Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Neo Angelique Abyss - Five episodes in, and unimpressed

As I browse Crunchyroll and Hulu, I notice a rather annoying fact: shounen anime is far more available than shoujo. Don't get me wrong; I love quite a few shounen anime. Naruto holds a special place in my heart as the show that lured me into anime fandom. Death Note, The Prince of Tennis, and Hikaru no Go are favorites of mine as well. But I am, as you know, a girl, and I enjoy watching anime aimed at girls, young and old. In fact, I think it was shoujo anime that brought out the squealer and giggler in me. Skip Beat, The Wallflower, Aishiteruze Baby, and His and Her Circumstances are just four examples of shoujo anime that have captured me for hours on end.

Unfortunately, I've watched almost every freely-available shoujo anime series that appeals to me. My craving for shoujo has mounted over the last several months as I scourged Crunchyroll for a reverse harem, a fluffy romance, or anything non-magical-girl that fits into the shoujo category. Neo Angelique Abyss came across my radar several times. So I tried it - twice. Both times, the first episode neglected to impress me, and I wandered off to a different anime.

Today, many months after my last attempt to watch Neo Angelique Abyss, my shoujo cravings were at their highest. I decided to try it once more. This time, I went straight to the second episode. Now, after five episodes, I can safely say that I'm not impressed. Sure, the reverse harem elements of the anime play on my fantasies. I mean, what girl wouldn't want four or so strong, brave, handsome young men befriending and protecting her? Yet even the charms of a reverse harem barely keep my attention.

Angelique, the heroine, using her powers to heal (ep. 5)
The heroine, Angelique, reminds me of a girl from a bland harem aimed at guys: beautiful, sweet, selfless, and basically perfect. She has no outstanding character traits. She just happens to have an amazing power as a "Purifier." Sure, Angelique's kindness and bravery can be admirable. And, if this series is aimed at children, I suppose nothing else is required of her character. Yet I am not a child, and I find her personality rather bland.

The male characters don't stand out to me, either. Their personalities are nothing new, and their comedic scenes aren't as notable or frequent as they might be. And, considering that the reverse harem aspects of the show are the main reason I'm still watching, this is a problem. That's not to say, as of the fifth episode, that these characters are complete losses. I can't deny that the main male characters all seem to have some personal history and at least a bit of charm. Lein, for example, interests me. Of course, it's possible that's just because of his cool design and his intelligent, young professor character traits.

The plot has yet to impress me. So far, Angelique has just been gaining companions and fighting Thanatos (monster things). Perhaps, as the anime further unfolds, the plot will draw me further in. We'll see.

The animation is okay. The soundtrack is forgettable (at one point I almost turned on my own music, half forgetting that I'm not supposed to supplement anime with my own sound). So really, I'm all around unimpressed.

Yet I'll keep watching. If my opinions change, I'll blog about it. If not, I might still blog about it. For now, I'll just watch the next episode and hope it evolves into something a little more interesting.


  1. My favorite Shoujo manga Kimi ni Todoke was recently turned into an anime by my favorite anime studio, Production I.G. I have not yet seen the anime, but I know it was done in two seasons and has the same fun and clean story as the manga. The first part of the series is currently available for pre-order from NIS Amaerica. It is subtitled only.
    I don't think it is on Funimation, Crunchyroll, or Anime Network streaming websites, even though it should.

  2. I would also recommend the manga Dengeki Daisy. It is cheesy, but really quite entertaining. It is licensed by Viz. You can purchase it digitally or as a hard copy from Vizmanga.com

  3. @Zeroe4 Hm... I'll have to look those manga up. I gave my parents a link to my want-to-read manga list on Anime-Planet, so I hope to get some manga for Christmas. :)


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