Okay unpopular opinion--I actually think this is a really good show. I know a lot of people knock the Disgaea anime because it just doesn't do the game justice, but really, it's just...different, while keeping the most important things that made the game so likeable intact.
If you know the story of the game, then you know the story of the anime. Sort of. They switched a lot of the events around so it's a bit out of order, but the basic premise is the same. The most noticeable differences are introducing the Defender of Earth trio right off the bat, and moving the red moon scene back to later in the story.
For those of you who are uninitiated, Disgaea is the story of a young demon prince named Laharl fighting his way through all sorts of guys looking to sit on the throne so he can take his rightful place in the Netherworld as the Overlord. But he ends up with a lot more on his plate than he bargained for. The story is quirky, fun, and unexpectedly heartwarming, just like it was in the game, and I absolutely love the way it portrays the whole 'demons and angels' theme. I always like it when a series goes with 'not all demons are evil, not all angels are good' without getting preachy about it.
And let me tell you, the red moon scene was done SO well in this show. SO WELL. I have so many emotions about it.
The animation is crisp and clean, and, while it's not the best, its certainly not distracting and it's very cute. I think it captures the feel of the series very well.
The anime uses several tracks from the game and adds several new ones. One of the strong points of Disgaea as a video game was its music, and the same holds true for the anime adaptation. The game's music is still better done, but the anime soundtrack is solid enough that it's one of the few anime soundtracks I'd be willing to listen to even outside of the show itself.
The voice acting is all super hammy and over the top. Normally this would be a huge turn-off, but it works well for the tone of the series and adds to the experience. The sound quality is good and all the voices, overdone as they may be, do fit the characters well.
The characters all all delightfully over the top. While the character development is nowhere on par with the game's, resulting in the characters being a little more two dimensional, it doesn't detract from them much because they're all just so fun, interesting, and distinct.
Overall, this show is a fun and cute show that's never boring and definitely worth watching. It's got a story that's simple, but still deeper than it appears at first. It's a little on the short side, which is a shame, they probably could have done it more justice if they'd made more episodes and didnt have to cram so much in, but all in all they did a very good job in making an anime adaptation of Disgaea and I would rewatch it anytime in a heartbeat. Erm let me qualify that though. There are some VERY SIGNIFICANT factual deviations from the story and that may be off putting to some people. But the anime remained true to the heart and the feel of the series and I have always felt like that is more important than sticking to the facts. I've seen far too many representations that faithfully recreated all the events and things that happened in a story but left out the soul. Here, the soul is the same and I think that's a very important thing.
I really was offended that they changed the story so much from the game. There was no reason to. NONE. The game slowly develops characters, they change over time. Some characters are introduced late, and leave soon, but are still dear.
In the anime they introduce all the main characters in the first two epiosodes. WHY!? They did not need to be introduced so soon. They even left out one of the most impactful lines of the game. For no good reason. Instead they just added needless stupid filler.
I am disappoint.
If you watch enough anime and trailers for anime you get a feel for what the show will be like, both the theme and style of the anime. This is the one time I was fooled. Ok the trailer was funny it had its little cleaver moments, but when I watched the anime (dub version). I was disapointed. the trailer was better then the real thing. I liked the charactors and the anime overall could ahve been quite funny, but the jokes were flat compared to the tone the trailer set for things to come. I want to unwatch it and get the time back to spend watchign better anime.
