October, 2018. Girls who live in a provincial city perform a certain ritual. The girls are in the "Crystal Radio Club." It is an interest circle that Asuka Tsuchimiya, a girl known for her cheerfulness, started with friends in her high school. That ritual was considered just an urban legend. However, with several conditions coincidentally falling into place, it stops being fun and games...
* Please, I ask you to take the trouble to read my point of view on this series . SPOILERS ALERT*
In recent years, the industry has endeavored to make adaptations of fairly cheap works or create their own, also influencing those commercial works, with the purpose of making money. The last thing usually tries to show a premise that was "original", under the concept that these types of works are not directly adapted from other works (But, I emphasize again, they have an influence of other series). There are original series that, if well received by popular opinion, end up becoming a franchise that includes
adaptation to a manga, light novel, video games, toys, etc.
From the series that I am going to talk about, it is about one that decided to be a franchise from the beginning, taking the risk of being or not received by public opinion.
In mid-May, the launch of an anime called "Akanesasu Shoujo" was announced. When the Previews, I really did not get my attention because I just thought that the premise was quite boring (Secondary Girls doing a ritual, seeing the word "Girls" was evident that the main purpose was to attract the viewer), besides that previously that I had experiences with harem/ecchi series where the cast was dominated mainly by the female sex. I had high expectations that the series was going to have a high content of ecchi and fanservice with the excuse that the main cast were girls (And yet I decided to watch the series on the first day of its premiere).
I was wrong.
Akanesasu Shoujo (The Girl of the Twilight) tells the life of five students in the fictional city of Akeyuki, among them is Asuka Tsuchimiya, a very energetic, extroverted and very positive girl who, after finding an urban legend on the Internet, decides to drag to her four friends to the Sacred Tree of Akeyuki, to do the so-called "Ritual of 4:44", which is said that "Using a player capable of generating frequencies, in front of the Tree, if the ritual is done at 4 o'clock: 44, it can take you to a dimension other than ours. " At first, this fails, but because of things of destiny, the girls decide to do it with a correct frequency until finally they are led by an apocalyptic world of Akeyuki. It is from there that our four girls know the Asuka of the other dimension (Serioasuka), and there begins the adventures of these four students.
At first, the series presents a problem with the start of the frame. Although the first three episodes give you an idea of what the series is basically, are just the first three episodes where the anime is wobble too much and makes the viewer easily bored. The archetypal personalities of the girls and the quality of animation presented put salt to the wound, and it is simply these three factors that make this series seem to go to the lowest of the average quality of the anime.
So, why do I give it such a high score of 9/10?
Although its beginning was quite awkward, Akanesasu Shoujo quickly presented a particular formula that, although it did not work in the first three episodes, when the fourth premiered, the aesthetics of the series began to change at an overwhelming rate. The series began to take lightly of other sorts like the "Comedy" and the "Mahou Shoujo", for example, and began to reinforce a little the sort "Action" and "Sci-fi".
In some things I felt that this formula went with some random things. However, this made the series begin to have a narrative quality quite impressive than expected. The humor of the series, during the first half of the series and the beginning of the other half, made the plot of the series balanced and makes the viewer entertain with the stupidities that arise between the girls and their selves of other dimensions ; at the same time that the plot began to mature and little by little it became as serious as possible.
However, something that really should be considered spectacular and wonderful are the last episodes of the series. I will not say much because it would be spoilers:
After having about 5 episodes full of humor and youthful fun, the series little by little becomes darker, taking basic elements of "Suspense" and "Drama", which makes the spectator stay alert of what is going to happen. The narrative presented in these last episodes is perfect and generates a big blow to the heart of what you expected. To complement this, the genre "Romance" goes surreptitiously between these last two genres, even if you are a person quite critical of anime, it is impossible for you not to feel that cliffhanger that is gradually generating the series.
As for the cast, I said from the beginning that they maintain an archetypal stance. This, in part, is true. Both in appearance and in the way you behave, it is nothing different compared to other series clichés. We have a protagonist who is hyperactive and full of optimism; to the "student of honor" who tries to stop the stupidities of the protagonist; a shy girl whose personality makes her look cute; a girl with mad hormones; and a girl with a cold and lonely character.
