Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku

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Archaeon's avatar By Archaeon on Jan 13, 2011

There are few trends in anime that are as fallible as the visual novel adaptation, yet they continue to be made in the hope of finding the next Air, Kanon or Clannad. Unfortunately this means that the industry is littered with forgettable titles that have no other purpose than to serve as no brain entertainment for an audience that simply doesn't care anymore.

There is hope though, as every so often a series will appear that defies all expectations. Sadly, Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku (Red Promise) isn't one of them.

Based on the adult visual novel of almost the same name that was released in 2008 by developer August, the series lays out a fairly stereotypical harem plot of boy transferring into prestigious school and girls immediately falling head over heels for his kind personality and slightly bumbling mannerisms. Oh, and the main heroine just happens to be a vampire.

Now where have I heard that before?

Fortune Arterial does have a plot, but unsurprisingly it's about as predictable as the sunrise for anyone who's ever watched a harem based show. The storyline is laid out in the typrical fashion of boy meets girl (or in this case, vampire), upon entering the school, then meets his long lost childhood friend(s) (also girls), then some other girl(s), etc. All the while some mysterious force keeps pushing the boy and the first female (let's call her Girl A since I can't be bothered remembering her name), together.

The problem with Fortune Arterial is actually twofold where the story is concerned, the primary one being that the show follows the harem format almost to the letter, with little in the way of innovation or deviation. There is never any assumption that the viewer is intelligent enough for deductive reasoning, and the only thing expected of them is to sit there, look at the pretty anime girls, and buy the merchandise afterwards.

The second problem is the fact the series is based on an adult visual novel, and they're not really the best choice when it comes to deep, well written storylines or nicely developed characters. In fact, they're so far down on the list of possibilities that one has to wonder how the hell they get chosen in the first place.

They're also as generic as they come where design is concerned.

Fortune Arterial is, if nothing else, a faithful representation of the visual novel, (at least in terms of how it looks), but that's not really saying much as the series would only be laudable if the show was at least decent in other areas (storyline, for example). The other downside to staying true to the original (at least in this case), is that there is an inherent lack of creativity, and it shows itself here in several visual ways.

Like so many other eroge adaptations, Fortune Arterial has some pretty decent animation, and while there are some issues with body position and timing, it's probably on a par with many other shows of this type. The downside though, is that the anime is awash with big eyed characters of just about every "moe" stereotype you'd care to name, and that includes the hapless lead male. The scenery is nice enough, but lacks any real flair that would set it apart from just about every other posh, western styled school in anime (there are a few after all).

Which, strangely enough, leads me on to the acting.

The seiyuu generally work well throughout the series, but the main issue with their performances is that they lack passion. The delivery of their lines can be wooden, and there are several occasions where it sounds like the actors and actresses would much rather be doing something else.

The rest of the aural department isn't really any better. The OP is a cheesy, boppy J-Pop track that is typical for this type of show. The ED is, as you've probably already guessed, a ballad that is meant to sound somewhat bittersweet, but instead comes off as cloying and unoriginal. The incidental music has some issues with timing and choreography, and there are some odd pieces that doesn't seem to match the mood of the scene.

As for the characters, if you've seen one harem show of this type then you pretty much know what to expect. The lead male isn't as bad as some I could name, but the girls are as stereotypical as they come, and to make matters worse their character types include a vampire and an amnesiac childhood friend (let's call her Girl B).

Hooray for genericism!

The story is driven by events rather than characters, mainly because the nature of the visual novel defines the plot format. Sadly this means that there is little in the way of actual character development as although there are a number of occasions that allow for growth, these opportunities are  generally either ignored or not recognised so the characters basically remain the same from beginning to end. Even more annoying are the occasions where the viewer expects a change in the character because of a major plot shift, only to find this has not occured, and that they are as saccharine as they were previously.

That said, there were some mildly diverting moments dotted here and there, but not enough to warrant watching the show a second time.

Fortune Arterial is a strange anime that doesn't really feel comfortable with itself, never mind the viewing public. A major problem with the series, aside from all that inherent genericism, is that several aspects of the storyline have already been realised far better in other shows. Because of this, much of the plot seems derived rather than original, and there is little in the way of content to persuade the viewer that they wouldn't be better off watching something like Karin or Rosario + Vampire.

To its credit, the series does present some interesting situations, but like so many other titles it never fully realises or utilises them to their full potential.

The biggest problem with Fortune Arterial though, is that it represents just about everything that is wrong with the anime industry today. Studios like Zexcs seem more focused on catering to an almost non-existent market than they are on giving the majority of fans what they want, and the main reason for this is habit - historically their money has mainly come from selling merchandise to hardcore Japanese fans.

