part is how dramatic this all is. Tables flip over in slow-motion like it's Game of Thrones killing Starks. Guy fails to solve some problem in
class and everyone bullies him like failing in it is the single most embarrassing thing in existence. Girl experiences a mental breakdown at dinner when people glutton and have no table manners. Gotta wonder why everyone is so sad in this otherwise rose-colored world.
All our characters are the practically the worst and most empty version imaginable of Danganronpa 3's cast. The girls are so invisible in the series, I can't even tell them apart despite them having different hairstyles. Outside hyper active megane who someone with low standard could even argue to have a personality, and the little hand doll-sized flying loli, not a single one of them adds anything to the series. The dudes aren't much better. Everyone looks super gay, and the small bro gangs only radiate cringe. Even so, our dudes create the best moments in this series with so overdramatic, over the top facial expressions (which cover roughly 5% of the airing time) that it became the sole reason why I even bothered to finish this series.
In one way, this show is what Jojo's Bizarre Adventure would have looked like if it was made by Brainbase and every single thing about it was the polar opposite of what it is now. Perhaps this show had potential (it didn't), perhaps its source material game was better (it wasn't), but with certainty, I can say that 95% of this series is utter nonsense and there is not a single reason to care about anything that is going on.
The animation. I have but one factor to comment on. Walking. Whenever anyone walks, they don't really walk. They do look like they are walking, but they don't move forward. Moreover, the characters don't even have shadows so it looks like they are floating still in space while trying to walk. Fluid, and beyond hilarious. From the musical noise department, this show is just fantastic. Scenes where our dudeouses get scared and yell like 10 seconds straight, are comedic cold. Not even 4kids has achieved this level of believability, and we are talking about Japanese seiyuus here.
In terms of enjoyment, I laughed few times in situations where you clearly were not meant to laugh. Other than that, this show offered me nothing. The sole best part of Call Igula is how people are recommending it for the fans of Angel Beats due to their similarities and vice versa. By all means, if you are into that shit, watch this too.
Ladies and gentlemen, I think that I just found the most confusing, but also most thematically complex anime of the season so far. And possibly the best, too. I’ll admit that I was looking forward to this one, but I didn’t expect it to be this interesting. At the time of this writing only four episodes have been released, and within those episodes I’ve interpreted four different themes. This is clearly the type of show that can be interpreted in many different ways, and I will be interested to know if anyone else out there has thought of
any other themes that I didn’t while watching this show. Mobius is a perfect digital world for the imagined benefit of humanity by U, a virtual idol program that attained sentience and self-awareness. Only humans who are suffering in the real world and strongly relate to U’s songs are lured into Mobius.
Once they enter, people often forget that the real world exists. Regardless of age or gender, they rae turned into students and forced to experience school life over and over, which U considers “the most radiant time in a person’s life.” the first theme I want to talk about is the theme about life being an illusion, or a simulation. But first, a history lesson. Simulated Reality is the hypothesis that reality could be simulated--for example, by quantum computer simulation--to a degree indistinguishable from “true” reality. Most people who believe in this theory state that there was once a human society just like ours eons ago which advanced far beyond where we are at right now, and eventually used their advanced technology to create a simulation for reality.
However, this is where opinions on the theory tend to differ. In terms of how the type of simulation it is, some say they simply simulate their entire history for whatever reason, and others say that they attempt to simulate a better society than what they had. Regardless of which you believe, pretty much all of them agree that things like disability, mental illness, amnesia, and de ja vu, are examples of glitches in the system. Regarding this series, the main plot is about the female character U creating a simulated reality for humanity in the hopes that they’d be happier in this world than in the real world. Stuff like people’s faces being blocked out and people changing completely, such as Mifune Shinoara’s mother going from unhealthily skinny to looking much more healthy, could also be seen as glitches in the system. Interesting note, this is actually what I initially thought that the entire series was going to be about based on the synopsis, but I’m kind of glad that it’s not because the series would be far less interesting if it didn’t potentially possess the other three themes that I’m gonna talk about.
The next to themes are kind of intrinsically connected. Those are themes about being insecure, and themes about appreciating what you have, the former theme naturally segueing into the latter theme. The idea of life being an illusion is probably just what I get out of it. While I don’t doubt that they did put some symbolism in the series for that, but I doubt that it was meant to be about that. However, I do truly feel that these two themes are what the series is meant to be about. The character U sent all of these people to a simulated world, truly believing that they would be happier in this world than in the real world. And while there are some people that oppose this, most people have accepted it. In episode 4 they introduce a female character.
I honestly don’t remember if they named the character, but rest assured, she is memorable, if I don’t remember it then it’s because of my bad memory. She’s a pretty mysterious character at first, but we quickly learn that she has accepted this fake world due to how much she hated her life due to having no friends and believing that nobody cared about her. It’s at this point that I should mention that many of the themes in this show involve interpersonal drama, and if you don’t like that then this series definitely won’t be for you. I normally don’t, but I still really loved the series. Anyways, she has a friend and companion within the world who she believes is her only friend, but when this girl finds out that they’re living in a fake world her friend decides that she doesn’t want to live in this world, and she feels betrayed, lashing out.
