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Serious Anime Reviews #2: 07-Ghost

“07-Ghost” is a typical example of modern anime. When you break it down, no matter which way you look at it, that’s what it is. The characters, the look of the animation, the voice acting, the music, even the plot: it’s all what we’ve come to expect from the standard that so many anime without good solid original writing and story are cut from.

Let’s start with the plot. This is one area that helps this anime stand out as decent.  Our main character, Teito Klein, is about to graduate along with his best friend Mikage from the Barsburg Empire’s military academy. This is an institution reserved for those with the rare ability to tap into a mysterious power source known as “Ziaphon”, which has both healing and fighting applications. Teito is (you guessed it) unnaturally skilled in the use of the Offensive Ziaphon, being the prized pupil of the councilman Miroku. The twist is that Teito is a former slave (translated as “sklave”) taken in by Miroku, and has little to no memory of his childhood or past to boot. What little he does know comes from intermittent dreams, suggesting that he was the son of some highborn family.

Shortly after both Teito and Mikage graduate from the academy, Teito has a run in with the grim military strike force commander Ayanami, who is apparently looking for an ancient relic of great power called the Eye of Mikhail. In a flash of memory, Teito remembers that this is the man who killed his father, and attacks Ayanami, resulting in his arrest. Mikage manages to break him out, and thus starts a journey in which Teito vows to find out the true history behind his father’s murder and Ayanami’s role in it, and what exactly the Eye of Mikhail is. But Ayanami is in pursuit of Teito, and is willing to do anything to get at him…

While the story is interesting, the animation style leaves much to be desired. Although the characters and backgrounds are clean and well drawn, the character designs show little or no originality. What is especially annoying is the use of CGI to depict the flying transports that the characters use to ride around in. Although you see this animation technique in many modern anime, it isn’t nearly perfected, and as a result is jarring and fake. If the flying “Hawkzicles” were animated just the same as the rest of the anime, the viewers’ suspension of disbelief wouldn’t be shattered every time they are shown along side the characters. It’s all well and good if CGI is used in something like Appleseed, but it still isn’t good enough to be used in the everyday anime episode.

The music is also a source of annoyance. There are only several tracks used in the show, and when they are played, they often don’t fit the scene very well. A good example of this would be towards the end of episode 7 where the dramatic music from a battle scene still plays while the characters talk about something foreboding that may or may not affect future events. Somehow, it seems as though foreboding music would fit foreboding words better, eh?

On the subject of the characters by themselves, they stand out like a sore thumb as being lifted from other series. The best example of this is Ayanami and his crew. Anyone who is familiar with Bleach (and who isn’t?) will recognize the similarity between the antagonist and his crew. Ayanami’s second in command is very much like Gin Ichimaru, who is very snake like and has a cruel sense of humor about him, and two others bear a similarity to the mad captain Kenpachi and his smaller pink-haired second in command Yachiru. Most of the other characters in the show are templates for standard character types: The Tough One, The Caring One, The Old Man, etc., etc…

In short, “07-Ghost” is a standard anime. Nothing outside of the plot is too impressive, and the characters and too standard in look and personality to gain the audience’s emotional investment. It shows some promise to get better as of the latest episode, if only because Teito FINALLY GOT HIS DAMN CHAINS TAKEN OFF!!!

MDNN Media Productions gives this anime:

Two out of Four stars.


June 10, 2009 - Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , ,

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