Chaotic Story, Sub-par Dubbing
Antonio D. Paolucci | Beaver Falls, PA | 06/22/2006
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Fantastic Children is an anime reminiscent of Now and Then, Here and There, having a somewhat serious plot with simply drawn animation. Though Fantastic Children has yet to reach the emotional depth that Now and Then does, I think eventually it will get close from simply watching this volume. Problem is, it left behind a lot of jumbled plot-lines and plenty of confusion along the way, making this volume difficult to get into.
This volume follows Toma and Helga is they begin to become friends, and soon Toma introduces Helga to his mother and father. Also, Detective Cooks begins to actively follow his leads dealing with the Children of Befort and the Ged Project, a mysterious group of scientists who have studied a strange stone left behind whenever the last group of Fantastic Children died. This volume shows a lot more of what's happening with the actual Children of Befort as well, and gives a little insight into a couple of the children's past.
After the first volume, I had a little hope for this series. I was interested in the dark undertones of the story, and I was sure that eventually the confusing nature of storytelling that Fantastic Children uses would settle into a more customary form. It didn't, though. Instead, it continued to hop around in the past and present time-lines, from character to character, without ever giving the chance to stop and digest what exactly is happening.
Another problem was the terrible dubbing. It seemed to me that Bandai was testing new talent with this one, and though not all of the voice-acting was bad, it was still either too melodramatic or bland in emotional situations.
Despite all that, I'm not giving up on this anime. If you liked the first volume, then by all means you may find something worth watching in the second volume. I'm just hoping by the third volume that the plot become a little more concrete."