This scene quickly ends with with the latter girl announcing how much she values their friendship, and the former girl has to relent. I know I’m probably not explaining it the best, I’m trying to explain, point by point, an entire scene in a show, and I’m not that good at it, but just trust me, the scene is fantastic, it perfectly exemplifies the representation of these two themes, and so far it’s my favorite scene in this show in general. The girl starts being insecure and hating her life, and she ends accepting what she has and perhaps even moving forward to the future. The last theme is really minor so it’ll be really quick. In episode 3 there’s a scene at a tea party. The girls that are hosting the tea party are really chibi and cute at first, but as they eat more they quickly become really fat and obtain much deeper voices.
Mifue Shinohara, the girl whose being treated at the tea party, bursts out, lamenting how much she hates how fat and disgusting that they are, and the main hoster of the tea party, who somehow isn’t fat for some reason, criticizes her for it, calling her vain, ugly, egotistical, and a bunch of other things. It should be mentioned that Mifue isn’t an unlikable character, just flawed. It should be mentioned that before this we have a scene with her mother, who is unhealthily skinny due to wanting to watch her wait. Mifue secretly wants her mother to look more “normal” and when she returns home from school later, she is. Maybe this is just me, but it seems like these scenes have a double meaning. Not judging people based on their appearances, but encouraging people to care about their own appearances and bettering themselves. Okay, I think I’m done here. I am truly impressed with how layered and complex that this series, and I can’t wait to see more of it.
Caligula is the adaptation of the videogame "The Caligula Effect" released on June 23, 2016 for Ps Vita and was released in the West by Atlus Usa in 2017. It also has a remake released a few months ago for PS4 with the name of "Overdose "including several playable improvements and even a new route as a traitor by the name of "Lucid "
The story is quite simple even in the video game, where what most stood out were his characters and how they manage to overcome their insecurities to escape Mobius, all written by Tadashi Satomi, the father of Persona series. Now entering the
adaptation as such, the first thing to mention is that it is not a faithful adaptation to the game, it is an original story based on the events of the game so you can see perfectly without having played the game and even responds better than the game .
Talking open about the whole plot is difficult because any type of information (like the synopsis that has MAL taken from the official page of the game) is to ruin the experience of this by the same thing it is best to enumerate as many their successes as their problems.
-It is not a series to watch without paying attention, the series is full of small details that enrich the plot and not only this, to understand many aspects of these is recommended to see twice the series, it is incredible how many details escape on ose They pay attention for not understanding it since it uses psychology as a fundamental point in these. (Ritsu explaining to Marie in the first episode, the final battle over the Johari Windows, Ritsu's clothes and how it is applied in his behavior, Episode 11 and the use of the baum test to understand his problems). The problem is often does not do well and leaves very ambiguous messages that only cause problems to understand the plot as episode 5 in which although Ritsu mentioned why the episode happens in that place, it is not a direct message.
-Many of the characters are not sufficiently developed by several problems, the first the game only develops by optional events that are outside the main plot, this makes it difficult to treat them without breaking the rhythm of the plot and not only that , without falling into a repetitive structure such as the game. The game and its plot are a succession of dungeons where each musician is hidden with some history while we have a free time to raise the affinity with our friends. This is one of the biggest problems, although he tries to present them and even present the reality of the musicians (something that does not make the game) he feels quite awkward in his execution, but the good thing is that he tries to do that at least let's know who they are and how Mobius affects them.
-The series does a better job representing the world, we present the problems that Mobius is leaving in real life and also mention that it is Mobius in itself something that the game does not either since everything presented about Astral syndrome is something original of the anime and that manages to explain in a more coherent way the narrowness of his world and does not leave the ambiguous message that the game leaves.
-The animation is another big problem but it is not something so annoying from the middle onwards (like the first episode and when they walk to the store Ramen), the good thing is that the art of the game is quite well representing and even makes works beautiful as when Ritsu communicates with U by changing the gray color palette completely or even, the faces of the characters in specific situations (Mifue's face in episode 3 or Kentaro's in the Shadow Knife episode)
Already, musically like the videogame, it is very good, since the Opening is
interpreted by the same characters and that the Ending is interpreted by the girl only reinforces the fact that Caligula focuses a lot on the details. The Insert Song represented by each theme of the musicians and even the original songs like Utopia are perfect and the value they have are mostly for the lyrics, each letter represents the personality of a musician and manages to know more about them with so just read a little of them, is something that for example other universes such as Ar tonelico apply a lot in their soundtracks, is not just music to accompany, it is music to learn and understand.
