Man, it feels like FOREVER since I've been on this Wiki. I've been quite busy with other stuff (working and all) and I've been attached to Neptunia and Yandere Sim. Sorry. <P
Anyways, I've always wanted to do an anime review ever since I've watched the JesuOtaku Anime Reviews. It's pretty dang funny and I recommend you watch it. So what does it have to do with the Kagerou Project? Well, today I'll review Mekakucity Actors. Keep in mind that this is my personal opinion, so feel free to disagree. If there any thing you like to add, I'll update the review. And if something doesn't make sense, I'll fix it right away. Lastly, be warned that this review may contain slight spoilers. Alright, let's begin!
Story/Plot: Before we get started, let's go over a summary. Based off on a Vocaloid song series by Jin (aka Shizen no Teki-P), the story mainly follows Shintaro Kisaragi, a hiki-NEET who has shut himself inside his room for 2 years. One day, he meets a cyber girl named Ene who appeared in his computer screen when someone anonymously sent him a mysterious e-mail one year ago. A couple days has passed and Ene begins annoying Shintaro so much that, one day, he spills his keyboard, causing it to break. With the Obn festival in sight, it becomes impossible for him to order a new keyboard online. So, after 2 years of living inside, Shintaro leaves his house to find a new keyboard at a department store. Then, things get crazy when he is involved in a terrorist attack, taking over the security controls and putting the place in lockdown. With the help of Ene and hostages A and B, long story short, he manages to escape and is suddenly "shot" (I think). After that he is becomes involved with a group of teenagers called the Mekakushi Dan. The Dan become concerned about their mysterious eye abilities given to them. The group then force Shintaro to join and try to find out about these mysterious powers.
Oh, geez! That was a long summary of the plot. Okay, let's talk about the story itself. If you've read the light novel or manga, chances are you'll be familiar with story so far. However, when it comes to shifting the story completely, get ready for some headscratching. The story shifts from Shintaro to Momo Kisaragi to Hibiya Amamiya to the Mekkushi Dan to Takane Enomoto and Haruka Kokonose to back to the Dan to Ayano Tateyama to Azami to Marry Kozakura to back to the Dan again. The plot is not well executed. In my eyes (no pun intended), it's shallow, very confusing, and overall rushed. It would've been better if the writers stock with the original concept of the manga/light novel and then things well be less confusing. The ending also suffers some problems. Mainly, the "What if"-scenario. I won't go into the ending itself, but I'll just say this: It's horribly executed.
On a positive note, there are multiple twists to the story that was not heard in written media until later on. Like, when we find out about Shintaro's ability and the fact that he had it for a LONG TIME (we don't know HOW, though). I dunno about you, but I was freakin' amazed when I found out he actually had his own ability rather than borrowing Ayano's said ability as shown in the Lost Time Memory MV. I would go over the things that really blew me away, but I would just end up spoiling too much. So overall, the plot and story is confusing, but still moments to blow you away.
Animation/Art: On the technical side of things, Mekakucity Actors's animation is pretty hit-or-miss. Being created by Studio SHAFT (best known for the Monogatari series), there are times when the animation is pretty, how should I put this... unappealing. Nine times out of ten, the animation in MCA are lazy, sloppy, and just plain weird, most of which were fixed in the home media release. Being SHAFT and all, there are multiple shots of characters and the famous SHAFT 'head-tilt'. I personally think that the SHAFT style is creative when it comes to light hearted moments. Buuut, when it comes to serious moments... it becomes a bit awkward. Sometimes, SHAFT would make poor animation decisions. For example, if you've first watch the 9th episode of the anime, chances are you'll probably remember the infamous CGI opening (which, thank God, they fixed in the home release). It's really poorly made, the facial expression are horrifying, and just... really creepy.
I pretty much had a mixed to positive feeling when it came to the art. The character designs, at least in the TV version, are pretty cruedly drawn. Seriously, look at Black Konoha in the final episode. He looked so... nightmare fuelish. The backround is pretty darn great, I have to admit. The enviornments, color, and atmosphere makes you want to go, "Holy crap, I wish this place was real! XD" or something like that. So overall, the animation is, like I said in the beginning, hit-or-miss, character designs are pretty bland (in the TV version) and the backrounds are beautifully well made.
Thankfully, the home media version fixed most of the animation and art issues, so it looks more colorful and all. Animation is much better (though some faults still remain), character designs look less cringeworthy, some new scenes are added, and the backrounds are ten times as awesome! Heck, check out the comparations between the TV version and the DVD version. It looks fantastic!
Sound: Being a Vocaloid based anime, there's bound to be some awesome music coming from Jin himself. And BOY, did he not screw this up! I've seen people having mixed feelings about the music, mainly because it's "too bland" or "unremarkable". When I first watched it (keep in mind, I was 16 at the time), I thought the music was pretty meh. But being a Vocaloid-based anime, I replayed each episode again and again and I found the music to be quite memorable. The music is pretty kickass and you'll probably like the music more than the actually anime itself. Oh, fun fact, did you know that 4 out of the 54 tracks are composed by freakin' TeddyLoid? Yeah, I'm surprised about that, too. HAHAHA- *ahem* Dear Lord... Anyways, NEXT!
The vocal tracks well done, especially coming out of Jin. The opening, daze, is very catchy and fast paced which makes you want to sing along to it. The ending theme, days, drove me to tears (even more sadder if you watched the MV). Seriously, Lia sounds like an angel when she sings this song. And don't get me started on the insert songs. Since it's a Vocaloid song series, it's no surprise that Jin has really great lyrics and music. So he arranged most of the songs for the anime... and it was amazing. While some songs did not appear in the anime (until MEKAKUCITY M's), the songs that were in the anime are just... so... amazing. Especially Kagerou Daze and Lost Time Memory. I have nothing else to say, really.
Characters: Finally, we come to the characters. If you've listened to the music or read any of the written media, then you'll be quite familiar with the characters. For those of you who haven't, lemme summarize: The characters are pretty likable around the media and pretty popular. However... the anime focuses less on the other characters and more on the main character (as well as Ene and Ayano). It's pretty disappointing. Some characters should've gotten more screentime (I'm looking at YOU, Kousuke Seto) and explained more backstory about their past. But in the end, we don't know about it unless you read the written media. One thing I liked about the characters is the the relationships. Mainly Takane and Haruka. These relationships between the characters were definitely some of the more enjoyable aspects of the series, and were all generally handled well. But still doesn't hide the fact that characters get less screentime and the villian is really bland, not to mention really derpy.
Final Verdict: Overall, while Mekakucity Actors is a pretty fun anime to watch, the story and plot will pretty much confuse, character designs that are cruedly drawn, cheap animation, and a disappointing ending will pretty much leave you unsatisfied with the results. However, the twists, music, memorable characters, beautifully drawn backround, and better graphics in the DVD will probably make you more excited.
Now, before I land my verdict, I'd like to introduce something I came up on Twitter. I dub this: The Aroma-Mikan Scale. This allows me to deliver the overall topics we discussed about. The characters, Aroma Kurosu (left), Garuru (middle), and Mikan Shiratama (right) are based off of an children's idol show called PriPara. Let's go over the rules:
Aroma-Mikan Scale: Ready, set, GO!
Story/Plot - 5.5/10 (Aroma)
Animation/Art - 7/10 (Garuru)
Sound - 9/10 (Mikan)
Characters - 7/10 (Garuru)
Overall Verdict - 7.5/10
Thank you for reading this review.