SECRET SANTA REVIEW 2014
The story follows Fujishima Narumi, a normal 16 year old boy, who is new in town and doesn't have any friends. He manages to befriend a female classmate, and thanks to her, he meets a lot of other people. One of them is Alice, the other main character, a tsundere hikkikomori and a self-proclaimed detective. She takes him as her assistant, and they solve cases together.
As interesting as it sounds, the result is actually pretty boring. It's all talk and no action. The cases usually do look interesting at first, but their solution is almost always predictable and unexciting. Apart from the very few moments given to the actual detective work, the episodes are filled with simple character interactions and, of course, fanservice. There are a loooot of suggestive shots of girls, and in every episode is at least one semi-naked one (in her underwear or wrapped in a towel). The first one appears not even 3 minutes in. There are also many scenes with the girls groping each other, taking baths together or undressing each other. And, of course, it wouldn't be complete without Narumi "accidently" walking in on them. All in all, there really isn't much to talk about. You don't need your brain for this one.
The animation is pleasant and colorful, though it's nothing out of the ordinary. It's not all that detailed or realistic for that matter, but it's nice to look at. And as far as I could tell, there weren't any blurry or deformed shots. The only (hilarious) mistake I noticed was that the girls' chests kept changing sizes. And speaking of characters, moe is typical for it's lack of diversity when it comes to character design, especially with female characters. Apart from their hair and the colour of their eyes, all girls look exactly the same, no matter if they're high school students or adults. Small stature, long legs, big eyes - all doll-like and as cute as possible. But I suppose it could have been much worse.
Like in all anime, even here the dubbing is of high quality. I was pleasantly surprised with the involvement of Ono Daisuke and Sakurai Takahiro, my two favourite seiyuus. Both the opening and ending songs fit well with the image of the anime, but they aren't that great on their own. The soundtrack doesn't stand out; you don't even notice there's any music at all.
Narumi doesn't have any special characteristics at all. He's like a background character, who was suddenly promoted to be the hero. His personality is completely flat. It really feels like he's there only to make Alice look smarter and more interesting. She herself is a seemingly super-smart person, but all she ever does is talk about what a unique snowflake she is, cry, talk about being a detective, boss people around and talk about how much better she is than everyone else. Her only actual skill is finding everything out on the internet. Then she miraculously appears at the end of the episode and saves the day with her judgment. Seriously, even Narumi does more than her. But yes, she is the most interesting character in the show, because just like Narumi, even the secondary characters are paper thin. Each one usually has just one character trait, like being a flirt or having short temper.
Challenge completed. And I'm glad it was so short. Seriously, Santa. To quote Calculon: "That was so terrible I think you gave me cancer." Anyway ... If you want more than just cute girls being cute - if you want an actual story or at least likable, solid characters with some development - don't watch this. You'll be wasting your time.
Just a Short Review
This is a story all about an ordinary guy name Narumi who got to meet a neet detective girl Alice. They work each other and solve mystery. Even do theyre first meeting isnt that good so far they got along each other.
To be honest each ep sort of they will solve mystery but it didnt take awhile to Alice solve the mystery. Actually in the begining its like getting to know more about them and stuff so sort of introductions but if u watch so on there is where a climax is heading but it isnt the fact that some eps are boring.
The animation was okay I kinda dont hate it I like it how the animation suits the anime and graphic but only if im using an HD version but even do it isnt it is still okay ^^b
Well theres only minimum fight scenes :/
The OP was nice ! .. I mean I dont miss listening to it actually. Theres a background music that suits what is mood theyre doing but there is one who is an out of place 0-0. Alice voice actor was okay but I hope it will be more cute/child like voice (since I think she is 12-13 .. age hasnt be revealed since Alice is so mysterious) Sort of like that but it is still good ^^b
Oh my I like Alice character! actually each of the characters has a screen view but it reallly didnt took awhile fo them to popped out but only for solving mystery and some sudden happenings but it is okay I have no problems with them :D
Well I did enjoy this show so far I like how Alice solve the mystery but for some reason I want some romance developing with Narumi ;-;.. Oh well the tsundere Alice wont be forgotten.The anime is good so far *thumbs up*
Great music, great animation, where can you go wrong? With everything else.
Kamisama no Memo-chou has one of the weakest opening episodes I have ever seen. I watched one more after it, it was actually much better, but after the forst one I just had so much antipathy built up in me, that I just dont feel like giving this anime a chance. Maybe if I wait a few days/weaks/lifetimes, I will forget the first episode and start it from the second one. Dont think so though...
