Jan 5 2011 02:25 AM
Fortune Arterial was a short, but interesting series.
The plot of Fortune Arterial essentially revolved around a student council and some students at the academy. It just so happens that the student council is made up of people that know about the president and vice president's secrets: i.e. vampires. While it was an interesting twist to see the traditional vampire themes turned the opposite way around, what really kept this series going for me was the latter half or rather episodes 7 through 11 of the series. Those five episodes probably sums up the best part of the series. The first episode is your traditional harem/visual novel adaptation introduction. Episodes 2 through 6 focused primarily on the other heroines of the visual novel except Erika. And of course, the latter half is completely dedicated to her.
Now, the problem I really had with this series was not just the ending, but the way they ended it. After all that decent build up prior to the last episode I was literally hoping like no other that they wouldn't use a plot hole. In fact, they used two. The first is when Iori told Hasekura that when vampires drink the blood of a human they crave for more. This clearly counters the plot shown in episode 1 where we saw Iori drinking someone's blood at the end. Plot hole #2 is how Hasekura weaseled his and Erika's way out from Kaya's stubbornness. Considering the kind of character they portrayed Kaya as and that Hasekura already used the same argument prior to Erika showing up, it became more of a "just accept it" type scene, which really ruined the mood. While it is 100% obvious that Hasekura was going to find some way to bring Erika back, Iori couldn't have said it any better. He's not sure of whether Hasekura lived up to his expectations. If anything they should have cliffhanged this episode a little bit and give the OVA something to work on since I felt with another episode the argument between Hasekura and Kaya could have been a little bit more interesting and realistic. The third plot hole is how Erika suddenly did not have any "lust" for Hasekura's blood despite coming in close contact (or rather complete contact) with him in the final few minutes of the show. I'm pretty sure that doesn't get remedied that fast, especially since she nearly had an "attack" when he came to "rescue" her.
Animation was actually really nice coming from feel and ZEXCS. From feel, this is a step up from Yosuga no Sora and Kiss x Sis since the characters actually fit with the backgrounds designed. From ZEXCS, this is also a step up from all the other shows they've been doing recently like Omamori Himari and Legend of the Legendary Heroes.
Music...all themes involve Lia in some way or another. What's there not to like? It took some time to get into the OP theme, but after hearing it a couple of times, it's actually quite good. While nowhere near the level of Angel Beats!, still one of the more memorable ones this year. ED theme was great. Veil is a combination of Lia, Aoi Tada, karuta, SOLASHITA YUâKA, REI (Junksystem.), Misuzu Togashi, hirona, sunao, MiKA (Daisy Ã Daisy), JURIE, waka, Yui Yamamoto and Kaori Omura. You really can almost not get better than this. It's a combination of top notch singers for this particular series and absolutely great. Some of you my recognize them from Angel Beats!, Regios, etc... Visual novel fans will definitely recognize a number. Seiyuus are all from the visual novels so no changes there. The voices are decent, but they sounded really monotone for some reason.
Character development was nice, much better than most series this season as well as this year. I liked how the plot was weaved into the character development for Haruna and Kanade. I'm a bit disappointed, however to not see any development for Kuze though considering we don't really know who she truly is.
Enjoyment? Like I said, I really liked episodes 7 through 11, but the rest of the series was really meh to me. The rewatch value is likely very low given how the show bombed itself. The show overall wasn't terrible, but the final execution was poor. Not as atrocious as Hyakka Ryouran Samurai Girls however.
Overall, had the series not ended on such a typical note with no supporting reason of why Kaya should let Erika go I probably would have been more satisfied with this show. The show had an H2O ~Footprints in the Sand~ feeling the entire time and in essence tried to pull an H2O like ending. Like H2O, the show started out with half character development, and then focused on a particular character/main heroine of the show. Unfortunately for Fortune Arterial, the ending was sour and to some extent bland, almost as if we returned to episode 2 or 3 of the series. I was hoping for some drama action in Kaya vs. Hasekura, but that never really showed itself.
While there is an OVA coming out in February with the manga, I don't really have hopes for it. In fact, I see it as a fanservice episode like any other spin-off OVA following a harem series nowadays.Preliminary Score: 6/10 Final Score: 6/10