Everyone knows of at least one anime that had the potential to be great, but instead it became a pile of crap, wasting all or most of the potential it had. Well Hiiro no Kakera is yet another title you can add to the list of shows that had potential, but wasted it.
Hiiro no Kakera is an adaption of a bunch of popular otome games that currently remain only in Japan. Adapted by Studio DEEN, who can do plenty wrong, you can guess it's them adapting the games improperly that led to this.
The show starts out with a girl named Tamaki finding out she is to become the Tamayori Princess that takes place after an encounter with a weird creature she can see. However the thing is, the show doesn't bother explaining much about what the Tamayori Princess is, or anything else after this happens, which is where the cracks start to show. Events just happen thanks to this, and seem like complete nonsense.
The show later soon throws in the guardians into the playing field, and they don't bother developing them much either. By episode 2, the entire cast is together (A bunch of guys that remind you of the vampires that were around Yuki from Vampire Knight-also by DEEN), and they make it seem like all the characters have known each other for a very long time, and have been fighting battles to protect the artifacts (Another thing they don't bother explaining) from the Logos for just as long which shows even more cracks. They don't bother explaining what their goal is, or why all this is happening which makes getting engaged in the story to be quite tough.
The character development is quite erratic. Early on in the show, they just throw the characters in, but later on in the show they attempt to develop a few characters (Especially Takuma in the final few episodes) a bit instead of just making them poof out of nowhere. This helps improve things, but the cracks are already so deep, it's completely impossible to fix them.
Another example of erratic character development is one moment in the show Tamaki suggests the characters talk to each and get to know each other to help in their battle with the Logos, but this doesn't come to pass as they skip this much needed development completely, which completely dashes your hopes about this show. It just shows Studio DEEN is relying on soley the pretty guys and artwork to make this a hit with fujoshi (It should be noted, the show has already bombed in Japan). This is already evident when every episode ends with those brief scenes trying to show off the guys of the show after the credits are done.
The artwork and animation are the show's strongest suit, and everything looks beautiful, especially during the battles with Logos where DEEN steps their game up, but the unfortunate thing is they put in more work into the art and animation (Especially on the male characters-again fujoshi-bait) than everything else which spells nothing but trouble. The artwork in the end becomes pretty much one of the only reasons to keep watching.
Accompanied by the art and animation is of course the soundtrack, and it just works. Nothing too special, but it fits the mood, especially the music during the battles. It helps make a show that is already tough to enjoy due to it's many flaws in storytelling and character development enjoyable at times.
Now I haven't played the games, so I can't confirm how good or badly DEEN adapted them, but as I've heard from those that played the games, they got nearly everything wrong, which doesn't surprise me as I've heard DEEN has done a ton of other things wrong, and I've seen many of these things for myself. Going by the poor and erratic storytelling and character development, them adapting the games wrong is probably true. I just can't imagine the original source material having all these facepalming flaws.
All in all, Hiiro no Kakera can be an enjoyable show if you don't take it too seriously, you just want to stare at beautiful art, and you're not expecting something like Vampire Knight. It was a show that had the potential to be great, but it was wasted due Studio DEEN messing up yet again and putting too much work into the character designs, the art, and the animation than the more important stuff such as the character development and story. I can only wonder how bad the second half of the show is going to turn out when it premiers this Fall.