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Utawarerumono

a.k.a. The One Being Sung

utawarerumono-2
Genre: Drama / Romance
Company: Oriental Light and Magic/Lantis /Utawarerumono Production Team
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 4/3/2006 to 9/25/2006

Hakuoro is a man without a past, a country or even a face, which is inexplicably hidden behind a mask he is unable to take off. He is found by the wise old healer of a remote village and her grand daughter Eruruu, completely beaten and dangerously close to death. While he recovers his health, he integrates to a society of beings that are almost human, but yet retain animal ears and tails, and starts calling the healer’s family his own. Will his past come back to haunt him, and his fate bring misfortune to those he holds dear?

summary by Soundchazer

 

Reviewed: 12/02/2006 by
Grade: 59% av-Soundchazer

Someone once said good things come to those who wait, and that is without a doubt what Kobayashi Tomoki must have felt when he was assigned as director for this project. He had already been involved in the limited capacity of episode director in several high profile anime like Rozen Maiden and Futakoi Alternative, so the time felt right for him to make the jump to the big leagues. Unfortunately, it is painfully noticeable that he was not quite ready for the job.

Although he does present a very interesting opening to a tale that is shrouded in mystery and a series of enigmatic characters with very distinct personalities, he bogs the story down by developing a very nagging “monster of the week” or should I say “battle of the week” routine, that goes on and on taking almost 2/3rds of the entire series. That problem would not be such a bother… if it led to character development and was presented with an interesting and changing choreography. But the truth is most of the scenes look the same. Sometimes the animation actually dips from mediocre to bad, and more angst than real drama is introduced.

What makes it even worse is the 180 change that was decided towards the end of the series, which was utterly out of place and uncalled for by changing genres from fantasy to sci-fi. One way to put it would be to be eating a high class restaurant, and having hot dog as the main dish. While hot dogs can be quite the delicacy, they have their appropriate place and time in which they are better enjoyed. Overall, there were a lot of good ideas thrown out there, but put together in a very sloppy way.

The bottom-line is, unless you dig the fantasy themes too much, or have an incurable furry fetish, you are better off leaving this one alone and play D&D instead or read a J.R.R. Tolkien book… heck, just go to a furry cosplay convention.


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