However, as the series progresses, the one-dimensional character of the cast begins to move away from them, and we can witness how little by little their history and personality begin to be quite detailed. Naturally, who would receive more development would be Asuka Tsuchimiya. However, this does not mean that the rest of the cast is left behind. In each arc a brief history is dedicated to each girl, her past and the reason for which they met Asuka; The evolution of girls is also a way of criticizing the most common personalities in anime stereotypes. Nana, the girl must have been the crazy hormones, wants to be an independent woman and not be submitted to any man; Mia, who is supposed to be the beautiful and shy girl, wants to be a person who fights for justice; and Chloe, cold and lonely, wants to be more with her friends. As for Yuu, this character who seems to be Asuka's annoyance during the whole series, also shows a very interesting evolution, which involves her relationship with the other girls and their feelings. The proof of this is in alternate I, which Asuka calls "Ero-Yuu", due to her daring personality with the original Asuka and at the same time something corrupted.
However, of all of them, from which I take off my hat is Mia Silverstone. I will just tell you that she is one of the reasons why Akanesasu Shoujo began to improve in narrative quality. On the other hand, I was a little surprised by who makes the voice of Chloe Morisu is from Inoue Marine.
One of the most surprising details of this anime is that although Akanesasu Shoujo presents a premise that gives us many obvious ideas of what is going to happen, in reality these break with all the expectations we thought of this series. I'm not saying that the cliché is not present, on the contrary, Akanesasu Shoujo takes advantage of this resource to make us believe an idea of how predictable the plot can be, and then ends up executing the plot in a way that we could never think of in this series. What I'm saying is that the series uses the cliché to make fun of it, and make fun of us, which we have already experimented with certain series of this theme, such as Mahou Shoujo, for example. The execution of the script is masterful and, I repeat the above, do not neglect any of the main cast. Except that the series presents a gag to Asuka's ass and a beach episode Akanesasu Shoujo does not depend much on the fanservice as we thought; And still, these details do not hinder the plot, instead, it gives them an unexpectedly humorous touch.
The arcs of the series are interesting to see and connect with the personality of each protagonist, respectively, making the series show a small critique of the archetypal personality that these girls initially presented. Additionally, Akanesasu Shoujo also uses references of Western films and series to give him a satirical approach, doing parody to it either through some quotes said by the protagonists, or the way they are expressed in general.
To finish this section, I will say that labeling them as "Three-dimensional" would be an exaggeration for the girls. But they comply with all the traits of being "Bidimensional", and practically comes close to being "Three-Dimensional" if not because the series has only twelve episodes. Amazing.
Let's talk about the animation: Both Jumonji, who just debuted as his first production, and DanDelion, which the latter are also responsible for the CGI used in this series, leave much to be desired. No, I do not say that the animation is a mess, it is simply that the graphic portrayed in the characters has great ups and downs. Although the design of the protagonists are good, there are moments when the artistic quality falls to the lowest, be it in the way in which it focuses on the girls, like the details given to them when they are near or far from the viewer, and even There are some movements of the girls that seemed abnormal to me.
The good thing is that the series presents a palette of pretty good colors. The most recurrent scenarios of Akeyuki were very detailed and colorful, in contrast to the way in which the characters were drawn. Personally, I liked the Twilight scene, although it seemed simple, the saturation of yellow, and the almost destroyed buildings, complemented by those yellow snowflakes, gave it a rather apocalyptic approach.
The CGI is more decent, and was used mostly in fight scenes. I liked the choreography used in the combats between the protagonists and the so-called "Clutters", as also the designs of their costumes when they were transformed were striking. The special effects used when the characters used their weapons were good. The only thing is that these fight scenes hardly lasted two minutes, however, they were still quite entertaining in the eyes of the viewer. Anyway, the fights were something subjective.
As for soundtrack, Akanesasu Shoujo presents a varied OST, where J-Pop is dominant. The way in which the music was performed in the great majority of the scenes was well done, and it fit with the duration of the scene. However, at first I felt that the anime repeated the same series of songs in very specific scenes; however, as it progressed, the musical quality began to resonate and vary in different environments.
