Shuichi was another talented but unfocused singer wannabe drifting through life. After fate induced an encounter with popular romance novelist Eiri Yuki, his whole life was thrust into overdrive. Sparked with a new passion, his lyrics began to resonate and his star began to rise. The life of a rock star is never easy, however, and Shuichi is surrounded by turbulent relationships in his professional and personal lives, including conflicts with his jealous rivals. At the core of his heart, the only thing that truly matters to Shuichi is his love/hate relationship with Eiri.
summary by Mugs
Highs: Soundtrack; story
Lows: Way too condensed; sensitive story matter
Let’s get this out of the way right up front: this series has something of a strange reputation, mostly from insane fan girls yelling about its content. As a category classification this one sits firmly in shoujo. This anime is nowhere near yaoi and hardly even contains shounen ai. Now, onto the review.
Gravitation is another show that tries to do too much at once, especially given its thirteen episode run. It’s a story about rise to rock stardom, a love story, a comedy and includes random shoujo-type, kawaii nonsense. Shoehorning it all into thirteen episodes would have been hard enough, but being about a band precious time is used on musical sequences (even if the songs were very good). Things could have turned out disastrous; luckily that’s not the case. The show takes a pseudo-realistic approach to romance, and in turn it allows a most believable world. Eiri is almost ripped out of reality with his non-caring demeanor. Shuichi, on the other hand, is pure anime from his all too innocent and trusting attitude right down to being repeatedly punched by every other character in the show. While this sets up an interesting dichotomy, it also means that one-half of our main characters is a stone-faced, uncaring and boring person. Imagine an anime version of the Final Fantasy VI through Final Fantasy VIII protagonist and you’ll understand.
The comedy in the show is actually pretty good and interspersed throughout the more dramatic scenes; for the most part this provides a nice change of pace. The music in the show is very good; in particular, Nittle Grasper’s songs had me hooked reasonably for a supposedly legendary band. The animation is up to par with recent television series; think along the lines of the Love Hina television series.
Gravitation is a worthwhile show marked by a good story and musical numbers… but marred by its short format. If you can get past the subject matter, you’ll probably enjoy it.
Highs: Amazing OST; topnotch animation and character designs
Lows: Feels condensed; odd use of comedy at times
People often have many snap judgments of Gravitation. Many of these misconceptions revolve around the shounen ai aspect of the series. If they actually took the time to sit down and watch this anime, they would understand that there is much more to the show than that.
Gravitation has one of the best romance stories I’ve ever seen when it comes to anime. Not only that, but it had some great characters, as well. With the combination of upbeat music, vibrant colors and animation, and a sweet romance story, this anime really shines a light on all of the other dark and dreary anime out there.
I enjoyed the comedy 95% of the time in Gravitation. There were a few times in the series where things got pretty dramatic… and then suddenly, in the middle of all the drama, there would be a comedic moment. The comedy didn’t just kill the dramatic mood, it butchered it. I had a very hard time taking the dramatic sequences seriously when something like this happened. In addition to this, towards the end of the series, the viewer is bombarded with information which makes the last few episodes very chunky and condensed.
I found the down sides to Gravitation very easy to overlook. I really ended up liking this anime quite a bit. Those who are wary of Gravitation should give it a try anyway, at the very least just to expand your anime horizons!
Highs: Nicely balanced characterization; compelling story; fantastic soundtrack
Lows: Sometimes obtrusive comedy; last episodes feel rushed
Beloved by raving fangirls everywhere, Gravitation has managed to bridge the gap between shounen ai and mainstream anime. Having gained popularity with more conventional anime fans, this anime has established a reputation as being an original romance with an amazing soundtrack.
Like most romances, the core of this anime is the characters and their relationships with each other. The two main characters are like night and day: Shuichi being hyperactive, overly emotional and prone to fits of super-deformed randomness. Eiri, on the other hand, behaves more realistically and is the driving force behind the plot. This balance, along with some extremely anime-ish characters and other more “normal” ones, is also seen amongst the side characters. This allows for moments of comic hilarity and also keeps the plot moving along as it should.
Unfortunately, some of those comedic moments come in at the worst possible time. As endearing as Shuichi’s antics are at the right times, there is nothing that breaks a dramatic mood faster than silly costumes or a super-deformed snotty nose. Despite that, this anime handles itself fairly well most times, allowing both the romantic storyline and the quest for stardom a chance to play out. Unfortunately though, as events in both storylines come to a head, episodes began feeling rushed. With new information being revealed at a frantic pace, it is easy for some viewers to feel a little confused about what exactly happened.
Despite its flaws, Gravitation is so well beloved for a reason. Pretty art and a fantastic soundtrack that is well suited for a story about rock stars only complete the package. For fans of romantic comedy, this anime is a must-see, shounen ai or not.
Gravitation can be downloaded legally in the United States HERE.