Okay this anime has been getting a lot of hate, and I can understand why and I agree the manga was much better. But I'm atleast happy that the adaption was made and finally one of Ito's works actually got an anime adpation. I thought the adaption was.... entertaining at least, despite its many flaws. On to the review! *Spoilers ahead*
Story- The story is changed from the manga. Kaori is now the main character and Tadashi is the one who gets infected. idk what they tried to gain from this but I don't think it worked... I guess its nice to see something different from the manga, but I think what they should have been focusing on is to get the feel of the anime right before making changes. Instead of the Proffersor's assasistant, theres a photographer and also a pointless DP scene featuring one of Kaori's friends who is also not in the manga. Theres also a plot inconsistency when Kaori clearly gets scratched by the leg and doesn't transform. I have no idea why they did that and why Kaori would have immunity to the disease. Also the last scene of the manga had such a strong impact of despair as Tadashi watches the parade of infected marching past and the fact the Kaori had finally "escaped the stench". The way he made it was that there was hope for the future(the scientists who were supposedly immune) and himself, but his love for Kaori still remained. In the anime I feel like they're trying too hard to force the feeling of despair. Kaori doesn't even get to see Tadashi's corpse and the scene with the boat at the end just didn't leave any lasting impact for me. I did like that they kept the carnival scene though, which was done quite nicely. Main point is that get the feeling of the original manga right and then see if you can still retain the same feeling after adding and changing chars... if you can't DON'T CHANGE THE DAMN STORY.
Animation- I think the character desgins were done quite well, they look like Junji Ito characters atleast. But whats with the colors... its like they chose to use the brightest colors out there. Its supposed to be a horror manga not a slice of life or some BS like that. I think this would have benefited greatly from a more subdued color pallete, like the colors in Serial Experiments Lain, Boobiepop Phantom and Kino's Jounrey for example. Also why the hell would you make the zombie fish CG? A shark with mechanical legs is already hard enough to believe how would having it be cg in a 2D world help? Also whats with the colors of the infected humans? Barf green really? On the cover of the 2nd book it looked more like a peachy flesh color with hues of red and yellow... and also why did they give the infected Irises, when they had none in the manga it made them look much creepier and scarier, as well as the disgusting looking bumps and sores all over their bodies that were not very well detailed in the anime. They just look like fat green people, in the anime and just didn't seem that scary. I mean look at the cover of the 2nd volume (above) thats frikin terrifying
Sound- Don't have much to say about sound. It fit the anime well and added to the atmosphere, nothing spectacular though.
Characters- One of my big problems with this anime... the siwtch of main characters makes the last scene of the anime much less effective. Kaori had always hated the stench and even in "death" could not escape it, but finally she was able to by the end of the manga. In the anime we don't get to see Tadashi's corpse infact we barely learn anything about Tadashi, we just barely see him while hes talking on the phone before he gets infected. Kaori's 2 friends, one slutty one and the fat one are just so useless... they literaly don't add anything to the story they're just there for the DP scene (which was pointess) and the whole jealously thing which never really was effective. The reporter that Kaori meets, is supposed to be a a replacement for the assistant of Tadashi's uncle. IMO he doesn't do a great job he never really gets involved in the plot hes more of an observer who gets infected at the end, which is much less effective than the assistant who was actually part of the project and was taken away by Tadashi's uncle after she became infected. Also the scientists who were working on a cure were taken out... so much for a glimmer of hope...
Overall- I enjoyed the OVA, but they just changed too many things from the manga which just led to this not being anywhere near as good as the original. I'm happy this adaption came to be but just stick to the manga next time and don't use such frikin bright colors and don't use bloody cg. If they ever make another adaption of his work and they follow that Im quite certain it will be a success ( I would love to see a proper Uzamaki anime adaption considering how crap the live-action was)