I'm going to start this review by saying, "This anime could have been a lot better!" I'm not sure what happened while they were planning this really. The first trailer looked amazing and second one looked pretty good too. But when the first episode aired, nothing reflected the original video game OR the trailers that were released! Original Etna wakes up Laharl; who has been asleep in this coffin for two years. However in the anime, Flonne wakes up Laharl in a garbage dump! And this is where the story began to fall into tiny little pieces. Just minutes after Laharl wakes up, we are already introduced to the defenders of Earth, who end up becoming the Team Rocket of Disgaea. And Etna doesn't even appear until the end of the first episode! But what was really annoying, was the fact that Laharl had his 'joke' personality that he got from the Disgaea 2 video game! I was also diappointed by that they don't even show Laharl's castle! They do kind of show it, but not how you would think. Like, in episode one they show it... on fire! And they show it again in episode ten (yeah the don't get there until episode ten--the end of episode ten) but it's distroyed and charded. It does get revived but, it's just not the same feel, ya know? The vassals aren't there and it just feels... wrong. Also the ending was pretty bad. They chose to do the normal ending with a creative twist. (I found it annoying though, not creative.) First the Seraph turns Vulcanus into a frog, rather than a flower. Laharl also doesn't nessicarily fight the Seraph. Which if you saw the good ending, that was the test that the Seraph placed before Laharl; not to harm him and he shall revive Flonne as a fallen angel as her punishment. Instead, Laharl still scarifices himself (Daddy of the year didn't do much to stop him either. :/) and becomes a Prinny. Flonne comes back as a fallen angel, Etna takes over the palace, and Laharl returns to the palace to work as a Prinny. The end.
Overall I don't reccomend this series unless you're a super hard-core Disgaea fan or just want to see the crap-fest for yourself. It looked promising in the trailers but turned out to be terrible. (As with most video games turned into anime. :/)
For any of you who've ever seen the Maple Story anime, or watched any Warner Bros cartoons when all the characters were babies and living with the old woman: this anime has a very similar feel to it. I'm not sure why, it might be the overly simplistic story, undevolped, immature characters or the quirky BGM. I'm not sure why but it does. That being said, the plot is overly simplistic and seems like its meant for small children. A young Angel named Flonne is sent to the netherworld to assassinate their king, but upon arrival, she finds and awakens his son, the main character: Laharl. They then find out that the king is already dead from choking during his meal, Laharl is overjoyed and he and Flonne embark on a quest for Laharl to become the netherworlds king. Each episode Laharl is faced with minor "setbacks" on his quest to become king, usually in the form of trying to find food or other devils thinking they can become king and trying to stop Laharl. Along the way, a girl devil named Etna joins them, Etna controls the Prinny's, souls who commited sins in life and are trying to earn their redemption and therefore work as servants. They're usually the one to make Laharl's food. Only in the last few episodes does the plot have a bit of substance, these strange sci-fi-like humans calling themselves "The Protectors of Earth" or something like that (they're too annoying to remember the name) invade the netherworld and try to control it. After that battle, Laharl decides (along with Etna and Flonne) that he wants to take over Earth and Heaven too. So they travel to heaven, meet the almightly Seraph, Flonne gets in trouble, Laharl has feelings...and then at the very end the series takes a complete 180 turn in the personalities of the characters. However most of the episodes are simply random characters trying to stop Laharl from becoming king and Laharl doing something very boring and unimpressive to stop them. The only particularly entertaining parts where when Laharl gets screwed over somehow.
When you picture Hell (or the netherworld, as its called in Disgaea) you wouldn't picture a colorful, happy place with lots of towns and colorful characters and castles now would you? Thats exactly what it is in Disgaea though, so if for nothing else, I give them points for originallity...sort of. Most of the character designs are pretty unique, Laharl's probably being the most unimpressive. I personally enjoy the outfits of Etna and Flonne seeing as how they are probably the most creative. Probably the single most quirky part about the animation though is the Prinnies, they're these odd little penguin-like creatures wiith tiny devil wings and stick legs and are quite funny. Probably the worst drawn characters though also the most colorful, are the protectors of earth, Gordon, Jennifer and their robot Thursday. They look like tacky, cliche superheroes and Jennifer has strangely pointy breasts O.o The few fight scenes were terribly lacking, they were boring to watch, not very flashy and were annoyingly repetitive, I mean Laharl's a demon prince for Gods sakes, you'd think he'd have more than one or two attacks! And the only semi-special effect was this shiney purple light that is Laharl's attack, but even that looks crappy and unimpressive after an episode or two. And also, during the last few episodes there was some guy with a giant nose, green hair and a purple jacket...Who the heck designed this weirdo? And how the heck can we be expected to take him seriously?
