It’s been a while since I last reviewed something, and that’s mostly because there wasn’t anything I finished that I felt like reviewing.
Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou though is one show I wanted to review since episode one.
So I sat down, watched the remaining 5 episodes that I haven’t watched yet and marathoned them.
And what should I say? Meh.
It saddens me that this show clearly had potential but had two main issues that ruined all potential it had.
First - The pacing.
This show was just waaaaaaaaay too rushed. Sometimes they squeezed in so much stuff into one episode it couldn’t build up any impact for the things
that happened prior than that,
Second - The Visuals
If you know a bit about studios, you know that AIC is not the greatest anime studio around, but they usually try different things, and focus more on the content than on the presentation. But Genei could really have needed some better visuals. But more to this in the respective categories.
There are actually 2 reviews I want to write for this. One focusing on the show, and the other comparing it to Madoka, because there are a lot of people who think this show mostly exists because of Madoka, and I am one of them.
Lets get started shall we? (spoilers ahead!)
Genei is a magical girl anime, so it’s obviously about magical girls fighting evil using their power.
In Genei our main characters use the power of tarot to fight evil, and each character resembles a certain tarot card.
I am a fan of the tarot system ever since I play Persona 3 so this is a big plus for the show to base its magic system around tarot.
What’s not a big plus was how the first episode was handled.
We are introduced to our main character Akari the “sun” who apparently lost her mother and lives with her aunt and her niece.
While the introduction was done okay, towards the end the pacing problem as described early kicks in. Suddenly she transforms into a magical girl kills a tentacle raping plant and next thing you see; her niece is dead.
And not only that but also no one seems to care.
It doesn’t stop there, fast forwarding you see her adult tarot-girl friends being attacked by yet another demon and e get introduced to the other 3 magical girls during that fight.
All that happened in less than 5 min and left me extremely confused.
What did just happen? Why is her niece dead? Why does no one seem to care? How did she get her powers? Why the fuck is it all so rushed?
Without going into greater detail about what happens later, this is not the only time when they try to fit in a lot of content into one episode.
My conclusion is: This should should have gotten 24+ episodes instead so you can properly build up these things.
More episodes would have been also helpful for explaining all the concepts in the show.
There seems to be some secret organisation, but we never really find out what it is all about, not even by the end.
Also some events that would have made a huge emotional impact on both the characters and the viewers didn’t get enough time, making it sometimes really sketchy or shoehorned in.
Good thing though they filled most plotholes so by the end nothing was really like “how could this happen? why didn’t they do that?”.
So the overall story didn’t suffer too much.
The ending was also pretty solid. No lame cop out but an actual ending with most of what happened being actually important.
This is also a good transition to talk about Madoka.
So what did Madoka do better/worse/different here?
First of all. Both shows were rushed, but in Madoka it didn’t feel as rushed because thanks to Urobuchi we never get details into anything anyways.
Not in Genei. the writers tried to explain everything and make solid explanations to both the magic system and the evil that is threatening the world.
While some powerlevels seemed to be random in Genei, you at least saw why their abilities are what they are.
Also no important character gets killed too early as in Madoka without enough background to make it important.
And of course the ending is no magical reset bullshit.
I personally think that Genei, even though the presentation of the story was lackluster, had an overall better idea than Madoka.
You know, the evil in Genei actually was explained AND HAD A FACE and was not just there so our magical girls can fight something and suffer.
Their magic system was based on something understandable and not LOL RANDOM stuff as in Madoka.
The cast in Genei wasn’t huge but there were quite a lot of characters and all of them seemed somewhat relevant.
Of course the most important were the 4 main girls: Akari, Luna, Seira and Ginka.
And then some major side characters: Meltina & Priscilla, Ariel Valtiel & Etia and the loli trio.
Akari: Is as mentioned our main character and she resembles the sun. She is kind, warm hearted and also tries to do her best to reduce harm.
At first she doesn’t want to fight the Demons but later, out of pressure, does so even by herself.
She is not the greatest main character of all time, but she had a solid personality which also resembled her tarot very well. I really liked how important that was for their personality and how they later build it in into the story even more, with her personal drama.
Luna: Is out shy, calm girl who has a lady-crush on Akari which later turns out to be Yuri. Later on her character gets developed quite a bit and I ended up liking her more than I usually do for those shy, clam girls. While not my favorite character she is definitely up there. Oh yeah she is the Moon, this works well with her relationship to Akari, as she is kinda the opposite to her. Again I really like how they’ve handled the tarot system in this anime.
Seira: Is our cold hearted, kuudere character. She is the star and I had the most trouble identifying her with the star tarot. Maybe I don’t know enough about tarot to understand what it means to be the star, but I just couldn’t really pinpoint what her relation was supposed to be.
her development was also done well as for all the characters so far, and for everyone who is into kuuderes she is also a good character. I personally couldn’t connect to her that much.
Ginka. My personal favorite. She was temperance, being the balanced one. And so was her roll in the show. I think that was the reason I liked her the best, not only did she have the best character design, but also the least polarized personality. She was not super nice all the time, but also not cold or shy. She was, like Akari and Luna - a good representation of her tarot.
They did something dumb though towards the end which is a spoiler that I will not include here but I personally thought it was an asspull. If you finished the show you will know what I mean.
The rest of the characters all were not super developed but a good addition.
And this again leads me to the transition to Madoka.
Characters in Madoka were just plain lazy. Most of them got a sloppy background and had almost no development.
That’s especially true for Madoka and Homura. And of course Mami…
If I would compare the characters I’d say:
Madoka = Akari (obviously)
Mami = Luna
Homura = Seira
Kyouko = Ginka (to some extend)
Sayaka = No one really, maybe Luna but only to some extend
Madoka in Madoka was utterly useless and not much of a protagonist. She rarely solved any problems, and in the end just did the gigantic asspull of an ending.
Akari, while also in a same fragile, nice position as Madoka at least developed later and DID THINGS. She actually fought and solved issues without relying on everyone else all the time.
Akari > Madoka
Mami was just cannon fodder had almost no character and overall is my least favorite character (if I can even call her that) in Madoka. Luna on the other hand moved on later, had a development and a background.
She supported Akari and had an overall bigger emotional relation to her than Mami had to any of the characters.
Luna > Mami
Homura was a bit a mix of Luna and Seira if you’d compare them and I think that if you take Luna out of the equation, she was a more interesting character than Seira but had again no development. Her background was also really sloppy.
I mean we see why Luna loves Akari, but why is Homura so fucking gay for Madoka? Why would she do all that just for Madoka, their connection was super sloppy and just forced drama.
Overall I say Homura > Seira
but Homura < Luna
Kyouko was a terrible character and her development was rushed and made no sense. Inconsistent character and overall one of the worst in Madoka.
Ginka > Kyouko
The only good character in Madoka was Sayaka, because she actually had a personal drama, a development and her ending was tragic because time was invested in her story.
The other thing that I thought was way better in Genei was how outside characters were handled.
Geneis sidecharacters always did something to progress the plot, to calm the characters down, to help them change. While in Madoka most characters didn’t even have parents. You never say the parents of anyone but Madoka.
I mean what was Homura? Was she a hobo orphan? Didn’t she have family? What’s up with that?
You saw Sayaka at home but I can’t remember her talking to her family just once.
Only Madoka had a mother. And of course the entire world was completely empty in Madoka.
There were rarely any side character just that one girl in school who stole Sayakas crush and some nobodies who were possessed by the witches.
Lastly is Kyuubey. While I liked Kyuubey, his or her master plan was just fucking retarded. At least the villains in Genei made sense. I mean the evil plan of Cerebrum was not amazing. But it was waaay better than whatever bullshit Urobuchi came up with for Kyuubey.
Art and Animation
Lets face it. Genei looked bad.
The overall art wasn’t bad but the animation was sometimes really sloppy. Especially when the animal companions were talking. They just opened their mouth and sound came out. It just looked really awkward.
They also used a lot of animation multiple times.
And sometimes movements or facial expressions looked awkward.
It was only brief moments when the show looked pretty decent, but was overshadowed by a lack of good artistic work.
I mean what’s with those character designs? It’s okay to have lolis look like that, but the adults as well? They looked like midgets! Gigantic heads, short bodies and those weird faces with way too big eyes? Holy Moly!