Between those that we can emphasize we have "444 ~ Four Forty-Four ~" interpreted by MiChi, that previously had been the interpreter of the Opening of Dagashi Kashi, used frequently in the scenes of the battle, be with the voice of the singer or only the instrumental, and, as the name suggests, refers to the "Ritual of 4:44", with a series of violins taking the melody of the song, giving it a focus of hope and motivation in the battles of the girls.
Regarding the opening theme, we have "Soranetarium" played by the same singer. A J-Pop song that mixes moved elements of electronic music, plus a series of violins playing dramatically, complemented by the singer's thick tone, gives it a very serious and powerful approach contrasted with the theme, for the most part comic, of the series. As for the ending, we have "Kowarekake no Radio" played by Ami Wajima, a pop ballad that takes a relaxed and somewhat nostalgic rhythm, personally.
"Are you looking for a series on parallel worlds and / or time travel?"
"Are you looking for a group of girls who live rare adventures and stupid situations?"
"Are you looking for a series that manages comedy and drama together?"
Well, maybe I'm not the right person to recommend this series. His story is simple, his characters are cliché, art is regular and music is a decent j-pop. All Akanesasu Shoujo is merely a cliche. However, it is a cliche that the series knew how to take advantage of from beginning to end; It was maturing narratively and we see how these characters begin to have a great relevance. Despite the setback he had at the beginning, Akanesasu Shoujo knew to go back to a pace too fast, and failed to neglect any detail in the plot (If so, it will only be an open end).
I, personally, enjoyed this series too much. Although most of the plot was not taken very seriously, there were times when the anime left you with the heart beating sharply due to the strongest scenes, sentimentally, or those that left you in uncertainty of what was going to happen.
Akanesasu Shoujo is far from being a masterpiece, but I'm sure it's the biggest surprise of this season. Outside the comedy, this series takes into account the thoughts and feelings of the protagonists, probably the message they want to give us this series is how we should move forward, towards the future, thanking that we have friends and family in whom we can tell if We are going through a personal problem. It is what I think.
I'm probably giving a high note to a series full of eccentricities and a potential rarity, but I really congratulate the seiyuu for being able to properly manage their characters; to the direction to resolutely resolve the script of the series and the good OST shown throughout the series. Pretty spectacular.
And, ending here, I invite you to witness that sky tinged with intertwined veins of resplendent gold and jet black, which we call Twilight.
I never had any expectations for Akanesasu Shoujo coming into the season. Just knowing the series composition to be from the guy behind the nonary game series, and the fact that it's an anniversary show AND a multimedia project show (ie gacha up the ass), I was fully prepared (and anticipating in fact) a trainwreck of epic proportions. What I got instead was a surprisingly heartfelt show on guilt management along with some pretty good comedy.
Akanesasu Shoujo is a show where Wild and Horned Hermit Reimu meets Forbidden Scrollery Reimu. If you would excuse the Touhou reference, it's basically a dimension hopping show with one
of the most lovable genki baka protagonists since Phos and her serious depressed counterpart (also Phos) about defeating evil yellow things. It's surprisingly fun and doesn't take itself too seriously, and yet when dramatic moments hit, they hit hard and can surprisingly resonate with you (the last episode in particular). I wasn't entirely onboard until episode 3, the show really does take a while to truly revel in its silliness and I'm glad I didn't give up on it when it did. I'm not one to commend something for merely subverting expectations, but the execution of Akanesasu's finale was done so well I'd be hard-pressed to find any other anime original exceeding it for this season.
The show has its fair share of dark moments and comedic moments, but the reassuring thing is that in spite of this it manages to handle both rather well without feeling tonally inappropriate or disorienting. Take some hints, Takahiro, and don't mess up that Yuru Yuri OVA.
The quality of the animation is pretty dreadful but the CG is nice. Direction-wise it doesn't do anything that interesting save for the finale, but the plot and mystic of wondering what's gonna happen next is enough to keep me onboard for the whole ride.
All in all, a surprisingly fun show that doesn't go off the rails, shockingly enough. Don't bother with the mobage though. Trust these words from an addict.
Please note this review is intended to be read by those that have finished watching Akanesasu Shoujo and while care has been taken to minimize story related spoilers there may still be spoilers within character analysis. You have been warned.
