The main male protagonist with his talking pet that will fetch the keys if he was jailed in a dungeon somewhere.
Shounen Onmyouji is yet another random anime I’ve picked from my still-huge backlog, and this one happened to be a 2006 title. Chocotto Sister will be quaking in its boots because its position is the most untenable amongst the three ‘Anime of the Year’ title holders listed at the right sidebar of this anime review blog. But actually, Chocotto Sister doesn’t have to worry about this new challenger because this anime is not really that good anyway.
Our main male protagonist is the grandson of a famous onmyouji in ancient Japan, but he doesn’t inherit any of his grandfather’s talents or power. But because this anime falls into the action genre, he actually has those latent talents and extraordinary powers after all; they are just locked away by his worry-wart grandfather. All those talents and powers then were unlocked during a certain incident, and the anime went on as the protagonist revels in his new-found power; eliminating the evil forces that is about to harm the capital city alongside his furry sidekick and mandatorily getting his woman too (it has to be a noble princess too, you know, the one that is in distress while the hero swoops in to save the day). Now, where did I heard this storyline again?
The only sin this anime has story-wise is that the story is completely SO NOT ORIGINAL, therefore it was predictable most of the time. To be fair, the story itself did not suck and is mildly entertaining. This is not a comedy though, unlike what ANN’s synopsis in the link above would want you to believe. Another weakness of this anime is that some potentially good story arcs are not explored further; a good example would be the relationship between the protagonist and his woman, especially after she moves into his house. Now that would be a chance for some toilet humor (can validate ANN tags too) but the quickness of the director of relegating her into some tertiary character role with limited airtime is really astounding. The only thing that deviates from the genre this anime is in is the ending, which is quite good and not your normal happy ending where everything went well (nobody dies though).
When the story did not deliver, the presentation actually does. This anime has perfect pacing and the story develops very well bar some forgettable plot transition problems (happened usually between episodes). Character development in this anime is average with the exception of our protagonist (the best character by default because he has all the spotlights). Some characters are woefully underused, and a few others are introduced too late into the anime. For example, the protagonist’s grandpa has 12 summons (shikigami) but the number of them that are active throughout the series is low. Your have to look at the pathetic attempts by the director to introduce those who are not active yet in the last episode to see what I mean.
The character design in this anime is similar to what you can see in Nabari no Ou, which means that this anime is filled with plenty of pretty characters. The protagonist here is not a jailbait though. Interestingly, while this anime is set up in ancient Japan, the lack of black hairs is very noticeable, with brown being the new black. What an irony, considering that Nabari no Ou has plenty of black hairs and the setting is in modern Japan. The protagonist in this anime has black hair though, plus some of the very unimportant characters. Monster design are also done well, especially for that horse-less carriage.
Voice acting in this anime is simply average overall. Not bad or good, just average. There are no voice actors/actresses in here that has great voice acting gigs.
If voice acting in this anime is just average, the music in this anime is a total failure. Non-existent OST and forgettable OP/ED themes, that’s all this anime has musically.
The animation quality in this anime is good, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography in action scenes is not bad either, but not very spectacular. The directing in this anime is a weak point though, with numerous shortcomings listed already in the story section.
7 out of 10. Chocotto Sister still reigns as the best anime in 2006.
He has a cool ride too, like the one Enma Ai use.