The sad part is that the repercussions of making a series like this are far more widespread than people may initially believe, and the shortfall in finances resolves itself through increased license fees and mark ups on the price of merchandise and DVDs.

Fortune Arterial isn't the worst show of its type, but it's a long, long way from being the best. Then again, in a genre that's littered with the failed attempts at cracking the harem format, what else would you expect?

5/10 story
6/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
6/10 overall
xxjacobxx3's avatar By xxjacobxx3 on Dec 1, 2010

I have to do a review on this anime right now so that i can remember this episode 8. so keep in mind that ive only watched up to this episode.

First of all this anime is about a guy that comes back to his hometown, and all the characters have that child hood memory shit. When he comes back he finds out about a sister and brother(not his) that are in the student council and they are vampires. oh wow, didnt see that coming. The old immortals are smart and are in leadership positions. I also didnt see it coming that the guy (main character that comes back to town/island) and sister vampire have a "thing" for each other... or at least... she has a blood lust for him. Obviously he is special, but it hasnt clued anything else. Im getting tired of unoriginal vampire money making campaigns. I get the deal with vampires... its awesome, but damn this anime is aggrivating to watch.

Here are some examples of why its aggrivating:

1. The vampire sister is about to wipe the memories of this girl (again) and the main character guy is all worked up about it... they are fussing... making no sense... just when you think she wiped the girls memories... she didnt, and the two girls hug all lovey duvy..... Im sitting here screaming WTF OMG YOU SHIT at my computer monitor about to wake the house up. So it amounts to... the developers wanted to create a dramatic scene that gets you worked up. It just seemed to me like a cheap way of adding drama.

2. The girl that got saved by the vampire girl when they were kids, whom is also the girl that is getting her memory wiped has a sister. Their personalies are managable most of the time... but like in episode 7 i think... or 6... they try to make up with each other over their feelings and such.. and they just sit there basically screamilng at each other "I want you to be happy." That is basically all i heard for the 5 min. conversation. Why can they say "yes we have done wrong, but now i understand that we should both try to be happy together." They never even get to that point... they finally say "this is a wierd situation" with tears in their eyes... and it appears that they have made up. This anime just seems too simple and not well thought through... maybe its just me though.

This anime is ok though... For example... I like the vampire brother. He appears to be half way intellegent, which is the way someone who has lived for a long time should be. He is also funny. He understands that people need to laugh sometimes, and can make the situation fun and interesting/exciting. (for the people in the anime, as well as watchers). I am excited to see what the main character is, and what this new vampire is going to bring about to the story. So.. it has the possibility of evening itself out so to say... but it could also get worse...

So here is my advice... If you are looking for a anime just to sit back and enjoy with out and critical analysis (Meaning... your one of those people that give purpose for the quote "ignorance is bliss". You dont have a logical mind. You dont want to think a lot. You just want to watch good looking characters flirt with each other.)... this anime has some good points, but if you are looking for an anime that is exciting intuitively (mental stimulation) like detective conan, or at least pleasantly logical... look somewhere else.

I never try to discourage anyone from watching something. I just give my opinion and advice so that if you totally see where i am coming from then you wont waste your time. If you can watch something and enjoy it... isnt that better? than not enjoying it? If you have to do something... wouldnt you rather enjoy it than to sit there complaining the whole time.... This is a bit different though. Most people are not forced to watch anime. I wish i could enjoy it. It would be one more thing i enjoy.. so its not like i want it to be bad.

4/10 story
9/10 animation
?/10 sound
3/10 characters
6/10 overall
NoCheerios's avatar By NoCheerios on Dec 9, 2010

Transfer student into island school, meets friends old and new, and hidden vampires = student council.

That^ would be the plot synopsis of Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku bunched up into an extremely abbreviated sentence. But to be honest, it goes kinda deeper than that, I'm just having my fun.

STORY

The story is essentially about a new transfer student going to an island boarding school, where he once lived for a short time. In that frame of time he made a couple of friends, with whom he meets up with when he returns at school.

Although the story isn't absolutely marvelous, it goes pretty deep into detail and keeps plenty of interesting things involved to keep you awake and eager to see the next episode.

Later, he finds out that the student council is made up either out of vampires (who are suprisingly friendly) or people who know of their existence, as they're keeping it a secret. Upon discovery of their existence, he is forced to join the student council, which leads to some interesting plot development. All in all, it's pretty solid.

ANIMATION

The animation and colors are both smooth and pleasing, resulting in a rather enjoyable look to the show. The character designs are colorful, and the background tends to be fitting and detailed.

SOUND

The voice acting is rather well done, making the character's personalities believable and lifelike. The opening sequence is fitting and reflects upon the theme of the show, and the background music is there when appropriate, and silent when not.

