Thursday, February 10, 2011

Anime Review: Otome Yokai Zakuro

When this series showed up on the fall anime chart it looked cute but I wasn't expecting, well, anything from the series. As much as I enjoy shojo, their romances are hit and miss with me and this one looked pretty romance heavy. To my delight however this one made the romantic pairings clear from the start and then focused on all the characters developing relationships with each other, hurray for the worst cliches averted!

Otome Yokai Zakuro

Summary: In an alternate history, the Department of Spirit Affairs is a newly created division in the Japanese government meant for dealing with affairs between humans and spirits. On the human side we have three young, good looking soldiers and on the spirit side we have four young, cute half spirit girls. All of them are paired up and deal with various problems concerning spirits and humans, as well as figure out their feelings for each other.

The Good: Like I said, the characters are paired up the way fans would've paired them up (romantically) anyway and it's clear from the start that they all have good chemistry and so there isn't much "will they or won't they?" in the series. The characters also grow into these relationships so by the end of the series it feels perfectly natural that they have feelings for each other and the whole group feels nicely balanced out as well.

The Bad: Had some issues with the ending, to keep it as spoiler free as possible, it involved a lot of emotional build-up that was tossed away in a comedic manner in the end and that always annoys me. And, to be completely honest, even though the show was fun to watch while it was airing, it's not a very memorable show. Sure I remember the plot and everything that happened, but it's hard to remember why I liked the characters so much or what the spark that made it good was. It just really doesn't do enough to stand out from the crowd and in the end it didn't particularly make me want to go out and find the rest of the story.

The Art: Like I said above, it was the cute looking art work that drew me into the series and it's a nice adaption of the screentone heavy original manga art. Actually, if you look at the opening in the first episode and check a few episodes later you'll notice that they added in extra details to the girl's outfits to make them more like their manga counterparts. No reason to do it (they also changed the shot of the villain after their reveal) but I love little details like that.

The Music: There were multiple ending songs song by the different pairs but, since crunchyroll didn't translate them, I really don't have an opinion on them. Actually, they didn't sub the opening either and since I can't find subs of the song I don't really have an opinion on that either. They all sound rather pretty but not knowing what a song means really takes away from it. There was one super short insert song (technically a chant) that the girls sing before a fight (basically it's asking if they are humans or demons, a question that the rest of society is grappling with) that CR did sub and that one fit them perfectly. Short, sweet, and subbed, good all around!

So, with Squid Girl I could see myself buying that and watching it again/loaning it out to friends, but I can't see myself watching this again. Maybe someday I'll have the urge to watch it again and hopefully it'll still be on crunchyroll but for the moment I'll keep my fingers crossed for licensing announcements for other titles instead.