The whole plot could be difficult to understand even in the middle of the series, but an answer, even many of the problems of this chaotic story are made on purpose although sometimes they do not solve them in the best way it still makes sense. It is a series to see it without stopping, fixing on those details, reading everything. All their problems come for the characters and their development derives from an irregular structure in the video game but manages to present everyone and give them a background even if this is not the best way.
PD:The analysis is done with the mediocre English that I have.
Maybe I'm failing to understand what's the point behind this anime, in three episodes there's no character development whatsoever except from stupid gags trying to make something funny when two seconds before the atmosphere was dark and "mysterious", between quotation marks cause I don't sense the mistery, neither anything that makes me want to see where this goes.
All in all, I sense something like "we failed to make this serious so instead we'll give you this fat guy who pretends to be a cute loli and hope that makes the series good enough for you".
The music is quite nice, and the animation is not... that
bad, but I don't think this is worth watching.
I have to confess, the only reason I decided to watch this anime was because of two words: "µ" and "idol", I thought maybe I'd get some Love Live references here. Ha.
Well anyways, Caligula was pretty much one huge mess. The concept shown to us in the sypnosis isn't so bad, and indeed the concept of being stuck in another world and trying to escape from it- isn't so bad.
But as the story went on, it turned out to be a horrible mess.
We barely get to know what really is happening in the series, and as the story progresses we get more twists that made
me even more confused.
Just because there are twists and psychological quotes every episode doesn't make it automatically good.
We get all the backstories dumped into us, making us "feel" the characters, but at the very least we had diversity in the characters.
Oh, and then there are the bad guys, the Musicians, who like the imaginary world but they have to kill the ones who want to escape from the current world- just because.
We've gone for 12 episodes without a clear direction, and only once in a while there was a clash between the "good" and "bad" forces, with no meaning behind.
For some reason, whenever µ sang, everybody went wild. Pretty weird concept to make the enemies "awaken"...
The OP/ED were nice.
The artstyle (on purpose?) was made to be grim, Using the colors of gray, brown and black, you can see the whole anime being "lifeless" and... unappealing.
Conclusion: This anime seemed like an advertisment for µ songs. And no, these aren't "µ's" the idol group from Love Live, but this is just "µ", the inferior idol.
TL;DR it's bad. But if you want some convincing, here you go.
I was going to ignore Caligula entirely, until I heard that Tadashi Satomi was tangentially connected to the project. Satomi is a scenario designer who used to work at Atlus. He’s responsible for Persona 1 and the Persona 2 duology, which happen to be some of my favorite games. Caligula seems to be his current project, at least Caligula the game. That’s right, this show is a video game adaptation, which is never a good sign. Anyways, this show is particularly frustrating because for a while, it straddles the line between a flawed show
with potential and a total slugfest. I had to keep watching not because I enjoyed it, but because I wanted to see if it would ever get better. It didn't...
The first episode is vaguely interesting in how off everything is. Seriously, things are just wrong. The main character says his lines and is repeatedly ignored by everyone, like he never said anything. Characters repeat lines and actions multiple times. The audio levelling is busted, with one female character in particular being significantly louder than everyone else for no apparent reason. These aren’t the signs of a totally broken show like Hand Shakers, they’re a little more subtle, and I’m still not sure whether they were intentional or not, because it would thematically make sense and these problems never show up in later episodes. Either way, the protagonist’s rose-colored high school life is a lie, he learns he’s trapped in a fake world Truman Show-style, and he tries to outrun his mysterious pursuers and figure out what’s going on. This second episode is, unfortunately, probably the best the show ever gets. It’s the only time there’s a real sense of desperation, as afterwards our protagonist forms a resistance team and everyone gains superpowers.
In order to introduce and flesh out some of the more important characters on this resistance team, unfortunately named the Go-Home Club, Caligula opts for character-specific episodes, where one character in particular meets face-to-face with one antagonist (oh yeah, there’s an entire antagonist team called the Musicians). The idea behind these episodes is to have the antagonist act out their personal philosophy, and then either have the protagonist explains why it’s wrong or have the philosophy just collapse upon itself. These episodes are where some of Caligula’s worst aspects bubble up.
Caligula has bad politics. There’s no other way to say it. And this matters a lot in a show that frames itself around philosophy and trying to be “deep”. At its core, most of the Musicians have flawed ideologies because they focus too much on self-indulgence and isolation. In action, however, this plays out in increasingly baffling ways. The first antagonist is an obese dude who didn’t take care of himself IRL, so with the powers of this virtual world, he pretends to be a cute petite girl and have dainty little tea parties. For once I’m going to ignore the potential trans subtext (the only intent seems to be to further demonize and condemn). This is such a textbook message for a show that prides itself on being interesting and philosophical. A guy is fat so he pretends that he’s not, and that’s why he’s the villain. Was this really the most pressing thing on Satoshi Tanami’s head? For reference, Persona 2 also has an arc about fat-shaming, but it goes the complete opposite route. It ties fatness to bullying and guilt, and concludes with the positive message of loving someone no matter what they look like.
