Sunday, March 6, 2011

First Half of Fortune Arterial

I’m almost exactly halfway through Fortune Arterial. And by almost exactly halfway, I mean five episodes, six minutes, and thirty seconds into the anime series. Fortune Arterial centers on Kohei, a fifth year (11th grade) boy who has transferred 10 times because of his dad’s work. He’s finally settled in a place he chose himself – a boarding school where his dad’s work transfers can’t affect him.

At past schools, Kohei stopped trying to connect with classmates. After all, what was the point? He would just be transferred away from his friends and have to start all over. This time, however, is different. He plans to remain at the new school until he graduates, so he feels free to connect with his friends. As chance may have it, two girls he played with seven years ago attend his new school – Yuuki Haruna and her older sister, Kanade. Kohei makes new friends, too. He meets the student council vice president, Sendo Erika, right away. They get off to a rocky start, but, like with most such anime relationships, they patch things up and become friends. There’s also the aloof classmate Kuze Kiriha (a girl, if you’re like me and can’t tell by the name), the mischievous (and questionable) student council president, and an assortment of other characters for Kohei to connect with. The highlighted relationships are with the girls, especially the Yuuki sisters and Sendo Erika. Kuze and another girl also come to mind.

To sum it up: Fortune Arterial seems clearly made with boys’ fantasies in mind. It’s borderline harem with a bit of fan service – not enough fan service to annoy me away from the series, but enough that conservative gentlemen viewers may wish to be on their guard. During the opening theme, we see Sendo Erika wrapped in red ribbon and little (if anything) else. As of episode six, there’s nothing so daring in the meat of the show, but it does say a lot about who the creators had in mind when they made it.

So, why do I continue watching the series? Well, for one thing, it includes vampires, and I’m in a bit of a vampire phase right now. The vampire part, sadly, takes a side role during many of the episodes. In fact, there was nothing at all about vampires in the fifth episode. So the vampires clearly aren’t the deal clincher for me. Another reason I continue watching is that I’m in a rare slice of life mode and felt like watching a school story. And since Fortune Arterial often focuses on the school life side of things, it works.

While Fortune Arterial does serve my purpose, its story is mediocre at best. Some of the ideas incorporated have potential, but I have yet to see them come to full bloom. Profound scenes are poorly handled, with over-emphasis reminiscent of Shiro’s speeches in Fate/Stay Night. Perhaps the plot will heighten in the next few episodes – a few bits peppered here and there imply the intention of some significant developments. For now, I’ll give the series the benefit of the doubt and assume something interesting is about to happen.

*Image from Fortune Arterial

1 comment:

  1. You're right - there's definitely some plot development ahead. :)

    I'm no vampire fan, but I did enjoy the show for its school setting plot. I really thought they captured the nostalgia of Japanese schools about as good as any series I've seen (maybe only Shingu was better at this?).

    And as you say, it is a mediocre series...but it's an addicting mediocre.

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