On my demand of watching all BoysLove anime and related I came across Graduation M. And I consider this the worst BL I've ever watched. EVER. This is starting to become hard, you see... On any case, let's see why even the most dedicated of the fans should avoid this thing.
A story, unlike the synopsis seems to claim, does not really exist. Five good looking men are presented through the first 16 minutes of the series and then engage into crossdressing for a theatre play, because "kawaii". One of the characters is show playing Graduation M game, that's by far the most interesting point of the story... The rest rolls slowly, filling in the screen time with absolutely useless conversation that does not add anything to the story. As for the characters, that sometimes may make up for te story, are cut off cereal boxes. Each one is a stereotype, but so horribly stereotypied that it's not even fun. It's like a proto-Gakuen Heaven, but worst.
Now, this could be compensated if we had these 40 minutes f animation just for the eyecandy. It was done before, it will be done in the future, I personally have nothing against it... But the art... It's not even pathetic... It is... Miserable. Horribly amateurish, as well as the animation. Everything is crooked, it looks like Neopets fanart done by a 12 year old. The most basic laws of shading, perspective, anatomy, colouring, anything you can remember.. Even the most basice IS WRONG!
Most likely the only positive point of this piece of "bizarre" animation is the voice acting. It is clearly well done and all the actores match ehtir characters perfectly. The background music is common of the genre but not less annoying. Cheery and cute songs intercalated by rock instrumentals that may fit perfectly in games but just seem out of place in anime riddle these 40 minutes. For a moment I even considered each character would have a theme song.
In the end, a really dreadful experience. A cheap OVA created without any care or skill. Avoid it for best results.
Maiden Rose is a very resumed compilation of a manga that has much more into it than what we could expect at first sight. We have two countries in a war, a prince from a country that has a knight from the other country. A Shakesperian plot, that - due to lack of film time - was never explained. And this is the main flaw of this anime. However, it counters for having a plot. This by itself is already a great achievement for a BL animation, where they often forget about plotlines and characters to please the rabid fangirl.
The art was cared and clean, pretty but not amazing. The animation can't be considered a master piece, but it's skillfully done. And that's enough. The same can we say for the OST and effects, not to mention voice acting. For something supposedly sensual these actors seemed rather shy.
However there is something that counters this, which are the characters. They are solid and suffer development, even with the 60 minutes of screen that they were allowed to have. The designs are gorgeous and even though we may consider some actions flawed according to what we know of them I believe that it is part of their personal achievements to surprise the viewer.
Overall, a very good work. We were needing something like this into the genre. Sexually tense, violent and creepy sometimes, but very sweet in the end. Highly recommended to the rabid fangirls.
When I came across this my first thought was: "oh great! Some medieval adventure with Eastern traits full of hot guys and eventually tons of tasty slashing!" Yes, I think like this most of the time. And usually I'm never disappointed. The only exception is Koutetsu Sangokushi.
At first, I thought the story would be interesting. You know, reader, most of BL and slashable anime stories are not very interesting. So when I read the premise of this anime I was glad. It announced an adventure full of political drama and some magic here and there. However, it all seemed half-baked, incomplete, created by an incompetent with too many ideas without any solid base. The premise was interesting, but the story telling was dreadful. Dragging such a story for 25 episodes, adding some forced encounters, rushed sollutions for random cliffhangers and a unoriginal central elements to the party, was one of the most boring - not to say horrible - experiences of anime watching.
Then I thought the character designs looked good. They look good. That's the greatest part about this anime. The characters are gorgeous. When they are still. A Flash amateur could do better than this, in terms of animation. Random utilization of CG elements that took away any beauty left to the backgrounds and horrible sloppy animation. Repeating frames all the time, trying to make awesome action scenes with a low budget and low talent... It did not work well.
Finally, I thought that the characters themselves could save it. An anime filled with beautiful man, frolicking around the whole anime, nothing can be better than this! Except, of course, when we absolutely need to have all the stereotypes for "hot" inserted randomly and without reason here and there. The development was nule for most characters and, when it existed, it was unoriginal.
Music was only memorable for being misused.
In the end, it was a terrible experience and it let my expectations and hopes for the future down. It is the anime made for the average fangirl that is happy just by seeing hot guys running in something very similar - but not quite - to a plot. Unfortunately, I'm not the average fangirl anymore.
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