Sep 25, 2009
Umi Monogatari is an interesting anime, at times it seems like a harmless "slice of life" show, with vibrant characters and pretty nice visuals. Although once the story actually starts to show its true colours, you realize the show is not as light hearted as it seems and in 12 episodes, it feels as if the same themes get used over and over and over again.
The plot is very simple, along time ago a dark entity / witch (whos name is Sedna) was sealed in the sea as well as on land, One of the characters accidently releases the seal and the 2 main characters are forced to combat it using their "shrine maiden" powers. One problem with the plot is the themes it uses, without spoiling too much one specific character will probably annoy you to no end, and this does last until the end of the series. i felt as if the show ran out of ideas and it gets really repetitive seeing the same basic things happen..The main theme is the concept of Light vs darkness and because of it there is alot of angst and crying in this show, and in all honesty it can get pretty depressing at times, which is odd considering how light hearted the series seems to be at first. one major theme they constantly use as well to represent the the "light" is the idea of "love" but the problem is, when one problem seems to be solved and we see the characters somewhat content, almost immideatly another problem will surface, this really irritated me because the viewers dont get the time to realize what the "answer" was. There actually are a few heart warming moments in this anime but that hardly makes the plot any less boring. my last point is the plot is very obvious so dont expect a shocking plot twist or anything.
The art was fine, I didn't notice any irregularities, the animation was vibrant, colors were used well. Nothing really stood out but the anime definitely looks quite nice. my only complaint is the show looks better with its vibrant colors then when its really dark / red, and unfortunately alot of the last episodes dont have many bright colors
The music in this show was interesting, VERY relaxed, nothing upbeat and you could probably fall asleep pretty easily to it. Even during the short fight scenes the music was still very low toned, there is a certain violin track which plays alot you will probably get tired of. Other then that the music in my opinion is anti-climatic, it does not exactly capture the emotions being shown, but thats just my opinion, im sure alot of other people like the light hearted music. I however did enjoy the insert song, the opening and the ending were also done well but i admit to skipping them both after one listen
Urin: will inevitably annoy you , i will be shocked if someone actually liked this character as she is ridiculously frustrating to watch. Although you can somewhat sympathize with her i just thought she was annoying throughout the entirety of the show. I absolutely despised her
Marin: one of the 2 shrine maidens, the one who lives in the sea basically. Pretty light hearted, shes rather hard to dislike but she has her moments where you feel like giving her a "reality check" shes a pretty believable character actually. my only complaint is how oblivious she is in the beginning and how near the end she goes into a depressive cycle.
Kanon: she gets the most character development, if there was a character i preffered it would probably be hers since shes believable,. She basically goes from always wanting to be in isolation to the complete opposite, but the reasoning behind it is nonsensical, she apparently has a dark aura and is "evil" and thats why people stay away from her.. forgiving that ridiculous character trait, her friendship with Marin is actually done well, so i enjoyed her as a character.
Others: there are a few other characters in this series, there is Kanon's love interest who she thought dumped her but in reality she misunderstood (not too smart..) Theres Kanon's "friend" who we see like 4 times? Shes pretty pointless and doesent add much to the story. We have Kanon's rival in love who has a small arc that is actually decent to watch.. I still say the turtle is the best character in this series.
It's difficult to say rather i really enjoyed this series or not. In all honesty i really liked the beginning of the series, when they focused on the characters and their development but it was still light hearted, you knew the plot had a somewhat darker tone but it was still nice and colorful. I accepted this anime is not a "slice of life" series but a series with a little bit of everything. It has plenty of drama, some comedy in it, short spurts of action, character development, special powers. etc. unfortunately, alot of the episodes are really boring, chances are if you dont care about the characters you wont enjoy the final few episodes, personally i felt episodes 8-12 really dull and boring and i just wanted to get it over with. The anime is also extremely slow paced, takes a while for them to get over all the issues.
7/10, although i was contemplating a 6 this anime was decent. Its actually not a show i would reccomend but that does not make it unwatchable. Everyone has their own different opinions and im sure there is someone out there who loved this show. I felt as if it wasted potential. when the show turned from slice of life to serious i really didnt like the change so it effected my viewing, would i watch this series again? No definitely not, i was irritated at the characters (one in particular) and the plot was so, so. however the turtle is pretty much awesome so he contributes to the 7 :P
Since this review is purely opinionated, feel free to agree or disagree with it. If there were any spoilers it was not intentional and i apologize.
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