Monday, April 16, 2012

reviews: Hanasakeru Seishounen, Heart no Kuni no Alice, Kuragehime

Hanasakeru Seishounen

And another reverse harem anime...
There's lots of nice bishonen guys (I especially like Li Ren), and at first the main female character Kajika Burnsworth doesn't seem too annoying. The plot does a transition from the expected romance with a weird set-up (her father plays a "find the husband" game with Kajika - when she's 14!) to focusing on the political affairs within one country, how some companies are mixed up in it and some Burnsworth family secrets. That part was actually quite good. The last few episodes then go back to the romance theme and get completely ridiculous.

The annoying thing about Kajika is that she's supposedly perfect. Everyone likes her, even her enemies. She heals severe depression with suicidal thoughts and panic attacks and helps everyone out with her wisdom. She's not pushing the plot forward herself most of the time, but just reacting, while most other characters act. But still all the hot guys fall in love with her and will never want another "woman"...
She's also 15. Of course most of the time she's acting much more mature - or else no-one would watch it. If they let everyone act more mature than they're supposed to be, why don't they just make them older?

Still: Li Ren rocks.

Also this series holds the record for the most useless bodyguard ever: Toranosuke

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Heart no Kuni no Alice

Called "Alice in the Country of Hearts" in English, this is another one of those Otome games made into a reverse harem manga. As such we know what we have to expect: one girl, surrounded by guys, who all fall in love with her. Actually even the manga itself mentions that this is what it's all about: they all fall in love with her. At that point you'd think it's a parody, but the rest of the story doesn't feel like that. But who cares, we didn't really expect a plot and all the expectations towards the bishonen guys are fulfilled. Additionally, since this is a kind of "Alice in Wonderland" adaption, it doesn't need to make any sense anyway.

One thing that's rather unusual is the amount of violence. It's never really gory, but there's more murder than you'd expect in that genre. A life isn't really worth much in Wonderland, so killing is either a every-day job or a fun past-time.
While the main female charater in my opinion isn't as cynic and strong as the description claims (she's got a sadistic streak though), she's not totally annoying. So we can concentrate on the hot guys better.

There's a movie, but I couldn't get any information whether it will ever be published in Europe.

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I knew I might like "Princess Jellyfish" when I saw the opening with all the movie references.
It's about Tsukimi, a young illustrator, who lives in a flat-sharing community in Tokyo with a bunch of other nerdy girls, who all shun contact with popular and pretty people - and especially with men. Then one day Tsukimi gets in a fight about a jellyfish (she loves jellyfish) and gets helped by a beautiful young lady who then uninvitedly crashes in her room - and the next day turns out to be a pretty boy who's been cross-dressing! Kuranosuke (a fashionista, but neither gay nor a transvestite), who comes from a wealthy family of politicians, takes a liking to Tsukimi, so he decides to show up there frequently. Since no boys are allowed in the flat, they have to keep Kuranosuke's real identity a secret. Soon Kuranosuke gets more and more involved with the inhabitants.

I got a little sceptical when it seemed to turn into yet another "ugly duckling" storyline and the guys only seemed to be in love with Tsukimi when she's dressed up. But luckily it didn't turn out quite that bad (though it certainly has moments like that).
The characters are exagerated, which makes it a bit harder to identify with them, but I guess that's the comedy element to this slice of life anime. I'm really glad that the main characters are basically a bunch of freaks, not kawaii or moe at all - and that it's fine like that (mostly; I can accept that for business matters some dressing up might be required).

The anime is rather short, only 11 episodes. After finishing it, I think I'd like to read the manga. But apparently it's only licensed n France and Italy (and the anime only available in the USA) - what a shame, it's so hard to find decent josei.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I absolutely love Princess jellyfish especially the manga... I can relate to a few of the characters, but more so the main cast (aka the amars) relate to my friends a lot...

you can read the whole (current)manga here if you'd like