Way to throw a potentially good premise out the window I say. The first episode is absolutely one of the best, with solid introductions and an interesting undertone. The badassery is gone by the time you reach episode 2. It then just diverges into pointless nonsense and the lead character gets tedious to listen to and/or watch. Well, there isn't much more to say about this anime other than you see annoying characters you'll never see again.
A waste of good plotting I'd say, avoid this and watch something else.
Oh God !, my brain just hurts from watching this nonsenc... in wich univers you have to live to casualy ask ''whats going on'' , when you se your teacher sudenly jumps on girl ( that saved your life ) and starts beating the shit out of her.
compleat waste of time.
Story: The idea is new in terms of the actual plot itself, but the main themes in it aren't exactly unfamiliar. The idea of people pacting together to gain extra power is all over the place, e.g. Mahou Sensei Negima. Fairly quickly you're drawn into the story by its intensity, the rapidity of its advancement and the characters who are well casted (even the ones which you hate). A 9 for story because I liked it, although this was the first series I've watched (other than the CardCaptor Sakura series, excluding the second film) where I've yearned for an alternate ending because it left me feeling unsatisfied. If you're someone who has to have an excellent ending then heed this warning: You will be disappointed.
Animation: The animation wasn't exactly a masterpiece; in terms of raw quality I would have rated it somwhere around 7; however, for the series' themes and battles the style fits snugly. The only downside is that in some of the battles the reuse of animation was noticeable, but just about every anime is guilty of this and Kurokami kept this to a minimum. I gave this a 9 for its suitability and general quality.
Sound: Again, the music wasn't exactly a masterpiece. It's not a soundtrack I'd rush out to buy like the CLANNAD or Pandora Hearts OSTs, but it does its job well to the point that it blends in to atmosphere rather than being distinctly noticeable. In my opinion, if you don't notice the music because it's woven into the events unfolding then it has been done skillfully and effectively. When the music needs to be heard, it is heard. Thus, I gave it an 8 as it was good, but not exceptional.
Characters: The characters were well suited to their jobs. From Keita's detached personality which develops to reveal his true self to Kuro's consistently cheerful and happy attitude which can become serious in the appropriate situations. A 9 for the characters because, while not as entirely unique as you may expect, we didn't have a classic Tsundere character as such which gives it a slightly fresh air, for me at least.
Overall: 9.5. It would be a 10 because, for the whole anime up to the last episode, I was engrossed in the plot, I adored the characters and the battles. The last episode was possibly the biggest let down in anime that I've yet seen: An episode which is almost entirely re-done scenes from earlier on with a few extra bits and monologue from the two main female parts, then an epilogue that made me want to write very angry e-mails to the writers.
It's worth a watch and you will love it, and then cry in anger at the end.
Right, it's confession time for me. If you have been reading my reviews than you may have noticed that I tend to rip the anime a new one. There is a reason for this though and it has to do with the fact that I can't turn my brain off when watching anime. I can't ignore the stupid shown in the anime and this is a problem as most anime are very stupid indeed.
In this case I'm not talking about a 90 pound girl catching a multi-ton cruise missile and throwing it back. Yes, it is stupid but it is a stupid that I'll allow. It's anime. Things like this are normal here and I'm pretty much fine with it. It annoys me to be sure but I will not rant about it.
So, having explained this lets rip into this anime shall we? Just a heads up: There will most probably be spoilers. The more I hate an anime the more spoilers there will be.
ART: There is no problem with the art but this is pretty hard to mess up these days. The animation does what it is supposed to do and it looks good while doing it. Action is easy to follow and characters are easily identifiable. There are some...continuity errors here and there though. Usually when a character starts out on someones left side and being on the right side in the next shot.
SOUND: Again no complaints from me. I have watched the anime a few days ago but can no longer remember either the OP or the ED song. This is how I generally prefer it so I'm fine with it. Voice actors did a good job overall.
CHARACTERS: Main character is Keita. Although he tries to be a loner his sense of right and wrong makes him step out and reach a helping hand when needed.
Kuro is a young girl seeking revenge for her mother and clan, murdered by her brother. She is a princess of the Shishigami clan and a powerful Tera Guardian tasked with maintaining the balance of Tera on Earth.
Reishin is Kuro's older brother and was next in line to lead the clan before he killed most of the clan. He is now hunted by every Tera Guardian but his extraordinary power has kept anyone from defeating him.
