From the deepest pits of DEEN's hell comes Ao Oni - The Animation, a movie which has the dubious honor of being the worst thing DEEN has ever made (and it looks like it'll remain that way for a while).
The movie features a group of students who are investigating the story of Ao Oni for a school project and, a few hours later, they learnt he hard way there's a monster in the school and they are trapped inside with no way out.
Judging from this one would think this is going to be a snoozefest... and they'll be right. The first half of the movie is really dull and feels like it's thrice as long while the second part tries way too hard to grab your attention and fails to do so. To make things worse the plot twist at the end comes is so nonsensical it would make M. Night Shyamalan facepalm. Not everything is bleak though, becuase there was one part where the people in charge of it seemed to have a moment of enlightment and decided to put a really random dance bit that was so out of place it was unintentionally funny.
Animation-wise is so terrible it might be the very reason this anime is considered a horror movie (though it doesn't reach Naria Girls' level of eye-cancer). The backgrounds and the characters look as dull as dishwater, the lip-sync is pretty much inexistent and also the moth movements are pretty weird and unnatural. As if it wasn't enough in the hectic points of the movie the animation is really laggy (it has even more lag than the first episode of Kemono Friends!), the blood splatter looks really out of place in some occasions and some of the bodies looked like charred turds instead of skinned people (or that's what I think the creators wanted them to look like).
The OST was really limited and most of the songs consisted on tracks taken straight from the game (including a remix of the already overused chase track from the game that plays close ot the end of the movie). The voice acting was ok though, which given the quality of this movie it sounds like an achievement.
The characters are blander than the blandest thing that you can come up with. Save for 2 or 3 characters that have something that resembles a personality the rest are completely void of personality and are just there to get killed in a gruesome way.
All in all you should avoid this movie unless you're in for some painful boredom.
I honestly don't know why I watched this. Perhaps because I'd just finished Ao Oni ~ the Animation that I thought, you know what? Let's give the movie a try. The anime was cute and funny, so let's see how the movie shall be.
I regretted that decision.
Immediately, you are greeted by a 3D animation, and not even a good one. The mouths are out of sync, the faces, if they aren't bland and unmemorable, look kind of terrifying (I realised why this was considered a horror, though I don't think it's the same reasons they wanted it to be). They also all have either very little or no personality; my favourite character, Perfume-Man, as I call him, probably had the most personality, having a knack for sensing perfume and failing at scaring his classmates. I mean, I'd be pretty scared too if my classmate had no nose unless they were looking away from me and the face of a frog.
The music is nothing exciting throughout the entire movie. The only interesting thing is that they use the same sound from the game when Ao Oni appears.
When I started watching it, I immediately regretted my decision. Not only was the animation bad, the characters looked atrocious, the dialogue was a little bland and it was so slow! It took half the movie before anything happened. But somehow, I was drawn in. Probably because the movie was so atrocious I felt compelled to watch it. And by the time I completely regretted my decision, I was already half-way through the movie.
I was upset enough that I'd forced myself to watch but something about the terrible, terrible deaths - I don't mean good terrible, I mean sitting there, just blinking and trying to figure out how something so badly animated and horribly timed could have possibly found its way into an already terrible movie - coerced me to continue watching the movie.
And so I did.
And so I regretted.
Even if the story at the beginning is mildly interesting, in the last third of the movie, when they explain everything, it all goes downhill. Nothing seems to make sense, it seems extremely rushed and it is SO GODDAMN UNSATISFYING that I had to sit for a few moment, trying to cast out the anger that had arisen in me.
Don't waste your time with it, unless you enjoy long, painful movies that cause anger and dissatisfaction.
It's not actually long, it's only an hour, but when you're watching something this bad, it certainly feels like eternity.
If you ever wondered what rwby meets c grade horror would be then look no further, and not in an all bad way. The story is nothing special but still very enjoyable for what it is. Now before you think I'm, bashing or going fanboy... Like corpse party this ova is based off an rpgmaker horror title rated amound the best in the freeware genre, and one of VERY few that go for a straightforward horror approach.
However the animation is... pretty bad. but not without a few pretty smooth moments which keep the show from being at best a 1.5, sadly stick out like a sore thumb.
The part that shocked me the most was how amazing the voice acting was done, damn near top notch! which isn't the only reason sound is so high, original tidbits of score and a pretty slick soundtrack must be the height of the show
characters... welll. almost no development but serve their purpose, like the story... good enough, like the obsure series of games.
All in all, I hope to see more clasic rpg horror adapted into anime and this movie gives me hope. we may have a long way to go but imagine if we had the support of rwby what our twisted minds could create, This gives me hope for a new corpse party. with the lack of true edge in the modern anime community this could breathe new life into a fairly tame medium as of late.
Having never played the Ao Oni game which this is based on, I can't say whether this is par for the course or the equivalent of franchise vandalism.
Ao Oni The Animation Movie starts with three identical looking boys going camping and getting attacked by the 'Bellflower Monster', which we see in 2/3rds of its glory within the introduction (pretty much a faux pas whatever horror story you're talking about; the point is to keep the villain hidden in shadow as much as possible, not flaunt it like a new car). Some time later, a high school Anthropology Club decides to investigate the link between the Ao Oni flash game (some meta shit right there) and the Ao Oni legend, because apparently 'it doesn't sound like regular folklore' (except it literally does). Unfortunately, a visit to the game's creator is cancelled because of the creator's suicide, which strikes me as a really bizarre way of paying homage to the origins of the franchise, like if the next Avengers film had Stan Lee die of auto-erotic asphyxiation in the first fifteen minutes. Nevertheless, the club members start to investigate the history of the Ao Oni legend, and uncover a very terrible secret. Spoilers: it exists and it's in the school.
One of the main points of criticism levied against this film is the terrible CGI quality. I don't want to focus on that; not because it's not bad- the monster itself is more bemusing than unnerving, mainly because it looks like a creature from a late-90s tech-demo- but because there are actually more pressing issues you'd have to look past. Firstly, most if not all of the characters are carbon copy horror tropes (the 'playboy', the cutesy girl, the shy one, the smart one, the MC with zero personality, the dark brooding suspect, etc.) and the film's very abrupt and gory deaths, when apportioned, have disproportional impact because you simply won't care about anyone. Plot twists aren't uncommon as the cast tries to survive a night under siege by a blue-skinned demon, and some (by no means all) of them are even in danger of being original, but they're also frequently ludicrous and I really wish that this weren't a spoiler-free review so that i could talk about them. Get ready to stare and chuckle in disbelief, is all I'm saying, and I hope that the game's writing was somewhat more engaging, for the sake of its players.
Unfortunately (fortunately?) the voice cast actually tries to do its best with what its given, which lends an air of the tragic to proceedings that would otherwise just have been laughable. It's still laughable, though; the ending, which seems to have been controversial from what I've read on the subject, isn't the absolute worst I've ever seen in anime (somehow) but it still relies on bizarre exposition and isn't quite as 'oh shit' as it would like you to think it is. At least the film doesn't overstay it's welcome, clocking in at an hour, but if anything that seems like too much, as the first 20 minutes or so are taken up by a lot of sitting at tables, listening to tape recordings which then turn out to be undecipherable and thereby waste everyone's time, and set-up for a couple of romantic frissons which don't actually go anywhere.
TL;DR: I can't recommend this to horror fans, anime fans OR people with eyes and brains, in a general sense. If you're a fan of bad films or have a healthy investment in the franchise then maybe you'll squeeze some enjoyment out of this, and again, it's not long or especially arduous. But it's also terrible, so there's that.