I've seen a lot of shows with a bunch of pretty guys in them but this one seems different than the others. It's because it focuses on the different aspects of all the Buddhas, and each of the characters pretty much sticks to what they're considered to be in the religion. The argument that the characters are flat is pretty silly considering that they been determined by people worshipping them for thousands of years. They are what they are, aspects, not people.
The show is mostly about removing sin from the world and each of the Buddhist has a different way of going about
that, some by healing, some by joy, and a couple of them by out and out fighting the sin which when big enough can turn into monsters and it that point it's generic anime.
The main conflict is between one guy and his former partner who work for the... Anti-Buddha? (I have no idea who the bad guy is but I'm sure people familiar with the religion would know) and it's a spoiler what came between them but the episode showing it is quite good.
Is the average shounen watcher going to like this? Probably not. But I think that anyone curious about the 13 Buddha's and slice of life shows might like this. It could probably be done better but it's not bad.
At first glance Namu Amida Butsu!: Rendai Utena seems like your typical slice of life anime with hot guys going about doing whatever it is they’re doing. And you’re right. At its core, Namuami (which is what I’m calling it instead of the title name because that is too long) is a slice of life anime in a similar vein to Touken Ranbu Hanamura. The question is: is it good? I would say it’s a decent show if you go into it with low expectations. I liked it enough but if someone comes and says why they didn’t like it, I might agree with them
even if I liked the show.
Going into Namuami, I had low expectations for it not because I thought it would be bad (just average), and it’s a good thing I did that otherwise I would’ve been very disappointed.
The complaints I have is that Namuami feels too stiff for a slice of life anime. There is a story revolving around Mara and the vices and while that’s fine and adds something to the show, the times when the Buddhas are living their day-to-day life, it feels very lacking. It does improve after episode 6 and things start to pick up and that stiffness goes away slightly.
The characters themselves are a mixed bag. Only a handful are given and development and growth in all 12 episodes while some don’t get any or are just there for show. Some of them have little or no personality that makes them unique in their own way. For example, one of them is a protein loving exercise guy who is kind of clingy to his older brother and another one tells bad puns. Those are not personalities. Telling bad puns that aren’t even funny is not a personality trait. The few that do have personalities are decent characters. Especially with one of the characters. They’re not all bad but some are just boring and devoid of any personality.
Finally, the conflict between Mara and the vices felt rushed. As quickly as it came, it was resolved quickly. It ends somewhat satisfying though it’s one of those ambiguous endings but I have a feeling that a 2nd season won’t be happening.
While it may seem like don’t particularly like Namuami, I did enjoy my time watching it. Going into it with low expectations made me like the show more. Yes, it’s not perfect and some of the complaints are valid, but it’s not a bad anime in the slightest like some people say it is. It’s above average in presentation, characters, and plot but it’s not as bad. It won’t win any awards and it will probably be forgotten in a year or two, but at its heart, Namuami is a decent slice of life anime about the 13 Buddhas. If you do plan on watching it, I recommend going into it with little or no expectations, and if you liked Touken Ranbu Hanamura. Namuami may be average at best, but it’s still fun to watch.
I would wager money that you chanced upon this anime looking for hot anime guys, so I'm going to focus on that in this review.
Story: There's a larger plot that loosely keeps the episodes together, but you're not watching this anime for the plot. Correction, DON'T watch this anime for the story. It's nothing fancy and isn't memorable. I think there's sin in the world and there's an antagonist, but again, nothing special. (The anime is based on the deities of Buddhism, but I apologize, as I'm unable to comment on the veracity.) What's important to note is that there's enough scenes written in that
involves the bath.
Art: For a short show of 12 episodes, I was surprised by how many characters are crammed into it. All of them are pleasant to look at. They included every trope to please the range of audience. Nothing to critique here. They have fabulous bodies. I suppose they're not too detailed, but again, with that many characters, this anime's done a good job.
Sound: I wish I had something to comment on regarding its sound, but I've got nothing. The voices weren't exceptional and I don't remember the soundtrack. It gets 5 because it was neither bad or good enough to register on my consciousness.
Character: They put in a type for everyone, but you don't really get to know any of them very well. They're mostly 2D and any 'understanding' is superficial. Again, if you're watching the show for the aesthetics, this bit can be forgiven. However, without really getting to know any of the characters, you also don't get to 'fall in love' with any of them.
Enjoyment: From the standpoint of watching this anime entirely for the male eye candy, it's quite enjoyable. If you attempt to watch this anime for any other reason, you might find yourself sorely disappointed.
Takeaway: This is an anime that won't keep you on your toes. I think it took me a year (if not more) to finally finish it. It's something to watch when you want to ogle two-dimensional yummy Buddhist deities. (No disrespect to the faith.)