Apr 29, 2020
For those of you wondering why I'm reviewing the prequel OVA for a series I've never seen, it was a request and since it's a prequel, I'm not too fussed about having not seen the regular anime. The studio behind this one is Anima&Co. They're a studio that's listed as having done this and the anime it's a prequel to and that's it. So, let's look at this prequel and see if it makes us want to watch the main series.
We open with a rather large cast of characters screwing around in an office. They find an old file that shows one of their number,
Nijou, under interrogation. This leads to a flashback where we find out what happened to lead to him being questioned.
The biggest issue with the story-telling is that it's really predictable. We're talking one viable suspect and a confrontation that you can pretty much guess scene for scene before it even happens. It's just not, at any point, compelling or interesting. It comes across like that C.O.P.S. cartoon I did a bonus review on. A completely mediocre offering where the people behind it just didn't care. It doesn't help that it being a flashback rather than a straight up prequel doesn't contribute anything.
There's not much to say about the characters. Perhaps they get well developed and degrees of complexity in the series proper. In this, they're just a bunch of one-note characters who are either defined by quirks or by archetypes. They've got the tired officer who's just done with all this shit. The guy who's getting too old for this. The understanding boss. A girl whose entire thing is talking about how she's a ninja. And all I think when she talks is "Miss Fortune made a better little ninja lady than this girl."You've also got the hard working, driven one. Who just so happens to be the accused in this case.
The artwork looks fine. The character designs are the most interesting thing in the OVA. And the animation does flow pretty well. I'll also credit it for having nicely detailed objects and backgrounds.
The actors are all capable. Tsuda Kenjirou, Suzuki Tatsuhisa, Ozawa Ari and the others all give capable performances. I'm sure they'd be better if they were voicing characters with a bit more personality, but I can't claim anyone does badly. The music is largely standard, but it's fine.
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Areas of Improvement:
Offer more potential suspects. One viable suspect is too few.
More character depth. I get it, it's a prequel for a longer work. But at least give your focus characters, Nijou and Ichinose, stronger senses of personality.
Just make it a straight up prequel. You'd have more time to develop the scenario well and make it interesting, without the flashback scenes that don't contribute anything.
I can't call this prequel OVA bad. It's not interesting. It doesn't make me want to watch the series proper. But calling it bad is going a bit far since the main things wrong with it are more mediocrity than anything else. As such, I'm going with a 5/10.
Reviewer’s Rating: 5
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