The second arc is even more nonsensical. It features a shut-in antagonist convincing the protagonist to hide herself away in the library forever, and cut off all her friends. During this conversation they bond over psychoanalyzing Gollum from the Lord of the Rings. To me that doesn’t seem like isolation, that seems like making a new friend over shared interests. Watching the two get along pretty well kind of defeated the message of the episode for me.
Episode 5, however, is where the politics go from underwhelming to actively regressive. Unsurprisingly, it’s the gender politics episode. Our antagonist is a woman who runs a speed dating service: all the girls feign interest in the guys, and then take them to the bedroom, where they proceed to drain the men’s energy or brainwash them or something sinister like that (this show is surprisingly hard to follow). The gender reductionism really hits hard. Every single man in this episode is a lustful sexual beast who only wants to be stepped on by women, while every single woman is a succubus who manipulate men into these situations and suck their lives and memories away. This is a crappy generalization to make, and it only gets worse once our protagonist escapes her role as a seductress, gains free will, and challenges the antagonist to…a beauty contest. Even after gaining agency, the only way she can defeat her foe is through male worship.
The show gets bored of character episodes for a bit and starts making ensemble cast episodes after the halfway point. These are the worst ones, unbelievably slow, stupidly unfocused, and the blandest cooking in any anime. And there’s two in a row.
By now we’re in the endgame episode-wise, and yet the show is still trying to throw new minor antagonists at us? I guess that would make sense in an RPG game, but it’s nonsensical for a show to do it so nonchalantly. Even weirder is that fact that our new villain of the day is just a flat up torture-fetish murderer instead of being motivated by petty self-interest like the other villains. It’s a strange change of pace, especially when they lurch into the lighthearted that same episode to talk about how bullying isn’t okay.
Watching Caligula was an act of emotional labor. Not that it was intense and draining, instead it was so shallow and boring that it felt like a crappy day job. I had to force myself to sit down and shove these episodes into my eyelids. I don't want to do this to myself. At this point I’m phoning this review in as much as Caligula feels phoned in – a lot. Please understand.
This series has got to be one of the most complex shows of the season, and yet it seems convoluted in its storytelling, and tries too hard to be another Persona in disguise.
From the same person who brought you Persona 1 and 2, Tadashi Satomi, comes the series of Caligula, an over-the-top series about reality and hell (or the Astral Syndrome as the series states), understanding the human mind about wanting to do things your own way (therefore releasing the Caligula effect), and the difficulty to comprehend things that have been dealt and facing your troubles like how responsible people should (therefore releasing the opposite,
the Catharsis effect), making the world a happy place.
For one, as much as I appreciated Satomi’s Persona works, Caligula takes one step further to enclose the entire setting like a VR game, like imagining that we’re enclosed in the virtual world of dreams and hopes realized, so much so that it becomes the go-to place to break free of all rules and traditions. And when you start realizing that through the virtual world, when you want to go back to reality, you can’t help but kick buckets over it, because it’s a hard pill to swallow, and that causes discontent.
Everyone in this series has a dysfunction, the version of themselves that who they want and not want to be. In this case, the protagonist, Ritsu Shikishima, created a virtual world called Mobius, paired with the virtual idol μ to oversee what transcends the thoughts of people whom have come to escape reality, and contains them into what comes out as a vocal program, songs of hope and determination whilst the underlying tones of despise and despair. And with such a huge cast (that I don’t bother naming them, except I just did), let me break down into these obvious groups:
The Go-Home Club, with Ritsu as Prez, with members Satake Shougo (with his virtual helper Aria), Kotarou Tomoe, Izuru Minegawa, Kagi-P (who acts as a double spy before joining), Suzuna Kagura, Kotono Kashiwaba, Naruko Morita, Mifue Shinohara. All members came forth into the virtual world that is Mobius, but yet felt that as much as they could leave their shit-ass realistic lives behind, the oppression could not be further from the truth, and the Catharsis effect is borne out of their necessity to escape Mobius and return to their daily lives, knowing that nothing else could change if they don’t start realizing reality in the face and facing it towards eternity.
The Ostinato Musicians, with μ as the overarching leader and overseer, and members Ike-P, Kagi-P, Shadow Knife and Thorn, fully supporting the ideals of μ and her power to bring forth false ideals that could lead them to places never realized before and attempts to fight off anyone whom opposes their ideals, leading them to release the Caligula effect.
Overall, the story and its characters do serve their purposes from the games it originates from, and as mentioned, creates a Persona derivative that’s unfortunately not as engaging as the former, but doesn’t swell at the minute details either.
Satelight did their magic showcasing the entire world in full view, the differences of the real and virtual world, and it’s surprisingly good in spots. Now mind you, that’s not saying a lot, because if you have played or watched Persona before, the similarities are strikingly similar, but to an extent that is original of the series. But whatever the case, there’s some good art that doesn’t deplete the virtual world in both complete and incomplete forms and the action that comes as subpar animation, but it’s bearable.
