The main female protagonist and one of the best characters in this anime.
The ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition ends today with the longest anime series in list, titled Gosick. A detective anime title that takes place somewhere in Europe after World War One, is the hype that surrounds this anime really deserved. Will it be able to stop Highschool of the Dead OVA from winning the audition?
Well, the answer to the latter question is a ‘no’, for various reasons. Read on to know more about those reasons…
The main male protagonist was sent to a certain fictional European country as an exchange student in a prestigious school. Avoided by his classmates because of his perfectly normal black hair and eyes, he inadvertently meets with a snobbish little girl with blonde hair whose pout-per-minute rate makes Cristiano Ronaldo looks good. Suddenly, out of nowhere, another blond-haired man appears and the main male protagonist was dragged into solving crimes, mostly homicides, that happened around the country.
This anime has the same general structure as Tantei Gakuen Q does, where the main protagonist solve mysteries (mostly homicides of course) while the prevailing plot slowly developed in the background before coming up to the fore later. One advantage this anime has over Tantei Gakuen Q is that the prevailing plot of the former actually finished while you have to read the manga to finish off the latter.
Storywise, this anime starts off with the wrong foot. The very first case in this anime is about the murder of a fortune teller, and when the inspector described the crime scene scenario, I correctly guessed the identity of the person who kills the fortune teller before the main female protagonist does. It is not that I am smarter than the main female protagonist is, but I managed to guess correctly because I recognize the scene right away as a variation of a certain murder case in Kindaichi Shounen no Jikembo manga (written by the same person who also does Tantei Gakuen Q). That particular case left me with a rather bad first impression for this anime.
But the main female protagonist recovers after that with some decent performances in cases that comes after the fortune teller case, aided in only small parts by the main male protagonist and also the inspector in equal measures. Suddenly, the good work built up after the first case crumbles again right at the end of the Gray Wolf village arc, where character developments for the two main protagonists were advanced in a method that shouldn’t be used.
Not only the bridge collapsed in this scene, but so are the suspension of disbelief.
See the image above? This anime has done what the other 10 titles in the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition has failed to do, and that would be the destruction of suspension of disbelief. Infinite Stratos maybe is a bad anime title, but even it doesn’t do what this anime does as depicted in the screenshot above. How on earth a small girl, whose body mass and weight are lesser than the main male protagonist, support the weight of the main male protagonist? With only one hand to boot? This scene may be very important in character developments, but I think it should have been written differently. The inspector is there too, and so is the other escaped Gray Wolf guy. For example, one of the guys could have been the one who saved the main male protagonist, while the main female protagonist cried her heart out beside the savior. That hypothetical scene would have been more cheesier, but at least that would have been more believable.
After that scene, this anime doesn’t repeat any of those major mistakes again until the end. Of course, in episode 18, the poisoning case resembles another one of the cases in Kindaichi Shounen no Jikembo, but at least the perpetrator isn’t outed before the main female protagonist does the accusing herself. The main female protagonist really shined in the case of the beheaded queen, which is definitely the best case of the show, and is also where the prevailing plot has truly comes to the fore. Unlike the beginning of the series, the ending is superb, definitely the best ending within all the anime titles reviewed in this ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition. If Japan is smart, they will not do a second season. Suppress the urge to milk this anime for more money, and let this anime ends on a high.
Still, if you ask me, Tantei Gakuen Q arguably has better and more difficult homicide cases, and a better prevailing plot too. This have to do with the fact that the main antagonist in this anime is nowhere as cunning, crueler or menacing as his counterpart is in Tantei Gakuen Q. This anime doesn’t have one single ‘closed room’ case though, which is a very good thing considering the setting, although as usual, most of the cases are homicides.
The presentation in this anime is really good; the pacing is spot-on and the prevailing plot flows to the surface perfectly. Character developments is another thing this anime does very well. The two main protagonists are also the best characters in this anime, and they has transformed a lot throughout the course of the series. That inspector, the bumbling teacher and the other transfer student also has done fairly well in this regard.
The main female protagonist’s sidekick.
Character design in this anime is decent but not spectacular. Understandably, there are no black hairs in this anime set up in Europe except for the main male protagonist.
Being a dialogue-heavy anime title in nature, unfortunately the voice acting in this series is mixed bag at best. The main female protagonist voice actress has done a good job, but not so for the main male protagonist’s. Same can be applied for the rest of the side characters as well.
The only good thing this anime has in this aspect is the first ED theme. The OST and the rest of the OP/ED themes are not really good.
Any hopes that this anime have of preventing Highschool of the Dead OVA from winning the audition evaporates once I seen the first few scenes that has the blurry animation technique applied. One point docked from the final evaluation, therefore it will not have any chance at all to get a perfect score.
Other than that, overall animation in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography for action scenes is just ordinary though. The director really has done a good job for the presentation aspect of the anime though, although it is very hard to overlook that certain cliffhanger (literally) scene.
7 out of 10. With this, Highschool of the Dead OVA becomes the first winner of this blog ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ title. Look at the sidebar on how the titles in the audition are ranked from top to bottom.