September 22, 2012

Finished Watching Kemonozume

 It only took me four days to finish the series. Probably the closest I've come to actually marathoning any show. I planned to spread it out over a longer period of time and savour each episode a bit more, but I just couldn't help myself-- Almost every episode ends on such a riveting cliff-hanger. I'd read that some viewers weren't satisfied with the way things progressed in the final episodes, but I didn't mind the ending. The villain does get pretty over-the-top, but he was extremely entertaining while doing it so it didn't bother me. Breaking the fourth wall has been overused in comedy for a long time now, but using it just a little bit in a mostly serious work can still be effective, as he proved.

The middle of the series brought a couple of slight dips in the art and animation, but that was more than made up for in the final episodes, particularly the last two. I'm so glad I finally got around to watching this series. It somehow manages to balance drama, horror, comedy, romance, action and suspense. It's one of my favourite shows ever, animated or otherwise.

I really liked how each episode had a different mood and feeling. So many different artists with unique, but generally complementary, styles worked on the episodes, and the series really embraced that, in a way rarely seen in animation (Ren and Stimpy springs to mind as another example, in a drastically different style obviously).

I have a lot of favourite episodes. #1 and #2 felt the most purely Yuasa-driven to me. #6 was hilarious and gave us a proper introduction to my favourite character, Bon. #9 had a wonderfully light atmosphere and provided a nice breather from all the craziness in the surrounding episodes. #12 was entirely animated by Michio Mihara. I'd just seen his Okashina Hotel short, and was really excited at the chance to see so much more of his work in one place. It completely lived up to my expectations. #13 had just as much amazing animation, but in that case it was the work of several animators. It also had some classic Yuasa insane action.

I think overall I prefer this series to Kaiba. Somehow it felt both more substantial, and easier to comprehend. It's difficult-- and probably pointless-- to compare the series, since they were so different stylistically, but I did find Kaiba maintained its quality more evenly than Kemonozume. It didn't really have anything as mediocre as Episode 4 of Kemonozume, which was the one notable blemish on the series. But on the other hand I feel that Kemonozume reached greater heights and was more ambitious in its art style. And I definitely thought it had stronger characterization. One problem I had with Kaiba was that, for a show where the hero gets put into a different body in each episode, he didn't have much of a personality for the viewer to hold onto. He remained a cipher throughout the series, which made it less interesting to follow his body-switching. I do still love Kaiba though.

As I mentioned before, Bon was probably my favourite character. I was happy to see him reappear later in the series. Now I want to go through the series again at a slower pace, particularly so I can study some of the animation and direction more closely.

1 comment:

ADC said...

Kemonozume is very good, and a breath of fresh air from the rest of the anime out there.