Based off an original idea Akanesasu Shoujo also known by its English title Girl in the Twilight is a sci-fi and action genre anime that gives us the opportunity to see what will happen if a group of high school girls whose interest into the arcane and in urban legends were to enact a mysterious ritual that was said to be able to allow
them to open up routes to other dimensions and the events that transpire as their wildest dreams and hopes of being able to enter other worlds become reality. The subject matter of traveling between different worlds have always been one of the subjects that interested me ever since I saw my first-time travel series and while this subject isn’t one that’s particularly common within the field of anime, I always wanted to see one where dimensional travel serves as one of the main themes. In this when I heard that this subject would be one of the main themes for the series my curiosity for the series grew and I decided to take up this series for this season a decision that I never regretted. The first episode of the series I felt did a great job of not just showing the mystery behind the rituals that allow the cast to travel to other worlds but also of the types of dangers that they can run into while doing so. At the same time, it also did a great job of showing what will happen if you were to run into the unique elements that come with traveling to different worlds which is what happens if you run into a different version of you.
Taking place in modern day Japan which also serves as the series main anchor point for the casts dimensional trotting adventures the overall story of the series follows the adventures of Asuka and the members of a high school interest circle the Crystal radio club whose enactment of a mysterious ritual that was said to open up routes to other worlds proved to be not only successful but also allow the members of the circle to enter such worlds and solve the mysteries that are unique to each world. However while exploring each world the members of the circle soon realize that each world while seemingly beautiful and possessing unique settings and themes are ones that are closely tied to the inner struggles of the girl that serves as the link that makes travel to that world possible and that to solve the mystery the members of the circle must not only find the true villain before they destroy that world but also identify and solve the inner struggles of the member that serves as the link to that world. However, while formidable the villains that the girls face in their worlds are only the vanguard of a much larger threat and that beyond them is the forces of twilight a hostile power that seeks to absorb every parallel world that lies in its path under the orders of its mysterious leader the enigmatic twilight king.
Faced with this dire threat Asuka and the members of the circle must not only overcome their innermost struggles that they keep hidden from their friends but also use the powers that they awaken from overcoming them to fight back and stop twilight from destroying everything that they consider dear. Joining Asuka in this wacky adventure of discovering new worlds and overcoming inner struggles while protecting those that they consider dear to them are Asuka’s friends and fellow members of the circle that includes the quiet and peaceful Mia, the intelligent and rational Chloe, the positive and popular Nana and the level-headed and perceptive Yuu.
Asuka Tsuchimiya played by veteran seiyuu Tomoyo Kurosawa of Black Bullet and Houseki no Kuni fame is one of the main characters of the series and is the main protagonist of the series. A cheerful, positive and energetic person by nature Asuka from initial appearances can be seen to be someone that’s enjoying fully the unique time period that being a high school girl involves. A carefree and outgoing person by nature Asuka can be seen to someone that can be said to have an abundance of energy within her that ensures that she is never someone that can just sit still and indeed is someone that takes advantage of this energy to keep things interesting for both herself and her fellow circle members by leading them on sudden adventures or jobs and by teasing and playing jokes on them as well. A unique trait that comes from this is her curious ability to seemingly give nicknames to everyone that she encounters a trait that I felt matches well with her personality. As a result of this carefree nature of hers, it's perhaps not unusual to see that Asuka is someone that believes heavily in the occult and is willing to try all manner of odd rituals even if these rituals lack any kind of scientific proof that they will function. However rather than being a mere passing interest as one would expect it can be seen that Asuka’s interest into the occult are genuine and borne out of her desire to explore and solve mysteries. This is evidenced by not just the fact that she leads her circle to try out new radio frequencies often but also by her determination to enter such worlds despite the inherent risks associated with them.