Ok this was hands down the worst part about this already suckish anime; the OP was annoying and sounded whiney in some parts, the ED...well I cant even remember much of that, but the beginning sounded like carnival music. The seiyuu chosen were also pretty annoying, the only voices that were actually any good were Flonne's and the Prinny's. The Prinny's voices I actually found somewhat entertaining, especially in the way that they added -su to the end of everything, which actually gave me a chuckle when Etna, Laharl and Flonne tried (and failed miserably) to replicate it. Etna's voice was whiney at times and at other times she sounded drunk, Mid-Boss constantly spoke French, which the French language (not people) is simply a personal pet peeve of mine and Laharl...well Laharl just annoyed me so its only natural that his voice would too, and usually it was heard whining for food or talking about how great he is. And that "maniacal" laugh of Laharl's...ugh, that was just horribly obnoxious and it sounded forced.
Thank God! The section I've been waiting for where I get to viciously pick apart the annoying character that is Laharl! I'm not a fan of loudmouth characters in the first place, and this is exactly what Laharl is, he is loud, boystrous, over-confident, needy, greedy, ignorant, self-centered and a control freak. He is among the most annoying anime characters I've yet to come across. I think he has a serious Napolian Complex going on here cuz he is tiny, puny and grossly annorexic...and yet he tries to overpower everyone and become king. I usually enjoy characters who's pasts we know about because they're easier to sympathize with and they seem real, but this is not the case with Laharl, we know his past and he is still annoying. Etna's character, for me at least, is a major let-down, she is a classic example of "Don't judge a book by its cover"; by her appearance I thought she was going to be a cool, bad-ass, tomboy character I could enjoy...eeeeehhh, not so much. She's greedy and cheating, which is to be expected from a devil, but she doesn't do it in a cool way. We know a bit about her past in the way that some guy has a deep, dark secret of hers hidden away...and she becomes his whore when he uses it as blackmail! Flonne has a sort of cute, sweet aspect to her, which fits very nicely seeing aas she's an angel, and she actually had some parts that made me chuckle a bit, her gimmick is lecturing everybody about love, which is somewhat laughable when it annoys Laharl to no end. The Prinnies, as I said before are pretty funny characters, both in appearance and their funny, but futile attempts to be rebellious against Laharl, plus they can cook! Its funny to see a little penguin thing running around in an apron with a kitchen that comes from nowhere. Mid-Boss, albeit speaking French in the middle of sentances sometimes, is a pretty funny character, and one of the 3 that isn't annoying most of the time. Plus he always comes out of nowhere and his exits are usually in the form of a Team Rocket-esque being hurled into the sky by some sort of catastrophe. Lastly are Jennifer, Gordon and Thursday. Gordon is your steryotypical, nice-guy superhero...but he's a loud, annoying moron! And he's always trying to go afer Laharl, Flonne and Etna for no apparent reason, the only time he makes some sense is in the final episodes. Thursday is simply a robot with an annoying voice and Jennifer...well she's a slut. Hands down she's a slut, she's constantly trying to seduce Laharl and catch him off guard, she wears the skimpiest outfit out of anyone in the show and for what ever weird reason she has pointy breasts! Which she often compares to Flonne and Etna's lack-there-of. Sorry but I'd rather have no breasts than pointy ones.
This series is a complete waste of time. I simply watched it because my friend likes it and plays the games and I wanted to have something ellse to talk with her about...BIG mistake on my part. This was a whole 12 episodes of annoying garbage. Not unbearable by any means, but there are far better things to spend time watching than this. Maybe you'll enjoy it more if you've played the games. But if not, unless you're into suckish little kid shows, I'd suggest stearing clear of this one.