Backgrounds sometimes looked not even bad especially in that Parallel Realm thingy, and some demon designs were cool as well. Special effects were not bad either but also not great.
I make the comparison to Madoka brief.
Akiyuki fucking Shinbo.
Without him, Madoka wouldn’t be that popular. Well okay the soundtrack but that later.
Madoka had just way better art and animation. While I didn’t like the character designs in Madoka either they were still better. And the backgrounds were really cool as well.
But without him I doubt that Madoka would have been that well received.
And with him for Genei, the show would have been received much better as well.
I skip voice acting as it was good as for most shows and go straight to the opening and ending song.
Man did I love the opening song. That song is so catchy and my favorite of the Summer season.
The ending song was pretty good as well but not so much to my taste.
The rest of the soundtrack was pretty good as well. Even if the art and animation wasn’t great the soundtrack was pretty good.
But all rather pale compared to Yuki Kajiuras epic soundtrack for Madoka.
The other part why Madoka was so popular has to do with how amazing Yuki Kajiura is.
But I don’t wanna talk to much about it, because I think the soundtrack for Genei was pretty good as well, and fit the show pretty good.
I was kinda excited for the show to be honest. And I hoped it to be better.
Some episodes were pretty lame I think, while others were good or even great.
My personal favorite was Lunas story in episode 9. It showed how well the villain can manipulate and had overall good pacing and writing.
While I always cringed a bit at the artwork and animation, the soundtrack (especially the opening) kept me well entertained. And by the end I was pretty happy with how the show went.
Still sad because I know it could have been better with more time and better art, but still got some enjoyment out of it.
That said, I did enjoy Madoka in my first watch more. But the second time I realized some issues, and later I understood the major flaws of it.
Art and Animation 3/10 (bad)
Artstyle +0 (While not everything was bad, it was far from great)
Quality -1 (reused animation and awkward faces sometimes)
Background +0 (meh backgrounds)
Character Designs -1 (just no. Don’t do that)
Visual Effects 0 (okay but nothing special.)
Voice Acting +0 (good but not outstanding)
Opening and Ending +1 (opening YAY, ending was good as well)
Soundtrack +1 (pretty good soundtrack overall)
Sound Effects 0 (effective but not outstanding)
Story or Content 6/10
Premise and Setting +1 (good premise, especially like the tarot card idea)
Pacing -1 (downfall of the show, too rushed)
Complexity 0 (not everything was explained but I blame the episode count)
Plausibility 0 (plotholes were mostly filled)
Conclusion +1 (satisfying ending)
Personality +0 (all made sense to their tarot, but still too simple)
Behavior and Chemistry +0 (pretty good but not enough for a point)
Development and Progression +1 (everyone got developed!)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (while all got a background, the rushed nature didn’t leave enough space for it)
Likability 0 (good characters but not very memorable)
Art and Animation -1 (talked about it. Bleh)
Sound +1 (likeable)
Story and Content 0 (if not rushed it would have been good)
Characters 0 (same here)
Value +0 (will not remember this too much though)
Genei the “Madoka” clone proved itself to be much more than just a copy. While it has major flaws in both presentation and execution. I think it had much more potential than Madoka.
And in the end Madoka is only better in my eyes because of the production value and good execution.
5,4 ~5/10 (average)
Jul 31, 2013
Kara no Kyoukai animated by studio Ufotable is something I was quite excited to get into but always was postponed month after month.
When I finally got the time and ambition to watch the first movie, I turned off the light, cranked up the speakers and got comfortable to enjoy a supposed great anime movie series.
After about 30 min into the movie I stopped.
I couldn’t watch it anymore because it annoyed me too much.
“What the heck is wrong with it?”, I asked myself.
This show looks so good, this show sounds so good, but damn is it annoying to watch.
Without wasting anymore time I get right into ... reviewing:
Mysterious suicides occur in the city our protagonist lives in. Apparently ghosts or demons have something to do with it. A horror, mystery detective show?
Sound great right?
What sounds good on paper is in truth horribly presented.
Let me get out the worst part right from the start: The pacing.
The show is in a non-chronological order, which sometimes can be pretty cool as it creates suspension and you want to know how things ended up this way. But problem is that you will be most of the time confused watching this movie. And because it is a movie being 50min confused isn’t really entertaining or interesting. It’s actually just plain annoying.
Who are these characters? Where and when does this play out? How did it all end up this way?
We don’t get any of these information beyond some basics. Also the events feel tagged on. Things just happen without any transition. It tries to be super complex and smart but ends up being pretentious by not covering the basics or giving us enough information throughout the movie.
Which ends up making the movie make no sense.
I mean who are these ghosts anyways, why can Shiki fight them, and why is her boyfriend asleep at some point. Why are there no other characters besides the 3 main characters. WTF happened in the end? Nothing makes sense as it is so poorly explained or presented.
It ends as confusing and blank as it started with no real plot or connection.
What’s even worse than the story are the characters.
There are 3 of them, Shiki the emotionless doll protagonist who is boring to watch every second throughout the entire show and I can’t stand her face.
Then there is her boyfriend Mikiya who has only pretentious bullshit to say and then falls asleep at some point.
And then there is Touko who seems like the only human being in the entire show but ends up adding nothing much of value to the overall cast.
The problem with the character is:
We don’t know anything about them.
Who are they?
Why do they do the things they do?
Why should I care about them?
What the hell are they even doing the entire movie?
I never watched a show with characters that felt so distant. I had literally 0 connection to them. They were merely dolls doing random crap and talked random pretentious shit.
This brings me to the next part and maybe the worst of the entire movie.
The dialogues. Wow are they bad.
The entire time they try to sound super serious and smart but end up using fancy words saying absolute nothing.
It’s not like what they say matters, it’s just fancy words which has no relation to what the fuck is going on.
They literally pull out their conversations out of their asses, which is a big reason why they all feel so blank and dull and boring.
I watched a couple of confusing shows with almost emotionless characters but at least everything they did and say made sense in their environment, not so in Kara no Kyoukai.
Sound and Animation
I keep it brief here as there is nothing to complain about.
The soundtrack is amazing and the overall sound effects are good too.
The voice actors do an okay job being emotionless pretentious robots, which is not a compliment.
The animation is good but not as amazing as people want it to be, it’s more cool tricks than actual amazing animation and a lot of cgi and possible rotoscoping.
The character designs look hideous as all type moon character designs. And they are especially ugly when you keep in mind what kind of characters they represent.
What can I say I had to watch this show 3 times (actually I picked it up 3 times) to finish it, and even then I rushed to the end because nothing of interest happened.
It’s the most pretentious bullshit movie I’ve ever seen and I really don’t wanna watch the other ones, but maybe... just maybe I’m gonna give them a try, just to see if they get any better (which I heard they don’t).
Art and Animation
Artstyle +1 (Gradience and textures look great)
Quality +1 (really good quality)
Background +1 (Nice colors and dark and gloomy)
Character Designs -1 (In general I don’t like type moon character designs)
Visual Effects +1 (The best part)
Voice Acting 0 (bland but not bad)
Soundtrack +3 (disregarding my usual opening, great soundtrack overall. what a waste on this show)
Sound Effects +1 (really good)
Story or Content
Premise and Setting +1 (Interesting)
Pacing -1 (Horrible pacing. goes all over the place no connection to events)
Complexity -1 (lol deep bullshit, only confusing)
Plausibility -1 (none)
Conclusion -1 (ending leaves you with nothing)
Personality -1 (emotionless dolls)
Behavior and Chemistry -1 (random talking no real chemistry)
Development and Progression -1 (no development, stale and boring)
Motivation and Backdrop -1 ( we no nothing about anything and everyone does just things because...)
Likability -1 (hated every single character)
Art and Animation +1 (good art wasted on a shitty movie)
Sound +1 (fantastic music, wasted on a shitty movie)
Story and Content -1 (boring, confusing, nonsensical, pretentious)
Characters -1 ( horrible brick like characters)
Value 0 (I don’t wanna remember this shit but others will... oh well.)
but actually 0/10 as I couldn’t bring myself to watch it in one sitting and hate it a lot.
Final thoughts and Conclusion
Kara no Kyoukai is the epitome of pretentious dribble. It’s a waste of good music and art and was one of the biggest wastes of time in my life.