Story: I have to compare this to Gosick. A lot of similar characteristics between the 2. Differences: while Gosick is set in a very stylish early 90s theme, this one is as boring as it gets: modern day Tokyo. While Gosick has interesting main characters, here we get nothing. While Goscik is logically (mostly) sound and the conclusions are actually somewhat smart, here the logic went for vacation and the conclusions are on the level of a 5 year old. let me give you an example: second episode. Girl takes the bag his ex yakuza father left him to a loli detective, she never met and doesnt even look into the bag. Yeah... Normally, our little detective should have called the police and thats that. Game over. Next, they find a phone in the bag, but much later. Okay: so the girl is concerned that her LOVING and CARING father doesnt leave any method of communication behind, but doesnt think to actually search that bag properly. The anime want to make us assume the detective is smart, because she knows a lot of background information of people, when they go meet her. Wonderful. So hacking a school database(obviously it had a firewall stringer than FBI, like all school databases) and being able to use facebook makes you a fucking genious. Apparently. Having a good basic premise doesnt actually mean you can mash up everything you want into the story and it reamins good. Complete fail. No creativity at all, barely manages to even create the illusion of intelligence. 0/10
Characters: Weak. Compared to Gosick, all the main characters seem cliche, insignificant and weak. Character evolution is all messed up. We get the shy japanese kid, who gets involved with strange people, has a lot of doubts at first, but after that, he starts to work wqith them, even meet up with dangerous yakuza to solve the case. Look good yeah? Well it would be good, if the lack of trust issue wouldnt be solved overnight. Episode one, guy is reluctant to do anything, episode two, he does whatever is asked of him. Its called evolution for a reason. This is not character evolution, its just obligatory character change, to create the illusion of actual evolution. Its insulting to the watcher. 3/10
Overall: Dont watch this. Watch Gosick. It has its flaws, but beats this anime to a pulp in every aspect that actually counts. Medicore score of 5, but only thanks to the high budget animation and music.
** review may contain spoilers so read at your own expense **
Story : We weren't really introduced to the main character Narumi Fujushima , he's the typical male protagonist, still in high school and happens to run into "adult business" we are also introduced to Ayaka Shinozaki she is also the typical female protagonist still in high school type. Apparently Ayaka knows about the NEET detective Alice and the whole NEET gang. She already told them about Narumi * which I thought was like a invasion of space because what if I don't want to be introduced to strangers, giggles* seeing as the name Narumi isn't so common most of them stick to calling him Gardening club * yes, yes he did join the gardening club but only for Ayaka's sake. * , The story has multiple discovery's and in order to get Alice to work at something you have to make a Request which is awesome. The story had minor flaws such as Introducing the MAIN STORT in like episodes 10,11 & 12.
Animation : it was crisp! I loved the art visuals , the animation was 10/10 for me mainly because I loved anime from 2000-2012 the most *Snickers away & hides under desk* any who, the character designs were pretty unique except for Narumi aka Gardening Club only because he looked ALOT LIKE Takumi from Akame Ya Kill *we aren't going to get into that*
Sounds : 10/10 for me. I never skipped the OP and the ED mainly because it gave me that dark but cheerful oura * dunno why* , I have the ED on my phone and have played it on repeat! , The background noises were also a 10/10
Characters : each of them were unique * except for Ayaka the typical short haired female protag and Narumi the typical brown eyed brow haired protag* Alice, Reiji-san, Hiro and Major had lovely character designs! ^_^
Would I recommend this to a friend : most likely 10/10 I would!
Welcome to Gosick Kamisama no Memo-chou, a story about a reclusive female super-detective with a small doll-like body and long hair that has the normal guy protagonist as her foil with a hint of school stuff in the background. Yes, this is Gosick without the unique setting and the body count. That being said, it is a great mold to follow, and the series does a rather good show of it.
What Kamisama no Memo-chou does that differs from the mold it clearly stole ripped off borrowed is that the cast is more balanced from the get go, it takes a far more mundane approach, and the setting is easier to connect to. These are strong points. It also follows the trend of shows that says "hey, NEETs are cool" as an excuse for the escapism it offers, which is somewhat cheap. Still, it does the whole Holmes/Watson thing rather well, even though at points you can catch on to the solution faster than the characters as it is a simplified version.
Mystery is notoriously hard to pull off, and while Kamisama no Memo-chou does it rather well, and compensates for many of its shortcomings by offering an added character driven side to things. As opposed to other shows of this type, there is no attempt to go over the top world encompassing ending. There is no glorification of logic, nor unreasonable behavior (most of the time). It is suprirpsingly solid despite all the holes in backstories and plot.