As the series goes on and Asuka’s character is expanded upon her personality gradually starts to change as we get to see the real personality that she masks beneath her cheerful nature. On the surface Asuka while admittedly a bit of a klutz is shown to be someone that’s kind and caring by nature and is someone that’s able to bond easily with others and remain loyal to them no matter what and is always ready to lend them a helping hand when needed. This is best shown in how she managed to help each of her friends overcome the inner struggles that had so constrained their lives and in doing so awaken the latent powers that lay inside them. From the beginning of the series, it can be seen that Asuka is someone that is emotional by nature and when combined with her carefree nature often leads her to enter potentially dangerous situations. However, at the same time, this also allows her to be able to sympathize with the feelings that others may have and enable her to forge strong friendships with the people that she meets whether or not they wanted to or not. This within the series is best shown in the strong friendship that she forges with seriousAsuka. As the series goes on and Asuka bears witness to the kind of threat that the twilight poses to not just themselves but also to the many worlds that exist Asuka’s personality gradually starts to change. While still retaining her carefree nature Asuka gradually becomes braver, more cautious and more willing to hang back and analyze a situation before committing to an action. While still fearful of the power posed by Twilight it can be seen that with these changes Asuka has also become determined to fight the clutters and the twilight king that commands them in her desire to protect her world and friends from them. The character of Asuka I felt was an interesting one that while a carefree and positive girl that loved to tease others in the beginning gradually changed to someone that was brave, cautious and willing to think before acting as she realized the gravity of the threat posed by twilight was something that I really enjoyed seeing. While still carefree to a degree I felt that the experiences that she had experienced with her friends in her adventures not only made her more willing to see the pain that others had but also allow her to help them overcome this more effectively by being able to relate to them through her own heart that she managed to free. I felt that her seiyuu Tomoyo Kurosawa did an excellent job at portraying the character of Asuka.
Mia Silverstone portrayed by veteran seiyuu singer Nao Touyama of Beatless and Kakuriyo fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of the members of the Crystal Radio club. A teenage high school girl Mia on initial appearances can be seen to be a quiet, soft-spoken and polite person by nature that gives the impression of her being an Ojou of a noble family. True to this fact Mia is a calm, positive and intelligent person by nature that while lacking the energetic nature of her friend and fellow circle member Asuka is someone that can be seen to be cautious, perceptive and level-headed and able to adapt to new situations easily. However, it can be seen that due to her quiet and her somewhat indecisive nature Mia is someone that can easily get intimidated by others and indeed is someone that tries to just follow the flow of the world around her and not make any attempts to change anything.
As the series goes on and Mia’s character is expanded upon it can be seen that Mia also has many struggles of her own. On the surface, Mia can be seen to be the ideal image of what a teenage girl of her age should act like and to those that don’t know her well this is indeed the truth. But beneath this, it can be seen that Mia is someone that above all desires the freedom to be and do what she wants without any restrictions. In line with her desire for freedom is Mia’s desire to not just overcome her quiet and indecisive nature by becoming braver and more determined but also of her desire to show her true face to her family and not hide them anymore. As a result of this, it's perhaps not surprising that Mia would try to seek out some kind of medium that she can make use of to fulfill the one wish that she cannot do so in the real world in the beginning. However, never in her wildest dreams did Mia expect to enter a world that would allow her to not only act out her prized childish dream but also enter a world where the burden of trying to be a perfect young lady no longer existed. While the journey to this world was a dangerous one it can be said that Mia also benefited greatly from this trip as in the aftermath it can be seen that Mia as a result of awakening the hidden side of her personality not just become visibly braver but also more determined and more willing to take the initiative and fight not just to protect her friends but also for the ideas that she believes in. The character of Mia I felt was an interesting one that showed well the kind of personal struggles that can exist in girls who are trapped between the pressures of their families and their own personal desires to live out their lives the way that they want. The evolution of Mia from a quiet and indecisive girl who simply followed the flow to someone that was not just braver but also more willing to make her own decisions was something that I felt was well done. I felt that her seiyuu Nao Toyama really did an excellent job at portraying the character of Mia.
Chloe Morisu portrayed by veteran seiyuu Marina Inoue of Darling in the Franxx and Log Horizon fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of the members of the Crystal Radio club. A teenage high school girl Chloe on initial appearances is shown to be an intelligent, curious and quiet person by nature that seems to prefer solitude and reading than hanging out with friends which itself is rare among girls her age. A fast thinking, logical and adaptive person by nature Chloe while not completely shunning friends and human contact as some would expect nonetheless views friendships with a certain amount of detached curiosity that many would find surprising in a high school girl. As a result of her logical and independent personality, Chloe like her fellow member Yuu is someone that believes only in solid facts and as a result serves well as the more rational part of the circle that tries hard to rein in Asuka’s desire to try outlandish things.
