ANIME MINOR JEWELS SERIES
Full lit of the review series can be found on this page, 3rd post from bottom:
This is a review of all three different series.
When you think of sequels, you would imagine that they are mostly the same as before, with perhaps more action, more fan service, less story, and so on. In this regard this trilogy is one of a kind because each segment has an entirely different feeling to it. The first is an almost run-of-the-mill teen action/adventure (simply called FMP), the second is a comedy (Fumoffu), and the third is a drama (Second Raid). The reason for this turnaround is because the original material was deliberately separated into these three different sections, presumably for a better consistency and flow of the story. The result is three very different shows.
If we are to place them in a line of importance, the most entertaining is Fumoffu and the least interesting FMP. The reason is rather simple; being a story based on light novels means that it takes things… light. The story is simple and full of convenience and the characters lack overall complexity. Thus by nature it better suits to be a light comedy. Plus, the first season was made by GONZO, the company famous for ruining everything it touches with its horrible CGI and incompetent staff at the storyboards. KyoAni taking over the production in the two other shows saved the franchise from certain doom.
STORY SECTION: FMP: 4/10, FUM: 1/10, SR: 7/10, AVERAGE: 4/10
As I said, the story part is simple and with weak reasoning; it’s just there just an excuse to have things happening for the sake of happening. There are people who are supernaturally born with hidden knowledge, there is a secret military organization with mecha protecting them and some random villains trying to abuse them. Don’t try to see past that because nothing amazing is ever going to happen beyond that; it’s to the most part the chemistry amongst the characters that matters and the comedy. The military missions will feel almost boring after awhile and the meat of the show is the funny school events.
- For the sake of reviewing, the first season is a simple teen adventure with a very loose plot around Chidori being stalked and protected by Sagara.
- The second is one of the same, with a lot more humour and no story continuity at all; it’s pure aimless comedy.
- The third returns to its original premise and has now a far more tight story, better developed characters, interesting twists, and even adds drama and gore to the lot and creates a nice overall season. The scenario is still full of convenience but the far less dead time and the seemingly powerful finale make it far more interesting. For some silly reasons, it was not received very well from the community because they saw it as a poor attempt at making something tragic out of something light.
Just in case you wonder, the story continues further in the novels and it is unknown if they even adapt the rest of it in anime.
CHARACTER SECTION: FMP: 6/10, FUM: 7/10, SR: 8/10, AVERAGE: 7/10
In effect, there are only three interesting characters in this trilogy.
- Chidori is your average energetic school girl, who strives to be perfect in everything. She also has that weird hidden knowledge inside her which makes her better without even knowing it. She is very active and dynamic as a character, a thing rather rare in anime, which love to humiliate females and present them as frail and useless. Although there is a rather high degree of fan service around her, that still does not take away her charm.
- Sagara is a teenager boy raised in the battlefield. That makes him acting as a completely distant and militaristic character, acting suspicious all the time and carrying lethal weaponry even in school. He is assigned to protect Chidori and thus he turns to a stalker and a freak, always causing a ruckus even around the most trivial event. It’s his interaction and overprotection and anti-social behaviour that makes him a highly comical character. As expected, he and Chidori gradually start having feelings for one another and it is very humorous to see how he is unable to express even the slightest feeling without making it look ridiculous.
- Testarrosa is a young girl and Sagara’s superior in the organization. She is there to provide a romantic triangle and frankly she hardly seems to be leadership material. It’s her powers that somehow make her important but you end up caring about her silly behaviour and her rivalry with Chidori.
All the rest of the cast are not interesting; mostly stock material of students and other military staff, just so the story will have more variety. They help to colorize the main trio nicely.
ART & MUSIC SECTION: FMP: 7/10, FUM: 8/10, SR: 8/10, AVERAGE: 8/10
All three series look and sound very appealing to the senses, as they have pretty good visuals and nice songs, appealing character figures and fitting voice acting. There is no innovation or even experimentation in here to offer the trilogy some sort of artistic bonus to the scores; it’s a pretty much mainstream take on mecha action and school comedy. I give FMP a bit less though because it is made by GONZO. Their CGI is making everything look worse. Plus, aesthetically speaking the bright colours of Fumoffu and the dark ones in Second Raid helped to establish a sort of unique feeling to them, a thing that misses entirely from FMP.
VALUE SECTION: 7/10
This trilogy has by all means nothing exceptional about it. It is an above average time killer thanks to the strong chemistry around the main trio as well as Sagara’s weird behaviour. Plus, the different feeling of each season make it more memorable.
ENJOYMENT SECTION: FMP: 6/10, FUM: 8/10, SR: 8/10, AVERAGE: 7/10
FMP is an almost average teen adventure with loose plot that has very little to remember it about. Fumoffu is very good as a comedy, with several hilarious scenes. Second Raid is also good if you see it as a whole, as it strengthens and progresses the relationships of the characters, offers new aspects of the setting and even presents a darker side to the light and silly feeling of the previous instalments.
VERDICT: FMP: 6/10, FUM: 6.5/10, SR: 7.5/10, AVERAGE: 7/10
It is not by any means a masterpiece but it is very enjoyable in overall and does improve along the way instead of getting worse, as it usually happens with sequels.