Twenty-three-year old Takaba Akihito is a young freelance photographer who takes pride in his work and seeks to get a major "scoop." After he takes photographs of the business dealings of crime lord Asami Ryuichi, Asami kidnaps and rapes him, beginning a sadomasochistic relationship between them as they find themselves continually drawn to one another. Fei Long, a rival Chinese boss who blames Asami for his father's death, takes an interest in Takaba, as well, seeking a way to get revenge.
This was... strange to say the least. It was recommended to me by a friend, who said that it wasn't a great show overall but it had some interesting aspects. If you're here and you are a.) a yaoi fan b.) a fan of fictional toxic relationships or c.) a fan of 'mafia' style anime, this review is for you.
First of all, I'll start by addressing the elements of the show objectively. The storyline starts off interesting, but it quickly delves into a realm of the unexplainable. Do police not exist in this world? Some may make the argument that this is a mafia AU,
so the police are possibly corrupt. Cool, then why isn't that shown? It seems like a plot hole when it's blatantly not covered. In other aspects, it entirely skips over the plot that should be there and continues with the so-called 'romance', as if the actual story is self-explanatory. But I suppose it's so cliche that it kinda is, to an extent. Overall, for a mafia AU, this was a little sad.
The art, I'll give a pass to. I've been reading the manga and other than strange proportions in the semes' shoulders at times, most everything is drawn alright. THIS IS NOT FULLY ANIMATED! If you're obsessed with animation and everything being smooth and well done, step away! This is mostly just colored and slightly animated (a limb here and there, lips) manga frames. Not even joking, the frames were pretty much copy-pasted.
I... didn't like the music. At all. At the most serious and trying of times for our dear uke, the music is an upbeat elevator-style instrumental, and a lot of the time it just felt like a fan animated manga bit on youtube. Not very well done in that aspect.
With the characters, I'm not sure where to start. There was an interesting 'villain', but when looking at the main love interest for the uke, you come to terms with the fact that he's basically a rapist. Not basically, scratch that-- he IS a rapist. It says so in the summary itself. However, like every classic uke, our main character completely neglects this fact and starts to take this 'relationship' with his abuser seriously and starts to depend on him. Toxic relationship at its finest.
Overall, I have to say for the first half of the first episode I was pretty bored and wondering if I should even continue watching this. I only kept watching because I was reassured by the fact that it was only two episodes and that I would finish in no time at all.
Now, FOR THE YAOI FANS: This is your cup of tea. It has a classic seme and uke, some jealousy thrown in, and a good bit of kink. Did I mention the uke is pretty tsundere too? And the seme doesn't know the meaning of the word 'no', is a rapist, and has no refractory period whatsoever? Yep, you heard it here folks! Go ahead and give this a try.
FOR TOXIC RELATIONSHIP JUNKIES: I love myself some good angst and friction in an unhealthy fictional couple, but this isn't what you want. There is no gradual or mentally unstable dependence or 'love' in this. It jumps straight from rape to being in love. /Actual/ love. Or what the characters consider that to be anyways. There is no friction, no character development, no nothing. If you're into that kinda thing, I would suggest Ai No Kusabi, which presents a very compelling and well-written story about toxic dependence.
FOR THOSE MAFIA AU FANS: GET AWAY! This will ruin your love for mafia shit. I'm warning you. This honestly has close to no plot or anything to do with mafia style stuff-- it's just the convenient premise for an uneven power dynamic.
All in all, I feel like this is a very niche anime and it will appeal to the people who are into kinky yaoi. If you're not feeling the animation, check out the manga. It's pretty much the same.
I would recommend this if you: want a crappy modern version of Ai no Kusabi, like kinky shizz, are into power dynamics, really like seme-uke
I would NOT recommend this if you: are an animation elitist, want character development, are here for plot, are invested in genuine characters in genuine relationships
This is a very interesting way to animate, that's for sure.
I will admit at first it seemed a bit bland in the beginning, but as soon as I found out about Takaba's job, it did pull me in. The audio wasn't extremely terrible, though I do admit their Chinese did not sound authentic. Then again, they're Japanese actors. The characters' designs were interesting, and I loved the style of this, an AniMix. I was surprised when I saw how little animation there was, but since it was different I found it just as good as a normal OVA.
Overall I'd say it is fair, though I'd
think it'd be better with the Hong Kong arc (found in the manga, you should try to read it). I suggest the drama CD, makes it more lively.
This isn't actually an anime; as far as I can tell, there is little to no animation beyond mouths moving. Apparently this is called an 'animix'; instead of fully animated scenes what you'll see is cells being panned back and forth. The voice-acting is all right and the soundtrack is a little cheesy, but it can't be helped.
It is a nice extra to the manga, but that's all it is. Don't expect more of it! It would be awesome to see a full series of the manga one day -- it has a good story arc or two, especially the one in Hong Kong!
did like that this animix included the omake scene of New Year's at the end. It's fun to watch and I suppose that makes it worth it.
Hmm.. honestly.. when I first heard that Viewfinder will have an ANIME/OVA.. I was like "OMFG OMG OMG I AM DYING" something like that. Then someone corrected it and said something like this:
"It's not an anime or OVA. It's an AniMix"
The definition of AniMix in my head is like compilation or MIXTURE of different anime, scenarios, music, etc. So I was a bit disappointed when I learned that it's not an OVA at all. But even so (at that time), I didn't care. As long as I can see Asami and Akihito or even hear their voices, it's alright.
But of course I kept reminding myself that I'm not going to expect anything.
So when the AniMix was released last February 29, 2012 (I've watched it last March 1, 2012 though).. I actually enjoyed it.
The whole episode/movie/AniMix (or whatever it was) consists the following chapters from the manga: You're my Love Prize in Viewfinder, Fixer and Love Prize 01.
It is practically the same with the manga. So no problem with that. (Though I would be more happier if it was the Hong Kong Arc XD)
Actually, from my point of view, it really looks like an anime/ova. Though the only problem is the lack of movements. They don't "move" that much. The characters don't blink their eyes (that much I guess) or they have less facial expression. They look stiff. Well it is an AniMix after all so expect that.
The only thing that bothered me was how the other characters (including Feilong) speak Chinese. It was really funny. XD
As a Viewfinder fan, I really enjoyed it. I mean.. just hearing the Drama CD made me so happy. What more if I see them moving and talking right? Especially the S&M scene (though nothing graphic). But of course I'm still wishing they will make a "real" anime or OVA of it.
I guess I'll give it a 7. I enjoyed it but of course I still prefer the manga. I recommend you to read the manga first if you HAVEN'T READ the manga. Because you will not enjoy it that much.