Though the world may seem to be a normal place, in the midst of shadows lies the supernatural and terrifying. Beings from the shadow world known as Kokuchi have begun to invade the human world, and it’s up to certain people to defeat them; Akira Nikaido is one such person. Though his life used to be ordinary, one day, the bishounen and affectionate Shirogane asked Akira to form a pact with him; and consequently, Akira became Shirogane’s shadow partner. Together, the two hunt down stray Kokuchi – but more importantly, Akira must fend off Shirogane’s advances and try to make his classes!
Monochrome Factor was kindof an up and down type of show. The story itself had a good idea behind it; darkness attempting to take over the world and average teenagers being thrown in to try and save it. It was pretty slow moving in places, and a lot of the episodes were pretty repetative. The shounen-ai wasn't really there. There were a couple of kisses (which had no romantic link to them really) and a few suggestive comments (all one sided). If you squint you could say there is love between the main two characters but that could be there just because I wanted it to be. The animation isn't bad. It isn't clean cut, but the colours are good and quite impressive. You can tell it isn't brand new but it doesn't ruin it. The sound is very good. The voice actors all did a very good job, and none of the characters had annoying voices or anything. The music was good as well and fitted the show. The theme song was different, as in not a pop type song, but it is a very good song and I really like it. The characters were likable enough, but there was no character development really. There was a lot of comic relief characters, but I like comedy so that wasn't a problem for me. Overall, I watched all of it, but some episodes I didn't especially enjoy. The ending was really good, but the ending suggested a season two, which hasn't yet seen much sign of coming out. It wasn't my favourite anime but it was good enough to watch once.
Monochrome Factor is a shonen-ai fantasy that squanders a promising storyline and ends up leaving the viewer bored and frustrated.The plot premise is surprisingly good. Nikaido Akira, the Chosen One (in an alarming deviation from the norm, a Japanese schoolboy!) is attacked by demons, forced into a contract by a mysterious stranger, Shirogane, and subsequently battles the forces of evil along with his school friends, whose powers conveniently 'awaken'. Goodness, it's exactly like Bleach! And 3/4 of the shonen series out there. This isn't necessarily a criticism, (if it works, why fix it?) but boring. In the first six episodes, Akira fights demons and recruits his team members. So far, so good. There then follows 15 EPISODES OF FILLER. Let me repeat that. 15 EPISODES, which serve to advance the plot in NO SIGNIFICANT WAY. AT ALL. My capitalisation expresses my disappointment on this front. Every episode involves a (amusingly sexually confused - see below) guest star, who interacts pointlessly with the main group, becomes possessed, fights the group, is snapped out of it by his friend/lover/family/dentist, then cries and becomes a better person. Episodic doesn't cover it. Repetitive as hell. I got to Episode 21, and still there was no sign of the main plot, in a 24 episode series! The ending is predictable. Overall, there are gaping plot holes, a curiously impotent and motive-less evil force, and as always, a cast baddie for each cast goodie to fight so that hero goodie can fight arch baddie.The animation is, however, very good. Or, if you're being less charitable, as good as you would expect a 2008 Genco production. It was good, though. As expected of a shonen-ai, the show is bishie-tastic, with a lot of pretty men fulfilling most major requirements. The young one, the brash one, the mysterious one - and all with broad shoulders and teeny waists. Perfect. Backgrounds are however serviceable at best, with little attempt made to ever impart a sense of beauty. Art Monochrome Factor ain't. I should note, however, that Akira's outfit in his 'Shin' form is one of the best I have ever seen for the hero of any anime. I have the urge to cosplay!The sound is the same as the background. Utterly unnoticeable, it serves only to frame the 'characters'. The op is your typical shonen; fast and angsty without being something you would ever choose to listen to again. Ed is unmemorability defined.The characters are clearly the point to this anime, where plot is central to Code Geass, animation to Red Garden, and sound to Nodame Cantabile (generalisations, I know - incidentally those are GOOD examples of anime). The characters are stereotypical but still quite charming. Stupid male sidekick, aggressive female, genius boy... stop me if any of this is new. As a shonen-ai, females get a very bad deal. In particular, Kengo's sister, Mayu, is both a comedy foil and a 'light-hearted' assault on woman-kind. Big-breasted, shallow, vapid, falling for man after man, the series goes out of its way to show that there is nothing sacred about heterosexual love. The queer credentials of Monochrome Factor are show-cased, with transvestites, lesbians and every gender bender you can think of.Monochrome Factor however fails dismally on two counts. One, there is no character development. At all. None. Not a single character, in ANY WAY (caps again!) CHANGES AT ALL. Secondly, for a shonen-ai, the relationship between Akira and Shirogane is unconvincing. Shirogane in particular fails to move the watcher in the slightest, and spends 22 episodes leching on Akira, who could up till then be entirely straight, for all we know. There is zero emotional depth between the two, which means the viewer couldn't care less, something even Gakuen Heaven manages!Overall, the series is deeply disappointing. If you watch the first six episodes, I heartily recommend you skip to Episode 22, and it would not make an iota of difference. As fantasy Monochrome Factor is derivative and has goddamnawful pacing, and as shonen-ai Monochrome Factor concerns an effete weirdo trying to touch a schoolboy for twenty episodes. Rarely have I watched an anime and wanted it to end.
