Overall, Id have to say I was impressed enough with this anime to actually reply by making a review. The story line itself was pretty much a team vs team based storyline with historic references along with humor, hot loli chicks (dont judge me o.o) and gun blazing, super powered sword slicing action. Id have to say I am very impressed with the animations, although they do sheen quite a few things that is kind of unncessisary, I still liked the show, and its not too much of a distraction. As for the gun battles, they are kinda basic, cowboy bebop kind of feel (with less bullets) they could put more attention on the guns themselves with more flash to put more focus on the single shots, but otherwise I didnt see any issues with it. The characters are all quite humorous, and I can definitely see this anime being something a lot of fanbase could follow.
I'm always amused when I stumble across an anime by accident and it happens to be quite good. This was most certainly the case when I found Hidan no Aria. It has a little mix of everythig from across almost all genres. There's comedy, action, adventure, romace, a budding harem, etc. What made this one interesting is that it seemed to incorporate history's most famous, and notorious, characters and gave them a common path. I would rather not give anything away here but it's definitely worth watching. I'm not one of those people who will rant and rave in a long litany of pros/cons. It's something you have to see for yourself.
Looking at past reviews, they all contain a bit of bias, some more than others. My rating is based on the fact that I enjoy the mix of genres that are depicted here. If you're someone who doesn't enjoy this conglomeration of subjects, then I wouldn't watch it. That is all I have to say on the sbject.
As always, my overall score is an average of all sub-scores for each catagory.
Story - 8/10
The story was definitely well thought out. Plot, events, and sequences are all lines up quite nicely and flow together as they should. I would have liked to see more background story on the main characters but that's not a big deal. I believe this will be resolved should there be a second season.
Animation - 8/10
The series was well animated, though all the females have those realy big eyes. Again, that's not such a big deal in the grand scheme of things since the rest of the elements were done quite well. This kind of quality is par for the course for J.C. Staff work.
Sound - 8/10
There isn't much to say here. The sound fit the events and was well done. The OP/ED seemed to fit the nature of the series. I would have liked to have seen a little more dynamic music but that's just personal opinion.
Characters - 8/10
The characters were certainly unique. Their personalities fit their roles and their interactions were appropriate for the same. As for development, they seemed to not change too much overall but they did evolve over time from when you first meet them in episode 1. Part of the reason for this, I believe, is that this was done intentionally.
Overall - 8/10
This was a great seried overall. I have already given my feelings on it at the beginning but I would like to say this: There better be a second season or it's going to rain blood over J.C. Staff. >.<
was a generally good anime with good characters despite personally hating some of
them, great soundtrack animation was also a big part to making the anime great having good voice
actors also helped with the feel of the anime (also containing my favourite Anime Voice Actress ;P )
however despite the overall goodnees and the nice flow of the story, the ending felt rather
anticlimactic due to nothing happening between the main characters, no love in this story. (ps the special episode is just stupid laughs and scary, FUCKING SCARY MAN referencing a specific japanese horror film)
A 5 on story is being generous for this anime. Right from the start, there seems to be very little plot at all. The setting is generic and undetailed, comprising mostly of about ten seconds of effort to inform the reader of the following: There is an international policing organization known as Butei, which has the authority to supercede both local and government agencies, and our characters attend a high school which trains them to be agents. Setup done, commence action. Someone is targeting the Butei students, who must survive, protect their friends, and attempt to figure out the criminal's identity - and that's about as detailed as the plot gets, for quite a few episodes.
I remember reading once in Bakuman that you can't just throw together a bunch of popular hooks and devices and expect a manga (or in this case, light novel / manga / anime) to be successful. Obviously, the people behind Hidan no Aria never received such advice. After a few episodes they attempt to make things more interesting by adding in some of those typical devices, but it quickly turns into overload. First they cover the tsundere heroine who refuses to acknowledge her feelings for the hero. Next, enter the rival, a classmate who also likes him. . . and also happens to cover the 'childhood friend who is now developing feelings' character at the same time. Meanwhile, all of this is taking place in a very stereotypical high school student atmosphere. Which is also a special academy. Finally, as if we didn't have enough cliches thrown in, some of the students are given special powers (telekenesis, manipulation of ice and fire, etc). As I said, overload.
Perhaps the biggest downfall of this series is its inability to decide exactly what it wants to be, or to remain consistent from start to finish. For example, yet another of the hooks sprinkled throughout is the inclusion of ecchi scenes; however, the portrayal of them changes drastically. Early on, the animation very blatantly refuses to show so much as a panty-line, even when skirts are being blown all over by the action. Later (probably in an attempt to attract viewers after so much failure), a scene involves a whole classroom full of girls stripping, followed by a popular secondary character conducting an entire chase scene in her underwear. The plot undergoes just as drastic a change, beginning as 'we need to solve crimes and become better agents,' moving to 'we need to track down major theives around the planet to clear my mother's name,' and ending with 'we must look further into the bloodlines of major characters who are descended from important historical figures.' The genre itself changes from detective action to supernatural to straight-out fantasy - their final opponent turns out to be the immortal Count Dracula. I mean, seriously? In the end, the show tries to do and be so many different things that it doesn't end up developing or succeeding at any of them.
The characters are something of a paradox for me: they're so obviously stereotypical, ripped off from other series, and show little development, that I want to hate them, but for some reason they have enough individual appeal that I want to root for them. By ripped off, I mean obviously developed to compete with and emulate Gosick. A mostly-indifferent boy is paired up with a tiny, cute, super-intelligent and capable girl; they solve crimes together, get more action than they bargained for, and develop a bond along the way; she has a noble European father and a foreign mother who is disgraced and imprisoned. . . the parallels are numerous and detailed. The way things play out and the characters mature is a bit different, but there is very little originality in their conception. The secondary characters are pretty stereotypical, and also drawn from many different genres, including typical high school pranksters, an ancient temple priestess, and a military-level sniper.
