Saturday, March 24, 2012

Anime Review No. 26, Part III

Hi, I'm the Eclectic Dude and I review it for lolz.

Well, Kujibiki Unbalance got 4 more episodes. Well it end on a good note, or be mired by cliched mediocrity? Let's find out. 

Episode 9 at first seems a bit directionless. First, there's Chihiro and Tokino being awkward after the sudden confession at the end of the last episode. Then, Yamada (who is an actual girl, not a robot as it turns out) is shocked to see Renko building male robots for some reason other than to have tension. There's also some aliens in the woods for some reason. In no way, connected to this episode I'm sure.

Well, Chihiro's group is given a new task: Deal with VIP guests at a fireworks event later that day. Unfortunately, Yamada has gone a little cuckoo and ran off. They have to find her, then seek out Renko as she mysteriously disappeared. A massive search effort begins, since they need her to assist with their task later. It turns out Renko got abducted by the aliens in order to repair their ship. Oh, these are the same aliens from Episode 6 (love that odd note of continuity). So, they use Renko's new robots to help launch the ship out into space. 

Chihiro and the gang do manage to get back to the fireworks in time. All seems right with the world, when the alien ship gets blown out of the sky by fireworks. This was quite a LOL moment for me, and quite unexpected. This episode is well OK, a decent mix of drama and comedy that works well. It also marks the shift in tone for the series, as the last 3 episodes are much more serious and dramatic.

Episode 10 is more centered on Koyuki and Komaki. Their older brother returns to do something unexplained, at first. It turns out that their father died while on mission for the Student Council, so the brother didn't take it well. He is also mad at the fact his sisters are working with the Student Council. So, he exacts revenge by using Koyuki's psychic powers for some aim not really unexplained. However, his plan is thwarted by Chihiro and Co. (against the Student Council's orders). Only thing of merit is Chihiro's speech to the villain after which they save Koyuki from a mind control device.  In true villain fashion, though, he ends up killing himself.

This episode I don't really like a lot. Much like Ep 3, it really has no staying power. The plot doesn't make much sense. This episode has perhaps the most deliberately cliched episode plot of the entire series. Worst thing, this comes in and out of nowhere, never mentioned again.   

Episodes 11 and 12 cap off the series very well. It ties up most of the plot lines and characters, bringing up the Ritsuko, Tokino and Chihiro "love triangle", developing it to its fullest, and then ending in a rather unexpected ending for this. Of course, the final scene goes full circle back to episode 1, except this time it is Chihiro and Co. becoming Student Council. No more then that, check it out for yourself. 

So, that was Kujibiki Unbalance. Final verdict?
Well, it is a unevenly mixed bag of a school slice of life series. In terms of every aspect of it, from story to animation to VA. 
First, the story has an interesting premise behind it. But, the execution of it is hit and miss to say the least. With the exception of 2 episodes (3 and 10) the rest of the episodes are decently done story wise and fit in quite well. It does come across a deliberate spoof of school slice of life genre, but done with enough talent and work behind it. In fact, one can make the argument that this is a precursor to other student council anime series made later, like Best Student Council, Seitokai no Ichizon and Student Council's Discretion. 

Animation is well, good yet odd. The backgrounds look really good. But, the character designs are quite odd, looking a bit "off". Good backgrounds + odd character designs = mismatch, to say the least. 
The English dub voice acting is well consistently decent, but unremarkable. Only four are of note, Angora Deb as Renko, Rachel Lillis as Vice President Kasumi, Veronica Taylor as Tokino and Lisa Ortiz as Yamada. They a do a good job for a series that really doesn't need it, but I'm thrilled for them being in this dub. The rest are people who never heard of, though they do a consistent but unremarkable job.  

This pretty much sums Kujibiki Unbalance: mostly consistent but ultimately unremarkable. Most of it is ideas taken from better series in the genre. Though, to be fair, it lacks any pretense in being an actual series, it is clear from the get-go that this is a joke. A funny, silly. OTT joke, but a joke. 
If you like parody shows, this will be a treat. If not, well then search out better stuff, which shouldn't be hard. 

Well, like I said earlier, my next review is an April Fools Day's Special. Til again, Laterz 

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