The music…I have never heard so many people that were involved in this like Funta7 and RegaSound, most probably for μ’s insert songs, but as decent as the music is in here, the OST is pretty much the same story. Both OP and EDs did a good job on the visual aesthetics and sound, even if it’s sparse to boot with.
Overall, Caligula is a series that’s very hard to recommend, because of how the series is structured, I presume that if you have already tried out Persona, this is an OK show, but like me, for anime-onlys, it will take you quite some time to figure out what’s exactly going on. This show is by no means mediocre, but it’s far from the ideal anime that we ever thought about, so check this one out only with a fresh mindset or from the original sources it stems itself from.
I’ve gotten halfway into the series at the time of this review, and the only thing I can really say about “Caligula” is that it’s a fun mess.
Character development is rushed, the story is all over the place, and the show’s tone seems to fluctuate from minute to minute. There were times where I had to pause an episode and try to rack my brains around why a certain character would do something. While some of these questions become answered as the episodes go on, some were left unanswered, leaving some lingering questions that may never be answered
in a satisfying matter. One of the worst examples of this would potentially be the third episode, in which the show has one of its characters deliver straight exposition to explain to the audience the circumstances under which our protagonists fine themselves in.
“Caligula” is, in my opinion, a show that would be far better if it showed its audiences, rather than telling them. Sometimes protagonists blurt out obvious things to tell the audience what’s going on, as if we were not intelligent enough to catch on. I understand that there are many anime series that do this, but “Caligula” is a show that would have benefited greatly from not doing so.
But that isn’t too say it’s a terrible show. In fact, I am genuinely surprised by the low rating of the show, which at the moment is at a 6.38. As flawed as the show can be, “Caligula” has so much going for it as well. It succeeds in building excitement through some stunning visuals and storytelling. There is a clear sense of style that the show is going for, comparable to that of the Persona 3 movie adaptations (which shouldn’t be surprising, given the obvious Persona influences). Not to mention, the music does a great job of setting the tone (especially the first song you hear coming into the show).
I’m enjoying “Caligula,” but I also recognize that if it were perhaps more consistent with its tone and better planned thematically, it would have been definitely something that could have been bigger in the anime community.
If you’re looking for a series that’s stylish, well-animated, and exciting, “Caligula” is definitely something you should take a look at. It’s not the best out there, but it is worth your time if you’re a fan of the genre.
I'm looking forward to seeing how the next six episodes will go.
This anime is pretty awful. The writing is so so bad. It is supposedly supposed to be about two warring factions in a digital world. However most of the episodes seem to focus less on that and focus more on bad writing and dialogue. 5 episodes in and the villains or heroes still haven't fought eachother it mostly just consists of watching the very bad job done by the writers play out on screen. And it is overall just very boring and lame. Given the premise the series could be allot more exciting had they executed it more properly. Wouldn't recommend that you watch this
anime at all.
To be fair, the premise is good. OP, ED and ost are very good. Unfortunately it just felt cheap and was done poorly. Too much powers from nowhere, screaming and bs. To be honest it felt like an excuse to either advertise music or a game. At times there were moments that were downright cringeworthy. All things considered, it started off fine until it turned to generic typical anime you'd find anywhere. Things don't really play out until the last couple episodes.
Again, it felt like the anime was made just to have somewhere to dump songs and ost. At times it felt like it was
based on a game and seemed lacking in plot and impact. They shove some philosophy in there but I question why Caligula was even made in the first place.
In summary, I just wanted to finish and be done with it already. It felt like I had to grind through it even though it was only 12 episodes. Overall it was a 6/10. I kept watching because of the ost and trying to figure out what's going on with Ritsu. In the end it was predictable to the point you might even second guess yourself with how obvious the end was. If you think you know how everything is going to play out, chances are you are right. Overdramatic and cringeworthy but I thoroughly enjoyed the music. Worth watching? Maybe. You decide.
Caligula's story line is dense and has an underlying issue with a static sense in mind. The question of "happiness" is referring to psychology the whole entirety of the anime. Yes, it has interesting perspectives but if you've never been associated with a psychology class in your life, you better get ready for some research. This is a detrimental part of the storytelling, for instance in the first episode they bring up Sigmund Freud and his school of thought and their explanation feels absurd and irrelevant until the very end of the show. However with this sense of story telling, it seamlessly envelopes you with
questions about not only your life but others as well. This anime is supposed to bend your perception on reality aiming towards ideals you experience in your everyday life. I cannot admit to this being a terrible or bad anime, because it is not. It's not the best I've watch but is undoubtedly good, simply because it is relevant to our current era of not only thinking but technology. Everyone wants to escape from how they live, hence the large amount of people that read and watch to somehow escape from external stimuli only for a limited amount of time. The Caligula Effect offers an escape that seems boundless, however machines will never be able to comprehend what happiness truly is because happiness varies person to person. That's the most beautiful part of the anime only shown by a lengthy explanation.
