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August 16, 2013

Anime Review : Nerawareta Gakuen


Synopsis:
Spring marks the start of another new school year at a junior high school in Kamakura. A new transfer student, Ryoichi Kyogoku joins the 8th grade. Kyogoku has a very special proficiency in telepathy and has been ordered by his father to use this ability to scan other people's minds and take over the school.

He instantly gains popularity at school from his good looks and charisma and he sets about taking control of the school. As people begin to fall under Kyogoku's spell, he covertly manipulates his followers and pushes aside anyone who gets in his way.

With the school almost completely under the control of Kyogoku, only one boy seems unaffected—Seki. Does Seki have what it takes to save everyone from the clutches of mind control?

Source : Scotland Loves Animation


Hanging Story Line (4)

     I don’t mind cliché themes here and there, but this movie is built on it. First, you are introduced to a mistaken pervert (Seki Kenji) who is in love with the big-breasted airhead (Harukawa Kahori), and a violent yet really emotional girl (Suzuura Natsuki) who loves the pervert. And to make it even worse, another character is involved in this complicated love triangle. Meet the typical hot transfer student (Kyougoku Ryouichi), a psychic from the moon. Yup, a psychic from the moon. You would expect a lot of sci-fi elements in this movie but instead, the first half of the film focuses on the character development and relationship, and the idea that cellphones are wicked creatures that destroy communication.

The psychic element
     After the careful build up in the beginning, you would expect the same for the ending. Unfortunately, you couldn’t be more wrong. Slowly, Kyougoku takes control over the mind of the other students, giving them psychic telekinesis powers, manipulating them but for what reason, the movie does not seem to answer. And as expected, the underdog main character can’t be possessed and he has to save the day, which he eventually does in the most confusing and incomprehensible way. To top it all of, Seki does it in the last five minutes of the film. . One of the worst endings I have seen in anime and I usually tend to think I have an open mind.  

Beautiful Watercolours (9)

     Unlike the story, the artwork is spectacular. The watercolour backgrounds are gorgeous and colourful. Some scenes are a little too bright but it is easy to overlook. Character designs are decent, the characters having unproportional bodies. The animation is smooth, fluid and sometimes even breathtaking. It really is a shame that the art is wasted on a terrible story line.

Kyougoku, the transfer student, and Harukawa
Good Soundtrack (7)

     Nothing spectacular but the sound clips of nature and the piano are beautiful and fit in nicely with the animation. The seiyuu cast is okay. Hanazawa Kana and Ono-D, as usual, do a great job. Although he’s young, Honjou Yuutaro provides a surprisingly nice voice for Seki. The opening and ending song are good but they aren’t anything amazing.

Cliché Characters (5)

     The individual characters themselves are okay, a little cliché but okay. Put them together, and it becomes unbearable. I really did like that they tried to build the childhood relationship between Seki and Suuzura though I am a little disappointed that all that effort didn’t do much to contribute to the story. The love triangle (square or whatever you call it) between them is unrealistic. I have seen love triangles among my classmates but the one presented here seems too forced and sudden. It is kind of disappointing, because there was potential for each character, for each romance, but the psychic element had to come in and screw up everything.

Confusing Experience (5)

     I was literally lost. There were too many things happening at once and too many different elements that were tossed together that I got confused. I had to playback several scenes because I thought I misunderstood something, but I came up with nothing, no hidden lines nor symbolism. The movie just jumped from one cliché point to another with nothing to connect the pieces.

Overall : Fine (5)

     Nerawareta Gakuen is too cliché and too confusing of a movie for me to enjoy. Sure, you can simply watch this movie for its art but don’t expect a wonderful storyline with it. A better alternative would be Toki wo Kakeru Shoujo (The Girl who Leapt Through Time) or Summer Wars.


Nankurunaisa
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