Saturday, February 12, 2011

Anime Review: Shattered Angels Complete Collection

Where Kannazuki no Miko is a heart-tugging, deeply involving show with some horribly depressing elements, Shattered Angels (Kyoshiro to Towa no Sora) is a mediocre show (at best) with some surprisingly decent elements. It's Kaishaku's amalgam of characters and ideas from several of their previous works into an all "new" story, a la Tsubasa Chronicle.

Shiratori Kuu is always thinking about a "prince" who appears in her dreams. She addresses all of her thoughts to him as if she were writing him letters, like a stupid, delusional version of Nanako from Oniisama E. She lives in Academia, a world consisting of schools that were built after the cataclysmic Seven Days of Hot Snow, which were caused by an experiment gone bad involving humanoid weapons called Absolute Angels. Absolute Angels are like people (they eat, bleed, have emotions), but they get energy from kissing people and they can summon mechs and use super-human strength.

A new transfer student named Kyoshiro arrives at Kuu's school, along with his devoted, maid uniform-wearing Absolute Angel Setsuna. Kyoshiro reminds Kuu of her dream prince, so she starts living with him and Setsuna. Since Kyoshiro blames the Absolute Angels for his oldest brother Kazuya supposedly dying in the Seven Days of Hot Snow, he wants to kill them all even though Setsuna cleans for him, cooks for him, and saves his sorry ass regularly because she's in love with him. There are some other Absolute Angels, but the one who drew the most devoted rabid fan base to this series is Kaon (a.k.a. Kannazuki no Miko's Chikane).

Kaon is in love with Himeko Himiko, who is in love with Kaon back, but Mika, the eeeevil Headmistress of the school they belong to, wants Kaon all to herself and tries to brainwash her into forgetting Himiko. Of course, it doesn't work. :D After Kazuya shows up, turns out to be hilariously not at all the way Kyoshiro remembers him, and captures all of the Absolute Angels for his evil grand master plan, Himiko drags Mika's violin of doom (don't ask) up a mountain to save her beloved Kaon, along with the other folks who want to save the Absolute Angels. Of course, Kaon and Himiko are eventually reunited with a shiny, squeal-worthy kiss and it's happily ever after.

This series is crap, but it has some (obviously *looking up*) non-crappy things about it. It's unintentionally(?) incredibly funny at times (e.g. split-screen expository shower scene) and it has a surprisingly decent ending. Kaon and Himiko (sadly) aren't the leads but their story gives us everything that was good about Chikane and Himeko in KnM (the literally "I would defy the gods for you"-level of devotion, the screen curling chemistry) with all of the bad (dreaded episode 8, Himeko's maddening- although understandable given her background- apologism towards Chikane) stripped away. While Chikane's angst over being in love with Himeko is part of what made her story deeply moving to a lot of people who have watched KnM, it's so nice to see Kaon not kicking herself for being in love with a girl. (Or acting as a catalyst for Kaishaku's favorite fetish.)

KyoSora's ending lifts virtually everything from KnM's tear-jerker ending (without being as effective), and the soundtrack and character designs are done by the exact same people who created the soundtrack and character designs for the KnM anime, adding to the sense of déjà vu. (Although KyoSora's OP can't remotely compare to the utterly awesome electronica one KOTOKO sang for KnM.) Edit: KyoSora also has KnM's director and screenwriter.

The subtitle track for Funimation's release is fine. It doesn't include honorifics and tinkers a little with some of the meaning (e.g. "Niisan!" as "Kazuya!"), but it's fine. I haven't watched it dubbed; I've only seen the dubbed trailer for it. (No voice actress can top Kawasumi Ayako's performance as Chikane/Kaon for me anyway. *shameless fangirl*) No noteworthy extras. (Clean OP and ED and trailers.) Like everybody else who bought this series, I would have loved to have the extra shorts that came with the R2 DVD release. (They were often better than the actual series, and had a lot of Kaon x Himiko goodness.)

Story: Mixed. Sometimes quite funny, but mostly "meh." I'll give it a C+
Art: Same appealing character design style as KnM, rendered with more consistency. B+
Overall: The story is a joke, but this series writes its yuri characters better than about 99.9999% of anime series. A for Kaon and Himiko, C+ for the rest.

ハッピーバレンタインズウィークエンド! <-- "Happy Valentine's Weekend!" in katakana.


Sheldor said...

Just when I thought I’d finally forgotten I even know of this anime - let alone have watched it - you had to come and remind me. Meanie!

Let’s see what we have here; Idiot fawning utterly useless lead, status quo arsehole bishounen love interest, unsympathetic android doormat, a psycho lesbian who likes it rough, a Seventh Public Morality Enforcement Squad (because every anime needs one of those) and a classic Yuri couple. Where could it go wrong?!?!?

Urg, bad bad bad anime. I love Himeko and Chikane but not that much. Fumi could star in the next Kaishaku project and I wouldn’t touch it. I’m not kidding, every time I listen to of chorus of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance I think about Kaishaku.

“She addresses all of her thoughts to him as if she were writing him letters, like a stupid, delusional version of Nanako from Oniisama E.” - OMG that’s like the funniest thing you’ve ever said, I could not stop laughing!

Awesome review!

Katherine Hanson said...

"I’m not kidding, every time I listen to of chorus of Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance I think about Kaishaku." <-- Hahahahahahaha, NICE.

At least Kyoshiro's easier to stomach than Amnesian, eh? :D (Which I just might for a review if they ever animate it. *holding up a cross to ward it away*)

Btw, I love your new icon.

Sheldor said...

If they animate Amnesian I'm becoming a Yaoi fan.

I thought you might!

Anonymous said...

And we see haters here... Alas. But you just know that you are not right. Shattered Angels is a great anime. There are a lot of people who like it.