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  • Thessaloniki, Greece
  • Joined Dec 22, 2011
  • 35 / M

Shikabane Hime: Aka

May 2, 2012

Notice: This review covers both seasons of the franchise; the second is a direct sequel to the first and equal in lameness… I mean quality … or the lack of it.

Two minutes in the first show and I could already see this as a Bleach wannabe that had chicks with guns flavor. Ok, I could dig the premise, despite the silliness. Two episodes later I was more than sure it would be what I call a Swiss Cheese anime, that is a typical story with lots of plot holes. Being the average series it is, following the tired formula to the later it didn’t manage to change my impression to the end … or the lack of it.

This show is a fine collection of “what can go wrong in a story”. I will not praise any of its pluses because frankly it doesn’t excel somewhere that any other similar anime hasn’t already implemented many times before and most of the times in a more interesting or enjoyable way. So I will start by the things that ruined the show’s attempt at being more than average at times.

1) Premise. It can more than easily be compared with Bleach, Noir, or any show that has ghost busters or chicks with guns. It is not original, nor does it manage to be any different or special in its implementation.

The story is as I said Swiss Cheese; written with the mentality of a ten year old who thinks it is cool to have ugly monsters and pretty chicks doing mambo jumbo for 90% of the time before getting serious in final showdowns. It’s just shadow organizations fighting monsters or trying to take over the world, and some chicks who must kill zombies in order to avenge their deaths and go to heaven. Sounds like a lot but it is really just this one-line of text and nothing more to make it look any smarter or interesting.

2) Animation. Sometimes tries to be horror, sometimes comedy, sometimes it is just a bunch of blobby cartoons doing nothing. It has no overall consistency or specific atmosphere, thus it fails to be scary or funny or … something specific.

Since it is animated by a minor studio such as Gansis, there is very little to expect in terms of quality. The animation is hit or miss most of times; at some points it looks great and at some others it is plain sloppy. The contrast between scenes with dark colors and mutated freaks next to silly scenes with slice-of-life comedy is just huuuuge and doesn’t seem to have uniformity. What is even worse is how they throw in lots of indirect fan service; just check out how all the monster slayers in this show look. Yeah, cosplaying chicks with school uniforms and eroge personalities. There is even a nekomimi thrown in there just for lulz. The entire horror aspect is lost right there. As for the action scenes, they are at least very dynamic, with lost of moving around, shooting, blowing up, bleeding, dissecting… Too bad it’s all random mambo-jumbo without any real choreography or even power level balance. If the plot asks for it, the monsters are unbeatable; if not, they are easy picking. Plus all the mince-meating is done to the monsters; never the heroines so there is no justice or equal footing at hand here. Add a lot of badly drawn scenes and lots of frozen panels and you got nothing impressive in overall.

3) Dialogues. They are stupid. Plus they keep force-feeding us what the characters are doing during every battle, because they treat us as brain dead idiots who can’t figure out anything without it being spelled at us as it happens.

The sound part is good only in the opening and ending themes; all the rest are retarded shounen dialogues that constantly describe even the most obvious, or use tired jokes you can easily find in any run of the mill show.

4) Fan service. Any attempt at plot, depth, or seriousness is completely ruined by the fact you are watching this to masturbate with zombie girls that seem to better fit in hentai. For all I care, all women in this show are just prostitutes and all other males are dumbasses you will hate right away.

The characters are cop-outs, 2 dimensional archetypes you can find in any shounen these days. I will give some credit to the main male character Ouri for slowly becoming more than a typical high school boy (cue for useless wimpy irritating idiot), the main girl Makina for being given lots of depth to her character and not only her curves, as well as the lead priest (whose name I have forgotten) for becoming a lot more than a ero-senin comic relief dumbass. The problem here is that they are just three characters out of dozens, and whose development is all done in the first season.

5) Dead time. Most of the duration of both seasons is a waste of time as there is no real progress, or further character immersion offered, or great brain dead action to consider it worthwhile.

The second has nothing of interest anymore, other than some generic villains who are doing generic stuff, with generic methods.

6) Ending. It does not exist. No further explaining needed.

Here you go; a perfect formula to succeed at making a failed series. You can watch a hundred other similar anime with far more enjoyable plots, battles, characters, artwork, pacing, transforming swords and shitz. This is practically a waste of time if you are well versed in such shows.

And now for some excused scorings.

General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 1/2 (basic)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)

Voice Acting 1/3 (corny and stupid)
Music Themes 3/4 (very good opening theme, the rest are meh)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)

Premise 1/2 (typical)
Pacing 0/2 (mostly dead time)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (doesn’t exist)

Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (main three characters are ok, but all other girls are prostitutes, and men are idiots)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 0/2 (doesn’t exist)

Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (no reason to rewatch)
Memorability 1/4 (as generic as it gets)

Art 0/1 (looks lazy)
Sound 1/2 (the intro kicks ass)
Story 0/3 (feels generic, aimless, and incomplete)
Characters 1/4 (they are stereotypes)

VERDICT: 3.5/10

2/10 story
5/10 animation
6/10 sound
4/10 characters
3.5/10 overall
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