It’s a clear candidate for my list of worst anime I’ve ever seen.
What did you think of this review?
Love it 0
Jul 3, 2013
Zexcs has probably done the most bold thing of the season by animating Shuuzou Oshimis manga, Aku no Hana.
Apparently the manga was quite popular in advance and many people were looking forward to the adaptation. Yet after the first episode an uproar of many angry fans has shaken the industry. People were pissed and the show suddenly went to the lowest rated TV series on MAL.
I on the other hand finished the episode and it left quite a good impression on me. After I went to the forums I saw the gigantic flame war and was confused. Why are people so mad?
The answer lies in ... rotoscoping. A technique, were you take live action footage and draw over it so it looks like an animated show. Shows like Waking Life, A Scanner Darkly, or Mind Game all use this Technique, as well as many other shows.
Without questioning whether it is good or bad, I ask a different question. If Aku no Hana is based on live action footage with real actors, can it be considered an anime? I think yes, though it is in this weird middle ground between live action drama and anime.
Disregarding whether or not it is an anime, I ask a second question, is it good?
Aku no Hana takes place in a small town in the middle of nowhere in japan. Takao Kasuga is a middle school student who is interested in literature, especially into Baudelaire’s work, Aku no Hana.
He is also in love with one of his class mates, Nanako Saeki, who is his “muse” and source of inspiration.
One day he forgets his book in class and picks It up after everyone left, as he spots Saekis gym cloths and steals it on impulse. He feels guilt and shame and tries to bring it back but the antisocial loner, Sawa Nakamura saw him steal the gym clothing and now controls his life, trying to turn him into a deviant.
Though it is set in a normal middle school it takes a more dark approach than most other school based anime, and right from the start focuses on drama and tension instead of romance and comedy. It’s interesting and comparatively unique as a school anime and quite fresh especially in light of all the more cute and fun shows that normally air.
The show is extremely slow paced. I haven’t read the manga but many people complained it covers only a little of it so I guess it is much slower than the manga version.
Yet I have no problem with the slow pacing as it creates immense atmosphere you don’t see that often anymore. There are sometimes scenes of people walking or just background lasting several minutes with very minimalistic ambient music in the background. It’s quite daring to do this, in nowadays more fast paced oriented anime world and I liked it quite a bit. It reminded me of some scenes in Serial Experiments Lain, Texhnolyze and Neon Genesis Evangelion.
If you are not a fan of slow pacing though I think you will not like it for that.
The Events and interactions are all quite simple though, you have Kasuga being controlled by Nakamura the entire time. They mostly talk and sometimes do things. It revolves mostly just around the 3 main characters and side characters just spice it up, but are never directly involved in the events.
Though it’s not super interesting. The things that happen revolve around normal first love/dating events plus Nakamuras devilish twists to those. It gives the overall story a good amount of tension and you always wonder “how in the world will this end well?”.
Speaking of how it will end well. The things that happened were also quite realistic, nothing internally destroyed the logic of the show, though you sometimes asked yourself how stupid Kasuga is, yet everything that happens makes sense within the personalities and world. There are no visible plotholes or desu ex machina, consequences are real, though not always as you expect them to be.
Sadly the show ends in a preview for a possible second season. I will most likely watch it when it comes out because it picks up where the buildup left.
Aku no Hana had some of the most realistic written characters I’ve ever seen in an anime. Maybe it comes from the fact they were actors, but it’s also the things they say, the way they react and the world around them. There are no silly school archetypes, no moe girl, no tsundere, no slapstick or fanservice as in other shows that revolve around school.
Takao Kasuga, is somewhat an outsider. He thinks of himself as better than others, though is introverted. He has a massive sense of righteousness and romanticizes not only Saeki but also his literature and the fact that he feels so different.
Yet he is easy to manipulate, emotionally unstable and is drawn to the wrong decisions. No really he is that guy in a horror movie who opens the door to the monster and gets killed and you are screaming “NO NO NOT THAT DOOR YOU IDIOT WHAT ARE YOU DOING, YOU GONNA GET KILLED!”.
It was pretty frustrating to watch him stumble from one bad decision to the next, especially when Nakamura takes over his life and he is to weak minded to fight back. There are several occasions he could have gotten out of the mess he was in. Burry Saekis clothing in the ground, throw them in a river, burn them down. But he never did. He only once tried to get rid of them but was too hysterical to do so.
His naïve sense of right and wrong is also extremely annoying but at the same time interesting. He is insecure and has a low self-esteem but hides behind his supposed intellectualism and books.
Sawa Nakamura is the crazy girl from Takaos class. She is offensive, insulting and acts how she likes. She is manipulative and overall I would call her a true sociopath. She is not intelligent but very charismatic. She was just as unlikable as Takao though. I hated her and her attitude and emotional instability. If I was Takao I would not have given her any attention and probably blamed the stolen underwear on her.
Yet she is one of the more interesting characters in anime history. Her evil nature and playful destructive behavior is sometimes quite entertaining. She also is the driving force for all the drama in the show, as she puts Takao into worse situations the more they spend time together.
My biggest problem though is that is never explained why she is such a “crazy bitch”. She comes from a relatively normal household, grew up without a mother and just her father who seems like a nice guy as well as her grandmother who also is very nice. It kinda feels sketchy and she is just crazy so the story has a crazy person.
You know Yuno Gasai from Mirai Nikki, she was also insane, but at least it was explained why she was insane, while Nakamura is apparently just insane.
Saeki is the class’ most popular girl. Kasuga loves her but at first he is invisible for him. Later when he stands up for Nakamura she adores his brave protection of her and seeks him out. Her character is also hard to understand. She later finds out about what Kasuga did but still likes him nonetheless.
Apparently she hates her sheltered perfect life and sees Kasuga as an interesting boy. Also she explains how she never had any male friends before and Kasuga seems to be the first interesting male she came into contact with.
The rest of the side characters are just extra and I don’t feel the need to go into them as they are almost unimportant for anything that happens.
Overall the main characters of Aku no Hana are very realistic and have a deep intertwined relationship. From this the entire plot and drama derives and makes the show interesting. Even though none of them is likable (at least for me) but their characters are interesting enough to watch.
Art and Animation
I will try to make it brief.
I liked the artstyle of Aku no Hana. The rotoscope was special and different. We might argue about the quality of it and how it makes the show less of an anime and how the characters are not cute and all.
But fact is, if Aku no Hana would have had a traditional artstyle with traditional character designs like those in the manga, it would have been less interesting as it is now. It’s good that a season has a black sheep that goes against the norm so it doesn’t stagnate and becomes the same shit we’ve seen a million times before. And I reward differentness.
Also the backgrounds are fucking beautiful looking. They are highly detailed (probably because they are based on real life) and add to the immersion and atmosphere.
The sometimes used evil flowers also add to the slightly surreal nature of the show and were a great addition effect wise.
In the end I enjoyed the art of Aku no Hana as it was something that I don’t see often and it made the show more interesting. Sure it doesn’t look perfect and beautiful like other school anime do, but it fits the more mature and dark tone of the show much better.
I can’t really call it voiceacting in Aku no Hana as they actually had their own voice. So I will just call it acting.
And it was great. The actors did a fantastic job, they had a great variety of emotions and gave the personalities of their characters great impact.
The openings were all pretty weird and had this ironic tone. They didn’t fit music wise but lyrics wise and I think it was intentional. I couldn’t like them but give credit for their dementia feel.
The ending song on the other hand is great. I don’t know what the song is called right now but you can find it and give it a listen, it’s very avant-garde and the first time this song kicked in in the first episode I was almost blown away. Definitely my favorite song of the season.
The rest of the soundtrack was also great. It was mostly atmospheric ambient. Some might find it boring but it hit my nerve and I will get my hands on it soon. It makes the show much more gloomy and atmospheric and helps the dark themes.
It’s hard to say how much I enjoyed Aku no Hana. It was a very exhausting show to watch. The tension and stupidity of the characters made me cringe but also look for more. As I said about Kasuga it was like watching a horror movie in which the characters always did the wrong things. It pisses you off but you want to see how it all ends.
Overall though I think it is one of the best show of the season and that’s thanks to the fact of how daring it is.
