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Demelza

  • Leeds, UK
  • Joined Apr 5, 2011
  • 19 / F

Problem Children Are Coming From Another World, Aren't They? (or Problem Children as we'll call it for this review), is somewhat of a frustrating series. It isn't that it's a bad show, it's that, the show hasn't been given enough episodes to really prove itself and by the time you properly warm to it, it's all over and done with.

That said, before we tackle the above issue, lets talk about the plot. Three, somewhat bored, children are transported from their worlds to a place known as "The Little Garden". In this place there are many communities which make their names by having people take part in a number of Gift Games, games where both sides put something down as a bet. It goes without saying that the communities that win the most games are the most well known in this world. Now you may be thinking "Just what are the rules of these gift games?", well, one of the amusing thing is that the rules are completely made up by the player who challenges the other side to one of these games, leaving the field open for some very interesting games indeed. Of course, you couldn't have a decent story without some bad guys, and as such the plot also reveals that certain communities and 'demon lords' tend to pick on the lesser communities unfairly. Our characters become part of a community which isn't very well known and doesn't even have a flag or name to call its own, but they set about trying to build it up regardless and take down some of these unfair demon lords, but can they really manage it?

Of our group of Problem Children we have Asuka who has the power to make people obey her every command, Izayoi who is stupidly powerful when it comes to physical moves and it quickly becomes apparent that you'd struggle to find anything that can take him on and win, and lastly we have You, who has the ability to talk to animals. It's an interesting bunch of characters, and after a few episodes you find yourself warming to them quite well and willing them to do well in these gift games. Of our three characters Asuka and You are the most likeable, but that's partly because the show goes to the effort of explaining their pasts and their feelings, by the end of the series we're left knowing very little about Izayoi apart from the fact he's very powerful and very smart, which is hard to accept in the first place, never mind when the series neglects to explain just why he's smart and such. Izayoi aside, characters are actually handled quite well with all of our main cast getting their chance in the spotlight, and enemies being interesting, but never sticking around long enough for them to become boring. The series seems to pride itself more on action than explaining things, which is certainly not a bad thing with characters like Izayoi around.

The shows pacing isn't bad either once it gets going. The first episode throws us into utter madness, the second plays catch up trying to actually explain the madness of the first, and the third tries to settle us into the pacing we'll have for the rest of the series. After that we're treated to a couple of story arcs which are interesting, but never focused on long enough to become boring. The show is about action, adventure, and comedy, all of which is does quite well for the most part, but never outstandingly well, which is amusing because for some odd reason Problem Children really feels like a charming show which pulls the viewer into this insane world, even though to look from afar the show is nothing special, there are other anime in that genre which are longer and arguably better, but there is still something about Problem Children which draws you in. Being able to pinpoint just what it is that draws you in, however, is by no means an easy task. 

All of that said, the problem with Problem Children is the length of it. You don't really settle into the show until the fifth episode, and at that point you're halfway through. Frankly, when it ends you're left wanting much more, especially when the ending feels much more like an ending to an arc than it does the ending to the story, 25 episodes would have suited this show MUCH more. It's such a shame to be left feeling so disappointed, because it really is a nice show, but I struggle to recommend it when I know there won't be many anime fans out there that will want to watch a ten episode series, get really into it halfway through, and then be left disappointed when it ends too soon. Again, there are better shows in the genre and Problem Children will lose out because of its length.

To quickly go over the animation; nothing is outstanding, but it still all very nice. As you'd expect from a series like this, the world is all very colourful and vivid, with character designs also being very colourful and pleasing to the eye. It isn't amazing, but it certainly isn't bad and the animation is certainly one of the things which will draw you in and keep you there. 

Where the soundtrack is concerned, it actually isn't that special. I don't remember much of it, mostly because the characters and setting are much more interesting and the music just really blends in until you rarely notice it expect for maybe one, somewhat calmer, episode. That said, the opening for the series is actually very catchy and it was nice to have something as upbeat and crazy as the show quickly proved to be. The voice acting was also strong, with each voice fitting to the characters, Izayoi actually has the most interesting performance out of all of them, despite being the character we learn least about.

In closing: Problem Children isn't a bad show, but it ends too soon and will leave the viewer disappointed in its ending. Given more episodes it would have been perfectly fine, but there are better shows in the genre that deserve your attention more.

6/10 story
6.5/10 animation
3/10 sound
6/10 characters
4/10 overall

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paulrenxan says...

I agree I really enjoyed the seires but it ended too soon. The series seemed rushed which is unfortuante because it could have been much better.

Mar 21, 2013