Aguu: Tensai Ningyou

TV (12 eps)
2.755 out of 5 from 189 votes
Rank #17,236

Ai is an ordinary girl, and a dancer. Her friend Machi is also a dancer, but Machi is a genius. Watching Machi's talent often makes Ai feel down. But one day, Ai finds out Machi's secret: the existence of the Aguu, palm-size entities who grant genius talent upon those who hold them. In order to save Machi, who has become a "Seamstress" who makes Aguu, Ai becomes a "Savior." The Saviors are a group of people who have fought the Seamstresses for generations.

Source: ANN

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Spoilers ahead. Aguu:Tensai Ningyou is a very strange story that defines natural talent as a divine gift, in which an aspect of a deity acts as a guardian to people. As such though, there are those who can sew the life of these people, and their deity, to the living world. These seamstresses subdue and curse these people, allowing them to tie them to another person granting them these natural talents. These tailors wield a great amount of power by doing so. Mix in a little bit of the supernatural, religion, and shounen-fication and you have a story set up... to be a colossal mess. For many reasons, Aguu: Tensai Ningyou is in my mind, overall 3/10.  We need to start with animation, which is a 2/10 because in every sense it's rather bad. The animation itself is just lackluster, and normally that wouldn't be the end of the world, because at the very least it meets some minimal quality to be ignored for some anime. However, this anime has "action", and if there is one thing you don't do, it's make bad action animation. Beyond this, there is just so much of it, and it's so underwhelming, it detracts from everything about this anime. Then there is art style, which manages to look both weird and bland at the same time. Because of this they manage to miss the mark of either being familiar enough for people to be accustomed to it or so strange it's interesting to look at. Threading into this though, is the character design, and dear god, all the characters we spend the majority of our time have such bland and ugly design. The only good character design are the antagonist, such as Erubato and "Sexy Girl" or Sherlock. Now, we can talk a bit about the story. So, buckle up, at the start I found the story nonsensical, absolutely confusing and it keeps this up for the entire setup for the series. Essentially, "Aguu" are little voodoo dolls made out of people with deities of talent who've been cursed with undeath, shrunk, and then embedded within another person's abdomen to give them the talents. Seems like some real unethical shit, and our main character, literally the worst, Ai finds out her best friend is using these Aguu. She is tasked by an old man to put a talisman on her friend to... not sure, but it will seal her from moving at the very least. Instead she ends up going to an Aguu trade market with Machi where shit goes down and shithead Rafu burns the place down. Ai, Rafu, and Gramps leave the scene of the crime. After this, we hit a time skip with our newfound group of shitty protagonist (more on that in characters) doing some scouting on a tailor. This is where the story is meh, but at least it starts to make sense. Long story short, the show goes from meh, to the point where I'm questioning the plot holes, to explaining the plot holes and actually going from meh to, hey this alright actually. I mean, when we were getting math battles in the mind between our main antagonist and a kid with a wisdom deity, I was actually into it. Which was good and well until the last episode fucked everything up again, and created a new bunch of glaring plot holes that absolutely aren't getting filled. If I can say one thing, at the very least, the story felt like it was smoothly progressing, instead of having clear divided sections of story. Everything flowed incredibly well after that time skip. Yet, there is another issue, the story seemed to make use of "action" which, isn't exactly something you want your story to do when you don't have the animation to back it up. A story can be less than stellar, but as long as it plays to the strength's of a show, there is at least redeeming qualities to that. In this case, story is only going to be a 4/10, it was so up and down, but ultimately I didn't hate it, yet it also had issues that stopped it from even breaking even. Sound 4/10 it's actually kind of atrocious. Sound design is not quite up to standards for starters, secondly the voice acting isn't even okay, it feels off, and I don't even know what that means, lastly there were instances of actual audio issues. (Gonna give it the benefit of the doubt on that last one unless I find out otherwise, and say that was probably an issue with my source.) The soundtrack didn't stick out to me for the most part, but there were a few spots where it did, nothing stuck out as too terrible either I suppose. So at least it gets some points back on that end. Also, I liked the OP song, but the actual OP was garbage despite that. Characters, oh... Awful, our main character Ai is awful. Starts the series by moping about her inability, then unloads her frustration on her best friend, Machi. Saying that she put in effort, but her friend is just talented (or rather is talented thanks to Aguu, which does that make it any better?) and how she can't be her friend anymore. Her friend, a kind person, who is somehow the antagonist of this series, is guilt tripped by this and decides to give her one of her Aguu. Then when shit goes down, after Ai betrays Machi, and the place is engulfed in flames, Ai runs away. Leaving Machi to burn to death. Granted, Rafu does pull her along with him, and he is the one who set the place on fire, and he'll go on to be a violent shit head in the next episode as well. Thankfully, the anime makes the right choice and gets rid of him, and he doesn't come back at all for the rest of the series.  Gramps and Hakumen are both okay at the very least. They're not great, but they at least aren't as infuriating as Ai or Rafu. Meanwhile "Sexy Girl" Christie Ross, aka Machi, is a pretty good character, she gets a decent character arc, her reasons for being the antagonist are at the very least understandable, she has a theme to her that is solid without becoming the center of her character. (Her character design is also hot.) Then there is Erubato, he kinda typical of the more feminine male vampire-like villains that you see a number of in anime. That said, I'm not so tired of this character type I'm going to write him off or anything. Then there are other characters, who honestly I don't even want to mention, these are seemingly the real important characters so I'll leave it there. However, the characters ranging from awful to okay isn't good in fact, and we also have to spend the most time with the awful characters? 2/10  Action 1/10 never again. Drama is actually more fitting here than it is in most places so, 7/10. Supernatural 8/10, I like the supernatural elements of the Aguu and what not, it's at least an interesting concept. Violence 7/10, I guess there was more violence than action, if that makes sense. Based on a manga 0/10 I heard this was based off a manwha, this tag is misleading.  To be honest, I like the initial premise, there is a lot of interesting things and ideas to explore when it comes to "talent". However, this show just takes it and turns it into a battle anime, which is okay, but this was poor execution. I'm not sure there is much else to say, if you're bothering reading this, then I will say, at times I thought this should have just been a hentai. That's a whole web of thought on it's own though. Not quite as refined as my thoughts when I was like, "oh talent is an interesting subject-blah blahblah". If this show gets a second season I might watch it though. 

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