- Finally my review of Caligula, beginning with the story, which is simply the most incredible story I've seen in an anime this year so far; the story of Caligula is simply spectacular, with several mensanges and reflections on life, and best of all is that it is performed in a sensational way, with some moments of tension and excellent emotional moments or just dialogues between the characters; is very interesting how the anime can make you reflect on life only with a dialogue between two characters; without doubt the history is the strongest point of Caligula.
- Now about the technical part, unfortunately is not
the best, it is a very simple technical part, nothing that stands out, neither in its animation nor even in its visual; now what really stands out in the series is the soundtrack that is simply magnificent, perfectly matching the proposal of the work; another thing that deserves attention is his direction that did a sensational job, especially if we take into account that it is an adaptation of a game, in short, the direction is simply excellent.
- About the cast of characters, which is the weakest point of the work, not that the characters are bad, far from it, but certainly could have been better developed and could also be more charismatic; in general, the cast I rate as Ok.
- Conclusion, Caligula is simply my sci-fi anime / favorite action of this year so far, the anime has a simple but functional technical part, an Ok cast, an excellent direction along with a great soundtrack, however what really stands out in Caligula is its story that is absurdly deep and interesting, possessing diverse messages and reflections on the life, undoubtedly one of the most interesting stories that I have seen in an anime; I certainly recommend Caligula to everyone, a really great anime !! 💜😍🌹 !!
- My favorite song by Caligula 🌸 : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7xQA5LtRAew
- My page about animes on facebook 🌹 : https://www.facebook.com/pg/AnimeSpaceBR.050/posts/?ref=page_internal
Another cyberpunk genre anime has ended, and as much as it annoys me , it has that same vibe of SAO Alternative Gun Gale, where people finds escape from the reality of life into the virtual world, except in SAO the character can go offline, while in Caligula the characters were trapped in what can be called as Astral Syndrome that was created by some company who were responsible for creating Mobius. Now , the story was very good since it wasn't always that we get to see a story plot where a group of rogues, aka Go Home Club members wanted to go back
to the real world and face the reality of life rather than running away from it, were it's either that they realize that the virtual world of Mobius was fake and that they were unwilling participant or they're tired of all that rewind since they always find themselves repeating the same high school life that there is no excitement anymore and they'd be better off going back to the real world. Either way such story plot does provide some kind of uniqueness, where them Rogues weren't just gonna be allowed to go back without the Musicians who acts as some kind of corrections offices who will prevent them from escaping so, watching this can be compared to the movie "Escape Plan 2" where it stars Sylvester Stallone and Dave Batista. As for the art, the school uniform may have the same color style, like Grey Coat , white shirt and black trousers for boys and skirts for girls, but that's not always the case, as usual illustrator would alter the styles of the characters uniform design according tho their personality, like that of Suzana's pencil cut long skirt with a slit on the side indicating her reserve character, Naruko's plaint skirt that indicated her bubbly personality, but then again the differences as to how the character wore their uniform really does matched their characteristic to the tee, but unfortunately there were a lot uf over the knee type of stocking around here. For the sound, I really don't give a shit about the characters voices but I do like the closing theme "Hypno" which was sung by them girls of the Go Home Club and the opening theme "Paradime Box" which was sung by Sawashiro Chiharu and Takeguchi Shunsuke, when it come to the character, I was taken a back when the casts' true identity in the real world were revealed, like Satake Shougo who was already in his 30's, Tomoe Kotaro who is the youngest in his early teen, Kawashiba Kotono who is a single mom in real life amd the one who has given this anime it climatic impact was the Ritsu Shikishima... who we thought at first he has abandoned his fellow Go Home Club when we see him waking up from his home, but it turns out that he isn't Ritsu Shikishima and the real one was actually a loner who has difficulty of interacting with his workmates, who is the main guy who has created Mu and Aria and the very guy (I Think), who has cause the Astral Syndrome and quite frankly the character who we thought we knew , has some thing unexpected and that has add to some excitement, so here's my take on this.
Story-Very good 8: like I've said it was the fact that the story plot about a group of people wanting to go back to the real world was something else.
Art-Good 7: since the style as to how each character wore his school uniform matches their personality , but , there were too many over the knee stocking around, also underware service was only on Sweet P.
Sound- Very Good 8: For the closing theme Hypno and Paradigm Box the opening.
"Aihan suru kanjou wo sutete shimaitai yo
gensou ga shinshoku shiteku bokura no kokoro wo
unmei no shinfonii kanaderareta senritsu yo
kasou sekai no yoru wo koete narihibike!"
Character- Very good 8: I maybe pisssed about the deception about the characers whom we thought we already knew, but an unexpected comes when we thought we knew them. Like Ritsu who we thought is that one who we thought to be was not who we expect. And Marie Mizuguchi was we thought is sweet but is actually a crazy yandere unabomber bitch.
Enjoyment- Good 7: It was exciting, but the fact as to how this astral syndrome came to be was confusing. Also, why did Ritsu refer to Aria as Mu.
