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I have a slight policy about watching anime after I've read the manga. Expectations nearly always tend to run too high and fall like a pancake. Then I have the problem of being about 12 volumes away from the current anime's arc. It gets a bit worse if I really wholesomely adore the manga, and Perfect Girl Evolution is hiiiiiiiiiiiiigh on my list of the best manga I've ever read.

This is, after all, the manga that made my best friend concede she got the warm fuzzies because I bore a startling resemblance to the lead character. Who incidentally looks and shares many finely murderous traits with Ringu's Sadako. (Which explains why she's my best friend.)

My first reaction to the opening sequence was: this is Kiyoharu. *sounds of hair pulling and imminent ear death* PGE's mangaka actually has a real fondness for Kiyoharu, so I guess it must've been the bees knees for him to be doing the OP and the ED. Add to that, lead guy Kyouhei was very likely based after Kiyoharu himself, and the connection makes sense. Doesn't mean the music has to be good or anything, and Kiyoharu's voice makes me think of nails scratching a chalkboard, but hey, it makes sense.

This track of fine acoustic guitars and screecy vocal noises, however, is set to an animated sequence that makes no apparent sense at all. I don't know who they're trying to compete with, but this could be one the worst OP sequences I've ever seen.

On the other hand, the sequence confirmed an immediate and touching similarity with the manga. It's still ugly.

Which means that it's probably high art if you like emaciated white Ethiopian goths with visual kei costumes scrounged from the dustbins of 2nd hand shops. It's okay, it really is. But not something you'd remember for ages after that, or even for a few minutes. But as I mentioned before, neither was the manga, really, except for the odd shot every chapter or so.

The voice acting is Top Notch. It is stunningly good. I have singularly never heard voice acting in anime that captures the essence of the character right off the bat, to the point that you could guess the character's personality just by the timbre. I say this being the retentive manga purist freak that I am -- the voice acting added a whole new dimension to my enjoyment of the manga, and I consider this the best damn thing watching a manga adapation could do. Oda really sounds like an old codger, Ranmaru really sounds like a Host, Yuki really sounds like a country boy (the accent is so much fun to decipher) and Kyouhei really is a gangster (stress on gangster -- that accent, timbre and entire style is freaky). I would watch this just for the voice acting, it's that good (and the art won't salvage much).

Everything is made instantly better by the presence of Sunako. Sunako is the Princess of Darkness to be worshipped and admired after. Sunako likes horror movies, scares the very soul out of everyone she meets, blows out lightbulbs, beats up everything violently and she cooks! Too! Voice acting for her also works, because Sunako should sound like quiet, nervous, easily-panicked-at-socializing but also essentially quite the hamster of doom. Even the side characters have been done to perfection. Oba-chan (Sunako's Aunt) is even more of a basket case than she was in the manga, an overtly rich woman obsessed with love. She's got the right level of politeness, and the right level of menace. This will not be the last time I rave about the voices behind this show.

And in case you wondered what the plot might be, the whole of it involves four guys (the ones I mentioned above) trying to turn Sunako into a Real Lady(tm). The idea is that if they achieve this, their landlady (Sunako's aunt) will lift their rent for three years. The first episode sees Sunako arriving at the mansion and shunning all the kindness the boys can muster. Oda, Yuki and Ranmaru are simply terrified out of their minds of her. Kyouhei couldn't bother. And so begins nothing at all like a love triangle because Kyouhei really is the only guy who isn't terrified of Sunako.

If you were hoping for something like Ouran, you'd have probably run off a cliff about five minutes into the story.

It's cuddly and warm and filled with bloodstained thoughts. What a treat!

Best scene in Ep 1: The violently bloody fish chopping sequence. Straight out of the manga and every bit as disturbing. We must learn to chop fish like that.

(Was that a review? Who knows? But there's six more episodes to go!)

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
mokie
Nov. 25th, 2006 05:57 am (UTC)
Oy, if you happen to be online right now, you can get ahold of me via AIM--I'm temporarily ICQless and emailless.

It's a whole new fun aspect to housesitting, whee!
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