Friday, December 7, 2007

Bargain Bin Review: Misaki Chronicles

If I had to sum up Misaki Chronicles with two concepts it would be: quantum physics and big boobs.


The show takes up where Divergence Eve left off. Watcher's Nest has disappeared. The Earth is surrounded by a temporal vortex. Kiri and Lt. Commander Lyar are all that's left of Seraphim. And Misaki has disappeared. (Well sort of, the series reveals that she's on Earth pretty quickly).

Characterwise, the show is still fairly strong. Lyar is still one of the strongest characters in the series, and since most of the series does revolve around her, it's a good thing. The rest of the characters stay pretty stable from the first series. They all tend to be a bit stereotypical, but not so much that they really detract from the series.

The plot really does move. It twists, turns, dodges and goes up the wall and then through the sewers. All of those questions that the first series laid out do actually get answers, although some of them are a little disappointing. There's only a couple moments that get dragged out to increase the emotional impact, but end up getting dragged out so much that they're actually more funny then depressing. But beyond that the series starts in high gear after episode two and doesn't leave it until the denouement.

Oh yeah, and this series actually has a denouement (that section of the story where they wrap up the loose ends) which usually is my big complaint about anime. I did think they did a slap dash job on it, and hurt the tragedy that could have been there. But it definitely has it and it is good enough.

The series biggest problem is the fanservice. Good lord. It isn't as distracting as it was in Divergence Eve, but there are at least a couple times where I found myself asking, "How can they walk around with those things." At least their weren't any shower scenes, or guys trying to stare down the female characters shirts. In fact, everyone was so completely blaise about the fact that no woman was below a G-cup that I could almost buy into it. But it just seemed really incongruous for a series that deals with such heavy sci-fi stuff to have such blatant fanservice.

And that was the problem with it. Much like the bubblegum pop opener and the sad dramatic closer, the series suffered from a uneven tone. It was like someone playing Britney Spears to get people to come to a performance of Hamlet.

Overall, the technical aspects of the show were fine. The CG was still a bit heavy on the space scenes (because evidently it's impossible to DRAW a space station anymore). The CG wasn't distracting though and fits pretty well into the combination scenes. It wasn't seemless by any means, but it didn't hurt the series either.

The sountrack, again, wasn't anything to write home about. But it did help on the dramatic moments and definitely didn't hurt the series.

In the end, Misaki Chronicles is a bit of harmless fun that tries to be something more, but doesn't quite make it there.

Reccomendation: To be fair, I reccomend you rent Divergence Eve first. I wouldn't pay more than $20 for that part of the series. And I picked up Misaki Chronicles for $20. And it was worth it, just to know what happened.

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