Art and Animation 6/10
Artstyle +1 (rotoscope is different and special)
Quality -1 (the execution was pretty bad though)
Background +1 (Fantastic backgrounds)
Character Designs 0 (They are real humans what do you expect them too be designed after?)
Visual Effects 0 (sometimes the flowers of evil but rarely used)
Voice Acting +1 (for overall good acting)
Opening and Ending 0(the ending was great, the openings weird)
Soundtrack +1 (Gloomy and Atmospheric)
Sound Effects 0 (Nothing notable)
Story or Content 4/10
Premise and Setting 0 (It's still just a school drama...)
Pacing 0 (Slow but increased the feeling of dread)
Complexity 0 (simple story, simple world, interesting themes though!)
Plausibility 0 (internally coherent but will make you facepalm at how stupid the MC is)
Conclusion -1 (no real end...)
Personality +1 (some of the most realistic and excentric people you've ever seen in an anime)
Behavior and Chemistry +1 (Kasuga and Nakamura create great tension)
Development and Progression +1 (Kasuga slowly becomes a worse human being and removes his sense of righteousness)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (not everything was well explained, though the motivations are not out of no where)
Likability -1 (argh those people piss me off!)
Art and Animation +1 (I like different)
Sound +1 (great soundtrack)
Story and Content 0 (interesting but hard to watch)
Characters 0 (interesting but fucking idiots)
Value +1 (special anime and went into MAL history and probably everywhere else as well)
Aku no Hana is not for everyone. It is tough to watch, has some of the most annoying characters and an off putting artstyle.
If you are looking for something that sticks out of the normal then please go ahead and watch it. It's not a master piece and has many flaws. But at least it is ignoring what is popular and makes its own thing which I respect deeply.
What did you think of this review?
Love it 0
Jul 1, 2013
Hentai Ouji is JC Staffs moe flavor of the season.
I know I know the industry is cluttered with cutesy school anime and moe girls doing moe things. But Hentai Ouji was nonetheless enjoyable.
I’m actually kinda sad it is over since it reminded me a lot of one of my favorite anime, Denpa Onna.
While Denpa Onna is a lot better in my opinion and also my favorite school/moe anime, Hentai Ouji still managed to be one of the more enjoyable shows of the season.
Despite being just a school anime, Hentai Ouji (HenNeko) actually had a story. Quite simple and more in the background but at least ... it followed an overall theme and even had a conclusion.
It’s about cat statues granting wishes and a bunch of characters wishing for the wrong things and dealing with the consequences.
It wasn't really focused though. It just randomly had events going on that were somewhat connected.
If you are cynical you could say the “plot” was an excuse for fanserice and moe.
At least HenNeko had plenty of both to offer.
So I guess I have to warn you, if you are allergic to harem, moe or fanservice you better stay as far away from this show as possible.
If you on the other hand love cute things, blantaned sexualising of underaged girls and one guy going out with 4 girls at once this is probably what you are looking for.
Over the course of the show though you will most likely be confused, as the cat statue wishes make the show pretty surreal and trippy at times.
I actually thought this show is more suited for Studio Shaft (and also think they would have made it better but JC staff did an okay job) since it was not only full with fanservice but also had the quirky characters and messy story telling.
On a bad note though, the drama the show offered can’t be taken too seriously in light of it’s rather light themes and sexual content.
But again this is an otaku catering show not more.
Since it is a harem you have one MC, his male friend who is barely represented in the show and a bunch of girls with different quirks and personalities.
Yokodera is our perverted hero, he is thick headed as all harem protagonist and can’t read the most obvious intentions of the girls around him. But he is still entertaining and somewhat cute.
I just loved how blunt they just made his perverted side. He straight out says and does things other harem protagonist are merely forced into. It’s kinda more fun to watch him do perverted stuff than your typical nice guy.
But yeah his character is rather simple and the development doesn’t go anywhere too far out.
Tsutsukakushi, Tsukiko (say that 10 times in a row!) is the other main character of the show, and probably the most important of the girls. She wishes right from the start to lose her emotions(actually more her emotional expression) and thus turns into a sorta Dandere character.
She is damn cute and her voice is just melting you. Despite her supposed emotionless character she is witty with her comments and has some of the funniest moments of the show. She is also damn cute if I haven’t mentioned it.
Have I meantioned that she is damn cute? No?
Well she is... damn cute.
Azuki is her main rival, though also cute she gets less screentime and less backdrop. Her character is also less consistent. Sometimes she likes MC sometimes she doesn’t. She is not a classical tsundere in this regard just very inconsistent.
Tsukushi is Tsukikos older sister. She is leader of the track team and starts out hating the MC. Her role starts out as being the dominating arch type, abusing the MC but later becomes more likable. She is also used for the Oppai Fanservice, so if you are into that stuff she already won.
She is also thick as two short planks as Yokodera makes her believe he is him and his none existent little brother at the same time, she falls in love with later on.
though adds a lot of comedy to the show.
The rest of the characters are rather insignificant but all cute too look at.
Overall the show has great quirky characters but also has no depth or anything to offer. Just your typical moe archetypes, fun to look at and you wanna cuddle them, but nothing great and deep.
As mentioned before, JC Staff animated HenNeko and we get our usual treatment. Nothing great, nothing bad.
It was interesting from the surreal point of view but nothing Shaft couldn’t have made better and thus it was a sorta “letdown”.
Backgrounds were typical school settings though sprinkled with some surreal elements whenever the wishes went rampant.
The character designs, simple but effective. You will love them if you love moe things, you will hate them if you hate moe things.
The special effects were actually pretty decent and helped the whole magical feel of the show.
Overall it’s not impressive by any means but gives you a decent dose of cuteness and good feelings.
Surprisingly well done was the soundtrack in HenNeko.
The opening and endings as sweet as sugar. If you like cutesy popsongs you will like them. If you don’t... well you know the spiel.
The background music was used effectively ranging from typical comedy songs to more dramatic piano pieces for the dramatic scenes.
Overall the soundtrack wasn’t something I’d listen to outside of the anime but was quite good.
Great were the voice actors as they not only enhanced the moe factor of the show but also were responsible for the sound effects themselves giving your extra sweet moments that you better see your doctor to check if you don’t have diabetes already.
The super young Yui Ogura did the voice for Tsukiko and was my personal favorite even though Yukari Tamura did her older sister which was at least as good.
If you’ve seen Katanagatari you’ll recognize Yukari, she has a great range and also a very sweet voice.
Yuki Kaji lends Yokodera his voice, proving again his versatility from Eren Jäger to a Harem lead.
The last great thing about the show were the sound effects.
I normally don’t recognize them too much in shows but HenNeko had great ones that complimented the comedic scenes well and enhanced the enjoyment.
Speaking of enjoyment, Hentai Ouji was a blast for me.
I know I should feel guilty for liking it as much, but I just did, sue me!
I do say to anyone though that hates these kind of shows to just stay away, you are not missing out, this is a full-time pandering show with nothing to offer but good feelings.
At least for me and some others this show was a good ride and soon will be replaced by the next cutesy show to come out. (and we get plenty of those...)
Premise and Setting 0 (schoolkids with a wish fulfilling cat? no actually just harem with a twist)
Pacing -1 (goes all over the place and has no clear sense of direction)
Complexity 0 (simple)
Plausibility -1 (it’s magic, ain’t gonna explain shit!)
Conclusion +0 (solid for this type of show)
Personality 0 (quirky and fun, but nothing good)
Behavior and Chemistry 0 (it’s like watching little kittens play, it’s cute but not smart)
Development and Progression -1 (development was hold back by cuteness, but at least you got cuteness right?)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (that’s almost worth a point if this show wasn’t just fanservice though)
Likability +1 (I just love them all!)
Art and Animation 6/10
Artstyle 0 (JC staff standard)
Quality 0 (JC staff standard)
Background 0 (sometimes good but mostly not)
Character Designs +1 (ヽ(*・ω・)ﾉ)
Visual Effects 0 (used effectively but not great)
Voice Acting +1 (was really good, many nice voices)
Opening and Ending 0 (cute pop, but not my cup of tea)
Soundtrack 0 (better than expected but nothing breathtaking)
Sound Effects +1 (good use of sound effects!)