Overall-Very Good 8: This is one anime that I can say that is better than a game, cu'z it has a very good clean ending. So feel free to watch it.
So, I am new on Anime so take this in mind. Caligula is a story about people who what to run away from there problems, but in progress understood that you can't run away. They stuck in the world which was created by μ ( AI who thinks can make humans happy). But of course AI imagen happiness differently then we. Story I don't like how its structured we heard all storys why they entered to this world almost in the end. Art is good I even don't know how you can fail art in this computer age. Sound meh but done its job. Character
development for me it was to no very good as I said the main reason why they here we get stories in the end and of course we get some episodes which for me was just empty shells some kind speculate,
philosophers thoughts which has there meaning in the world, but fail to reflect in anime. Enjoyment for me who likes anime were is taking about clash between humans and AI was ok. For other ones I can't say it has same action scenes but I won't go for that. So overall 7 it isn't bad but with this concept they could done more.
Well this show was certainly a ride am just gonna say right off that bat that if you are watching this for just the action you aren't gonna enjoy it, and it's that that holds back the show not to say it's bad the story is incredibly enjoyable however I feel at points the action in the scenes are disrupting the story but all the charters are in general understandable and likable however as the series draws to a close it gets a bit jumbled which is what also made me decide to give it an 8/10, it has a great story but at times
a bit confusing and the action is a bit off putting at times but if you want to experience an emotional and fun unique ride with some cool charters I would recommend you check this anime out.
This review will contain mild spoilers and it's a little long, so beware.
As you all may have already guessed, Caligula is an anime based off the JRPG with a similar title: The Caligula Effect. I don't recommend looking up the reviews for the game, since most of them call it a "Persona ripoff" when, after playing the game myself and watching the anime, they really aren't comparable at all. The only similarities are the "power of friendship" theme, the main cast are high schoolers, and the gain powers from getting in touch with their inner emotions, all of which are nothing new in a JRPG
and has been done plenty of times before AND after Persona came along.
While I wouldn't say that this is the best anime I've ever seen (far from it), it was definitely enjoyable. It has strong philosophical elements and psychological themes that may seem head-scratching at first glance, but it starts to make sense as the episodes move along.
Unfortunately, as we reach the end of the anime, it starts to bring up more questions than it answers, and it becomes very obvious that because this anime is only 12 episodes, they REALLY had to try and cram as much information as they could in the last half. The animation quality and story quality suffered immensely, too, since it shafted most of the characters' development and they had to pull an Evangelion to fully flesh out their characters-- by that, I mean they had an entire episode dedicated to everyone just talking about their traumas.
It becomes far more evident that they were on a time crunch in the second half because the philosophical elements it had in the beginning become far more heavy-handed. On top of that, many events happen that aren't clearly explained: How did Ritsu get back to the real world? Why did certain characters get powers despite not being shown going through a catharsis? What were Kage-P's motivations for joining? How do the Musicians maintain Mobius and why weren't they too concerned with trying to stop Mu's breakdown if they love Mobius so much? How exactly DO the Musicians maintain Mobius? Where do they get their powers? What makes them Musicians? What was Marie's reason for betraying everyone? How did Shogo survive, while it doesn't seem like Thorn did? What happened to Ritsu's supposed coworker? How did Aria get all of her powers back? Why didn't Aria even try to stop Mu if she supposedly got her powers back?
There's a lot of questions that are left unanswered and a lot of inconsistencies, but what it DID do right is the music. The story is enjoyable, too, and really not difficult to follow: Mobius is a world created by Mu where everyone can be happy, a group of teenagers in it realize they've been stuck in Mobius for god knows how long and they want to get out, but Mu and the Musicians don't want them to because they have everything they want in Mobius. It's very cut and dry and while it has complicated elements, it's not as hard to follow as people think. While the anime is definitely not the greatest game-to-anime adaption out there, it's at least decent in the sense that it outlines the game's basic plot fairly well.
I feel like if this anime was just a few episodes longer, it could have fleshed out its characters much better and had better writing, but for what it COULD work with in 12 episodes, it was ok. Not great, not fantastic, but not terrible, either.
This anime is a mess, but a good mess at that. The anime is based on the video game The Caligula Effect, which was directed by a member of the Japaneses rock group, The Oral Cigarettes, Takuya Yamanaka.
The story very confusing from start to finish, there are a lot of loopholes, and a few plot twist which didn't really fell like they were needed. 8/10
The art of Caligula was very good in my opinion, both the colors and the art style looks great. Although the last few episodes fell kind of rushed, and therefore doesn't look so great until the last bit of episode
The sound and music of Caligula is my favorite part of the entire anime, the opening, the ending and the ost were incredible well done, especially the songs made by µ. I find myself listening the music on a daily basis. 10/10
The character development seem a bit weak, they include a cast of 16 characters that all need some backstory, which just made them seem rushed and overall kinda blank, the only character development I like are for Ritsu and Shougo, and that's because they are the protagonists, so they get all the time they need to explain the characters. 7/10
After the first few episodes of confusion, i finally got to understand the plot a bit, and it made me really like this anime more and more, waiting every week for a new episode. 9/10
My overall thought of this anime is that it's one of the best animes from this season, this easily makes it into my top 10 favorites of all time, and I would overall give this anime a 9/10.
