After the complete fail ending they gave me in Doki, I was originally looking forward to Party. Maybe they'd fix it. Maybe they'd manage to bring back the scenes that were supposed to be there in the first place and actually try to follow the manga somewhat.
It did not occur to me that they would only make it a million times worse.
Even aside from the cosplay and Puuchi-Puuchi...which, in essence, succeeded in turning this once awesome anime into a show for preschoolers...the anime itself is the most disgraceful excuse for a Shugo Chara season I've ever seen. It is made up entirely of filler. It's as if the writers all said, "Alright, fans want more. How can we give them more and still do as little and crappy a job as possible?" "Hey, how about we bring in a totally new random character, bring back old story arcs from the original series and compress them into meaningless ten minute episodes, and make the entire season about something that has no impact on the storyline whatsoever? They'll never notice the difference!"
People have been complaining about Ikuto leaving. What they don't seem to get is that him leaving isn't the problem--it's how he left. And the main difference here is in how the manga did it, and how the anime did it.
Manga: Amusement park scene. Airport scene. Where Ikuto actually explains where he's going, Amu gets UPSET and runs off, catches up him later at the airport.
Anime: Ikuto: "I have a secret to confess." *kiss* "See ya!" *leaves*
Amu: "There he goes." oh well, too bad. *smile smile*
me: .....wtf was that.
And then he's just gone. And Amu is still standing there watching him leave. Nope, no problem here at all.
Does anyone else find something wrong with this?
Okay, fine. So I get over this shock, start looking forward to Party. Maybe they'll have him come back temporarily and bring the right scenes back.
Why on Earth would they do that? That would make sense!
Instead, they decide to bring in a PHONE CALL--for NO APPARENT REASON except to make fangirls happy. Which they did, very much so...with a line that has unfortunately been burned into my mind as one of the most horrifying things they could do to this character.
Ikuto: "I'll kiss you and hug you and everything else."
Could they have made him say something else more out of character? I dare anyone to try. The worst part of it is, fangirls are so happy to see him again for a whole two minutes that they're eating it right up. Never mind the fact that this line makes him seem like exactly the perverted pedophile that Party seems to want him to be. Which is just not true, and if anyone bothered to read the manga, they would know that too. What that line does is give Tadamu fans an excuse to CALL him a perverted pedophile. And now it's not even possible to argue with them, because Party's just given them the proof they needed. There's a reason why he never says anything like that in the manga.
Alright. I get over that, or I try to. Then I hear the very last episode is coming out, with Ikuto in it, and something about him taking Amu to the amusement park. Could Party finally, finally be redeeming themselves???
Yeah. Guess again.
Where should I start? The fact that Tadase makes his sudden appearance right in the middle? The fact that Ikuto STILL didn't confess to her in the anime at all, but poked her instead and repeated his "grow up faster" line (which, thanks to that phone call, people have now interpreted as a desire to do "stuff" to her...)? The fact that Amu didn't get upset to his leaving at all, AGAIN, and said some bullshit line about "I'm pretty much used to him disappearing by now"? The fact that TADASE kissed Amu instead? How about the fact that Party had Ikuto wearing a shirt that said "FREE HUGS" ON IT!?!?
I wish I could give a visual image of what they're doing to his character right now. Does ripping a piece of paper up into miniature pieces help? How about burning them? Maybe pouring water into the sink and watching it go straight down the drain...
Actually, that's a pretty good metaphor for Shugo Chara in general. Party has now officially killed it.
And poor Hikaru...they killed HIS character before the manga even got a strong hold on it. Maybe the writers missed the crucial part of the last story arc, but Hikaru has gotten his heart's egg BACK. His emotions are all BACK now. He's trying to understand them better, not acting like an unfeeling robot. He might be a little more reserved than most other kids, which is understandable, but Party takes this to the extreme.
The graphics and music are the only thing which keeps me from giving this anime an overall 2 rating instead of a 1. And even those aren't that great. It's nothing next to the original series. But they're not completely abominable, and I've seen/heard worse before. So I'll give Party credit for that.
Basically, what Party did was take the manga, original season, all the character development, put them in a big pile, and stomp on them. I have no idea what the writers were thinking, and I truly wish that Party had never existed. I can't even recommend just watching Doki and stopping there, because the end of Doki is such a fail that it gives watchers the wrong impression. The only thing that saves Shugo Chara at this point is the manga. Party seems to have been made only for commercialism and giving fangirls what they want, and if that means flinging all character and personality down the drain, they won't hesitate to do so. Which is pretty much what they did.