Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita

Jinrui wa Suitai Shimashita (Humanity Has Declined) looked cute and lighthearted from the start, with its pastel palette and adorable styling. and it was rather cute, in between the times when i was left wondering what the hell was going on. the series' ending theme, "Yume no Naka no Watashi no Yume" ("My Dream Within a Dream") sets the tone for the series quite nicely, feeling sort of like a dali painting given voice. i was told through various written sources that the series was intended to be a political commentary on various social flaws, and if one knows what to look for, it's there.

Jinrui (or Jintai, as the shortened version of the title is said to be) started off with some rather obvious political commentary in the first 2 episodes, citing humanities willingness to sacrifice quality in the name of the bottom line, and that our rampant consumerism will eventually be our downfall. after this, however, the series just continued with some of the most random shit it could pull, from sentient headless skinned chickens to being stuck in a time loop for 2 episodes. i literally asked myself at one point, "Am I having a fever dream?", to which the series responded with a superpowered girl with cat ears.

Why indeed.

Jinrui did, however, deliver in other areas. the Heroine, despite never receiving a name (outside of her schoolyard nickname, Okashi-chan/Ms. Sweets), has depth to her character and is believable, despite the outrageous nature of the series. Her Grandfather, Assistant, and friends are as well, each having their own likes, dislikes, goals, and even episodes. The later episodes reveal things about the characters backstories', providing even more depth than what is usually covered in such a short series. Even the fairies are distinct, with some of them becoming recurring characters (such as Nakata-san).

Stuff like this happens a lot.

Not much else can be said about Jinrui. i get the feeling it's the type of series that i'd understand more after a second watch, or if i was more politically active (or both). there were times when i was left clutching my head in the Jackie Chan "my brain is full of fuck" pose due to the sheer nonsensical attitude towards the plot. as a result, it dragged on at some times, and was extremely engaging at others. despite everything, however, i'd be inclined to watch it again, if only because the animation and art were just very, very pretty and unique. don't be surprised if you're left wondering what the hell just happened, though.


Jinrui is available through Horrible Subs, Doki Subs, Deadfish Encodes, Commie Subs, and Jinrui is also available for purchase through Sentai Filmworks.


Ai Yori Aoshi

I've wanted to see Ai Yori Aoshi since i first started watching anime. the series came out in the early 2000's and the trailer was on basically every anime dvd that came out during that time (2002-03). the series initially looked very emotional and dramatic, helped in no small part by the opening, "Towa no Hana" ("Eternal Flower"), which is both iconic and touching.

The result left me feeling rather odd. While the series starts off serious, holding a good stock of deep feelings, this was quickly nipped in the bud after a couple episodes, with sudden improbable circumstances such as moving into a large mansion free of charge and the main character being surrounded by beautiful women. i chalked this up to it being a "typical 90's type series" and kept with it, enjoying the more dramatic moments. overall, though, i felt the anime copped out a bit when the time came, perhaps to pad out the episode count. obligatory beach episodes, hot spring episodes, and generalized character archetypes (the little sister type, the clumsy one, the boisterous friend) didn't help this much. i felt the characters themselves lacked some depth, instead being turned into cookie-cutter molds of fan-favourite girls so as to appeal to a wider market. despite this, the series was rather pretty, the characters all looking so as well, even having the 90's holdovers in style (large, squareish eyes, small rounded mouths, simple body lines), which i found rather cute. the anime shows its age slightly, but nothing like older series such as Urusei Yatsura.


As i have yet to read the manga, i can't comment on the faithfullness of the adaptation, but have heard that the manga's plot is more serious in nature. this leads me to want to read/collect the series (which is sadly out of print), if only because i feel a sort of nostalgic loyalty to the series (odd, since i had never seen anything but trailers till now), and thus want to see if it was worth it. the anime lacks a lot in plot, to the point where i was angry by the end of the first season for not tying up a single loose end (save for one, which wasn't even fully resolved). i was eager to see the second season, Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~, but this did little to provide for the plot, either. if anything, i felt even less satisfied by the end of the second season than by the first. i'm not even confident the last resolved issue in the story was even in the manga. and though i haven't yet seen the ~Enishi~ OVA, i doubt that provides any story insight, either. (From what i've heard, it's actually a prequel episode.)

Not without its touching moments.
Overall, Ai Yori Aoshi and Ai Yori Aoshi ~Enishi~ were cute and pretty, but did little to satiate my desire for a story. Aoi and Kaoru's relationship doesn't get far due to the harem running interference. Tina is such the stereotypical "American" that she is blonde-haired, blue-eyed, and has a southern accent (in the dub). Taeko happens to be a clumsy meganekko (glasses-girl) with a braid who also happens to be a maid. Mayu showcases the classic rich fangirl. and Aoi personifies the Yamato Nadeshiko. The arcs are never more than 2-3 episodes long, and few and far between, with most episodes being one-offs that could easily be watched out of order. if you really, really liked the manga, or feel like seeing something fluffy and silly, then feel free to watch it. but if you want a rich storyline, you'll be sorely disappointed.

Ai Yori Aoshi is available through KickAssAnime or Anime-Works (or just by googling), and is licensed for sale through Funimation Entertainment.

But mostly fanservice.


A (hopefully short) Introduction Post!

welcome to the newly-created Konpeito Kari Anime Review Blog! i had a thought awhile ago that hey, i watch enough of the stuff, why not review some anime? here i'll be reviewing whatever i'm watching, popular or not, fresh or not. i'll try to be as impartial as possible on some points, but remember that all reviews, regardless of source or writer, will contain some opinions. however, i will also focus on general points of it, like animation quality and faithfulness to the story (if possible). if asked, i'll point out which sub groups are doing what anime, if and when anime is coming out (either on dvd/blu ray or for the first time), and whether or not an anime has an english dub (that is, if i can get the proper information).
if nothing else, hopefully this blog will provide some insight on anime you might potentially like. and if nothing else, it gives me a place to rant. enjoy!