Story 6/10 - Hmm... it's an interesting take on what has been used many times.
Art 8/10 - Nice and a fine art style, definitely a redeeming feature. However, certain faces often look like clones of each other, so negative for that.
Character 6/10 - Again, kinda interesting, but cliche all the way.
Enjoyment - Friend lent me first volume, next day bought all 5 volumes on a whim.
Overall 7/10 - Not a bad read, but it won't be stringing you along in anything special.
First of all, I'd have to say that the story is very and I mean very reminiscent of ''Alive'', another manga which has a
very similar plot device. Ironically both titles never managed to gain mainstream media attention even though they tried very hard. So if you have read ''Alive'', you will feel very much at home here.
Basic lay-it-down-to-me plot of both titles (possible spoilers)... The nation one day becomes infected with a strange disease, where everyone starts dying or killing each other on mass. Main character somehow overcomes the disease to some degree, lose the girl and goes on a journey to become stronger fighting off strange organizations.
Having said that, it's also very similar to Kiseijyuu and Tokyo Ghoul; probably another half a dozen other titles with similar plot lines...
Simply said, it's nothing new. Fortunately, the story is rather well paced. There's not too much going back and forth, making needlessly confusing turns, it's rather straight to the cut and simple. The story advances at a nice steady pace, which can also be a bad thing. As most manga titles tend to have their climax at the end of the chapters, this title keeps the climax in the center most of the time. Which may be a turn down for some people. Personally it was kinda refreshing.
Art. Hmmmhm. The art is very nice. Easy to read. Not much to complain. Except for one flaw. Male characters tend to be a bit more varied in terms of facial design, however female characters suffer from the ''same face'' syndrome, where it looks like the same person with a different wig. It's not really bothering too much, I just personally take more attention to the art, so occasionally I see 2 different characters and notice they look identical. But shouldn't be much of an issue for most people.
Character... Fair I guess. Nothing special. Pretty much like every other main hero. Lame and bland high school student with a obsessive trait. It's sorta like, you know who everyone is before they are properly introduced. Not a bad thing really, but as you know what to expect, the character development (where there is a pretty good one) becomes poof. It loses it's meaning.
Overall, I really enjoyed reading this *overlylongtitleIrefusetowrite*. The art can be eye candy sometimes and the story has it's interesting parts despite part of it being fairly obvious. Will I continue reading? Yes, but it's probably one of those titles I completely forget about along the way, only to start reading it again in a year or two. Just like how ''Alive'' managed to barely stay alive.
I think this is an (not underrated), but rather under appreciated. If you have some time to spare, take a look. Might be in for a good ride.
Oct 23, 2016
This is a review counting 21 Chapters.
Warning, minor profanity included.
I have read Aku no Hana and I remember being entranced by the story like it haunted me in a way. It had a captivating drive that I could not understand.
With Happiness, it's less, but that captivating essence is still there.
There is no central plot or story. There is no final goal, there is no happy ending. This is a story where different characters collide and shit goes to hell. There is no good or evil, there is no 'hero' and there is no 'villain'. There is no superhero.
Everyone just lives theirs lives as like anyone ... else would, but when shit starts blowing up, there is no return.
That is the charm, the essence of this story that captivates me. Most stories have a sense of security, where you know the characters will be okay. But here, no one is safe. It's dark and gruesome, there is no room for empathy, only fear. Past, present and future all destroyed in a blink of an eye, there is no more happiness.
That fear of complete destruction to the point of no return, with every action leading to a series of never ending consequences, knowing you will never be the same ever again. This is the type of mental and psychological fear that entrances you to read more and more.
This is no average shounen manga, the main character is no super hero, just an average everyday loser, a loser that continues to lose.
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Sep 18, 2016
[Story] 7 - Plot holes and cut sub-plots, excluded from the original script/manga.
[Art] 10 - Characters true to their manga designs, high quality animation.
[Sound] 7 - Creative use of sound/music. Nothing too special and memorable besides theme song.
[Character] 7 - Side characters had their story severely cut. Leaving some with empty character.
[Enjoyment] 10 - Tears, sadness, anger, happiness and laughs, the whole package.
[Overall] 8 - Definitely would watch again.
For those wondering how and where I watched this film, I watched in Japan. At Keisei Rosa10 in Chiba on September 17th.
Having read the manga 4 times over and crying every time, I went into the theater ... not expecting much tears as I have pretty much dried up my emotional experience with this manga.
However, much to my surprise, it has been a very, very long time since I have cried that much while watching a movie. Even comparing to a similar anime film Anthem of the Heart, which surprisingly lacked the ability to really give me a tearful moment. Not to say it wasn't a bad movie, but if you liked that one, you will certainly like this.
Be prepared for a emotional roller coaster as the movie plays with your ever so weakening heart as the movie progresses.
That being said, this is no perfect movie. The story falls short, very short in terms of character/plot progression outside of the two main characters. Perhaps it was because of the limit of having to cram the story into a 2 hour film that the writers had to cut corners.
However, story/character development of Shoya was spot on. The movie clearly delivered his character and it was very easy to sympathize and relate to the character. Same with Shoko, though the film did leave out some specifics, the repercussions of Shoko's existence could be felt where one may even agree with Ueno who despised her.
Unfortunately, the remaining characters were pretty much left out. And the overall story was ultimately incomplete because of this. With audiences who hasn't read the manga asking why some characters were even there. Character development with the side characters were very lacking and a lot of important details were stripped apart leaving a big hole in the story.
The only character who avoided this cut was Yuzuru who retained a lot of her details and character development.
This meant that people who haven't read the manga can be very confused by the end of the movie. As I had heard people talking about while leaving the theater.
Many details were left out, but the film retained a lot of the core elements from the manga in puzzle pieces, allowing those who read the manga to fill in the gaps to understand what it means. But that also meant those who haven't were left scratching their heads.
Besides the emotional road trip of your lifetime, Nagatsuka's moments in the film are very comedic and actually funny in a lot of ways. Often when the audience was laughing, it was usually when Nagatsuka was at his antics.
As for the art, no complaints here. Besides having some overally familiar Kyoani characters faces, Kyoto Animation has done a excellent job in representing the characters true to the manga. It's no Makoto Shinkai film, but the quality is nothing to scoff at. The high quality is retained throughout the entire film and no lazy production was visible.
Voice acting was top notch and sounded very familiar to daily Japanese life. Though overall sound was okay. The creative use of music in the film is a bonus. Besides that, not much to write home about.
The movie tried to stay true to the manga as best as it could and in the core elements in delivering the original message that the manga had, it succeeded. But unfortunately while following the path, they dropped a lot of it's side content.
The movie was able to deliver the core plot of the manga.
Overall, it was a very enjoyable film and I can't wait for the disc release.
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