12 Moments of Anime #5: Series of Disappointment

One of the disappointments (apparently) that I didn't watch myself.
Every now and then we get a highly-anticipated series that turns out to be a flop. It could be due to its studio, original work (for adaptations) and/or crew that we gave it so much attention, but when we finally got to the show itself, it's terrible. Shit happens, I know, but it seems like it happens way too often with 2011 titles. Titles like:

Fractale (Review)

The Hype: There's a lot of talk about this series before it aired, mainly because of director Yamakan's promise that he would retire if Fractale fails to be a success. Remember that this is the guy who directed Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuutsu.(opps, he did a lot of stuff for MoSH, but he wasn't director) I loved the artwork and the series is aired on the noitaminA timeslot, so it shows a lot of promise.

The FailFractale doesn't know what it wants to be. Or rather, what it wants to sell. If it's the sense of adventure they're looking for, they failed to immerse the audience into the world and environment. They made us pose too many questions about the world and the Fractale system and left it unanswered until the audience stopped caring. The characters are worse. Nessa and Phryne are just as mysterious as the Fractale system itself, and being the primary drivers of the story, we knew too little about their identity and objective to understand their role. Clain is barely a character. He's driven by the direction the story needs to go, and he never had any decisions or motives until the very end. There are no protagonists in the story; everyone acts and moves along with an invisible man. Fractale is a show with a brilliant idea and concept, but zero execution.

Infinite Stratos (Review)

The Hype: Most people dissed this right away for being a harem, but they're forgetting that director Yasuhito Kikuchi did Macross Frontier, and the writer Fumihiko Shimo has done Air, Clannad, Disappearance of Suzumiya Haruhi, FMP, Higurashi, and Kanon (2006). I was looking for a good harem, to be honest, and the haremettes VAs include Marina Inoue, Hanazawa Kana and Hisaka Youko. Plus protagonist Ichika looks like he'd have a backbone instead of your usual wimpy lead. Plus there's a lot of skin-tight body suits.

The Fail: Despite being quite the man sometimes, Ichika is as bland as any other harem leads. Characters like Cecila and Tabane are incredibly annoying. The animation quality took a sharp dip after the first episode, and they seems to have barely enough budget to animate a good fight other than the one in the first and last episode. The story (outside of character development) is complete bullshit and having the mechs hardly made a difference in the story. IS is all about selling its characters. They should have stayed that way, all the way.


I've dropped this as early as the fifth episode, so I probably can't justify this if it turns out to be awesome later in the series, but my first impression of Nichijou was seriously underwhelming. KyoAni is no stranger to moé, and a light-hearted comedy that features these energetic girls (well, except one) almost seemed too easy. Practically every project they did before this sold like crazy, and apparently Nichijou is already a popular manga. These are the reasons why I pushed myself as far as the fifth episode to finally admit that this isn't something I would enjoy. To me, its comedy is a hard-sell, yet remains bland and boring most of the time.

Guilty Crown (related posts)

The Hype: You probably know this by now, but director Tetsuro Araki did Death Note and High School of the Dead, and writer Hiroyuki Yoshino did Code Geass, Macross Frontier, Mai-HiME, and Mai-Otome. And it's also on noitaminA. Actually, just read this.

The Fail: This might be my last chance to say this, but Guilty Crown is an attempt to use the excellent animation quality they boasts to tie up random tropes and clichés with something they tried to pass off as a story. So many plot holes, so many cheap tricks, and so many things that doesn't make sense. Actually, just read that.