Story: Genji, also known as Between the Sheets, a Japanese legend. The anime follows the legend of Genji, a prince turned commoner. Despite being a commoner, he’s still fabulously wealthy and uses this wealth to buy his lady friends pretty gifts. And he has a lot of lady friends. Including an Oedipal complex that shadows all of Genji’s bedroom encounters. Aside from Genji’s wanderings in the bedroom area, there isn’t much else to the story. Well, except for the random spirit possessions that seems to kill off a number of young women because one of Genji’s lovers happens to be psychotic. There is the parallel story of Murasaki’s upbringing, but it reads like rather horrible fanfiction.
Animation: The animation has a bit of bipolar disorder. It is fluid and elegant one second, and the next it’s jumping from frame to frame with the ghost images lingering for a moment. The characters are designed after the original art, I suppose, which explains the rather blank expression Genji normally wears. Yes, even in bed, he resembles Kristen Stewart’s emotional range. The clothing and setting are beautifully done, however, which raises the animation score because of the detail involved.
Sound: The background music is very traditional, and usually tranquil. There are also the few scenes were one of the characters are playing traditional instruments, which can get repetitive, because they seem to only know one song each. While the end song matches the soundtrack, the opening song belies the rather slow plot. This can be rather jarring if you marathon the anime, as I tend to do.
Characters: Genji, being the main character, steals the show. The women, while lovely and given some depth, seem to only exist to further Genji’s story. Most of the characters are petty and rather unlikable. The few that are empathetic usually die off, move to convents, etc. Still, it plays out like a soap opera, and disliking the characters gives some depth to the plot.
Overall: If you like watching soap operas, you'll like watching Genji. That's all I have to say...
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