First some items I need to adress. I'm Dutch to expect some spelling errors, if they are to annoying just message me and I'll fix it. My opinion may vary from others and this is fine. People are different so there is a good chance that I will not like what you love. Deal with it. I'm not telling you that you should hate it too, I'm telling you why I didn't like it. I'll try to keep swearing to a minimum but fail utterly on occasion. In general it is the more the anime pisses me off the more I swear so watch out for the low scored ones. Art: It's fine, not good but certainly not bad. Action was easy to follow and characters were easily identifyable. What more could you want? I must add that I was shocked to learn that this anime was made around 2008 as it does not look its age. if you had asked me to guess I would have said that it was made in the nineties. Sound: I very rarely pay any attention to the music. It should be there but not overshadow what is on screen and in that regard it succeeded. Voice acting is fine. Characters: The main character is Akira. He is 16 years old and kind of a delinquent who gets into fights often and likes to skip class with his friend Kengo. Shirogane is a powerful shadow who seeks out Akira to help him with the Shadow invasion. He is very secretive and clearly has some deep feelings for Akira. Kengo ia the childhood friend os Akira and follows him everywhere. He is a very simple person who likes to makes word puns that nobody likes. He has an older sister who .... who is basically a slut. A drunken slut to be precice. She isn't so much a character but a type. She essentially throws herself on every good looking guy she sees and tries to drag him to the altar to marry him. Every time the anime needs a drunkerd and/or slut type of character, she appears. From the top of my head I can remember 3 episodes where she filled that role. Aya is part of the school committee and responsible for discipline. As such she chases Akira all over the place to get him to follow the rules. Story. Akira likes nothing better than to skip school, get in fights and just hang around doing nothing. Things change when he encounters Shirogane who approaches him in the street. Not only does it appear that he knows more about Akira than he likes he also casts no shadow. Later, during an attack by monsters that only Akira can see, Shirogana appears once again and saves him from certain death. But in doing so he is forced to change Akira into a shadow like himself. Not only will this keep him alive but is also gives him the power to fight the shadow monsters. Now Akira must set out to find the cure that will fix his condition and investigate what is going on with the shadow monsters to stop their invasion. Rant. This anime started out fine but quickly started dropping in quality. I like that it took its time to develop the main cast as there are quite a few. Some get the shaft pretty hard like Kengo's sister who doesn't go past being a drunken slut but others actually get some growth in the series. Aya probably in particular who starts out as this overbearing girl who chases Akira around to actually having a personality beyond being a type. The anime is 24 episodes long and this time is mostly wasted. Almsot every episode is structured the same: the cast go somewhere, meet a number of people who are into each other but hide their feelings for the other. They have some stupid falling out or misunderstanding. Evil person appears who summons a shadow monster that possesses someone to make them go on a rampage. They fight said monster but have trouble with it. Significant other appears and declares something significant that breaks the hold of the shadow monster and Akira defeats the shadow monster. It is basically 10-15 minutes of 'character' development followed by 5 minutes tops for the resolution and you will never see any of these charcters again. Shirogana is constantly coming onto Akira. If you into that then this is fine but I really didn't care either way but it was borderline rapey at times. Kengo's sister however....she will straight up rape you if you are her type and it really hard to watch at times. It is pretty much played for comedy but it is skirting a fine line. Another minus was the resolution of the bad guy. Throughout the series you see him sitting on a throne in a cave giving orders. When you finally learn his identity you will most likely start calling bullshit immediately. Not because it isn't likely but because it comes out of nowhere and makes no real sense. I got the feeling that they wrote themselves into a corner and just decided to start winging it. The extremely late addition of the Shadow king and Shiroganes' relation to him also popped up around here. While I'm fine with what they did I don't like when they did it and that there is no resolution to any of this. He just kind of pops up, fights a bit and then just leaves again. The anime just straight up says, "Hey, this guy exists and he's important. I'm going to do anything with him though so....bye!"
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