Rating: 3/5 – Visually Engaging but Poorly Paced.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Greg Bretall.
Mekakucity Actors starts by focusing on a shut-in named Shintaro who leaves his apartment for the first time in two years, only to get dragged into a terrorist kidnapping. He is then saved by a mysterious group of teenagers called the Mekakushi Dan (literally Blindfold Gang) who all have super powers that are based around their eyes and is subsequently dragged into their organization. The show is 12 episodes long. http://www.crunchyroll.com/mekakucity-actors
What’s Awesome About It?
Mekakucity Actors has a lot of issues, chief amongst them being its extremely poor pacing. Mekakucity Actors not only jumps its focus to a completely different character for each of the first several episodes, but it also withholds an alarming amount of information from the viewer. This withholding ends up only leaving the viewer in the dark, to the point where it isn’t even clear at all what the plot even is until well over halfway through the show’s relatively short 12 episode run. The show attempts to hint at the overall plot by having a short sequence at the end of each episode that follows a storybook tale of monster that is rejected by humanity. However, this only serves to confuse the viewer even more.
The animation in the show, however, is very eye-catching in traditional Shaft style. The show employs a very skillful usage of color coding for its characters. However, the character designs themselves are extremely similar to those found in one of Shaft’s other major works, the Monogatari Series. In spite of the similarity, the show still manages elements of its own unique artistic style to show through, especially in the aforementioned storybook segments which take on a paper-craft style similar to that found in Madoka (another Shaft work), but with a distinct style to them that sets them apart. The show also attempts to focus on idol and vocaloid songs, something which featured much more prominently in Kagerou Project, the manga that the show is adapted from. However, this largely falls flat as the show isn’t really long enough or coherent to really capitalize on this gimmick, making the only instances of this seem odd and out of place compared to the overall tone of the rest of the show which is equal parts dark supernatural and science fiction combined with elements of fairy tales.
I really wanted to like Mekakucity Actors and while I didn’t explicitly dislike it, it definitely suffered from a lot of issues. In my opinion the show could’ve benefited from being stretched out over another season instead of the 12 episodes that the entirety of the plot was crammed into. While the show definitely has some interesting things going for it, I don’t think it’s a must watch show.
Reviewed by: Greg Bretall
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