Friday, January 21, 2011
Otome Youkai Zakuro - Review
During the Meiji era, Japan is starting to adapt western traditions and some of its old traditions are almost forgotten. The once respected and even worshipped spirits are now being shunned and feared. To re-establish the relationship of humans and spirits, the spirit affairs has been established where a soldier and half spirit girls are gathered and have been paired with one another. From there we uncover the adventures, intrigues and mystery that awaits the spirit affairs.
The story is quite simple and even predictable at times but despite that it was executed really well that gives the every character a time to shine. The pacing is is really good since it doesn't feel rushed but I got to admit that on episode 11 I was really confused at what's happening but despite that episode, everything is well paced. The writers know how to catch the attention of the audience by throwing questions or revelations at the right moment that makes want to watch the next episode ASAP.
Overall despite its simplicity, Otome Youkai Zakuro's story really packs a punch with the drama, comedy and mystery that kept me at the edge of my seat.
This series really have memorable characters, from the impulsive tsundere Zakuro, the wuss prince Agemaki, the shy but lovely Suzukihotaru, the stoic but kind Riken, the witty and cheerful twins Bonbori & Hoozuki and let's not forget the small guy who likes to talk big: Ganryuu-sama. I like the way the characters interact with one another since we get to know them better and see their partnership with one another grow and it's nice to watch their antics every episode. In this series, I think every characters have been fleshed out as much as possible since J.C. Staff didn't waste any time and didn't add any useless episodes. I have to commend on how this show showed the mysterious side of Zakuro's character that made the viewers want to watch the next episode in order to unravel her story.
The antagonists on the other hand, is average. The black widow Rangui is just a infatuated demon that wants the attention of Omodaka so she always obeys Omodaka's wishes (I've seen this type of character several times already). Omodaka, the masked guy in the OP, his true identity is easy to guess since even yours truly who is always wrong with her predictions actually guessed right this time. At first, I really hate Omodaka because of his actions and the way he treated his mother (what a brat) but at the end of this series somehow I pity him and understood why he became like that.
Overall, the main characters are really impressive but the antagonist is a little lacking so if it weren't for the antagonists I would have given this one a perfect score in the character department.
The animation is really beautiful specially with the way they arranged the lighting and made the backgrounds breathtaking oh and also the way they used one color to arrange the atmosphere is also praise worthy. The action is also very fluid but I think it would have been made a lot better if this show has more budget but nevertheless it was still well done since this is not a shounen show and yet it has a good action animation. The character design is also commendable since both the guys and the girls are oh so gorgeous which is a treat for me. The kimono of the girls is really lovely and elegant, also the dress they used in the ball (I wish I could watch them again with those dress XD) they look so attractive in those cotumes. I've taken two points from the animation since there are scenes that the animation lacked details and the way the characters appearance changes from a certain episode which I assume is because of the different teams working in this series. Also, the rehash of Zakuro's transformation but even with those flaws, I guarantee that it won't hold back our enjoyment of this show.
The OST is really mediocre but at least it plays in a right timing. The OP song is enjoyable at the first few episodes but I eventually got tired of it and skipped it when watching the later episodes. The 3 ED songs are also so-so but out of the 3 my favorite was the one sung by Suzukihotaru and Riken since I'm amazed that Satoshi Hino(Riken's VA) is still in character as he sang the song and Hana Kanazawa is one of my favorite seiyuu. The voice acting is really remarkable since because of the seiyuus of this series have amazingly brought to life the characters.
Yes, I enjoyed this show despite of its simplicity in terms of the story but regardless of that I'm always looking forward to it every week together with OreImo. I think this show is one of the sleepers last fall season and it definitely needs a chance to be watched. I recommend this show to those who are a fan or looking for a light romance and comedy. I watched this show in a hope of finding a good romance comedy and honestly, I was not disappointed and I even loved this anime.