As the series goes on and Chloe’s personality is expanded upon it can be seen that Chloe also has struggles that she wrestles with unknown to her friends. From the onset it can be seen that Chloe is someone that prefers solitude and while others may view this as being sad and proof that she has no friends it can be said that the opposite is true for Chloe can be seen to treasure the time that she’s alone as she can use it to explore new areas and take in new things every day while not being constrained by things like hanging out with friends. Indeed, as the series goes on it becomes obvious that Chloe also possesses an unusual fear in that she believes that getting too close to others and forming strong bonds with others will cause her to end up relying upon them and lose her sense of independence. These fears of hers gradually came to a head when she and the circle entered a seemingly perfect world that fitted Chloe’s personality like a glove. However, this world while seemingly perfect on the surface was one that proved to have a hidden evil behind it and one that proved to Chloe that her initial view on friendships and the weakness that it can cause her was an incorrect one. The journey to the perfect world while certainly a dangerous experience for Chloe was one that proved to be most enlightening to her as it made her realize that friendships rather than causing her to develop a weakness instead had the opposite effect in that she can actually find strength from it as she can not only rely on them for help when needed but also use them to enhance herself by improving her knowledge of subjects that she knows nothing about. As a result of this new understanding of hers Chloe’s personality in the aftermath of the journey to the perfect world began to change with Chloe visibly becoming more cheerful and willing to show her emotions more openly to others and at the same time learning to trust and value her friends instead of distancing herself from them a change that I felt was most welcome for her character. The character of Chloe I felt was an interesting one that showed well the kind of struggles that those that are used to being in solitude would wrestle with when they enter areas of society where forming friendships would be important. The gradual evolution of Chloe from someone that was both quiet and preferring solitude to someone that learned the value of friendship and the unique advantages that it can bring to a person I felt was well done.
Nana Nanase portrayed by veteran seiyuu Ami Koshimizu of Saki and Darling in the Franxx fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of the members of the Crystal Radio club. On initial appearances, Nana on the surface is a popular, cheerful and intelligent high school girl that more than any within the circle seems to be living an ideal life that comes from having both great friends and a supporting family. A positive, fast thinking and curious person by nature Nana at the beginning of the series can be seen to be taking great advantage of her situation and enjoy the life of being a high school girl by hanging out with friends and trying to enhance her rep of being one of the cool kids. As a result of her curious nature, Nana in the beginning of the series was shown to be someone that didn’t put much thought into her actions seemingly following the decisions that are made by others on impulse making her relatively similar to her friend and fellow circle member Asuka.
As the series goes on however and Nana’s personality is gradually expanded upon it can be seen that beneath her cheerful nature Nana also has struggles that she keeps hidden from her friends. Outwardly Nana can be seen to have the life that most high school girls would dream of having being both pretty, popular and having both many friends that she can hang out with and a family that tries hard to support her. However, beneath the surface, it can be seen that this is anything but true for her. Despite having everything that most girls her age would desire it can be seen that Nana is bored with the life that she’s living and longs to be able to walk her path in life. While certainly grateful for the life that her family has given her, it can be seen that she also feels somewhat weighted down by the social responsibilities that come from this especially in relation to the future paths that are dictated by them. These secret struggles of hers that she kept hidden from her friends gradually came to a head when Nana and the members of the circle entered a world that while appearing perfect on the surface actually used as a theme one of the secret fears that Nana had which was a progression into the next stage of life via marriage. The journey into this new world while certainly a dangerous one for Nana and friends also proved to be an educational one for Nana as well as it provided her the spark that she needed to overcome the barrier that she had for so long been unable to overcome herself. In the aftermath of this journey, it can be seen that Nana while gaining new and powerful abilities as a result also developed a change in her personality. While still retaining her core nature of being positive, cheerful and fast thinking Nana in the course of her journey to that world realized that her insistence on keeping her inner feelings and worries hidden from her friends and her family while doing well in protecting her and buying time for her also had the unintended effect of making her distant from both parties and thus making it very difficult to understand her actions and worries. As a result of this realization in the aftermath, Nana began to gradually open up her closed off heart to not just her friends but also her family as well and allow her to not only make her true feelings clear but also allow her to once again reforge the bonds that existed between them.