Akane is a friend of Keita's family and has practically raised him since his mothers death. She cares deeply for Keita and will do anything for him.
STORY: After his mothers' death, Keita, just wants to be alone and not get close to anyone for fear of feeling the pain of loss again. Things change when he encounters Kuro, a mysterious young girl, who was starving in the street. Although hesitent he reaches out to her and gets caught in a supernatural battle as people are after Kuro's powers as a Tera Guardian. Keita gets mortally wounded and Kuro enters into a contract with him in order to save him. Not sure what is going on, Keita, suddenly finds himself helping Kuro search for her brother so that she can kill him for the murder of her mother.
RANT: ....Contrary to what you may think I can deal with stupid rather well. I don't actually mind it all that much. It will annoy me to be sure but I won't hate the anime for it. There are exceptions and that is when the stupid is the story. This anime does not work because the story is garbage.
Strike 1: Kuro searching her brother because she wants to kill him.
This is not a problem and understandable as the last time she saw him he was standing next to the Tera stone to which her mother was tied. She was ripped apart by him and he was complaining that it hadn't been enough.
However....later she adds to this saying that she wishes to hear his reasons why he did what he did and depending on the answer she would kill him. This is bullshit.
I have one brother and I love him. We disagree from time to time but if he ever needs me then I'll be there for him. If my brother kills everyone then I will very much want to know why. I will kill him right after he answers.
Nothing and I do mean nothing can be used as a legitimite excuse to murder everyone you know. For her to state that she would decide after hearing his answer is pure and utter bullcrap and it pissed me off.
Strike 2: There is a good reason why Reishin killed everyone.
I could give the same reason here again as I did with the first point but I'm not going to. The first point was bad but this part completely destroyed any good feeling I had for this piece of crap. Allow me to walk through the problems that come up with the reason shit went south.
It is revealed that Kuro bears a strange mark and that the Tera stone reacts to her. The clan elder notices both and immediately knows that shit has become real. Kuro has to die.
But eventhough he is sure he still calls for the priestess to perform a dreaming ceremony where she will look into the future to see what is going down. She wakes up with the aquired knowledge but lies to the elder saying that all is fine.
The elder doesn't buy it but I guess that this is to be expected when you ask the FUCKING MOTHER of the girl you are planning to MURDER to look into the future WHERE YOU MURDER HER FUCKING DAUGHTER!
Like I said the mother essentially flips him off, calls in Reishin and tells him shit is going to happen. Reishin rushes off to confront the elder and he rushes so fast that the elder has time to call in every soldier under his command, collect those sympathetic to Kuro and murder them.
Considering the time needed to do everything the elder did I wonder what Reishin did in the time between hearing it from his mother to arriving at the meeting place. There is also the fact that all the sympathisers were murdered out in the open where everyone could see it happen or see the aftermath. Actually....Reishin does see the aftermath and still tries to talk sense into the elder.
The elder orders the attack and Reishin kicks much ass, explaining all the dead clansmen he was responsible for. But wait? What about the mother? Wasn't she tied to the Tera stone and killed by Reishin? What is the deal with that?
Glad you asked! Well, listen to this shit: The reason Kuro had to die was because of an ancient war. A powerful Godlike being was sealed inside the stone and it is tied to Kuro. She will either be the salvation or the destruction of the world and the mark she bears signifies this. Anyone with this mark ha therefore been killed before they could affect the Tera stone and the seal.
To save Kuro, fate must be changed and the seal broken before Kuro could do it. To break the seal all they needed was the blood of the Shishigami and mom was kind enough to donate her supply.
My initial reaction to this was wonder why the blood from the many murdered clansmen pooling outside the door wasn't used instead. Look, give some tubing and a couple of buckets and in a few minutes you'll have all the blood you'll need.
Maybe it needed to be the blood of the Shishigami family you say? Well, this is never stated in the anime and these guys lived very isolated. Suffice to say that they were probably very closely related to each other by now. At least to a point where you wonder if that guy you like is your cousin, your uncle or both.
Strike 3: This is a trope used in many anime and it always angers me. Shit would be solved so much quicker if people just talked to each other. Instead they are accused of something and instead of saying anything they just stand there and stare.
'Why are you doing this?'
'Look, all I want to do is break that seal and kill what comes out or you will die.'
'....Oh, why didn't you say so. Need a hand?'
'Thanks. You helping me would certainly make my task much easier to accomplish.'