Art and Animation 0 (have seen better looking shows of the same kind)
Sound +1 (good voiceacting and soundeffects, enjoyed a lot)
Story and Content 0 (fair but nothing too great)
Characters +1 (moe overdose, call a doctor)
Value 0 (sadly nothing new here)
Hentai Ouji manages to be a good show in the Harem/Moe/School genre. Though it’s yet another brain dead fanservice show for Otakus.
While I get my fair share of enjoyment out of it it saddens me that these kinds of shows tend to be the best ones of the season.
Besides fanservice, moe and some nice ideas about wishes and how they can go wrong it couldn’t offer anything new to the industry. It’s just one cute fish in a sea of many cute fishes.
+ very cute and moe characters
+ decent production values both in art and sound
- no smart or decent plot
- pandering without limits
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Jun 30, 2013
OreImo is back! Now with more fanservice and less fun!
No but really, when I heard OreImo gets a second season I was pretty excited. I loved the first season, it was really entertaining and I had a blast with it. It wasn’t anything great but a good laugh and a lot of Otaku references.
With season 2 though a lot of this changed. I’m not sure if it is me that changed or if A1 Pictures is at fault, or even if the source material is not that good. But season 2 was the biggest disappointment of the year so far.
Kyouske and his sister Kirino are ... back, this time it revolved all around their relationship and more drama/romance as in contrast to the first season which had more comedy.
It’s not that Season2 didn’t have any comedy, but just not as much.
The start is slow and not very good, it gets scattered episodes that are actually enjoyable only to mix in the ones that are bad.
It just doesn’t work. The romance part of the show should a) not be with Kirino and her Brother and b) not so dramatic.
Everything is just really unrealistic and over the top, you cannot make real drama seem appropriate in a show that is so nonsensical. It harmed the overall feel of the show big time and I was mostly at the verge of dropping it.
Thank goodness the last episode was actually good, so I’m not writing this with fury but rather a calm disappointed aftertaste of what the show was in general.
While everyone was as they were in season 1, it kinda felt like a magical reset. I know they want you to get into it again, but the feeling of starting from 0 was still there.
We got some insight on other characters this time but nothing that had any impact on the show overall.
I mean what was the point of a backdrop for Saori if she is missing most of the time?
I mean nice to know what other people have as backdrop but in the end the focus was on Kirino.
Even the hoped for romance between Kuroneko and Kyousuke was disappointing and went nowhere.
And the worst of it all was Kirino, as she was a worse TSUNdere than ever.
The focus was weak this season, everyone got a tiny bit only to be sacrificed by Kirino which pissed a lot of people off.
Art and Animation
The original was done by studio AIC, this time A1 Picture did the job.
Normally A1 has pretty good production values, and it’s not like OreImo looked bad, but an average looking show can’t be helped.
What we did get though were a lot of asses.
I mean A1 Pictures kinda needs to squeeze in a lot of Ass-Fanservice in every show they make, at least that’s what I see.
It’s not really that it would ruin the show, since it is already not a serious show to begin with, so fanservice doesn’t ruin it. But the amount of it was definitely increased.
The rest is the same, character designs look pretty bland, the sceneries are just as underwhelming, and animation is average stuff.
Not the worst looking show of the season, but sure right in the middle of mediocre.
Even worse is the music in OreImo 2. I can’t quite remember what it sounded like in season one, but I guess it wasn’t much better.
The opening is cheezy and the general BGM just fitting but not great.
Voice actors are you normal to good modern presentation. I mean we have Kana Hanazawa and Yuuichi Nakamura. They are all talented so yeah it’s good.
Well apart from a few episodes or scenes season 2 was a let down. I sometimes even hated it and just wanted to throw my computer out the window on how bad it was.
While the enjoyable episodes were good enough to fill my sparse free time with some good moments.
The last episode really helped the show not to leave behind this image of the worst thing ever in my memory.
But I guess this is it for me. If a season 3 comes out, nope thank you. It’s not worth it anymore and it lost its magic.
Premise and Setting 0 (same as before, also not great)
Genre Execution -1 (compared to season 2 a failure)
Dialogues and Cleverness 0 (not as funny as season 2 but had its moments)
Interest keeping 0 (sometimes I thought I’d drop it, but then it saved it with a good episode)
Personality 0 (cliches but fun to watch)
Behavior and Chemistry 0 (enjoyable from time to time)
Development and Progression 0 (not really there)
Motivation and Backdrop +1 (we actually got some backdrop for some of the characters)
Likability 0 (while some of them are very likable, Kirino is not)
Art and Animation 4/10
Artstyle 0 (generic)
Quality 0 (okay)
Background 0 (unremarkable)
Character Designs -1 (cheap looking)
Visual Effects 0 (used not often)
Voice Acting +1 (many talented people)
Opening and Ending -1 (waaaaay too cheesy)
Soundtrack 0 (uninteresting)
Sound Effects 0 (the usual)
Art and Animation 0 (okay)
Sound 0 (almost bad, but voice actors are good enough to enjoy it nonetheless)
Story and Content -1 (too many annoying episodes)
Characters 0 (a different focus would have made it better)
Value 0 (unlike season 1 I will hopefully forget about this one)
OreImo2 is my disappointment of the year... It’s sad and it made me angry. Suddenly I focused too much on the bad aspects of the show and couldn’t enjoy myself like I used to in season 1.
While it ends not as terrible as it starts out, it still was just very bad overall.
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Jun 30, 2013
My youth romantic comedy is wrong as I expected. But my expectations were not.
Spring “blesses” us with yet another highschool anime about a guy who comes into contact with a bunch of girls in a school club.
What started out generic also ended generic and nothing of value has been gained.
It’s not only sad for the industry but also sad for Brains Base to produce such a subpar work, when in the past they were responsible for great shows like Baccano and Mawaru Penguindrum.
“Yahari” has no overall story, it’s just about a boy named Hikigaya and his school life. The show goes in no direction, builds ... up no goal to aim for, no romance no drama, no big lesson. While other slice of life school romcoms have at least something to aim for like, graduation, a romantic relationship or a different goal in life, Yahari stays true to slice of life and just shows us character interactions and some events.
If it doesn't have a story, does it have anything else to offer?
Yes and no.
While shows without story have normally things like, great artwork, soundtrack, interesting characters, settings or concepts. None of this was found in Yahari, the jokes were sometimes funny and sometimes you didn’t care. I was wondering why I am even watching this anymore as it was clear nothing was going on. It revolved around the same thing the entire time without any clear path to go. Stumbling from one boring school event to the next it felt so dragged out and couldn't keep me interested.
Even for its genre it did nothing new or groundbreaking. There are a lot of better shows similar to Yahari that were at least enjoyable to watch.
It all boils down to Hachiman, the anti-social protagonist with witty comments on the insignificance of school life and school friends. While at first I liked his cynical view on his surroundings as it reminded me of my own view on school life, it became very dry at some point as it was the same thing over and over.
He showed no real progression and he alone is not enough to save this anime.
Yukino was the other half decent character, she also had a very cynical outlook on life but was a more honorable student than Hachiman. Her personality though stagnated and became boring after a while. Besides being cruel and insulting she had nothing else to offer.
Yui was a possible love interest for the MC but the show decided to just leave that alone and make absolutely nothing with it. She is just a naive girl and totally bland and boring. Like the rest of the support characters.
Saika was the only one who had an entertaining interaction with the MC but only because of the homosexual tension. Besides that he was a personality less trap just for fan-service.
You know, if you have no story to offer then please offer an interesting cast. Yahari has only one interesting character and that is not enough to keep me interested and entertained for 13 boring episodes.
Art and Animation:
You know how well Baccano was animated? The surreal art style Mawaru Penguindrum had? Or the pretty colors in Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun?
Well Yahari had absolutely nothing like that.
It looked so cheap, the character designs were pretty generic and bad executed. The surrounding were so boring to look at, it had no special effects or interesting artistic treats for the eye.
Yahari looked just really really generic to borderline bad. I’m confused how Brains Base could produce such a cheap looking show.
Really it fails already in 3 categories, no story, boring character and cheap look...
But it doesn't stop there. The overall soundtrack in Yahari is so forgettable, even bad at points. It’s just such run of the mill music that plays in the background without sticking out for a second.
The voice acting is good as usual, I would have face palmed if they would have fucked that up as well.
The opening is terrible and I always skipped it, the ending song is just as bad.
Four Strikes... Yahari what are you doing?
