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Saturday, May 23, 2009

Neo Angelique Abyss

Recently, I finished watching Neo Angelique Abyss. Produced by KOEI, I directly assumed it was based on game and this suspicion was confirmed correct through Wikipedia. Having 26 episodes, the second half was called Neo Angelique Abyss: Second Age.

Before you go too far, I remind you that this review reveals many plots. Stop here if you aren't willing to know.

The story was about a girl named Angelique, living in a world named Arcadia. One day her school was attacked by Thanatos - a kind of monsters (monsters design reminded me to Eureka 7), and from this moment, her life had changed. The meeting with Nyx and Rayne, the Purifiers of Thanatos dragged her into a truth that she was also a purifier but more than that, she was also claimed as "Queen's Egg"; who will save Arcadia through her prayer. Later, she would be accompanied by J.D and Hyuuga.

I won't say that this series was a brilliant work. However, I saw some interesting points. Let's start with the negative first before we wrapped it with the good things.

The fight scenes seemed less interesting. It was too easy to guess how it worked. Mostly only repetitive ways of fight. I guess it tried to totally followed the game version. So maybe, it would be better for you to try the game.

Wikipedia stated it similarity to La Corda D'Oro because the girl was surrounded by bishounen. Now that made me think so, too. But La Corda D'Oro had its own plus points. First, La Corda D'Oro was made as manga first. Second, La Corda D'Oro had more girls to come up in scenes who had role to stir the story. Neo Angelique Abbys was pretty limited with Angelique. The story of her friendship with her school's girls could be count for 2-4 episodes only.

Angelique was too pure (which probably a qualification of being a Queen. It made me think about prophets) and too soft-heart. I won't mind to see a child between age 3-12 had their pure heart. But for a 16 years old of girl, well, that was too exaggerate.

I expect more characters to die. Instead, only one. The worst was... no protagonist die. This was quite annoying to me. I felt like the writer(s) was trying to save as much as possible of character to make them live. There were plot holes, too. For example, when Jet (antagonist who turned protagonist) carried the bomb away from the ship should be died when the bomb exploded, but he saved. I mean, with a big explosion like that, no artifact (the way they called 'machine') could survive. Was this the way the production team to satisfy women audience by decreasing death of bishounen? If this was a part of selling, I would said it was half failed.

The ending didn't has its 'bang'. As a story that 'destined' to be end as the 'destine' for Angelique was 'written', it didn't give me a hook.

Characters were crafted well. This was the good point of the anime. You can differ Hyuuga (warrior type) to Nyx (woman's best friend type) or make a clear opposition between Rayne and J.D. But what I really liked from the list of character was Jet. Jet was an artifact (the way they called 'machine'), a second generation of J.D.
J.D. had known as a failure project because he gained his consciousness, Jet was kind of machine who always obeyed his master's order. His repeated speeches of his beliefs as machine had a strong influence to drive the overall story. I think without Jet, the story less interesting.

Bishounen for all characters. Good guys or bad guys -- all of them are bishounen. I have nothing else to say :D

The important of friendship was the main message of the story. It was repeated again and again through many protagonist characters. Though the message was quite common (most anime carried friendship, the need to protect something, and love as the main theme), since it was boldly said in several different situation, I respected it. The second message was "noble's oblige" which can freely translated as 'it's a sin if you don't do what you can do'. This statement came from Nyx at the pilot episode and recalled nearly end episodes. I think, as a human with all the limitation that we have - physically or mentally - we can do something to the world even it is only a small thing.

No antagonist couldn't turn into protagonist, vice-versa. In many mainstream anime, most of antagonist ended because of defeated and died. This was a conventional way of story telling which of course still suited our nowdays world. However, if you can limit the death, then why not? I know this is contradictive to the negative points I wrote earlier but I stated there I expected good people to die. The good thing is, no antagonist turned into good person in instant. All of them had a painful process to become that one. Again with Jet, he questioned his 'humanity' as memories kept forcely popped-up while in that time he didn't realize that he was in state of gathering consciousness. Rather than except humanity easily, he battled it and stayed with his belief as machine. He didn't want to except freedom because he was a proud artifact. Even J.D. couldn't persuade him.
Mathias was also a very interesting character. He was the only one who could really turned up side down the story. He was a good nature person, a spiritual leader who was actually a temporary replacement before René - a true one was found. I understood his feeling so I didn't blame him to turn himself into a jealousy and antagonist. From all characters in Neo Angelique Abyss, he was the only believable character because his characterization was closed to our daily life.

Several scenes really had driven my heart. Well, I am not a typical person who can easily to cry even when I watched a movie/read a book alone, but there were scenes in this anime that touched my heart. So I believe it can give you impact, too.

Beautiful ending songs that worth to enjoy. I didn't see any relation of the ending song with the story. For the worst case, it gave me false expectation. The soundtrack was also good to hear.

With love song as the closing theme, I did hope there were a slight love story involved. The truth is nul. No love story. At least, no love story that really was developed. But I find this as a good point. One, I kept wondering who became Angelique's boyfriend. Second, it would be too mainstream if love stories involved. At least, it lessen itself from similarity to La Corda D'Oro.

So yes, you can see there are more positive points than the negative one. I still recommend you to watch Neo Angelique Abyss to very end. Especially, enjoy the music!


Wikipedia: here


Yen said...

I agree with you on many points but one: La Corda was a video game first, just like Neo Angelique. Both series had manga spinoffs, for which La Corda had its' original artist doing the art. The Neo Angelique manga (five volumes) was drawn by Kajiyama Mika, their style is cute.

Both were originally dating games for girls, by KOEI.

I wish Angelique's friends were in the anime more often, I enjoyed seeing them in the game.

Jet and Mathias are definitely the best characters in the series, as well as Erenfried and Nyx. I think they got the most development in the anime really...

mitayashi said...

lol, thanks..
that's the part that i haven't research (for La Corda D'oro)

thanks for ur information! :)