Have you ever been in a situation where you really think something will be great? Have you ever then realized that it was just something average, and not worth the waiting and excitement you put in? Well, this show might give you a similar feeling. It's like gettting excited for a game to be released, waiting for 6 months for it to come out, and preordering it in advance, only to find out that it's only half as good as you would expect it to be. That's how this show feels.
Just a warning to sensitive viewers, the show contains breif scenes of nudity, obvious fanservice, and tons of innuendo(some quite sensitive). I would not recomend this show to someone who has a problem with it.
The show starts out in a unique fashion. It shows a young man who's constantly misunderstood and is assumed to be a delinquint meets a girl talking to hir 'air friend'. They team up with Sena, your not so average rich busty popular girl, and begin their gaming, friendship making adventures. If all of this sounds like a good premise, that's because it is. Oh, by the way, did I mention Sena's big boobs? 'Cause the show feels the need to remind the veiwer at least once an episode.
*ahem*, back on track. It starts off as one of the most promising ideas I'd ever seen in an anime. The group becomes interested in playing video games together on their "Play States"(Play Station), and when they play, their characters appear as themselves in the games they're in, as the characters, affected by their outter selves. So basically, it absorbs the viewer into a multiplayer or single player gaming experience in an anime. As a gamer, I adored it. It was one of the best, funniest things I'd ever seen. They made fun of RPGs, dating games(even the *ahem* inapropriate ones), motion controls, beta versions, and I think one of them was aimed at School Days. They also made fun of the characters of people who play video games. For example, Sena(like me) is a completionist who likes to complete games quickly, and always fights with Yozora while Kodaka isn't that great at them and just tries to stay out of it most of the time. I'll get more into the characters later. However, this was a fantastic idea for a show, and when they added in Rika(the obvious yoai fangirl/pervert), and Kobato(the resident gothic lolita cosplayer) to the group, I only thought of how it could expand into the otaku world, and for a breif period of time, I laughed along with them at their anime and comic books full of inuendos. If this was what the entire show was like, I would have given it at least a nine out of ten. It would be kind of an expansive version of Lucky Star for adults. However, about halfway through the show, everyhting goes downhill.
Where it goes downhill is when it starts trying to be an average seinen school life anime around halfway through. It falls away from the unique beginning and falls into the same monotonous pattern I've seen many times. There's the obvious love triangle between Kodoka, Sena, and Yozora, the little harem obviously forming between all of the members and Kodaka, and Kobato(who I'm almost positive has a brother complex). Fortunately, the romance doesn't take over even when crushes begin to form, and the only really loudspoken one is Rika. Anyway, before I get too into detail, it goes out of the digital world and into the real world of beaches, festivals, karaoke, and other various cliche topics. So, the show goes from being unique and truly special to something that really falls into the typical pattern. As for the backstory between Yozora and Kodoka... It's too predictible.
The animation, for the most part, is utterly gorgeous. Colors are nicely defined, movement is smooth, and uniforms and costumes are colorful and varied, with little touches for each character, like Sena and her butterfly hairclip and the wings on her armor. Other than that, the character designs are rather generic. We have the big breasted blonde popular one(Sena), we have the black haired tough mysterious one(Yozora), we have the adorable little sister who is gothic lolita, though I wound complain about her too much as her hetochromia makes her look more interesting, the tough looking guy with odd hair who doesn't fit in(Kodoka), the one guy who is effeminite and always ends up dressed as a maid or a girl(Yukimura), and the scientist, who, of course, has glasses and is just average looking(Rika). Most are based off of cliche character stereotypes, and if it wasn't for their small quirky looks, it would be VERY annoying.
The only other thing that bothered me was the rampant fanservice. There was too much of it, especially near the end of the show. In the first couple of episodes, it was just in the opening, but it's obvious later that Sena will never find a bathing suit that will fit her chest, and so on, and so forth with the others. Really, I'm fine with a bit of fanservice, but it was just too much for the kind of show it was trying to be.
The opening and closing themes are fitting to the beginning of the anime, where it's focused more on video games and otaku culture, with it's sounds like it came straight out of an old video game, but it doesn't fit with the second half of the show. Then again, it's the second half of the show that doesn't fit. The constant cicada sounds in the summertime in the show do also cause for some annoyance.
Voice actors are great! I even recognized Kodoka's as Hinata from Angel Beats. He did a nice job with both roles, and the only one that ever bothered me was Kobato in some situations.
All of the characters, while in their own right are pretty good, are based on obvious stereotypes. This isn't a problem during the first half when they're just making fun of them, but in the second half where it gets serious, it can be pretty troublesome. The only exception would be Rika, because she's crazy the whole way through.
Kodoka Hasegawa: Kodoka is a misunderstood teen who just looks mean, and gets into some messy misunderstandings that cause almost everyone to avoid him thinking he's a delinquent. Surprisingly, though, he turns out to be a very kind and relatively intellegent character, who isn't interested in girls just to 'do it' with them all the time, a trait that's all too comon in anime characters. Surprisingly, he's also the most normal out of all of the characters, considering he's the one everyone thinks is crazy.
Sena Kashiwazaki(aka Meat): Sena is your average popular girl who gets everything, is rich, blonde, and goregeous. The only real difference between her and most characters like her is that she's a gamer. Honestly, when she was playing the games I could feel connection wiht her, but out of the digital world, she was foreign to me... She was impossible to connect with otherwise, just your average crybaby rich popular girl... *sigh*
Yozora Mikazuki: She's really a jerk most of the time, borderline tsundre in some points. Not to much else to say other than I felt bad that's she's lonely. Also, she contradicts herself quite a bit. For example: she claims she hates bullying yet she bullies the others in the club(Particularly Sena) all the time. She even went so far to claim that there were bullies in every school, and played the part of one for most of the time in the club. I understand she must've felt lonely and wanted to get back at them, but there's no excuse to act that way. If everyone reacted that way to bullying, it won't ever stop.
Kobato Hasegawa: In some ways, she reminds me of a friend of mine. She's constantly sucked into a world of an anime she likes, and cut off from the outside world for some points in the anime. She's constantly cosplaying as a character from her favorite anime, and constantly clashing with Sister Maria due to jealousy with her brother and the fact that she's always pretending to be a demon vampire.
Maria Takayama: She's a ten year old nun who thinks of Kodoka as a brother and argues with Kobato. Not much else to say here.
Rika Shiguma: She reminds me of my best friend in some ways. She's a perverted, super smart yoai/yuri fangirl.
Yukimura Kusunoki: An effeminite guy who tries to become more manly like a samuri.. but walks around in female bathing suits and maid outfits... Riiiight... Moving on...
Great in the beginning, boring in the end, too much fanservice. All in all, I would just watch the first 4 or 5 episodes and just stop after that... The rest just becomes cliche.
That's it. Peace.