As you’d guess from my previous sections, yahari couldn't keep me enjoyed through the course of 13 episode.
While I didn't hate it (because then I’d have dropped it without a second thought). I just felt really bored at some point and just finished it so I had it finished.
Here and there it was funny and even entertaining. The start was pretty okay as well, but around the middle it just dropped deeper and deeper into insignificance. Such a boring show, it didn't even had potential it wasted, it was wasted right from the start.
(Story) Content 3/10
Premise and Setting -1 (highschool boy with highschool girls in a club...)
Genre Execution 0 (sometimes funny but mostly boring)
Dialogues and Cleverness 0 (some good dialogues but overall too mundane)
Interest Keeping -1 (nothing was happening!)
Personality 0 (weren't too bad)
Behavior and Chemistry 0 (very generic)
Development and Progression -1 (absolutely none)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (simple)
Likability -1 (even tough 8man was good everyone else as terrible)
Art and Animation 5/10
Artstyle 0 (generic and boring)
Quality 0 (not impressive)
Background 0 (boring backgrounds)
Character Designs 0 (bad executed and bland looking)
Visual Effects 0 (simple)
Voice Acting 0 (normal)
Opening and Ending -1 (terrible)
Soundtrack -1 (unengaging)
Sound Effects 0 (normal)
Art and Animation -1 (bad)
Sound -1 (bad as well)
Story and Content -1 (boring)
Characters -1 (annoying)
Value -1 (an anime without any significance)
Yahari does nothing new or good in the romcom genre. it’s yet another school anime with an antisocial main character forced to interact with a bunch of girls. The events were mundane, the side characters annoying, art and sound below average. Truly a show not worth of any ones time.
If you want to watch an enjoyable RomCom try Tonari no Kaibutsu-kun made by the same studio last year. It’s not really great or anything, but by far better than Yahari.
Or why not try out really good ones like ToraDora or Sakurasou no Pet na Kanojou by JC Staff. Even Kyoto Animations Hyouka has more to offer and a similar cool main character.
~3/10 (Very Bad)
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Jun 29, 2013
Dansai Bunri no Crime Edge by Studio Gokumi was springs 2013 attempt to create a horror-gothic action show with brutal murderers fighting over the death of the Hair Queen.
What sounds like a promising show turns to be a rather sad effort in making it as good as it sounds.
While I appreciate the goth-atmosphere the show had, it had some serious issues.
Dansai Bunri revolves around the middleschooler Kiri Haimura, who comes into contact with the so called Hair Queen, Iwai Mushanokouji. Kiri has magical scissors which allow him to cut the Hair Queens very long non-cutable hair. Through this they become a semi couple and Kiri ... has to protect her against her enemies, other people with so called Killing Goods, just like Kiris magical scissors.
Problem though is, that this game of hunters trying to kill the Hair Queen is presented in a very strange way, as Dansai Bunri switches from dark to light in a blink of an eye.
The characters do silly moe reactions, the overall tone is inconsistent and borderline retarded at times.
If this was some silly school anime with cute girls doing cute things it would have been okay.
But the themes in Dansai Bunri try to be more serious and on the darker side, so it utterly fails to create any sort of atmosphere.
The pacing is pretty bad, switching from very slow to very fast, but overall felt rushed by the end. The makers come along as amateurs who have no idea how to properly tell a story, stretching some scenes into infinite while rushing everything else as if they were in a hurry.
Not only that but they also have a hard time giving the themes and world enough time to sink properly in. Not that it would matter if we knew more about the lore behind it since the show throws it all out at any point in time they squeeze in slapstick and moe jokes...
Because of that the overall plot feels very weak and nonsensical. And not only that it also ends in a preview for a second season...
Good though were some of the darker elements of the show, it had plenty of blood and A LOT of sexual tension.
It was my personal guilty pleasure of the show, since it was pretty bold and would fit in into a gothic like show like Dansai Bunri tries to be. But as mentioned it couldn't really deliver in that department.
Kiri is our protagonist, a middleschooler with magic scissors and a Hairfetish (how convenient).
There isn't much to say about him, we don’t really know much about his life or ideals, other than his past has something to do with the most brutal murderer of all history and he is love with the main heroine Iwai. His character is very childish and naive and I cannot say he is a good protagonist.
Iwai is the so called Hairqueen and besides being nice to people who try to kill her, she is also in love with Kiri. She is weak and never does anything throughout the show but being saved by Kiri.
There are also a bunch of different characters but I don’t really find it necessary to mention any of them, as they are all quite dull and only have their gimmicks that define their characters. Most of them don’t even show up more than 1 or a few times.
The entire cast feels very childish and panders to a younger audience, or mental children, since the themes of the show are not suited for kids.
It’s such a strange dichotomy. The show has all this sexual tension, gore and darkness going on, but is presented in such a moe, slice of life way. The cast is retarded and they all act so cartoony it’s really weird.
Art and Animation
The art in Dansai Bunri is nothing to be in awe. Everything looks very generic and bland, no great talents worked on this and Studio Gokumi isn't really known for their high profile stuff.
The animation quality isn't bad but also not great. It has some good action scenes here and there but mostly wastes its screen time on fanservice and silly chibi faces.
The backgrounds are all totally uninteresting and just blur in with the rest, no effort was made to create an immersive world with great gothic art that fits its themes.
The worst though must be the character designs. They all look really cheap. Their faces totally deformed and some of the look just atrocious.
Why does Kiri have such a bad haircut if he is into cutting hair?
I credit them for giving Iwai a different hairstyle every other episode, but that’s it. The character designs are really bad and childish looking. At least they are sometimes moe.
Besides the bad character designs, the censoring (in the TV version) is also terrible. Bloody scenes were in black and white, and the fanservice we got had “magical white light” shining over it so we don’t see what’s going on... sad sad sad. But I will check out the BD version to see if at least that one has no censorship.
At least the sound department doesn't suck.
We get okay voice actors nothing great to mention here.
But the opening is one of my favorites of the season, it’s not great or anything but pretty catchy. The ending was also quite okay, but not as good as the opening
The rest of the soundtrack was neither bad nor good, it was quite solid but not really outstanding or worth listening to.
Though Dansai Bunri was a pretty bad show with a lot of problems I still could enjoy it here and there.
At one point I almost dropped it but the Loli Arc got me into it again.
The best was probably the fanservice and sexual tension it had to offer. Some really weird fetishes were going on here and the scenes were sometimes pretty intense. Too bad it was censored.
It was also quite reckless with killing people or at least injuring them really badly. For such a childish show it was pretty grim, I enjoyed that as well.
Premise and Setting 0 (silly premise with bad execution)
Pacing -1 (rushed)
Complexity 0 (so simple and unexplored)
Plausibility -1 (plotholes and overall coherent issues)
Conclusion -1 (No real ending just a preview for season 2)
Personality -1 (weak)
Behavior and Chemistry 0 (silly but sometimes enjoyable)
Development and Progression 0 (very undetectable, but not entirely absent)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (also weak but there)
Likability 0 (no one stood out)
Art and Animation 3/10
Artstyle 0 (generic)
Quality 0 (okay)
Background -1 (so boring)
Character Designs -1 (really bad)
Visual Effects 0 (okay but censorship was annoying!)
Voice Acting 0 (standard)
Opening and Ending 0 (solid opening and ending song)
Soundtrack 0 ( not great but listenable)
Sound Effects 0 (average)
Art and Animation -1 (too cheap to enjoy)
Sound 0 (too average to enjoy)
Story and Content 0 (mess but fanservice kept me going)
Characters 0 (so-so)
Value 0 (forgettable)
Wasted ideas and themes is all that Dansai Bunri is. If you are looking for a good action show, turn away. If you want some weird fanservice you might get something out of this. But overall it was a pretty bad show.
+ Bold sexual scenes
+ sometimes bad ass violence and action
- weak story presentation
- amateurish production values
- bland characters
- no real ending
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Jun 25, 2013
Fractale seems to be a show that is not liked or praised that much. Yet I had a great time with it, though see its problems.
To start of though I like to say that it is A1 Pictures better works, and I’m glad it doesn’t revolve around highschoolers.
The problem though is that it is not sure what tone the show aimed at and I guess it put many people off. As it incorporates both cutsey and shock value.
If I had to compare it to something, I’d say Ghibli meets(sometimes) dark.
