Jul 1 2011 06:45 PM
So Hidan no Aria....the so called "traditional" Rie Kugimiya/J.C. Staff type project that has been going since 2005 starting with Shakugan no Shana. Unfortunately for Hidan no Aria, this is likely the worst of the bunch, on par with Zero no Tsukaima ~Princess no Rondo~ a few years ago.
Hidan no Aria starts off with the Kugimiya/male protagonist pair Aria and Kinji respectively. The show is made up of pure cliches, most of which were poorly executed. The plot is incredibly linear for the most part. No twists, no turns, it was all so damn predictable that it was shameful. Having read the light novel for this series, I'm very disappointed since I really enjoyed it and still am thus far. However, the adaptation into anime form is clearly bad. In addition, the show moves at such a snail pace, covering only 3 of the 9 published light novels so far. With so much source material, I'm shocked that they covered so little given how much they covered with similar titles like Shakugan no Shana, Toradora!, To Aru Majutsu no Index, etc...
The art and animation department was also a huge negative. The drawings looked as if they were from 6 years ago and the animation quality was so grainy with lackluster detail that it looks as if this show's native resolution is 480p/400p despite airing in 720p. There seems to have been little or no effort by J.C. Staff to begin with here.
Music was probably the most praiseworthy aspect of this show. Both OP and ED themes were at least decent. Surely not the best this season, but not horrid to listen to. Seiyuu cast is more or less expected and there is no further comment needed since it's the Toradora! pair.
Character development and depth overall was shallow to no end. If anyone, Riko got the most development out of everyone. Aria's past is incredibly shallow as is Shirayuki's. Kinji remains a mystery, and Reki was barely shown at all.
Enjoyment? A complete disappointment from beginning to end. The final episode was a little better than I had initially gave it credit for and easily the best episode of the series...of course the final episode altered parts of the light novel and cut out a huge chunk of the despair and pain Riko was meant to go through before Vlad was suppose to come out. That was actually a really good part of the light novel when it was being described but again the execution in the anime adaptation was shallow like everything else.
Overall, I had really high hopes for Hidan no Aria when it was announced last year...all I can say is not only over-hyped but the bar was set way too high for this show. Of course, there were reason for this bar. For director we had Takashi Watanabe (Shakugan no Shana, Starship Operators, Slayers). This guy can produce some solid works. He had a few hiccups every now and then, but this is probably the worst track he's been on. People may argue with me over Freezing (which I will finish in the near future), but he certainly has not produced anything solid over the last couple of years...making me question the Shana finale later this fall. On the series composition side, we have Hideki Shirane (Zettai Shougeki ~Platonic Hearts~, Isekai no Seikishi Monogatari, Hayate no Gotoku!!). Hideki has produced works at both ends of the spectrum. Hayate and Isekai were solid, but he has also done the horrendous Zettai Shougeki and the mediocre Yumekui Merry. With at least a decent staff though, it was difficult to even think how this series could have failed so badly.Preliminary Score: 7/10
Final Score: 6/10
Seriously if it wasn't for the music aspect or the final episode, this show would have fallen much further from grace. I mean, my current score is likely being overly generous... I may actually consider dropping it further.