The indecisive main male protagonist, dragging down this anime with his indecision.
The audition to select the first winner of ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ title continues with my review of Mayoi Neko Overrun!, an anime where cat-girls doesn’t exist. There are lots of real cats though, which are not relevant to the storyline in any way. The bar set by the first entry in the audition is not that high but can this second entry of the audition surpassed it?
Our main protagonist is a high-schooler who runs a middling cake shop while his foster sister, the true owner of the shop, is nowhere to be found. The business is bad, thanks to the uselessness of the part-timers that worked under him in the cake shop. His love interest doesn’t help matters either, as she shouts abuse at him 95% of the time (in addition of being equally inept as the protagonist’s subordinates). In the verge of bankruptcy, his sister reappeared alongside a mysterious girl who says
‘Ni’ ‘nyaa’ (that the main protagonist’s sister got by typing ‘!loli’ in #firstname.lastname@example.org).
This anime is similar, at least in form, to Gosyusho-sama Ninomiya-kun reviewed here a long time ago, but with a crappier story and no supernatural elements. This anime has three phases: first phase involves the main protagonist meeting the mysterious girl (the title protagonist) who has some emo issues that need to be solved. In the second phase, this anime pulled an Index where the title protagonist was relegated as a secondary character while the whole main regular cast are doing their things episodically (mostly lame things but the Saki rip-off in episode 8 is one of the best parts this anime has). In the final phase a.k.a. the ending, this anime pulled another Index where the title protagonist reappeared to take a major part in the finale. The problem is, the dual-purpose ending sucks donkey asses.
IMO, this anime is pointless. What is the reason this anime was written anyway? Is it to see a romantic relationship developing between the main male protagonist and his childhood friend? If so, at the end of this anime the arc ends up inconclusive (still-friends neutral relationship between them). Is it to focus on the title protagonist (like Naruto is, and what Index should have been)? If so, her lack of character development due to the second part of this anime ensures that this particular story arc doesn’t go anywhere, even with the ending that focused on her. Is it to showcase the harem relationship between the main male protagonist and the other three regular female characters? If so, the indecision of the main male protagonist in choosing which character he wants to sleep with ruins the arc. Is it all of the above? Well, three failures doesn’t make one success story isn’t it?
ANN has classified this anime as a harem romantic comedy. This anime failed in the first two keywords, but somewhat successful with the third one. The humor in this anime are good overall. Not up there with Jungle Wa Itsumo Hale Nochi Guu standard, but still good. This anime also make some references to other anime/manga, notably the aforementioned Saki in episode 8, and has the first ever One Piece parody I have ever seen.
The lethargic second phase of this anime messed with the pacing of the storyline (if you can guess which one it is), and also affects the overall character developments in this anime. Only two characters survived the damaging second phase, and that would be the main male protagonist and the rich girl. The latter is the best character in this anime mainly because she is a prominent figure in the second and final phase of the anime, therefore she has the highest rate of development here. The main male protagonist also has some decent (but lesser than the rich girl’s) character development, while the title protagonist only has a minuscule amount of them due to the final phase. The less said about the main female protagonist who are stagnant from the start until the end of this anime, the better.
Unlike Arakawa Under The Bridge, no second season has been announced for this anime yet. And I think things should be kept that way.
The best character in this anime, working hard to keep this anime up.
Character design in this anime is your bog standard shounen genre designs with big eyes. The female characters doesn’t have any black hairs that is supposed to be common in real-life Japan. The main protagonist has it though. He is probably the only real Japanese in this anime cast.
Voice in this anime is just average overall, but strangely for me I am drawn to the performance of the voice actress for the main female protagonist. Shouting your lines 95% of the time sure work some wonders.
This anime has a near total failure in this aspect. Only the parody OP theme in episode 7 is decent. Everything else, from the official OP/ED themes and the OST are forgettable.
This anime is yet another title that uses the blurry animation techniques I have already mentioned before, and with this blog entry, the third consecutive titles that has it. I’m making a new blog category for this awful phenomenon that seems to have become increasingly common nowadays in Japan’s anime industry. Does all 2010 anime titles (or maybe majority) uses this technique? Thinking back in time, the first half of Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood doesn’t use this technique either, only the second half (all aired in 2010) having it in spades. Unlike Fullmetal Alchemist and Arakawa Under The Bridge though, this anime doesn’t use the technique in normal scenes, only in fast-paced ones. Still, one point will be deducted from the final evaluation as I have done with the past titles that has it, and will do so too in the future.
The usage of the blurry animation technique is not the only problem this anime faced. One of the very first things I noticed when I started watching this anime is that the character animations are very jerky in fast-paced scenes. And unlike the blurry animation techniques, the jerky character animation problems also happened sometimes in normal scenes too. This is weird because general animations for non-character objects (such as cars or the helicopters etc.) are excellent even in fast–paced scenes. Integration between 2D animations (that is not character animations) and CGI animations is excellent too, definitely the best implementation I have seen to date.
Choreography is nonexistent in this anime, and that’s understandable. The directing could have been better, but they has done a better job than their counterpart in Ninomiya-kun.
This anime has far better rain effects than the amateurish pitiful job in Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood.
5 out of 10. Worse than the first candidate Arakawa Under The Bridge. I wonder whether the first ‘Anime of the Year 2010’ will win the title with a 10 out of 10 score. As an added insurance, I will add another 2010 title into the audition lineup, titled Durarara. That makes it ten 2010 anime titles that will compete for the title, with two of them already being reviewed. So what’s next? I’ll keep that a mystery!