Fractale sets in the distant future as a system called “Fractale” governs humans life. It’s ... based on satalites creating a virtual reality within reality itself through holograms and an avatar based “real internet”.
People are free to do what they like, and don’t even need to be together with others thanks to the avatarsystem called “doppel” which functions as their virtual reality copy to interact with people.
The fractale system itself functions also as a religion as people have to pray to the satellites for them to read their data.
To be honest though, I have a hard time explaining all the concepts thrown around in the show, as it was from time to time pretty confusing.
They also didn’t really explain the things behind the fractale system itself (which I liked since these explanations tend to be stupid anyways).
In the end think of the fractale system like spacemagic virtual reality and the church.
The setting is very good and interesting though, but the story itself starts of rather generic, as Clain (The main Character) meets mysterious girl Phryne (the other main character) and throws his ordinary life upside down.
She is chased by a bunch of comic villains in a small airship, as clain saves her from the villains and she gives him a brooch which contains another girl, called Nessa.
Anyways, Phryne runs away, Clain now has to keep an eye on Nessa the touchable, energetic, childminded Doppel (voiced by Hana Kanazawa).
It all boils down to the fractale system failing and Clain, Nessa and Phryne as well as the anti-fractale people Lost Millenium fight for the future of humankind.
As you can see the story itself is rather complex. You have different fractions, many secrets and it also goes all over the place.
What stands out though is how it all starts as a very harmless cutely story with Nessa being this cute moe token-loli. and by the end of episode 3 suddenly turns dead serious.
I don’t spoil what happens but it is really a slap into the face.
This happens throughout the show. They build up this cheery atomsphere, with a lot of ecchi jokes, slapstick and so on. Only to tear it all down with some serious plot twist or event.
Many people might don’t like this fact, but I enjoyed it. If you are like me and enjoy both the cute and the serious it offers you good enjoyment.
The cast is quite big for Fractale but the most important characters are:
Clain the main character, who has a fable for “old fashioned” technology. He often is accused by the others to be a pervert, yet he is a totally harmless boy, with very righteous and honest feelings to the world and people around him.
He may be not the best main character in the world, but he was definitely a likable one.
Phryne is the main female of the show with a tomboyish attitude. Her past is rather dark and she becomes extremely important later on.
She is part of the fractale “church” and run away from them, sticks together with Clain but often wanders off alone. She is a strong female and not like your typical anime stereotype, which made her pretty likable.
Nessa which is the moe Doppel which sticks to Clain like glue. If you watched deadmans wonderland, you will see that she is 99% like shiro. Also voiced by Kana Hanazawa.
As Phryne, she has some dark history regarding her origine and purpose.
You’ll either love her from her quirky genki character or hate her for it.
I personally loved her.
Enri and her henchmen, are only there for the jokes, she is a tsundere and her henchmen are just there to make you laugh.
Sunda is Enris big brother and the leader of one of the Lost Millenium group. He is not give much attention to his character, and acts more like a plot device.
Overall the cast is quite original and likable, I had a hard time hating on anyone who wasn’t a villain. They sure are too cheery though if you think about the dark themes and twists the shows has here and there.
A1 Pictures has usually a good budget and animates well. They are pretty good in creating cutesy character designs and use nice soft color pallets for some of their shows.
Sadly though Fractale doesn’t stand out in terms of production values.
The only mentionable thing though are the backgrounds, as they are based on western Ireland landscapes (which is also reflected in the soundtrack). As I was in galway Ireland, this was pretty nostalgic to see and I enjoyed it greatly.
At some point you also see some really crazy skyline, which was really amazing to look at.
The character designs are for some reasons different looking than the original artworks, by Hidari who also did the ones for Sasami-san .
The use of cgi and other 3d effects was done pretty well, and overall the fantstic fractale system was represented in a nice way.
Though not outstanding, both the opening and ending songs were pretty good. The opening as a scifi fitting electronic song, and the ending as an irish folk song.
The rest of the score was fitting yet not extremely amazing.
The voiceacting besides from Kana Hanazawas general talent was the first time I had a problem with it.
Actually only with Phrynes voice actress, as she had some lisp going on.
I don’t know if it was intentional or if she actually had a lisp, but it annoyed me.
I enjoyed the show a lot, despite its short commings. The nice concept and setting, the quirky characters, the overall feel good atmosphere sometimes sprinkled with unexpected turn of events was quite the good experience.
While I don’t think the show stands out much compared to others, and it could have used its themes better, it was a good ride and I’m a bit sad it is over, since the world and characters had me gripped.
Premise and Setting +1 ( Interesting sci fi approach, idyllic setting)
Pacing 0 (went all over the place but was okay)
Complexity -1 (Too many things going on)
Plausibility 0 (Since nothing was every touched too deeply, everything worked out okay)
Conclusion 0 (solid ending)
Personality +1 (Quirky Characters)
Behavior -1 (quite stupid or unbelievable)
Development 0 (it was told but not so much shown)
Backdrop/Motivation 0 (simplistic to almost none)
Likability +1 (Very likable cast)
Art and Animation 6/10
Artstyle 0 (Nothing special)
Quality 0 (fair)
Background +1 (Good looking)
Character Designs 0 (generic)
Visual Effects 0 (good use but nothing outstanding)
Voice Acting -1 (fair but phryne ruins it)
Opening and Ending +1 (both are quite good)
Soundtrack 0 (standard, but quite enjoyable)
Sound Effects 0 (nothing to say here)
Art and Animation 0 (nothing breathtaking)
Sound 0 (solid but nothing special)
Story and Content +1 (good setting, and enjoyable to the end)
Characters +1 (very likable cute characters)
Value 0 (nothing to be remembered highly
Fractle couldn’t manage to be something more than it was. With all it’s good ideas it kinda focused to much on being enjoyable but not satisfying.
+ Cute Character/interactions
+ Nice setting and premise
+ twists you wouldn’t expect
- cute characters (yes it’s a blessing and a curse)
- wasted potential on great ideas
- twists you wouldn’t expect (same with characters, you might hate it about the show)
I do recommend checking out Shinsekai Yori, which is also a scifi/fantasy by A1 Pictures.
It basically is what Fractale could have been, if it would have removed it’s cutesiness and focused on the ideas more than on the characters.
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Jun 4, 2013
After many years passed when I watched 5cm per seconds, which burned itself into my memory, as not only a beautiful dramatic romance, but also as one of the best looking anime, I was so looking forward to The Garden of Words.
Not knowing what to expect but beautiful imagery I tried to absorb as much as I can in one sitting.
Takao is a 15 year old highschool boy who wants to become a shoe designer. Skipping school on rainy mornings he came into contact with a young woman in a nearby park.
There he spends time with her having various conversations and drawing and sketching shoe-designs.
On ... the other side we have the life of the young woman, who's name is not told right from the start but later revealed.
We know she suffered some sort of injury which makes her impossible to work, so she spends her days at a park bench with Takao.
It soon becomes clear that a romantic relationship unfolds thought is never spelled out. The age difference is just too big.
From here on we see how Takao starts to open up to the nameless lady and makes her indirectly part of his life until later her identity is revealed.
I don't want to spoil anything, it's only 45min so you can just watch it.
All I can say is, it is again a very touching romance, with some drama and a realistic but idealized portrayal of real life.
Makoto Shinkai is very talented in telling us short but emotionally gripping dramas and love stories.
They are not very heavy but very cute, though the drama is haunting and makes you think about it ever afterwards (at least that's how it was in 5cm per second).
The Garden of Words was different in that regard giving you a good closure that doesn't break your heart and leaving only good feelings.
The story mainly focuses on Takao and Yukari Yukino ( no spoiler her name is in the character description).
Various side characters are introduced but have no greater impact on the show and don't feel they miss.
While the show is a romance and things are portrait more idealistic as they are in real life, the characters were extremely realistic and had real personalities.
Takao is interesting as he has a true talent and hobby he works hard for, and Yukari real fears and problems.
Their relationship is shown very faintly yet is enough to get the idea.
We don't see such real characters often in anime, mostly they turn to either some sort of cliche or rule of cool. I liked how well they were handled and how relatable they were. Even for such a short story I felt heavily engaged into the events.
Art and Animation
I'm not sure if I should say anything here because... if you seen the pictures or trailers you know what it looks like.
