REVIEW PART 1:
As of April 21, 2009 – Watching @ 5 out of 11 episodes
Well, I’m writing this after finishing 5/11 of the series Jyu Oh Sei, also known under the translation “Beast King Planet”. Don’t worry, I’ll add in my final thoughts once I finish the series. I just really felt like writing a post.
This anime has a lot of flaws, but despite that, I have inexplicably found myself enjoying it.
FUN FACT – Guess who is the seiyuu for Third (yes, his name is Third), one of the main characters? ZOMG it’s OGURI SHUN! I thought the guys voice was kinda unique, like it didn’t sound like a normal tough bishie anime voice, so I looked it up. Imagine my surprise. Plus, the guy who does the voice for Thor (the protagonist) is a Johnny’s kid, not a normal seiyuu. I thought that was interesting. Oguri seems to do an okay job. He seems good for the character, but when Third does something out of character, like get agitated, he sounds kinda unreal. Of course I really have no experience judging voice acting.
Back to the story.
Time to go over those flaws I mentioned: I really think this could’ve been astounding in the right hands. But the execution and parts of the story were a bit weak, probably partly because of the short length of the series. Although he has potential to be a very deep and fleshed out character, Thor ends up coming off as a bit shallow. I think they could’ve spent some more time dealing with the problem of his twin and the loss of his parents. It was all a bit rushed seeming. Also badly done: the character of Tiz. Again, a bit too shallow. Plus, Thor is like eleven. Come on. How many fairly normal eleven year old’s do you know that can just swing around a knife and easily kill like 3 people (slash weird plants)?
However, I’m willing to overlook these things so far. I’ve been thinking about this and Shangri-La. They both take place in a jungle-y sort of world, but I find Jyu Ou Sei much more interesting. It’s like, Jyu Ou Sei isn’t a masterpiece, but Shangri-La DEFINITELY isn’t a masterpiece.
I also like the art, it’s well done. The setting is pretty good also; not detailed in an OCD way, but detailed enough to like. ARGH I can’t keep going on being all moral and fair, HERE’S THE TRUTH! I ENJOY THIS A LOT!
For further thoughts upon completing the series, please read ahead.
REVIEW PART 2
Written upon completion
Woahhhhh… Damn, I love that type of ending! But I won’t spoil it.
Okay, this remains an anime with a hell of a lot of faults; and yet… I still managed to thoroughly enjoy it. I’m writing this after watching the second half of the series; from episodes 6-11, which take place after a five year time leap. I found it much more believable if I just pretended that Thor was 14/15 when he first came to Chimaera, and so he’s 19/20-ish during the last half. Because even if he IS super special, his 11-year-old character was totally old, and there is no way that a 15 year old looks like a man already. So I just ignored the age they told you and made up my own age for him, eheh.
The first couple episodes after the time leap, I really really missed the old character designs for Thor and especially Tiz. I didn’t like her much in the first place, but after the time leap she was pretty much completely useless. But I got used to them. And I liked Thor’s ponytail at the end. Samurai time!
Another issue this series had was that it was really quite rushed feeling. I think that given time, the characters could have had huge opportunity for development; and characters such as Tiz and Karim could have had a chance to get actual personalities and be complex. The whole part with Karim especially seemed VERY sudden, and Thor acted quite un-Thor-like. Overall Thor’s relationships with both Karim and Tiz were quite stupid, but then I wasn’t watching this for romance, so I got over it. The plot could also have used some more of that suspense element. But I guess you have to expect that with only 11 episodes. However I think in more capable, okay amazingly talented hands, this could have been fantastic.
Of course, I’m a BIT biased this time because I really love this sort of plot. If for nothing else, I think this is worth the watch just for the plot and idea. I personally liked the art also; and I think the fights were quite well-done. But I really don’t know much about that stuff.
Bottom line: It’s worth it to watch this short anime; if you are the tolerant friendly type. But if you’re prone to picking on things excessively, you might want to stay away.
I was also a bit nit-picky and bothered by the fact that on Chimaera they used hours and days the same way we do on Earth; I mean any fool would realize that time and days would be totally different on a planet where half it’s rotation is spent in night and half in day. So you can’t use “days” for short-time periods, ass holes… yeah if you’re picky like that, watch something else.
I have to say; though I complained a bit in this post; I’m glad I watched and – despite its numerous faults (see above, lol) – secretly liked Jyu Ou Sei.