The first time I saw Shuffle! I was enamored of it, several years later after browsing my Netflix options I found they had the show available for streaming and figured what the heck. Several other shows I've found the same way, having watched them again, did stand the test of time and English conversion, will this one follow suit? Sadly, the answer to that question, from my perspective, is not really.
Originally I remembered this story as endearing, funny, and interesting to watch. What I got was a ton of over used anime plot devices and tired character clichés. I had at one point thought of this as original since Shuffle! quite possibly was one of the first shows to present these to me at the time but now it's old hat. To be fair, I did still enjoy the show to some degree but had I watched this at a later date my rating would have been average at best. I do not plan to remove my original score however since that's what I felt at the time I saw it the first time, it's just seeing it again truly fell short of that mark.
Again, before hand I loved the show for it's richness in color and great character designs, now it just falls to slightly above average quality having been spoiled by shows which would be insulting to to compare against Shuffle! That is in not way meaning that it's bad artwork, it's just that I have higher standards now than I did back then. It is still a great visual piece of work and is worthy of your consideration on this alone.
As always, I care little for nor against the sounds in any anime unless it's specifically about music. This neither detracted nor added to the show in my opinion so it gets my standard average marks.
The other facet of the show that does stand out and at the time I had a much higher opinion of this than I do now. Looking on all the characters I had originally loved I find myself wondering what I was thinking. Essentially all the prospective girls has some sort of serious mental issue in my book. Now, admittedly two of them have good reasons for it but that doesn't exactly excuse the fact that were I to be confronted with any of them I'd be a bit... worried for my well being. I can say that this does lend a bit of realism to a genre rife with unlikely or down right unbelievable characters which of course are found here too but I have to admit to some degree this did actually enrich the show rather than detract from it.
I said this before, the second time around the show didn't stand up to it's original viewing but that in no way really means it's not worth watching at least once. If you're a fan of the genre in general this especially goes for you. The main point being that the English dub in this case probably wasn't as good/true translation as was some 3rd party sub. The voice acting in the English dub was also a little on the forced side but since I'm no real judge as to what over acting in Japanese would sound like I can't really say for sure that it isn't as well.
To summarize, Shuffle! is well worth watching at most once, and preferably in the subbed version over the current dubbed.
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