I don't lie if I say this is the absolute best looking anime I've ever seen.
Yes there are anime that have better animation, but when it comes to pure looks, this is better than reality.
The colors are so engaging, the light effects immersive, the small details so breath taking.
And what little simple movements there are are well animated, and everything seems to be hand drawn, no cgi.
I really don't wanna add anything here anymore it's a clear masterpiece when it comes to its looks.
The movie is very quite. Mostly we hear the ambient rain which is an important factor for the story.
But if there is music it is very minimalistic piano pieces which work perfectly well with the setting and pacing. It's as if the key are the drips and drops of the rain itself.
The ending theme, though listenable, didn't catch me so well.
I wouldn't say the sound aspect is the worst because that implies it is bad, and it isn't.
The Voiceacting is done by Kana Hanazawa, and Miyu Irino. Two very pleasent voices. Not my absolute favorites in the industry but 2 of the best you can get.
The movie was throughout enjoyable, alone the backgrounds and light effects made the show so breathtaking that it was hard to make anything that wasn't enjoyable out of it.
And it totally hit into my heart, because I am an avid lover of romance, it might just be my favorite type of story you can tell in a movie or show.
Premise and Setting +0 (Nothing we have never seen before, a lovestory)
Pacing +0 (It could have been a bit longer to flesh out character relations)
Complexity +1 (simplistic perfection)
Plausibility 0 (A bit of a stretch with the romance, but it's so simple you can't do anything wrong)
Conclusion +1 (it ends satisfying)
Personality +1 (real people)
Behavior and Chemistry +0 (It would have been nice to see more interactions)
Development and Progression 0 (There wasn't enough to develop anything)
Motivation and Backdrop +1 (Everyone had real hopes and dreams)
Likability +1 (Even with the little exposition they got, they grew on me fast)
Art and Animation 10/10
There is nothing to argue about.
Voice Acting +1 (two talented voices)
Theme Songs 0 (not my thing)
Soundtrack +1 (I love minimalistic piano songs)
Sound Effects 0 (nothing too spectacular)
Art +1 (best looking thing ever)
Sound +1 (enjoyable pianos)
Story +1 (touching minimalism)
Characters +1 (true people)
Value +1 (will remember just like 5cm per seconds)
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Jun 4, 2013
Suisei no Gargantia is the latest work of the (in)famous Gen Urobuchi, who did Psycho Pass last season (IG) and the more known, Fate/Zero and Madoka Magica.
While I did enjoy the latter, Psycho Pass was pretty bad and so had no high expectations of another sci fi with Gen Urobuchi and IG behind it.
The show is still airing and I will edit some parts later on, but my overall impressions of the show are set and will only tweaked slightly after the end which will come soon.
Suisei no Gargantia (Gargantia) sets in the distant future, humanity has escaped Earth and fights squid like Aliens called ... Hideauze in space with spaceships and Mechas.
One of those mecha pilots is Ledo, the protagonist.
After a fight with hideauze he gets suck into a wormhole and ends up on earth which has changed dramatically and now is a water planet.
With his high tech Mecha Chamber he stays at a (for him) primitive ship called Gargantia, learns the culture and language of the people who stayed on earth.
The plot moves very slowly, shows you the way people live on earth and deal with everyday tasks. Ledo is "forced" into learning the habits of Gargantia and forgetting about his soldier life.
There are various themes addressed in the show, like what is the value of a human life that is not productive for society (eugenics), co existing with the environment and other human beings, the freedom to do what you want and not what you are ordered to.
It all sounds nice on paper but Gargantia lacks pretty in that regard. The waste time on fanservice, boring side events and after a while you don't really know what the show is even about.
Is it some sort of anti-war piece?
Thankfully the plot advances after it is shown that there are Hideauze on earth and Ledo finds his duty to kill them.
This leads to some drama, because the Gargantians think of the Hideauze as somewhat holy and don't want to kill them.
And here I need to make a clear cut. Up onto this point the show wasn't bad, just boring, but episode 9 turned over the entire show.
I don't wanna spoil it yet I feel compelled to do so, since it was outright ridiculous what happened.
All I can say is that it suddenly becomes inconsistent, cliche and stupid at the same time.
It's typical Gen Urobuchi shock factor and emotion manipulation which turns the Story into a complete mess that is just laughable.
I have no idea what to expect of the ending, but it's really hard to get your head out of that rope.
As usual for IG shows and Urobuchi, the characters are the worst part of the show.
They are lifeless and have weak personalities, feel unnatural and more like plot devices than real people.
They behave childish and immature and have no sense of consistency. Especially Ledo as it is shown in episode 9, as he does a 180° and behaves totally out of character.
The characters are also as usual unlikable and you cannot relate to them, people die... you don't care.
Sad things happen... you don't care.
I do blame Urobuchi for this, since the other IG show Attack on Titan (even though a shounen) has much more relatable characters, even if they reek of cliche and simpleness.
Art and Animation
We get our typical high standards for animation and art that IG delivers. Not outstanding but very solid.
The action scenes are great, the colors are vibrant and the backgrounds lush.
The only problem I had were the female character designs.
All look a bit slutty and their faces put me off. I know they hired a guy who normally draws hentai characters, so no wonder there. But to me they look like slutty K-On! characters.
The males on the other hand are pretty good looking though.
The CGI Mecha and special effects don't bother me and are actually quite good especially in the first episode very nice special effects with many different neon colors. Spacy.
The score for Gargantia is surprisingly weak. The opening and endings are bad (if not horrible) and the background music forgettable.
The voice actors doing an average job, though I give credit for the fantasy language Ledo uses. It's awkward but creative.
The sound effects have a good impact and are high quality.
Enjoyment and Value
For some reason the show gets hyped again, mostly because Gen Urubuchi is working on it. But if you ask me the shows is even worse than Psycho Pass and that show was pretty bad already.
I mostly forced myself to watch it up until episode 9 which was actually good for the first half until it became laughable to the end and I literally burst out in laughing at times out of sheer ridiculousness.
It did add to the enjoyment but in a bad way. I cannot take the show serious and I can never take Urobuchi serious again. This show as the nail in the coffin and will close the chapter of Urobuchsi work for me.
Art and Animation 8/10
Artstyle +1 (looks pretty nice, lush colors and realistic looks, gives you a nadia of the blue water feeling)
Quality +1 ( Good IG animation)
Background +1 (beautiful water scenes, nice textures on the ships)
Character Designs -1 ( the female character designs ruin it for me)
Visual Effects +1 (decent use of cgi, nice special effects for lasers and so on)
Voice Acting 0 (your standard modern voice acting)
Opening and Ending -1 (terrible terrible terrible)
Soundtrack 0 (not mentionable but also not bad)
Sound Effects +1 (good use of effects)
Story or Content 3/10
Premise and Setting +1 (as usually good premise for Urobuchi shows)
Pacing -1 (fillers, silly slice of life, boring funeral episode)
Complexity 0 (simple stuff that just tries to be more complex than it is)
Plausibility -1 (none, it’s space magic and misunderstood science when ep9 happens)
Conclusion 0 (will most likely be not good based on where the story stands now)
Personality -1 (walking, talking plot devices)
Behavior and Chemistry -1 (unrealistic and out of character, forced drama)
Development and Progression 0 (simplistic)
Motivation and Backdrop 0 (almost none)
Likability -1 (no one was likable)
Value & Enjoyment 1,5/10 rounded down to 1/10
Sentimental -0,5 (will forget about this as soon as I can)
Historical 0 (not as big as an impact as his other work, will be forgotten)
Art and Animation +0 nothing spectacular
Sound -1 boring soundtrack and terrible OP
Story and Content -1 stupid makes me cringe
Characters -1 boring again, no relation to them
Overall score 3,8 ~ 4/10 (bad)
Suisei no Gargantia will have some fans who think it is smart. I thought it was not only stupid but also weak in its exposition.
It was boring to watch and had nothing to offer.
Its messages are not clear and even if they were I do not agree with them.
It's Urobuchi attempting to do the same trick he did so many times before and fails harder every time.
Stop making sci fi shows if you can't explain anything, it will only end up creating plot holes.
Focus on fantasy like Fate/Zero and Madoka, at least there you can explain everything with magic and focus on the character drama or action.
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