Yuu Tounaka portrayed by veteran seiyuu Lynn of Eldlive and Angolmois fame is one of the main characters of the series and is one of the members of the Crystal Radio club where she serves as the overall club leader. A teenage high school student Yuu on initial appearance is an intelligent, logical and calm person by nature that gives the impression and aura of an honor student that ensures that she stands out among her fellow club members. A perceptive and level-headed person by nature Yuu unlike the likes of her childhood friend Asuka is someone that can be said to be a realist and as a result is someone that refuses to believe in the existence of the paranormal without first seeing actual proof a trait that she shares with her fellow member Chloe. As a result of this, it can be seen that among the team Yuu functions as the foundation of the team that keeps the members of the team grounded.
As the series goes on however and more of Yuu’s personality is revealed it can be seen that Yuu also has many struggles that she wrestles with unknown to her friends. At the beginning of the series as a result of her honor student like aura, it can be seen that Yuu takes exams and education very seriously and tries hard to impart these teachings into Asuka in an effort to rein her in. As a result of this out of the members of the club, Yuu was perhaps the least interested in going on adventures to other worlds as she felt that such time can be better used for matters like studying. However, as the series progresses and as Yuu bears witness to the variety of worlds that they visit as well as the fun that comes from exploring such worlds with her friends this attitude of hers gradually starts to change. While still serious and direct with her feelings Yuu’s attitude gradually starts to soften becoming more understanding and considerate of the feelings of others and willing to understand the reasons for someone’s actions as shown in her attempts to protect her friends over the course of the series. At the same time this change in attitude also awakened within Yuu the joy that can come from having fun with her friends that she cannot find within textbooks and cram schools and as a result created a change within her in which she sought to increase the amount of time she spends with them and her family while balancing her commitments to her future. The character of Yuu I felt was an interesting one and I felt that her gradual evolution from someone that acted more like a honor student that believed solely in facts while remaining somewhat distant from her friends to someone that learned to appreciate the types of experiences that can come from exploring new and exciting worlds with her friends and in the process becoming more human as she learned to consider the feelings of others I felt was done really well and help prove that there’s more to life than what you see within a textbook.
In terms of animation, I felt that the character designs for the series main cast were pretty well done with the uniform designs of the girls doing a great job in differentiating the girls from each other. The transformed states of both the girls as well as that of Alt Asuka I felt were also done well and reflected well on the lessons that each girl learned in their respective fragment. In terms of locations and settings, I felt that the series made great use of the parallel world concept which when paired with each of the inner struggles that each girl struggled with ensured that each of the worlds that the cast visit was unique. These unique worlds I felt took great advantage of the unique struggles that each girl wrestled with by making use of a great variety of themes that resonated well with the core problems of each girl. Of the ones present within the series my personal favorites were the western and marriage-themed ones. Combat animation wise while combat wasn’t the main focus of the series, I thought that the fights within the series were done reasonably well that was helped greatly by the variety of enemy types that the cast had to contend with within the series.
In terms of music, the series made use of a single opening and ending theme which in this case was Soranetarium that was sung by Michi and Kowarekake no radio which was sung by Ami Wajima. The opening theme I felt was an interesting one as its melody gave a haunting type of feeling of for me which resonated well with the main theme of world traveling and experiencing new experiences. In terms of voice acting, I felt that the series voice cast did an excellent job of portraying their assigned characters whether main ones or support ones. In particular, I felt that Tomoyo Kurosawa, Nao Touyama, Marina Inoue, Ami Koshimizu and Lynn all did a fantastic job of portraying the characters of Asuka, Mia, Chloe, Nana and Yuu respectively. In addition, I also feel that this series also had some interesting support characters that did well to make the overall story more interesting by not just expanding upon the story but also in introducing more personal stakes into it. One notable example is the character of Seriouska who within the series was an alternate version of Asuka that hails from a parallel fragment. This version of Asuka as a result of being shaped by the unique circumstances of her home fragment was markedly different from the prime Asuka both in terms of temperament and beliefs and I felt she contrasted well with her. Her development from someone that tried to do everything alone and try to push away every attempt by the team to befriend her to someone who gradually learned to see the value of bonds and friendship and in the process learn to make friends for the first time in her life was well done and the effect that she had on the team is something that cannot be understated. I thought that Tomoyo Kurosawa who also voiced the prime version of Asuka also did an excellent job portraying Seriouska.