CHARACTERS

The characters are lifelike in both personality and background, leaving a good taste in your mouth(not literally, I hope) after the hoard of bad anime you may have had to suffer through. They give a very good amount of background information to the characters you'd actually be interested in knowing about, and always make sure that said information is actually useful for the plot. Truly, they did a good job on this one.

OVERALL

I believe this score to be fitting because at parts there may be a lull in action or incredibly engaging scenes, so it may not be for everyone, however I do believe anyone who reads this review should give the show a shot, because they did a pretty damn good job at getting you interested in a plot that on the surface sounds like it's from and 80s movie.

8/10 story
8.5/10 animation
7.5/10 sound
9/10 characters
8.5/10 overall
dlxro's avatar By dlxro on Jan 2, 2011

Ok it's my first time writing a review, this is the second time I was hyped by some anime so much, and then dissapointed soo much.

Story

It's about a random guy who changes of schools frequently because of his parents (old plot, very clichéd) and returns to a random island to start remembering he has two friends there and now he can stay in the random island. He  meets the vice president of the school who's weird and doesn't want to be too close to him, but she loves him. By the way the guy's name is hasekura kohei and the weird girl sendo erika.

SPOILER

TL;DR version the girl is a vampire, loves the guy, doesn't want to drink his blood because she wants to be a normal girl and it's afraid to spoil the guy life, but her mother wants her to make the guy her sexual toy, well her dependant lol.

I give the stoy 4/10 because it's very clichéd, and 12 episodes doesn't cover too much about it, instead they waste space and time with so many unnecesary plot, you think well fun stuff, but when you get to the plot is boring as hell. Just the two first episodes are good lol and the last 2 episodes are the only ones that inform a bit about the plot.

Oh and don't expect answers for the cliffhangers, plotholes, it's imposible with only 4 episodes that are worth of something.

Animation

While some of the girls look cute, their body proportion isn't equal to a 16-17 years old girl, they look like kids.

The colors are good, the background is ok.

The bunny of shiro is horrible drawn lol, well not so bad, but it's boring.

4/10 Like I said, good colors, nice hairstyles, but horrible proportions.


Sound

The only good thing here, some nice pianos.

The opening is awesome and the ending is ok, but it isn't a masterpiece like the ones made by uematsu or motoi sakuraba, so don't expect too much, ok?

6/10, the opening really did save the category

 

Characters

Ok, while Sei (the guy with white hair bro of shiro lol) and the president Iory are funny, most of them are boring, except kuze and Kanade

Sendou is ridiculous sometimes with her, I don't want to drink blood.

Shiro hmm is just there to serve tea no purpose.

Kohei - Hmm he should have learned kidos or something, he's boring.

Haruna - well the typical girl that likes the main, but has no chance lol.

Kanade - she's cool with her stickers

Kuze - I like girls that are quiet lol

Tsukasa - the friend of kohei, wtf he does there, he is just there to occupy space.

5/10, only 4 characters are fun, the rest are boring.

 

Overall

4/10 I give this rating because the anime is way too short to develop a decent plot, the studio didn't do justice to the game, this failed soo hard, they could have saved the anime by giving an interesting ending like the random guy lets the random girl kiss him, drink his blood and he gains powers to beat the mother of the random girl, because she's annoying.

Really, the only bad point it was the lack of plot and that it was too short with a fail end.

It's so dissapointing, as

Akane Iro ni Somaru Saka was, we expected something and we got something way too boring.

Soon my review of that horrible anime, well it wasn't horrible, but i'll explain what made it so full of fail.

 

See ya

 

4/10 story
4/10 animation
6/10 sound
5/10 characters
4/10 overall
Caboose19's avatar By Caboose19 on Dec 31, 2010

Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku is a story about Kouhei HASEKURA, a high school student that has transfered from school to school his life, returning to a town he lived in 7 years ago to finish attending school. Upon getting to the school, he meets 2 girls he knew when he lived here before and another who he finds out is a vampire, thus completing out harem scenario.

Story: Being based on a visual novel/Ero game I really had the lowest expectations possible for the series and yet it still managed to disappoint. What little story their is is the definition of generic cookie cutout crap, and he feels absolutely no desire to progress any further than that. I'll just assume that they choose to live their lives in school because they can't age past 17, but why the hell are they all blond and blue eyed?

Animation: The animation for this series was pretty sub par. It is clean looking, but they use the same frames as much as possible and have as little action as possible. The character designs are also pretty weak as as everyone is only distinguishable by they hair for the most part.

Characters: The characters just like the story are just weak. There is no substantial development of any kind throughout the series and none of the characters are even that likable. The main character is dense as a rock, and most of the female leads are just annoying at some point in the show.

Overall: There are far better shows to watch unless you are a big fan of animes based on harem games or really like vampires.

3/10 story
5/10 animation
7/10 sound
4/10 characters
5/10 overall