Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|This Ugly Yet Beautiful World Complete Collection|
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
Takeru is your typical teenaged Average Joe-until he meets Hikari, a beautiful girl who fell from the stars. Immediately Takeru?s life turns upside down, as strange creatures and dark forces converge on the unlikely pair.... more »
Similarly Requested DVDs
This cliche' yet enjoyable anime
trashcanman | Hanford, CA United States | 10/21/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)
"During the climax of "This Ugly Yet Beautiful World", a scientist bearing witness to a "typical" anime apocalypse scenario muses that she could be the first on record to put forth a complete account of the cause of Earth's mass extinctions. Then she looks at the madness around her and despairs, "But how do I explain THIS!?", That's kind of how I feel trying to write a review that does this show justice without handing out major spoilers like candy. I'll tread lightly, but since the twist becomes fairly obvious early on, I've got some room to work. While the first 8 episodes of this series languish in every cliche-yet-comfortable anime standard possible, the last disc really starts to elevate the show to a higher level, but then it kind of stalls just as it finally begins to reach the level of it's predecessors, "Neon Genesis Evangelion" and "FLCL". Too bad; the ambition was there, but in the end this series, while certainly worth a look, just doesn't live up to it's pedigree.
The story begins as your standard shy boy meets perfect girl from outer space yarn. There's love at first sight, a giant monster attack, protagonist Takeru tranforming into a Devilman-esque protector and all that jazz; but we also get the first clue that maybe cute alien girl -dubbed Hikari (meaning "light")- isn't what she appears to be. Then here come Takeru's childhood friend/unrequited love, jealous sex-crazed hangers-on, coy awkward romance, rampant fan service and now we're back in cliche town. When Hikari's "sister" -named Akari (also meaning "light")- is discovered by one of Takeru's friends living in the woods, the story deepens some, but also deviates from the characters we were just getting to know for multiple episodes. Turns out that most of the characters are simply there to be comic relief stereotypes, expositionists, or both so there's not much to explore. Take Jennifer, an American living in the same apartments as Takeru. As a scientist, she is often pondering aloud the plot as it unfolds before us, even if you are unaware of it at the time, and when she isn't, she is getting drunk, making lewd comments, and getting naked. Fun, but boorish.
Like I said, the first 2/3 of this show are pretty pedestrian, but as evidence of Hikari's true nature begins to mount, the tension really starts to build. You will see it coming from a mile away, but I still got goose pimples when the cloyingly sweet anime girl I'd known awakened to her true nature and coldly announced her purpose to shocked friends and family. This is an ugly world, one where even the best people you know only help others for selfish reasons and are often incapable of loving themselves or, therefore, anyone else. To obtain a new start, one must discard the old, useless past both physically, psychologically, and evolutionarily. Hikari is the harbinger of that new beginning. Brilliant ideas and a whole new awareness sweep through the series and it's main characters at this point as the world is engulfed in a somehow menacing swarm of crimson butterflies. This is more than a little bit reminiscent of some of Eva's finest moments, but the brilliance doesn't last long. The final episodes, while epic, slow down to a crawl and deliver a bittersweet, reflectuive, but somewhat anticlimactic ending that just makes you wish the show had been paced a little better and the ideas presented within explored more completely and expanded upon.
"This Ugly Yet Beautiful World" may not quite live up to it's ambitious title or it's anime forerunners, but it is still a decent little series. It even has the good sense to poke fun at itself from time to time (referencing "Please Teacher" certainly earned some points with me). For anime newbies, the show is ideal since it's biggest flaw is it's reliance on tried-and-true anime standards that every otaku has seen hundreds of times over. The characters -one dimensional as they are- are likeable and the climax is quite an impressive spectacle. As it's title implies there is both good and bad within this series but, like life itself, it is worth the trip if only to see what is around the next bend. But I wonder if this and other shows' increasing reliance on tried-and-true conventions may signal that the art form has reached it's peak and is about to crash itself. Is "This Ugly Yet Beautiful World" to anime what Hikari-chan is to Earth's lifeforms, a sign that it is time for a change? Something to think about.
My final verdict: three and a half stars rounded down for failed expectations.
Sad to see it finish...
Jay F. Grissom | San Diego, CA. USA | 11/18/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I generally agree that this "class of anime" is pretty cliche'. I do feel however, that this was done very well. It is comparable to Chobits or Elven Lied at its core. (And I loved both, so did my girl.)
Innocent boy finds uber-hot babe who turns out to be MUCH more than meets the eye... cliche' but again done well...
I believe that these belong on your shelf if you enjoy the following:
1) Innocents coming into sexuality (with a little bit of fan service, but not gratuitous).
2) Boy meets girl, boy is a weak, boy learns to be strong for girl and himself.
3) Solid and distinct supporting characters. Each with their own character/disfunction.
4) If you enjoy feeling like "your saying goodbye to friends" when the last episode is concluding. (I think Azu Manga Daio hit this on the head.)
Over all I believe this was done really well and could hardly be nocked for being the "boy meets girl" story that it is.
Very good and completely worth throwing the cash down for."
Charles Stuckey | Florida | 02/13/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I won't go into the plot line in depth. The story is an interesting idea that creates an anthropomorphic personification of the mass extinction effect. I guess you'd have to call it action-romance to give it a genre. The series is done pretty well, but never really stands out as exceptional in any area. Nothing is "bad" either though. I'd have to call it an average series. Perhaps the artwork is a bit better than average. This is a series that didn't live up to it's potential, but managed to be fairly entertaining anyway. I'd recommend it if you're really into anime, but not if you're new to it."