No this isn't about the crazy Roman Emperor, but a video game adaptation...and you KNOW that those three words are easily a curse in an anime adaptation.
Caligula gets it's name from the "Caligula Effect", referencing the desire to see and do prohibited things, so can guess what most of the characters will go through.
Caligula involves around Mobius, a perfect digital world run by μ, a virtual idol program that gained self awareness and has given the wishes to the humans in the digital world to quell their suffering. However a group of rebels break free and see what Mobius truly is and tries to get
Caligula is by the by, a character-focused anime about these group of rebels and their sufferings in the real world while they try to get out of Mobius while having to deal with the "Musicians", guardians of u who ALL have some link to each of the main cast. LA didn't really mind the character-focused episodes all that much as again, it makes sense in terms of the title and what the motif of this anime is and it does it well.....for the most part.
In terms of characters, the majority of the main cast and "Musicians" gets something of a joint character development together as the main cast gains their new powers brought by Aria voiced by Asami Shimoda to be able to fight the Musicians and in the process we see some similarities to each of the main cast and the Musicians' reasoning of staying or wanting go to the real world. The problem for LA is the pacing of it and sure LA can easily say this but Caligula DOES have this problem as although LA gets the formula of "action-packed episode then a breather" makes sense, some scenarios however do not, mainly that one episode where they essentially talked about their backstory, some we KNOW in full detail about but regurgitated again for the sake of filler.
The battles are decent enough though it's mostly white noise most of the time as it's a more verbal and narrative focus plot for most of the characters, the action is fine, but with all the excessive battling and the such you kinda get numb to it, not to mention Mobius itself making many of the destruction moot at times.
Back to characters and oddly enough for such a character-focused narrative, LA didn't exactly feel investment in the majority of the characters and no it's not because most of the cast are terrible or done terrible things in the real world, LA just couldn't get invested period. There was only TWO characters LA liked and they were Naruko Morita voiced by Ari Ozawa and Aria. Not even the character LA was more relatable to (that being Suzuna Kagura voiced by Minami Tanaka) didn't make LA budge. Really LA just couldn't get invested in these characters to the point of not remembering their names cept maybe the main character. On speaking of him, yes it makes sense that Ritsu Shikishima voiced by Chiharu Sawashiro has a stake in the plot and has something to do with μ, but most of the other characters carry him throughout the anime that even he himself who is SUPPOSE to be the main character is being utterly carried by the supporting cast members of his own anime.
In terms of animation by Satelight, was decent for the most part from the back grounding and character designs as well as decent battle animation but all things considered, Caligula's animation was par for the course but not much else in LA's opinions, it wasn't greatly detailed nor was it a error-filled production, but LA will say the animation was just "meh" all round, and this is Satelight we're talking about, they give flourishes and crazy amount colorful detail and adrenaline fueled battles but Caligula is definitely NOT that.
In terms of voice acting, well LA was just a bit lackluster with it all round, not too annoying like Asami Shimoda as Aria nor too hammy like from Shougo Satake's voice actor Shunsuke Takeuchi. Even with some actually hammy performances from the Musicians at times especially from Emi Nitta as Sweet-P, Souma Saito as Ike-P and Yuka Ootsubo as Thorn...it was "ok". The only decent voice actor LA got from Caligula would have been from Reina Ueda as μ. Voice acting department was a bit lackluster but also nothing to write home about unfortunately even with the hammy performances we get.
Caligula though LA has been harsh about it's characters, the plot especially concerning the world building and nature of μ and Mobius itself by the end of it made ALOT of sense and along with the themes of the Caligula Effect just clicked and made sense in terms of the plot.
Caligula for LA falls into the basic trap of not having enough drive or flourish to of kept LA interested, sure at times it did and it conveyed the themes of the "Caligula Effect" to it's characters pretty well, but overall Caligula easily feel to the wayside for just not having LA's investment in the plot and especially it's characters and LA WANTED to get invested in these characters, it was like the anime adaptation had no drive and was basically on autopilot on it's character developments and expected the crazy amounts of white noise destruction and fighting to make up for it, when it just didn't need to, especially considering this is a character-focused narrative and it felt like even then it threw all that away for cheap sentimental fights that amounted to...not that much.
LA won't say that Caligula's anime adaptation goes into the "horrible video game adaptation" bin at all, LA just felt like Caligula was misguided in it's attempts to get us invested and it at least TRIED to do something with it's plot and characters just not that greatly executed was all. LA thinks the best way to sum up Caligula's overall verdict is the typical saying of Caligula, "LA isn't angry at you, but disappointed".