In any great anime there are a few intangible qualities you just might miss when you've got less experience with it. In many ways this can be a blessing because you come across a title like this one that on the surface is actually pretty good if you're still fresh into anime in general. Unfortunately the flip side is also true being that you begin to notice the little things that can unravel a perfectly good anime into one that just irks you too often. This title, for me, is such an example of what happens when you become so familiar with something that you notice all the little flaws turning a gem into a stone.
There was a -ton- of potential here, it had an interesting premise, great writing, and a fun way of telling the story. Sadly, this is also where the show started to go kinda wrong. Consistency, in my most humble opinion, is one of the most important elements to good story telling. If you're going to go with a random and some what fluid style of plot line, then stick it kind of needs to stay in that style. If you're going to go with a linear and unbroken plot line, then once again it kind of needs to stay that way. To suddenly, and without any hint or warning to jump forward or backward in the timeline causes confusion and breaks the immersion in your story if you're in the linear path. To remove your audience from the story's immersion is a cardinal sin, and one that this story commits, more than once. Due to the fact that the story was good as a whole I gave it a -very- generous score.
Once more, consistency is important, for the first half of this show, even during the plot skips, the animation was solid, consistent, and pleasing. Once you get into the second half things kind of go awry. Odd artistic cut scenes with calligraphy, a real life picture of flowers, once again served to remove us from the world the creators were trying to show us. Still, once again I gave it an overly generous score due to it's merits separate from this sin they committed filing it under "artistic license".
Nothing impressive here, I did notice a few times where the sounds would suddenly break off and/or suddenly restart, presumably for a commercial break that was no longer there since I wasn't watching it as a broadcast. Still, that aside this was yet another element that served to break the immersion in the show and once again found it's way into my critical field of vision, by that I mean as a critic. No extra points for bland and forgettable OP/ED songs.
The one thing I have pretty much nothing to complain about. I really liked most of the characters, they made most of their actions and motivations realistic and even for the villain I found myself sometimes rooting for everyone. It truly illustrated the saying "the road to hell is paved by good intentions". Anyway, the majority of the characters had a lot of growth and there was great development as the story progressed.
Honestly, the above says it all. Inconsistency, and the breaking of immersion really served to destroy this show as a whole from my point of view. A lot of people that watch this and then read my review will more than likely see this as a bit harsh but this is how I feel about it and I'm sticking to my guns. I will never be generous in my rankings towards stars or overall score. This show just did not deserve better than I gave it in my opinion.
At nearly 40 episodes, this show was barely worth my time, I most certainly will never watch it again, but it's inaccurate to say I disliked this show or didn't enjoy myself watching it for the most part. Just not something I'd ever recommend to anyone.