The only thing fresh and new is the ancestry ascribed to the primary characters. Each of them is the descendant of a historical figure, and the early examples include Sherlock Holmes, famous French thief Lupin, and Jeanne d'Arc. The supernatural powers of these bloodlines are passed down through the ages, culminating in the current generation and affecting the events of Hidan no Aria. On the other hand, this gimmick goes from underplayed to overdone in a hurry, and starts to feel ridiculous, especially considering the setting into which it was added.
ANIMATION AND SOUND:
Technically, the anime is pretty well done. The animation is beautiful, done in a modern style that I really like (which is another thing it has in common with Gosick). It suits the characters well and is capable of portraying the action sequences without losing any detail. The sound effects are realistic and the music, while nothing special, is decent and well-matched to the visuals. The voice acting is pretty average, with no real flaws but also a pretty limited emotional range.
Despite all its problems, Hidan no Aria is a very fun show, and was a nice change of pace from the more serious stories I've been watching lately. The average audio and superb visual aspects manage to balance out the severely lacking story and glaring inconsistencies, at least long enough to make it through all 12 episodes. If it were any longer, I might not have bothered finishing, but as it is, it's worth a casual watching through.
I really am trying to not become one of those cynical anime watchers who think the best has already come and never will again, but you’re really trying my resolve this year Japan. Hidan no Aria was a show that for whatever reason I had a great deal of excitement and anticipation for. I was won over by the early pre-production artwork without knowing really anything at all about what it was going to be about or the source materials. When I learned the seiyuu cast and the plot synopsis I was pretty sure what I was going to be in store for. In that sense I probably shouldn't have been disappointed at all.
What Hidan no Aria gives us as a premise is about as generic and played as it comes. A high school boy... sigh why is it I always have to start it with that? Anyway he goes to Butai High School, a place where Japan teaches its youngsters to be assassins, thieves, and super powered shrine maidens. It’s like any other anime high school except the students all carry guns and katanas. No seriously it’s just like every other high school. So from there our hero, Kinji, suitably useless and powerless Japanese male gets involved right off the bat with the more dangerous female classmates who either want his body or him dead or more often both. Of course Kinji is able to tap into a hidden power of his own called "Hysteria Mode" which he enters from being sexually aroused. Really I'm serious here. I can't make this stuff up. Further nonsense ensues from this point and I honestly couldn’t make heads or tails of any of it from the beginning.
As with most anime of this type it likes to throw out tons of nonsensical and contradictory terminology and other assorted garbage. While in the beginning it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch it really starts to take a turn for the bizarre after a few episodes. That’s when we start having characters assigned names from other fictional and totally unrelated content. Such as Sherlock Holmes, Lupin IV, Jeane of Arc, and Dracula? It’s a mishmash of themes that have absolutely nothing in common with each other and make no sense when even applied to the story. It’s almost like the author of the story just picked random names from a library shelf and jammed them into his story as if they applied some sort of deeper meaning to it. The names don’t even have any bearing on how the characters act either. Jeane of Arc has ice powers, Dracula is a werewolf, and Holmes is a gun totting, dual katana wielding loli. Wuh? This only further confuses an already pointless and directionless story which doesn't seem to stick to one theme for more than a few episodes before meandering off into another direction. All in all it’s bad... REALLY BAD. Perhaps the worst excuse for a story I have seen in anything to date.
That brings us to the characters which really don’t far much better. Our hero Kinji is barely worth mentioning. Seriously when are they going to just stop giving the guys in anime names or even bother drawing on faces on them anymore? Just go ahead and give in to the otaku pervs and just complete the fantasy by having replacing them with faceless stick figures to allow them to complete their 2D on screen fantasy.
As for the girls the results are bad, even for a harem. Other than Aria the other girls are pretty much unmentionable. Aria is your standard loli tsundere. She says all of the things you would expect of her archetype and is performed brilliant by the undisputed seiyuu queen of this type, Rie Kugimiya. As much of a completely uninspired character or even acting performance that makes Aria up, it is Kugimiya that makes this series even remotely palatable to watch. Sure we have seen her do this role dozens of times before but I for one really never grow tired of it. In that sense it is a thoroughly Kugimiya type performance that is right in her wheel house and one that she completely hits out of the park. The real question is how many people are, unlike me, totally sick and tired of it?
J.C. Staff is usually pretty solid with their animation and production values and that doesn't really change here. But a lot like Kugimiya, I suspect a great many viewers are becoming weary of seeing the same damn thing over and over again. It would be nice to see them try to stretch themselves sometimes and be unafraid to take some risks. The one thing that really did stand out to me was how utterly silly the various girls hid their weapons. Take Aria, who is a tiny girl with an impossibly short skirt yet somehow manages to hid 2 enormous pistols under it and yet not be constantly seen when she is not drawing them. In addition to the even more ridiculous dual katanas she hides, under her blouse. It seems Aria's clothes are a lot like Doctor Who's TARDIS: bigger inside than it appears from the outside. Not that this is the first time anime has played with physics before but this really seemed to stretch the realm of believability.
From an acting and sound standpoint, Hidan no Aria is very good. As mentioned I think Rie Kugimiya was in her element and delivered a very enjoyable performance. The rest of the cast played their parts as expected. The music was pretty exciting and good. I especially enjoyed May'n Scarlet Ballet.
I actually found a great amount of this series to be amusing, mostly because I am a Kugimiya fangirl. As nonsensical and clichéd as everything about this anime was there was plenty of amusement to be found in watching the characters act this way. But at the same time I am fully aware that pretty much everything else about this show is terrible. For that reason I can’t recommend it to anyone.