So, Kamisama no Memo-chou takes a lot from Gosick. But since it is a different variation on the theme and is well executed, that can be forgiven. Despite myself, I found the show interesting and entertaining. It doesn't go too heavy on the tension, but rather keeps a more mundane feel, which I think is an interesting choice for a mystery show... and this helps it feel rather refreshing despte the plentiful parallels to other shows.
Writing (Story and Characters):
Kamisama no Memo-chou takes a far more mundane approach to writing than most of its spiritual predecessors, and that is a good thing. It is technically solid, and avoids the obvious pitfalls of this type of series. It doesn't go into angst for the sake of angst territory which is a common failing of shows that deal with dark themes. There is no forced Sherlock/Watson romance but actually just hints of it as fits the time frame described in the series and the relevant ages of the characters. Overall, the show ends before it outstays its welcome, but is somewhat too short to fully enjoy.
Perhaps the one major failings in the story of Kamisama no Memo-chou is that it goes into the classic seinen trope of giving an arc per character rather than keeping the characters as visitors into something outside them. Other than that, and the fact that the story is somewhat short, this is a semi-episodic and plot driven show that does not completely forgo the character aspect. You won't be dazzled by the brilliant logic of the super-detective, but instead the focus is on how most of a detective's job is groundwork and information gathering. It is actually quite refreshing.
Since Kamisama no Memo-chou is a plot driven show, the character development doesn't get very far. The cast is rather varied for what little time they managed to expand it, but not focefully so as you can still see the "birds of a feather" attitude with the main group of protagonists. While this is forced due to the development not having enough time left considering the breadth of the cast and the prevalence of the plot, it is a graceful way to deal with the fact that most characters lack much in the way of personality and depth. For the amount of time and attention it is given, the character aspect is surprisingly well done (though irrelevant to the series for huge chunks of it).
As I stated earlier, it is hard to write a good mystery series. It gets dull quick if you repeat yourself, and you have to add a special spice to it despite most fans looking for the tried and true Sherlock Holmes formula. Kamisama no Memo-chou manages to do that, though perhaps it erred on the side of caution a bit too much. The writing isn't adventerous, but it is the real deal. It isn't the most interesting and deep out there, but it maintains enough of that without going off the rails. Perhaps there are problems with the tone changing from light hearted to dark and back very quickly, but I actually think that helps the show keep from getting to stale - though this may be viewed as a technical issue with the writing. This is not the best mystery anime out there from a writing perspective, but it surely is better than the average.
Art (Animation and Sound):
I'll be blunt: the artwork is great in theory, but not great in practice. Kamisama no Memo-chou has art that is good all around, but nothing too spectacular. The animation and sound work together well, but don't really manage to elevate the story but rather just execute it. There are a few artistic themes, but the choice of the art was to go for a rather mundane choice overall rather than take creative license. This is usually the right choice for a mystery series.
From an animation perspective, Kamisama no Memo-chou is only slightly above average. The butterfly, teddy bear, and few other recurring themes aren't particularly imaginative nor add much depth and at times feel rather forced. The character designs are not original (and at times "borrowed" from other shows) but manage to be rather distinct within the series, and the choice of palettes is on the less flashy side of trendy yet a rather good fit for the series. I found some of the backgrounds very effective, but very few really caught my eye, and there are a lot of moments where the characters are far too still and it gets irritating to view. Still, despite the many faults, the animation does give life to the characters.
Where the animation was consistent, the audio is a mixed bag. On one hand, the soundtrack is good (and at times great), on the other the opening theme is a terrible fit for the series, and some of the music in the background gets repeated far too much. The voice acting has some great characterizations, but has the obligatory "annoying voice guy" that will annoy the hell out of you. The effects are well placed, but will not surprise you nor add a lot to the series. The stereo is rather cleverly used at times, but usually is done straight-up rather than to add depth.
Overall, the artwork does give life to the world in Kamisama no Memo-chou, but doesn't make that world particularly interesting. It is a good fit, but not a great fit. Still, it is above average, and the audio and video work very well together. Something commendable is that the audio doesn't try to force tension where it shouldn't exist, as is the care for far too many shows with an element of mystery to them.
Kamisama no Memo-chou is a good show. It is not a great show. I would put it in the same league as Gosick, or perhaps a tad worse. Still, it is an interesting show that deals with dark themes in a surprisingly mundane way for a detective story. Recommended for anyone who likes detective stories.