I write this to you as a fellow anime fan; a comrade who you can trust... someone who only wants to save you from the fresh hell that is this anime. Leave now. And never look back. Usually a show has SOMETHING to offer, whether it be by way of characters, plot, fan service, or other devices. Shining Hearts' one forte is the ability to lull you into a deep sleep, one which you wish never to wake from.
Story - 2
What story? They bake bread, offer no foreshadowing, then fart out a deus ex machina ending and treat it as a special twist. It is a half-baked attempt to knead some plot into a stale series. All puns aside, the story is trying to be both a battle fantasy and a slice-of-life-harem. It focuses on one throughout 90% of the series and snatches away what could have been some modicum of a satisfying slice-of-life-harem conclusion and replaces it with the most terribly written battle sequence ever produced. If you're going to have the story focus on romance the entire time, BATTLES AND FURY does not a good ending make.
Art - 8
Character designs by Tony? Yes please. Decent production quality all around, but a sexy looking turd is still a turd.
Sound - 2
No memorable tracks, and by god the ending is scary to watch.
Characters - 2
Picture a blob; a peach colored gelatinous ball of goop. Now imagine this blob growing three heads; one blonde, and two brunettes. Congratulations! You've successfully imagined the three main heroines of this story! They are a perfect match for the main character because all four of them share one thing in common! Can you guess what it is? Thats right! They're all characters with no personality! Rick, in his infinite sadness, spends his days contemplating the meaning of bread while commanding his three mindless sheep to run the shop. And the sheep do exactly that. What, were you expecting character development? Or even characters to begin with? Shame on you.
On a scale from "Oh god my insides feel like they're being incinerated in a sea of napalm, kill me - KILL ME NOW" to "It was aight yo" I'd have to say its at about a "Oh god my insides feel like they're being incinerated in a sea of napalm, kill me - KILL ME NOW"
Overall - 3
By the powers vested in me as a fellow peer and anime watcher, I sentence the plot to be improved by a grade schooler. I sentence the character designs to be the source of many doujinshi. I sentence all copies of the OST to be delivered to Beethoven so he - and only he - can listen to them. I sentence the characters back to their childhoods in hopes that whatever stopped them from having a personality doesn't occur again. Finally, I sentence that the show and all it's merchandise be cursed by blackbeard and cast into the endless sea in hopes that none shall ever be taken by its evil clutches ever again.