Yaoi bait of this season?
|WHOOOO Midterm is over HELL YEAH! That means I can get back to all my animu since my presentation was done few hours before I started writing. By the way, I aplogize for not being active on Metanorn past few days. I promise I’ll make it up starting this week. Anyhow, it seems that there are plenty of yaoi-ish anime this season, and Arata Kangatari is one of them. Since it’s Watase Yuu, I guess the level of bromance will be high, but I’m not so sure whether the quality of the story will be high too.|
Story // Being Watase Yuu, of course the story is fused with something supernatural. The story is about a boy living in modern Japan named Arata. He’s what you call a confused teenager, but too bad the side effect stays all the way until he’s in high school. He’s bullied by someone who was his best friend, and now that bully makes everybody avoid Arata. As a result, extremely sensitive Arata falls into the depression cycle of high school life where he wants to disappear from this world.
Now enters Arata from another world. I can’t remember the name of his world or whatever his clan’s name is, but he’s the next princess that is supposed to guide the country he is in. The princess of the country has the ability to control some weird power? The problem is, Arata’s clan hasn’t bore any female heir for the last few decades, and only females can can have that power. Reluctant Arata fills in for the nonexistent princess for his clan’s sake and meets the six-year-old loli princess… Until the princess’ guardians assassinate the princess (well, she’s dying now) and makes it look as if Arata murdered her.
Arata runs to a forbidden forest while Arata in Japan wishes he would disappear. However, suddenly both Aratas are switched, with Japan’s Arata switched to the what-is-the-name-of-the-world’s Arata. Japanese Arata is hidden by the other Arata’s annoying female friend, but he finally turns himself in for the sake of the clan. What is Japanese Arata about to do now? *drum rolls*
Characters // There are basically four main characters in this anime. Those who love the non-Japanese Arata, prepare to be sad because he’ll be shoved away into a supporting character. Yep, the main character of this anime is the, of course, Japanese Arata. I’m not so fond of this idea, but this is the Yuu Watase pattern where she picks the shittiest character and turns the character into something decent (not good or better) as the story progress. Now the question is, will Yuu Watase fails like always or does something revolutionary and actually make a good character? Too bad the other Arata only serves as the guide.
The second character would be the one who’s bullying Arata right now aka Masato. I’m starting to wonder why he has such a long-standing grudge against him, even when they’re in high school. When, y’know, they’re supposed to be adults. I hope the reason that Masato is bullying Arata is not something simple and unnecessary, or else…
The two other characters are two of the Twelve Guardians that plotted to kill the princess. They are none other than Kannagi and Akachi. Though it’s not known what are they going to be in the anime, I’m sure they’re going to be major characters in the story. They’ll become Arata’s and Masato’s protectors, perhaps?
Author // I’m sure Watase Yuu is not a strange name for many. Well, at least for shoujo and yaoi lovers because she created the famous Fushigi Yuugi saga, Ayashi no Ceres, and Sakura Gari. Many yaoi lovers loved loved loooveed Sakura Gari so much because of its dark tone (despite of the drama), but for her shoujo manga… At least I know I’m not a big fan of her shoujo manga because of its repetitive pattern. That is why I was a little surprised when I see Arata Kangatari. Though it still has the patter, it is slightly different from the other manga, I guess? Well, it’s just the start anyway, so let’s see how Arata Kangatari is going to be.
Director & Studio // Surprisingly, Yasuda Kenji did create some decent anime for the past few years. Ikoku Meiro no Croisee and Shougo Chara are his works. Yeah, that explains the whole similar moe vibe from both anime. He did get involved in Boogiepop Phantom and Fullmetal Alchemist though, so Arata Kangatari won’t be Kenji’s first action-ish anime. The studio of the anime, which is Satelight, is one of my favorite studios out there because of its awesome works such as Mouretsu Pirates and Hellsing Ultimate. I have many favorite anime coming from this one studio. I just hope that the combination of Yasuda Kenji and Satelight will make the combination that makes Arata Kangatari an enjoyable anime.
Seiyuu // Unfortunately, I’m not too familiar with the seiyuu of the main characters. I mean, I know who Mamoru Miyano and Akira Ishida are, but they’re just minor characters in the story. Okay, fine, there is Yoshitsugu Matsuoka as Arata, and he happened to voice the famous Kirito and Narumi from Kamisama no Memochou. Thankfully, there is Nobuhiko Okamoto as the Japanese Arata. He voices the NGGHH Io from Acchi Kocchi and Rin from Ao no Exorcist. Welp, I’m definitely not familiar with the seiyuu, so I hope I can get to know their voices better as I watch this anime, teheh.
To be honest, I wasn’t that impressed with Arata Kangatari. I’ve mentioned that Yuu Watase has this pattern in her shoujo stories, and it is happening again in this anime. The two different worlds in this anime reminds me of Fushigi Yuugi, and Japanese Arata’s weak character reminds me of the main character in Alice 19th. What makes this anime different is the fact that the main character is actually a male. I guess Watase Yuu wants to try something that is slightly different? Too bad from the premiere, it seems that Arata Kangatari will be one of her many works that will also shine among them… Unless the story takes a sudden turn and has a whole new mind-blowing turn. But it’s just the first episode (second episode by the time this article is published /sob/), so let’s see how the story is going to be.
The one thing that surprised me in this anime is Watase Yuu’s artwork though. For those who have read her previous works, they’ll know that the artwork she’s doing with Arata Kangatari is definitely different from the rest. The females might be the same, but the males are not as pretty as her previous works, and they look somehow… Manlier. Seeing how Watase Yuu experimented with Sakura Gari, I won’t be surprised that she’s experimenting with her art style in Arata Kangatari.
Oh yeah, speaking of surprise, the animation also surprised me. But not in a good way. I am also not impressed with the animation. I was even surprised by the animation that is lacking in quality. Is this really Satelight? That studio with awesome animation and some great CGs? I was really really really disappointed at the awkward animation. Well, it is not that bad, it was not impressive to be seen also. It was UGHHHH I can’t. Hopefully the animation will get better and we’ll have some interesting turn to the story.