So Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge is a bit of a mixed bag. While on one hand I did end up finishing (which I won't do with many anime I don't find worth my time) there were several times I almost gave up on it. In fact, I spent most of the first 10 or so episodes wondering why I was continuing to watch. I'd seriously considered dropping it a number of times but whether it was due to my not having anything better in the hopper or simply a desire to see it through somehow I pressed onward. In the end am I happy I did? I'm not really sure. I guess the answer is...yes. Sort of.
Positives: There were a few things that I liked about the anime. The one stand out which you'll probably see most people mention is it is unique in the sense that it's a reverse harem but more importantly that the characters are different than your standard harem types. Well, at least Nakahara Sunako is. There are also some episdoes that I'd consider really solid and more worthy of a 4 rating, but they were too few and often far between. The end wasn't super solid either, but if I could somehow have packed the experience of the last few episodes into the whole season I think it would have been a much better result.
The characters were pretty fun, though it was pretty easy to tell where their options were for development right off the bat and when the story resolves you didn't really see anything unexpected. I could have written the summary of the plot after watching 2 episodes and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have been far off, but again, fun characters so even if they were rather one-sided in the end. There are of course a few people who develop but as I noted the development wasn't anything unexpected...so I guess that's a mixed positive/negative aspect but I'll stick it up here as overall I wasn't disappointed with the main characters.
Negatives: So I have a bunch of things I didn't like about this one. The animation style was one of the things that kind of turned me off. The whole simplification of the characters, while useful to a degree made the whole show feel really kiddy. Maybe it's for a much younger audience, and maybe some people really like what they were doing, but it seemed really annoying to me. I didn't enjoy seeing Sunako look like a blob for most of the series and the outline characters also just made if feel kind of cheap. I get the same type of feeling when watching xxxHolic and it just makes me wonder if the studio is lazy. Call it artistic or intentional if you want, but when I see it I just feel 'meh' about it.
I also found myself quite bored in a few episodes, and as I mentioned earlier there was a great period of time where I was wondering why I was watching it. It's also a bit sillier than most shows I prefer (I realize silly is rather subjective) and while I'm more than happy to dispense with reality in order to make a funny story work better there were a number of occasions that I just had to roll my eyes and wonder why there wasn't something more or a story less traveled to tell.
So in the end, would I recommend this one? Perhaps, if you're a young girl with image issues. =) I'm sure there are lots of people who this type of anime appeals to, and though there were moments that I was enjoying it, the number of moments I was checking the clock were right up there as well. A mixed bag. What else can I say.
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