In overall Akanesasu Shoujo was an interesting anime that had among its main strengths an interesting premise, strong story, characters and a unique pairing of dimensional travel with superpowered abilities.
The overall premise of the show which was a look into what will happen if a group of high school girls whose interest into the occult and the paranormal were to enact a mysterious ritual that is centered around a certain location in their world is a concept that’s already well established within the world of anime forming the foundation for most mystery based animes. However, what makes this simple premise unique in this regard is the manner in which the girls travel to each world. This is because within the series for the girls to be able to get to a new world one of their number has to act as the mental link to that world and this link also acts to create the world based on the inner struggles and fears that they are experiencing inside their hearts. This pairing of a character’s inner struggles with the world building for their respective worlds I felt was an interesting idea and helped ensure that each of the worlds in which the members of the circle visit is unique.
The overall story of the series I thought made great use of this premise as it not only showed the many adventures that the members of the circle undertook in the course of the series but also show the many trials that each member had to overcome in their respective worlds as they came to accept that the life that they were trying to live was nothing but a lie and that to improve themselves they have to overcome their shortcomings and be willing to reveal their true selves not just to their friends but to the world as well. This combination of paring the act of realizing your true self with the awakening of powers that will allow the girls to face the enemies that had come to destroy their linked world I thought was an interesting idea as it provided the girls with the perfect opportunity to get payback for the time they had to hide their inner feelings. While the individual world bosses that the girls face were fearsome adversaries I felt that the overall story also did a great job of using these as stepping stones as it not only allowed the girls to see the kind of threat that the clutters to which the world bosses are named as but also show that beyond them is a much more major threat that they cannot hope to face until they learned to realize their true selves.
Overall Akanesasu Shoujo was an anime that I really enjoyed and while it made use of elements that are rarely used together I felt that in this case it managed to make great use of both the mystery, sci-fi and action elements and combine that with a story that allowed us to see how the members of the circle were able to use their newly awakened powers and the lessons they learned to defend against a threat that if not stopped will erase everything that they consider dear. Seeing each of the girls not just overcome their inner struggles but use the powers that they gained from it to face down the threat posed by twilight to both protect their world but also walk the path that they desire was pretty satisfying. As a final score, I would say that Akanesasu Shoujo deserves a final score of 8/10. While the core ideas were sound, and I enjoyed the journey of seeing each of the girls awaken their latent powers I felt that Twilight and the threat that it posed was introduced a tad too late within the series. I also felt that the many boss fights that the girls have to face in order to awaken their abilities were too similar and lacked enough variety in them.
Updated review now that Akanesasu Shoujo has finished airing:
Spoiler Free part of the review:
First of all, I had no idea what I was getting myself into when I saw that this anime was released. I had not read absolutly anything about it and I decided to go blindly in at it without reading anything beforehand.
Now I gotta ask, have you ever heard about or played a game called Oxenfree? Personally, I got alot of Oxenfree vibes just by watching the first few minutes of the anime and that REALLY brought this anime to my attention.
As of the first episode I had no idea
where this anime was heading, but after the first few episodes I understood very well the direction it was in. So far I believe that the review displayed on MAL is surprisingly quite low. Im amazed that this anime hasnt caught the eye of many people as it has quite a unique concept. (And some Madoka Magica vibes to it aswell)
I really enjoy the art style and the sound / music is also quite enjoyable.
I would sugest that you give this anime a go (if you have time and have nothing else to watch of course). <3
Minor Spoilers ahead:
Now that the anime has finished airing and after watching all the episodes I have came to the conclution that Akanesasu Shoujo has its upsides and downsides. The main downside is the Story and all the parts that decided to include CG. I feel like the concept for this anime is absolutly outstanding and brilliant, but I feel like it could have been executed way better. Alot of segments dont make ANY SENSE (especially the ending), but in the end does any anime TRULY make sense? #AnimeLogic :P
As far as all the battle scenes go, they all include CG and I gotta admit... I rarely ever see good CG and this anime is no exception, therefore the CG parts are a major turn off for me. But other than that, I do quite enjoy the characters and the soundtrack. In the end, the only thing the anime was actually was the good story but other than that, it was quite an enjoyable experience.