What did you do?! You see, I liked the manga, but this is just s***. The original story was much better, without so much BL, it really explained things and it hadd a real ending. Average animation, the characters are okay, sound is rather good, but the story is just s***.
Monochrome Factor is a shonen-ai fantasy that squanders a promising storyline and ends up leaving the viewer bored and frustrated.
The plot premise is surprisingly good. Nikaido Akira, the Chosen One (in an alarming deviation from the norm, a Japanese schoolboy!) is attacked by demons, forced into a contract by a mysterious stranger, Shirogane, and subsequently battles the forces of evil along with his school friends, whose powers conveniently 'awaken'. Goodness, it's exactly like Bleach! And 3/4 of the shonen series out there. This isn't necessarily a criticism, (if it works, why fix it?) but boring. In the first six episodes, Akira fights demons and recruits his team members. So far, so good. There then follows 15 EPISODES OF FILLER. Let me repeat that. 15 EPISODES, which serve to advance the plot in NO SIGNIFICANT WAY. AT ALL. My capitalisation expresses my disappointment on this front. Every episode involves a (amusingly sexually confused - see below) guest star, who interacts pointlessly with the main group, becomes possessed, fights the group, is snapped out of it by his friend/lover/family/dentist, then cries and becomes a better person. Episodic doesn't cover it. Repetitive as hell. I got to Episode 21, and still there was no sign of the main plot, in a 24 episode series! The ending is predictable. Overall, there are gaping plot holes, a curiously impotent and motive-less evil force, and as always, a cast baddie for each cast goodie to fight so that hero goodie can fight arch baddie.
The animation is, however, very good. Or, if you're being less charitable, as good as you would expect a 2008 Genco production. It was good, though. As expected of a shonen-ai, the show is bishie-tastic, with a lot of pretty men fulfilling most major requirements. The young one, the brash one, the mysterious one - and all with broad shoulders and teeny waists. Perfect. Backgrounds are however serviceable at best, with little attempt made to ever impart a sense of beauty. Art Monochrome Factor ain't. I should note, however, that Akira's outfit in his 'Shin' form is one of the best I have ever seen for the hero of any anime. I have the urge to cosplay!
The sound is the same as the background. Utterly unnoticeable, it serves only to frame the 'characters'. The op is your typical shonen; fast and angsty without being something you would ever choose to listen to again. Ed is unmemorability defined.
The characters are clearly the point to this anime, where plot is central to Code Geass, animation to Red Garden, and sound to Nodame Cantabile (generalisations, I know - incidentally those are GOOD examples of anime). The characters are stereotypical but still quite charming. Stupid male sidekick, aggressive female, genius boy... stop me if any of this is new. As a shonen-ai, females get a very bad deal. In particular, Kengo's sister, Mayu, is both a comedy foil and a 'light-hearted' assault on woman-kind. Big-breasted, shallow, vapid, falling for man after man, the series goes out of its way to show that there is nothing sacred about heterosexual love. The queer credentials of Monochrome Factor are show-cased, with transvestites, lesbians and every gender bender you can think of.
Monochrome Factor however fails dismally on two counts. One, there is no character development. At all. None. Not a single character, in ANY WAY (caps again!) CHANGES AT ALL. Secondly, for a shonen-ai, the relationship between Akira and Shirogane is unconvincing. Shirogane in particular fails to move the watcher in the slightest, and spends 22 episodes leching on Akira, who could up till then be entirely straight, for all we know. There is zero emotional depth between the two, which means the viewer couldn't care less, something even Gakuen Heaven manages!
Overall, the series is deeply disappointing. If you watch the first six episodes, I heartily recommend you skip to Episode 22, and it would not make an iota of difference. As fantasy Monochrome Factor is derivative and has goddamnawful pacing, and as shonen-ai Monochrome Factor concerns an effete weirdo trying to touch a schoolboy for twenty episodes. Rarely have I watched an anime and wanted it to end.
If you're expecting a BL story, mixed with some good action, don't watch this. You'll just end up with a ton of frustration. There's basically no romance here, the plot is easily predictable, the characters are plain and boring and the entire show could have very well been summarized in 12 episodes.
Monochrome Factor was kindof an up and down type of show.
The story itself had a good idea behind it; darkness attempting to take over the world and average teenagers being thrown in to try and save it. It was pretty slow moving in places, and a lot of the episodes were pretty repetative. The shounen-ai wasn't really there. There were a couple of kisses (which had no romantic link to them really) and a few suggestive comments (all one sided). If you squint you could say there is love between the main two characters but that could be there just because I wanted it to be.
The animation isn't bad. It isn't clean cut, but the colours are good and quite impressive. You can tell it isn't brand new but it doesn't ruin it.
The sound is very good. The voice actors all did a very good job, and none of the characters had annoying voices or anything. The music was good as well and fitted the show. The theme song was different, as in not a pop type song, but it is a very good song and I really like it.
The characters were likable enough, but there was no character development really. There was a lot of comic relief characters, but I like comedy so that wasn't a problem for me.
Overall, I watched all of it, but some episodes I didn't especially enjoy. The ending was really good, but the ending suggested a season two, which hasn't yet seen much sign of coming out.
It wasn't my favourite anime but it was good enough to watch once.
Before watching this show, be aware that it is a shounen-ai series. Based on the manga of the same name, little it does to demarcate itself from others pitfalls of the genre. The story is somewhat simple and previsible. It is REALLY episodic and this is a no good. Some episodes just fell like fillers who follows the same pattern. The main character meet a someone. That person succombs to darkness. The main character beats him to pulp and it is a happy ending. Seriously. What a joke.No creativity.
And then again, the animation doesn't help at all. It is ordinary, messy and sometimes frames are plain ugly. No budget at all it seems.
The show is (happily) saved by it's sound. It features a incredible cast of well-renowned voice actors. Ono Daisuke-sama portreys a annoying Akira. Kamiya Hiroshi-sama plays the role of comic relief Kengo. other notables voice actors: Koshimizu Ami as Kengo's eccentric sister, Saiga Mitsuki-sama as wealthy and lonely Haruka, and so on... It is a good point here. The cast compensates for the show's lack of quality.
Overrall the characters were enjoyable but not really endeering and memorable. The main character is just a (other) annoying too cool for his shirt type of tennager. His best friends are comic relief to the core. And what with the ghostly character? He is even wearing ROUGE?! Oh my god. TRAP.The characters did have some small chemisty between them but clearly not enough.
Opening section, I was surprised by the theme song. It is not an cheesy j-pop usual song, but a piece of music sung by Asriel whose is it their first anime song. I like their music and I was really happy to hear them instead of the usual anime opening crap.
Ending section. Visually, it is really creative and original. The use of black and white along with short glimpses of Akira's red eyes was stunningly classy. The shifting( you'll understand once you watch it) is sublte and well-expressed. The music is, considering it is sung by voice actors whose job is not singing, is quite good. By the way, it is Ono Daisuke-sama and Kamiya Hiroshi-sama voices.Second opening is a subtle shift too but the song was a let down in my opinion. Bravo for the art though.
Overrall, if you're a girl and like shonen-ai, i suggest taking a peak. It is not completely worthless and has quite a laughs. There are shows worse than this believe me cough *dance in the vampire bund*cough.
Final grade? A 3.1/5. Not that bad.
Next! Sekimatsu Occult gakuin.