See? This anime could have been over in just a few episodes! But no, we needed 24 episodes of....What? Oh, right. I meant 22 episodes as the final 2 are essentially a recap and a story about two of the side characters.
Strike 4: I've already covered why I hated the fact that Reishin killed everyone but there is more to it than that. Reishin is a beast. He is easily the most powerful guardian alive and killed everyone with ease, even after they got the drop on him.
To add to this I must say that he did this while being unpartnered. It is stated multiple times that Guardians gain a lot of strength after bonding to a human. They do not only get stronger but it also unlocks their ultimate attack.
If Reishin acted quicker he could have taken Kuro from their home and run away and nobody could have stopped them. He could have taken his time and explained shit to her calmly and with his mothers' help, avoiding a lot of drama.
Instead he waited for the Elder to make his move and was forced to kill everyone. The best part is that after doing all that he simply left her there. I will explain the stupidity of this: He killed everyone at their home because they were trying to kill her and then left her there with the people trying to kill her.
But....didn't you say that he killed everyone there? True, I did. He killed everyone THERE. He didn't kill any of the guardians who were NOT at their home base. All it would have taken was the elder leaving a note for anyone to find and Reishin would not have been there to keep them from killing her making the entire point meaningless.
Besides, he didn't kill everyone at their home either. His pupil survived the attack and some decided to fight with him and left when he did. Also a number of servants also lived as you can clearly see them in several flashbacks. All Reishin did was kill the elder and the soldiers with him at that time.
It would amount to the same thing if I heard that a friend of mine was sentenced to death in prison. I would mount an attack on the prison holding him, killing all the guards and staff only to leave him there when I'm done. It's stupid, it's poinless and it makes no sense. Like most of this anime.
Just fotget this exists and seek out anything else. It sucks
Story - 6/10
To start with, the storyline had quite some interesting themes that could have gone into so much exploration. The idea of a doppeliner system was quite a unique idea and I thought, had a lot of promise to it. However, the actual anime itself, in my opinion, failed the actual storyline. In 23 episodes, I would say, is a good number of episodes to sum everything up, however, there were many character introductions that were extremely random and there were random villains here and there that were totally unnecessary to the entire storyline but were just there for show. For entertainment, I understand it is just for *show* but it verged on "filler-esque" and I was sure this was something the anime was not aiming for as there were no filler episodes. I would like to say however that this anime scored points for me in terms of action but they could have done much more with it still. Some action scenes seemed repetitive. It is funny to say that there was no build up to important scenes when necessary and there WAS build up when it was completely useless to put there. I do point out however the anime had some good plot twists, so that's somehow a plus because the unpredictable is always nice sometimes. However, there were certain things in this story that thought should not have been there such as some what I would call, "flat romance". Sure, just a side theme to the story, but a pretty bad choice and could probably do best without. Either do a side theme properly or just leave it out completely. And in all honesty, this anime was verging on anti-climatic.
Animation & Sound - 4/10
I would say the animation was not too shabby. But honestly, there is not much to say about it. Nothing noteable. It was just standard. On the other hand, for sound, the music and sound effect selection was pretty bad. The battle themes pissed me off quite a bit. It was very off-putting. The genre of the music was ok, but the choice of song and effects were just horrid. It just seemed very out of place. However, I did enjoy the opening and ending themes. I think those were pretty spot on.
Characters - 4/10
There were some very interesting characters, but the actual interesting characters were not explored. On the other hand, most of the boring characters were the main characters. Keita, the male protagonist pissed me off quite a bit throughout the anime for various reasons. I'm not very "for" the idea of this kind of character as a male protagonist. Kuro, I quite liked as she had the most background. But everyone else just seemed like empty shells to me. I also have a confession to make. I wish Akane was not part of this storyline and could have gone with something else. There was something about her that just seemed so lackluster.
Overall (Personal Opinion) - 4/10
Basically, I liked the action as I like action animes. And I like the idea of main characters getting stronger and defying the norm. I don't mean to be biased, but I am saying this because I guess I am, but I just really, really didn't like how the story flowed. It just felt too coincidental for the sake of the story to go somewhere. Honestly though this anime could have done so much but they just didn't do it. You don't know how much I was face palming myself by the time I was finishing off this anime. I just wanted it to end and then tell myself, well great, that was a complete waste of time. For me that is. I understand some people might have liked it, but in terms of what the anime was trying to *do*, it just didn't do it for me. For an anime that could have so many possibilities and so much potential, this one just epically face-planted. Literally.