Bad Luck's lead singer and lyricist, Shuichi Shindo, is a total wreck. With deadlines for the band's next album looming, the pressure is on, but the normally energetic Shuichi has become listless and fallen into a writing slump. It's all because Yuki - the great love of his life - has suddenly become cold and distant. Depressed and anxious, Shuichi doesn't want to think about lyrics - he just wants to know how to get Yuki to talk to him!
Now, thanks to Shuichi's big mouth bragging to the press about how talented he is, the band can't even hire someone else to write the lyrics for them. If they don't manage to break Shuichi out of his slump soon, it could mean the end of Bad Luck for good!
Gravitation: Lyrics of Love is a side-story to the main plot that was actually part of the main story in the manga. One of the main facets of the story is shounen-ai, or boy's love, a relationship between two men. Though there was no lovey-dovey kissy stuff contained, it did feature a small part heavily insinuating gay sex and domination themes(at most, it's "ecchi").
Being from the original manga, the story was okay for what it was trying to do and where it came from. Some moments made me laugh, some put a smile on my face, and others were downright silly.
Considering this was aired in
1999, the animation isn't all too bad. The only thing I noticed was some laziness by the animators in that there is repeated footage and they copped out to using illustrations from the manga artist for the ending credits. There were also some parts where the animation was a bit off anatomically(AKA QUALITY), but overall it was okay.
One of its main focuses is music, and like the anime(from what I have seen) it doesn't really fail to deliver. The music itself is slightly reminiscent of boy bands from the nineties, but they have a strong rhythm borrowed from techno music. I personally liked the songs, as silly as some of the Engrish in them is(spicy marmalade, anyone?).
The sound quality(aside from the music) is fairly good, although you may have to turn up the volume a little at times for speech if you're listening to the Japanese voice-over.
If anything, it succeeds in characterising the two main loverboys, Shuichi Shindou and Eiri Yuki. Shuichi is quite a character indeed, and Eiri Yuki is a good foil to his childish, boisterous nature. However, they seemed to skimp a little on character regarding the rest of the cast, but it wasn't too big of a deal since that was covered in the anime(I presume) and the focus was on the couple.
I quite enjoyed it. It put a smile on my face at the end. Albeit it wasn't the greatest OVA I've seen, but it succeeded it what it was trying to achieve.
Overall, it was fun. I suggest watching it for extra story if you've seen the anime only, but for manga readers, you're not missing out on much except the actual music made for this.
Gravitation: Lyrics of Love, is a 2-episode OVA aired before the actual Gravitation series. It's about the lead singer of the band "Bad Luck," named Shuuichi Shindou, whose been in a slump lately because his novelist boyfriend, Yuki Eiri, has been acting cold and distant lately. It's genres are, obviously, romance (shounen-ai specifically), as well as being a comedy.
This is an OVA tied to a 13-episode series, so there's not much to be expected in the plot department. Shuuichi is upset at Yuki for being so cold, and most of the first episode involves him being in a slump and trying, unsuccessfully, to
make him open up. The second ones takes place mainly in the Tokyo Bay Music Fest, where Shuuichi's favourite band, Nittle Grasper, is playing, and has him become able to write songs again. It's nothing really ground-breaking, thought-provoking, or especially original, but it's fun and enjoyable nonetheless.
The animation is a bit choppy. Scenes that would normally be very cool looking, like their performances, were mediocre. Smaller details like mouth, eye or hair movement were lacking. Though less prevalent than what I mentioned previously, there were also some still scenes and looped scenes (the latter were mostly found in the op). Granted, this was both an OVA and somewhat old (from 1999). Also, note that the animation was often rather over-the-top and "comical." Expressions were exaggerated, people were physically crushed by words, there was full-face blushing and turning into rockets. This all could be good or bad depending on whether you enjoy that type of thing or not. I felt it was fitting considering the comedic nature of the show itself.
I'll use this section to talk about music and voice work, starting with the former.
Besides the opening and ending, there were also many insert songs, as expected from an anime revolving around singers. All of the above were very catchy and well-done, with good singing and instrumentals. There's a mix between the more enthusiastic and straight-out catchy songs, like the opening and "Spicy Marmalade," and the more melancholy, like "In the Moonlight."
As for the rest of the OST, it didn't really stand out quite as much. Decent, sometimes more enjoyable, and fitting for the scenes, but nothing really special. Nothing really bad though, mind you.
