"Huh? Where did the school festival go? ...Ah well."
SCANDAL's dozen one minute episodes are by nature quite restrictive, but this is a series that knows how to make the most of what it has! ...is what I would like to say, but unfortunately when the question of how to utilize a handful of 60 second segments was posed, SCANDAL had trouble finding an answer. Luckily, it's not without its charms.
SCANDAL's brief duration doesn't give it a lot of room to develop much of a plot, and I came into it with low expectations accordingly. After all, semi-plotlessness can be fun too! Sadly, SCANDAL failed to get within even a stone's throw of my already low expectations. The vignettes are sparse, with very little to connect them and no semblance of segue from one to the next. Just when it seems they've found something to focus on, the episode will end and the next opens with something entirely different; the dawning realization that the new topic introduced will be dropped just as quickly is a frustrating one. The closest SCANDAL has to an overarching storyline is the girls' intent to put together a band so they can perform at their school festival. After the first episode this purpose is touched on only twice in the entire duration of the series: first when one girl comments they need to be sure to return home in time for the school festival, and then the last line in the series, quoted above. The entire purpose is almost immediately lost in the series' "free association" style plot, and it's not creative or entertaining. It's simply poor storytelling.
This would be much less damning if the series was character-driven, but it falls flat in that respect as well. The girls are not developed; I'm hard pressed to say they're even established to begin with. They are generic to the point of being interchangeable. They're stylish, trendy, allegedly musically talented, and entirely forgettable to the point that I can't even remember their names. At least the one personality they all seem to share is a cute one...
SCANDAL doesn't have a lot to brag about aesthetically, but my expectations were low there as well and I'd say they were pretty much met. The cute, oversimplified style works nicely with the sparse plot and characterization but in a substantially less troublesome manner. The animation itself is choppy and somewhat awkward, but again, it just seems to work somehow.
The audio aspect is split down the middle, unfortunately, with the half falling flat being the voice work. As the characters are voiced by the girls they represent and these girls are obviously not voice actors I was not expecting much, but they delivered so little I had to wonder if they were even trying. Their collective tendency to slur and mumble becomes grating quickly; even though they are meant to represent themselves, it seems they gave no consideration to the requirements of the animated medium or the benefits of enunciation. Perhaps fittingly, though, the music is pretty good, although the episode lengths limit exposure to it.
I think the overall problem with SCANDAL is that it's geared toward existing fans of the band, and I am simply not in that demographic. If you're looking to become a fan and are thinking of this as a place to start, do reconsider. That said, existing fans will probably derive much more enjoyment from these brief, random episodes that I did, so they shouldn't let my criticisms dampen their enthusiasm. And heck, I wouldn't watch the series a second time, but I certainly don't regret watching it through once, and I doubt it would hurt anyone to sacrifice the 12 minutes required to give it a try themselves. After all, it's not without its charms.read more
Do you hear J-music? Do you even know what it is?
Well, the SCANDAL band is here to prove it.
It is rare to see nowadays, anime about music, more precisely anime about specific bands. It doesn't mean that there is no anime with musicals or just the content of the song but the goal is always the part that has music in it. This anime is about the band SCANDAL and tries to show this .. but it fails in the execution.
Scandal (or in Japanese - スキャンダル) is a group of J-Rock / J-Pop. They are by themselves, the most powerful female group in Japan, Scandal is formed by girls from the Osaka area and the group is very energetic and balanced because there is no particular role for each belonging, there is an equality to share the position of singer. The band was created in 2006 and since then they have been in the active, you probably know the band by playing openings / endings of well-known anime like "Full Metal Alchemist", "Bleach" or more recently "Pokémon XY: Diancie and the Cocoon of Destruction".
Let's move on to the anime now. I'm not saying that you can not see this or that this anime is simply a waste, I'm saying that you only need to see this if you already had it on "Plan to Watch" or if you already had it marked in your browser as the next anime to see. The problem of this is, I stress again, execution.
The anime "SCANDAL" has its charms and it's cute (you can even say it's too girly for boys) but there is no general development of characters, environment or anything. The good / positive things that I can get out of here is that this anime is an opportunity for those who didn't know the band, to actually know it better, to know how a japanese band acts (in this case of j-pop gender), to see that the band when in the acting is completely different from a group of friends who just want to have fun and see that they are classmates in school (and with that come the purposes of the school, one of them playing in the school festival), otherwise the purpose of playing as a group is forgotten because the background of the anime shows more the 'girly' side which in this case turns out to be more advantageous. The purpose in the last episode is forgotten and the anime turns out to be just "one more anime" for those who collects series or for those that just like to see short animes.
In short: This anime only passes by knowing the group because otherwise, it is a story badly worked and is not creative at all.
Including my personal taste for the group that already had before seeing this anime, I think this deserves a reasonable note, the true group sings pretty good and is thoroughly appreciated by japanese fans especially from the Osaka area where the group was created.read more