Shikabane-Hime Aka — Above Average, but Not Above GAINAX?

So. Shikabane Hime Aka. Being a GAINAX show and not being insane makes it automatically a disappointment. There are some pluses and minuses as I’ll list below but it’ll take time to get past the simple fact that this is GAINAX at anything other than it’s best.

The negatives, most obviously, not full GAINAX potential. Also, the main character isn’t actually the zombie girl but instead Completely Generic Male Protagonist A. And oddly he only meets the undead girl very briefly in the ep and doesn’t even witness the fight. The episode was pretty boring though I’m willing to attribute that to my having watched it raw, but the point is there’s not much action going on. The actual action scenes are pretty short and use some animation shortcuts.

There are plenty of good things to be said here, though. GAINAX might have actually had a budget on this which I hope they didn’t blow on this ep. The animation is completely average however the art is pretty damn nice. I loved all the urban imagery which has signs of being the prominent setting of the show (though it’s something that’s been done many times better by many other shows.) More importantly, there’s some kewl animation techniques to make up for the cheapness and some good directing in there. Lots of good use of color not unlike in Melody of Oblivion only in this show everything looks realistic and not fucking weird. The show might be worth continuing for this bit of style alone. There were what I perceived to be some G-L references in there, too. The first line in the whole show was ‘…ainiki?’ and the villain looked a lot like Cytomander and when he transformed he had the scratchy black lines effect of the anti-spirals. There was also a minor character girl who had evil eyes and smokes which is great. The fight scenes were very GAINAX with exaggerated movements, lots of up-close shots with weapons blazing and shit, however the fight at the end just wasn’t fulfilling at all.

The show is worth keeping up with though not undroppable, and definitely not GAINAX at it’s best, though maybe they’ll surprise me – who knows.

EDIT: Director and writer’s names on ANN give me more hope for this anime’s future : D

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