There used to be a time when the Noitanima timeslot was synonymous to uncommon stories and quality shows but those good times are now over. Even Noitanima succumbed to the stereotypes and fads that plague modern anime, and thus we get this show. Don’t fool yourselves to thing it isn’t because it came out during the ghost/zombie fad and is nothing more than a rehash of the premise of AnoHana, which also aired in the same timeslot half a year ago.
- The animation is also not done by a bigshot studio but rather a minor one called Doga Kobo. These guys haven’t even produced a single above average show in their whole career, so what the hell are they doing here, collaborating with a top tier production?
- The directing is done by Matsuo Kou whose roster is filled with nothing but mediocrities. I sincerely see nothing good coming out of this combo.
The premise is about a guy who wants to have a relationship with a widow but the ghost of her deceased husband is still lingering around her life. And he is not the scary haunting type, since tortured souls and animated rotten corpses are presented as moe in anime. He is a bishonen who occasionally doesn’t wear clothes, or has an open shirt so we can feast on his hairless chest. KYAAA fujoshi service! So this ghost refuses to move along to the afterlife because he doesn’t want to leave his wife behind. So when another man tries to take his place in her heart, he gets annoyed. This new man is the only one who can see the ghost, and constantly has it in his way every time he wants to advance past the safe zone with the widow. Imagine a steamy scene where he is about to kiss her but the bishonen ghost appears in front of him making it look like a gay kiss. KYAAA more fujoshi service. Other than that, a lame cockblocker.
And that is the whole conflict in this show. What do I think about it? It’s totally boring! Aside from being a rehash and a fad chaser, it also lacks any hook to keep the viewer interested. There is no love triangle or dilemma going on in here to spice things up, since one is alive and the other one is dead. How hard is it to tell whom the heroine will choose? There is simply no motivation to keep watching further.
Of course in the minds of the fujoshis there is a lot of interest in how the live dude is going to win the widow’s heart. Maybe the ghost can give him advices on what he knows about her as means to press the proper buttons to win her heart. Maybe it will be somewhat interesting to see how they will open up to each other and reveal… well, hopefully something more than typical stuff. Maybe her grief will come out, the live dude will smile for a few times in his life, and the ghost will move to the afterlife.
Well, you can stop hoping because the plot is running on convenience and not logic or even free will. All you get is a line of asspulls and the characters acting completely out of sync with what is going on. Imagine the woman getting sick out of nowhere and the ghost runs to tell the live dude to go help her. Yeah, how nice to have an asspull of a disease being the only reason the plot can move forward. How about some free will instead? How about hiring an exorcist? How about telling her the truth instead of letting her think he was stalking her all day and night?
For a romance, the story is never character-based and that ruins everything. Every single event is based on the whims of the author and not the will of its characters. For example, while the ghost was still alive, the only reason he proposed to the woman was because he found out about his illness. The only reason he asked for a divorce is because he found out it would be incurable. The only reason the new guy asked her to go steady is because the ghost started getting in his way. Although you can say the characters are simply adjusting to life’s everyday problems instead of acting autistic to their surrounds, it still feels like they are completely passive and weak-willed. The scriptwriters controls them as he likes and not as they should behave.
Even if we put that aside, everything in this show happens without much emotion, since the characters seem to be very cynical about everything. And not just because they are adults who have control over their emotions. They don’t seem to care much even about supernatural stuff like ghosts, or about serious stuff like proposing to marry someone. There is nothing worth anticipating. There is no way to like such passive and weak-willed characters; most people today prefer dynamic and active ones. Not only that, but as the episodes go by the characters become more and more annoying exactly because they don’t care.
- The heroine does ridiculous things such as trusting a guy who knows where she hides the keys to the house and when she is in need of help. What kind of mature woman would tolerate a guy who seems to stalk her and talks to thin air? And for someone who is an expert in decorations, her style in clothes is terrible! What is wrong with that hat of hers?
- The ghost nags all the time, kicks things and acts like a spoiled brat, surely not something a married adult would ever be. Later on he possesses the live dude and tries to seduce his woman again, while the spirit of the live one is in some dreamland. What is this crap? Mature romance my ass.
- And the living dude… well, he doesn’t care or does much; he passively strolls through the events like nothing much matters. Why is he even blocked from kissing the heroine just because a ghost was in the way? Just close your eyes and go for it man.
If there is something nice in this show, that would be its looks. The atmosphere is nice for a josei anime, as it takes place in a flower shop with lots of fancy colours, and the two main males are hairless chest bishonens. Of course even that can only mean it is just tired rehash of the same old stuff we get for over a decade. As for the music part, I found it too soft and unnoticed, while voice acting doesn’t excel anywhere exactly because the characters are so cynical.
The whole thing is basically a ridiculous supernatural ghost romance where common sense flies off the window. I know many who found that awesome in Dusk Maiden of Amnesia but lets be honest here; this is all crap. No sane person would want to spend his life jerking off to hot air… And yes, anti-social otakus are not sane so of course and they would choose hot air as their waifu.
I have seen what those who liked the show have to say in its defence and pretty much they all repeat the same thing. “The mature romance of the summer season”. Meaning, just something to watch for the summer and as soon as fall kicks in they will dump it for the next mature romance that comes out. And wait a second, mature? How the devil is it even mature if it has such a retarded story? Ghost romance? Seriously? Is this the legacy of Twilight? Improbable couplings between a human girl and a random undead creature? What is this, did normal romances all of a sudden got dull and beyond salvation? Or perhaps are all modern romance anime totally crap to the point you grab at straws?
Ok, how about this? The guy is lost in an accident at sea and everybody think he is dead. His wife grieves for a year but eventually moves ahead in her life and gets into a relationship with another man. So the guy finally manages to return and finds her now in love with another man. Wouldn’t THAT be an awesome hook for a show? What is this bullshit with ghosts? There is no room to create any decent plot. Bring an exorcist and move along with your lives dammit!
So in all, it’s a shitty show for fujoshis. The conflict is bollocks, there is no hook to interest you into watching further, the characters are cynical, everything runs on convenience, and the ending is dull and predictable. Go watch Nana instead.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 6/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (pretty flowers)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 1/2 (basic)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 2/10
Premise 0/2 (boring right away)
Pacing 0/2 (dull)
Complexity 1/2 (not much)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 3/10
Presence 0/2 (annoying)
Personality 2/2 (cheesy but well founded)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 0/2 (random)
Catharsis 0/2 (no free will to get any)
VALUE SECTION: 1/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 0/3 (too stupid to bother rewatching)
Memorability 1/4 (nothing special to bother remembering)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 1/10
Art 1/1 (pretty flowers)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 0/3 (feels stupid and does nothing to redeem itself)
Characters 0/4 (they are annoying)