On the outskirts of town stands an abandoned house where ghosts are rumored to appear. Hiroshi and his classmates Takuro, Takeshi, and Mika pay the house a visit, only to be attacked by a bizarre monster, the Blue Devil. Will Hiroshi and his friends succeed in answering riddles and escaping the house, or are they doomed to live hilarious lives forever with the Blue Devil in the haunted house?! The courage-testing life of these four friends begins with the Blue Devil who continues to entertain even after death.
There Are Five of Us!
The Takeshi Power Plan
Aooni's Classy Day
Elegy for the Boys
Ao-Oni is one of the most well-known of RPG Maker games, as if you were to go and talk to someone about the best and the worst, you'll hear mixed reactions about Ao-Oni somewhere in that conversation, or maybe not. Some people consider Ao-Oni a great game, spawning other fan games to accompany that one, while some may argue how memorable and scary it really is. No matter your thoughts on the classic--the game had a large following with its fanbase and became very popular. Now, the main problem with the anime is not that the story structure is off and the pacing was off-beat as well (even though it is), but it lies in more of what Studio Deen is born out of. Like how Studio Bones is born with action and smooth animation in their blood, what Studio Deen has in their studio making blood was not picked out correctly for the making of what was supposed to be a proper adaption. Ao-Oni has been known for its sense of humor, and because Studio Deen is always on board to try and make a comedy anime, Hetalia being one of their biggest hits, and instead of making a horror anime, they followed through with the attempt to be as funny as Hetalia with similar episode structure and sub-par animation, and boy, did it hit hard. Before I start, I should probably tell you--I haven't been a huge fan of the Ao-Oni games unlike a lot of people who have seen this anime. While I don't have the strong opinions of that a fan would have if they saw what happened in the creation of missing potential, I do think what I say will be truthful, and will hopefully help you decide whether to watch this anime regardless of my experience with the game itself. I don't know all the character's names either, and I can't really give much to say in terms of how the game plays out compared to the anime, but regardless, I shall begin my review as I dissect this monstrosity. So, if I had to tell you the story of this animation--what would I tell you the plot was? Would you expect something dark or at least something a bit brooding, or do you expect an episodic misadventure story with no continuation, and barely follows much of the video game plot itself, and only scrapes part of what actually happens in the video games? Well, obviously, it's the latter, and on the other hand, it is also, unfortunately. The story in this anime is little to none, as we are given short exposition at the start before being thrown into the hell of an undivided and organized mess of episodic plots containing each scenario and the monster. While some could argue the handling of these expositions are necessary for newcomers, the way they are handled also hurt the diehard fans. The expositions start off with a dark scene that is supposed to be seen as something like the anime the fans would want, and then abruptly tricks the reader and tells them instead of it being the horror anime they once thought it was going to be judging from the start, is now a cheesy cliched comedy. The plot for each episode isn't interesting either, and each description I read was filled with uttermost translation errors and grammatical mistakes. While it isn't a formula, the plots aren't interesting or new--and the characters aren't fleshed out enough to make us intrigued to figure out how each character reacts to each scenario, except we are just given stereotypes like Tsundere to the female character, and nothing else other than that. The comedy is also flat, and unlike Hetalia, which had decent comedy, this anime has left me with a boring, straight face. One of the few good traits of this anime comes with its length, as each episode is only around five minutes, which is good enough for my attention span so I don't grow bored while endlessly watching the series, but that doesn't help stop all the garbage the anime throws at us and pollutes the water with, metaphorically speaking. Now, what about the animation? The animation can only be summed up with subpar. While the color design rolls off the eyes in a nice way, the colors sparkling and making the experience a bit more tolerable, the animation other than that is nothing short of uninteresting. In comedy anime, good animation is important to make your scenes funnier, and if there is slapstick, you gotta work out talent to make the animation look neat. With what I can remember of this anime, the characters move like what would be similar to moving cardboard puppets with the leftovers of a popsicle stick. The animation isn't smooth, and while sometimes it does work effectively, other times it isn't anything special. The animation isn't anything eye bleeding, unlike something similar to Avenger, one of the ugliest anime I have seen so far, but only charm can save the category of animation. The colors and the decent art style is why it isn't below five, but other than that, this isn't a No Game, No Life or a Kill la Kill, folks. The sound is nothing short of unmemorable and not special. I didn't even think there was music in the anime at first funnily enough, and whatever sound effects I can remember them doing was nothing more than piss poor. The voice acting is average at best, and you can tell they tried their hardest while voice acting the characters, but they really do just sound like anime characters. The Tsundere girl was given her Tsundere-like voice, and the others sounded just the same--very anime-character-sounding. To make your comedy anime successful, there are three things you need to take a shot at in order to get good results. Characters, animation, and the literal jokes themselves. And, if your animation is shitty, and your characters are also one-dimensional, then your jokes will end up falling flatter than a plane in a plane crash if that makes sense. The characters can only be summed up in stereotypes in this game--and seem like lesser versions of the characters in the originals. Only imposters that make up a small part of their real selves. The kid with the glasses is supposed to be the smart one due to his glasses, and that is only much of his personality, and the Tsundere girl only has Tsundere in her personality traits, and the coward is the coward, and that's it--and the main character has literally no personality whatsoever. While it is a challenge to cram and flesh out character develop in five minutes per episode, the thing with something like Hetalia was that the characters were able to be developed through comedy as well in a clever way. While Hetalia is only a decent anime, they had already known how to be clever with their character personalities and the comedy. Hetalia had a fucking larger cast than Ao-Oni but they had better characters than Ao-Oni The Animation could ever pull off. If I had seen these characters being eaten or killed, my face would only light up with excitement as I just realized that this was the only exciting thing that could ever happen in the show. P.S, the characters get eaten a lot and even that is uninteresting. Overall, the reason why this show failed was because of Studio Deen's desperate attempt to try and create another Hetalia to gather more cash rather than invest into making something what everyone wanted. Instead of getting a realistic, well-made horror anime, we're given what seems to only be a shell. A generic anime that could literally go without the label of Ao-Oni on it. A generic anime that both disappointed fans and newcomers with the right mind, a generic anime that failed in almost every section of creating an anime, and a generic anime that I can't even be generous enough to call generic, but a steaming pile of shit. Good job, Studio Deen.
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