On to the voice work. I've only watched the Japanese version, so I can't comment on the dub. The voice acting was pretty good. Most characters had fitting voices, from the stoic and deep Yuki Eiri, to the excitable and energetic Shuuichi Shindou. I only had a few gripes with this section. One was that there were a few adult males who were still voiced by women. It just sounded a little off, and made their genders confusing too. The other was that Shuuichi's voice could get annoying at times. Sure, it fit his personality, but it could get a bit whiny and screechy, especially when he yelled (which was often). The cries of "YUKI!" still ring in my head, and remind me a bit of a certain yandere from a completely different show.
Also, I couldn't recognize many of voices, as I don't typically watch shows from this period, but one that I did recognize and found a bit funny was that that Ryuuichi Sakuma was voiced by Kappei Yamaguchi. The sweet and childish idol Ryuuichi Sakuma, voiced by the same guy who voiced L from Death Note. And it fit so well.
This show has a variety of characters. Childish, easy-going, Shuuichi, accompanied by the taller and larger, quiet and emotionally-detached Yuki. The somewhat mysterious but caring Seguchi. The hot-headed K-san. The even more childish, but also kind, Ryuuichi Sakuma. However, there's not that much character development. As I mentioned before, it is only an OVA for a series, so that's to be expected. Yuki's coldness didn't really get that much of an explanation, and he only showed his fondness for Shuuichi about twice. Shuuichi is just about the same throughout the whole thing. Their relationship did not improve or change that much from this ordeal. Despite the lack of development, the characters were still entertaining and fun to watch, albeit a bit stereotypical.
Enjoyment/Overall: 8 and 7/10
I'm a fan of light-hearted, comedy series, so this appealed to me. It was just a fun, quick watch. I recommend it to others who like the same sort of thing. To those who don't enjoy that sort of thing, and who may like darker, action-filled, or more psychological stuff, it may not be the best choice. And I know there are some of you out there who might not want to watch it because you don't like yaoi. I was in the same boat as you people. It's definitely filled with pretty boys, but it's not teeming with fanservice. The only suggestive scenes are one heavily implied sex scene which brought out a whip before being revealed as a dream, and the last scene where it was somewhat implied that they were about to have sex. As it's only two scenes, you can try to overlook them if they bother you. The comedic factors are still redeeming.
In short, not full of much substance, but short and funny and recommended even for those who don't normally watch shounen-ai.
I feel like I must redeem Gravitation Lyrics of Love from past reviews. So here we go!
Story (8): Okay, just saying now. If you've seen the anime, I suggest it. If you've only read the manga, not so much. It won't make as much sense. But I really enjoyed the story behind this. I liked the first episode more than the second episode, though, because it made me cry. (I love angst...) It doesn't really have anything to do with the actual anime, but it's still an enjoyable little thing for Gravitation fans.
Art (7): Eh... it's a lot different from Gravitations art style. It's not
as good or clean or bright. It's definitly not as bright. Even Shuichi's hair is a darker pink, which kinda disappointed me. Although I gotta say that it matches the art in the manga better. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't as good as the original art.
Sound (9): This would have gotten a lower score for reasons I will explain later. I feel like they changed Shuichi's voice. But maybe that's just me. It sounded different and more high pitched, especially when he's doing the looong screaming scenes. It hurt my ears a little. But, of course, the music redeems it up to a nine. I had bought the CD before watching this, so I could sing along to every song. Spicy Marmalade and Shining Collection are my songs, so I was really excited to hear them. Especially the duet with Shining Collection with Ryuichi and Shuichi in the end. I watched it six times...
Character (10): Well, they're all the original characters. There aren't any new ones, as far as I can remember. Although... K's character changed a little from his badass self. He seemed less badass. But, I can ignore that as long as he's still shooting people in the face.
Enjoyment (9): This is probably more along a nine and a half... it was brought down for the many long high pitched screaming scenes I mentioned earlier. But I can overlook them for the greater good of the anime.
Overall (8): I really did enjoy this. I'm going to watch it a couple more times before I send it back to Netflix, so that's always a good sign. So, hardcore fans like me, if you love Gravitation, go pick this up. ^_^
I feel like my review is biased because after watching the main story Gravitation, it left me wanting more. I feel this anime gives you what the main story is lacking, which is a feeling of greater connection with the characters. The main characters' relationship is better explained and somewhat cuter in this than in the main story, although the rating of r-17 is a bit of a stretch really because there is no explicit nudity and only one or two scenes where it is hinted at. Overall, the animation is pretty much the same as the main storyline, but I feel that the connection
of the characters is better emphasised.