|Overall||Art||Animation||Character Design||Music||Series Story||Episode Story||Reviewer|
the beginning of this series is a bit awkward. they skip over little details (from the manga) that would have explained some actions, and extended the capture mikage sequence for so long it didn't make sense, but it gets a little better. |
the use of zaiphon isn't really impressive, at least not the way it's animated, and neither is the fighting animation for that matter.
but the story is watchable and at times quite angsty and i do like the characters. it's been following the manga pretty faithfully, so i'm hoping it'll stay that way and we'll get deeper into the back stories cause those are great.
characters are all pretty bishie and the scenery is pretty so no complaints there.
all in all, an anime worth at least watching.
Last updated Tuesday, July 14 2009. Created Tuesday, July 14 2009.
After having watched five episodes, I am still trying to figure out if I really like this series. |
The priests who are protecting Teito just remind me of the characters from Saiyuki, and who the dickens names a guy-priest 'FRAU' (which is German for married-women or MRS).
Last updated Sunday, May 17 2009. Created Wednesday, May 13 2009.
(All episodes watched):|
First of all, let me warn you about how this series ended. After a full 25 episodes, protagonist Teito is engaging his antagonist Ayanami--we've been waiting for this for a long time, and surely a climax is finally in the making, right? But on the contrary, Ayanami and his fighters choose to break off and retreat; they are allowed to go, and nobody of any importance has been killed or injured on either side. This is mind boggling, but there is a 26th episode coming up, so presumably the story will wrap up dramatically there. I was watching eagerly for the preview of the final episode, and here was what I got: "Thanks for sticking with us!!". The story is over, and episode 26 will be nothing more than a sort of omake feature.
Back at the beginning my first impressions were that this show seemed to owe a lot to Code Geass and FMA, what with the uniforms and magic. I was suspicious that 07-Ghost (I had assumed this would be about exorcists) would be largely an unexceptional retread of stories which we'd seen before. Episode one didn't thrill me; I felt as if an attempt was being made to forcefeed me thrills with overdone BG music--as if I needed to be reminded at certain points that I ought to be feeling excited, when in fact I wasn't. The "final exam" which the students at the academy underwent was sort of ridiculous; if you're going to "fail" (and when they fail here, they probably won't be repeating) nine-tenths of your students, do it before you've invested years of money and effort into them. But one thing I did like was the friendship between Teito and his friend Mikage. The oath of loyalty which they swear to each other had a feel of something from a brilliant 19th century novel, something which might "power" the remainder of the series admirably. If only the story was told with a little more finesse instead of seemingly lurching about awkwardly. At times it even seemed to be moving too fast, and not giving me time to grasp what had just happened and why people were doing the things which they were. But I decided I'd watch at least one more episode, to see if the friendship element really did drive an interesting tale.
Episode two left me thinking that this show is actually looking pretty good. Mikage has been arrested on suspicion of aiding Teito's escape, while Teito winds up in a church with an odd staff of bishounen clergymen. There was no major violence but there was some character building and humor. Also, we learn where the title came from. I had no idea where the story would go from here, but I was liking what I'd gotten so far. In short, this was not looking like the generic story which I'd feared it would be. Rather than leaping right into a simplistic plot, Ghost seemed to be building a more complex and original one.
Sure enough, Teito remains at the cathedral for several episodes, recovering from injuries despite his nagging urge to attempt an immediate rescue of Mikage. While there, he comes across increasingly weird stuff, including a demon and a mermaid(!). This was actually kind of fun; it was going somewhere, just don't ask me where. Best of all, Teito and Mikage reaffirm their loyalty to one another. Someone predicted that Mikage would end up as Teito's number one enemy, a la Code Geass, but on the contrary he seems rock solid in his refusal to betray his best friend. That doesn't seem to happen very often in anime these days, and I was eager to see how this works out.
This show has an unusual feature in that at the beginning of each episode it shows a little preview of something which will happen in the next 23 minutes. However, this seems to me to spoil some of the suspense, and the main effect it has is to confuse me and make me wonder if I missed the episode before this one. For instance, the preview in episode five gives away the fact that Mikage will turn up unexpectedly. Mikage and Teito are indeed reunited, but somehow it never occurs to Teito to ask his friend how the hell he managed to make good his escape, which ought to be the first thing he asks. The viewer is left wondering if Mikage can still be trusted given the inexplicable circumstances of his escape.
Contrary to my first impressions, Ghost in fact turned out to be pretty original. A sort of supernatural tale which employs Christian concepts of good & evil, heaven & hell without overtly saying so. Plus the usual heroes and villains with mystical powers. I can't say it is brilliant, but at least it is different and made me curious as to where it would go. I hoped I was making enough sense of the complex plot to fully grasp the conclusion when it came along. A strange element is the occasional SD comedy which is pretty good.
One problem is that the show goes on and on, beyong the 13 episode mark and onwards, without much sign of Teito taking action to eal with his arch-enemy Ayanami. We are halfway through the series and Teito remains at the strange cathedral; I began to wonder if virtually the entire story would take place here. He's basically training and making up his mind about what exactly he will do to get even with Ayanami. In episode twelve we finally seem to move into a new plot arc, as a new friend shows up to replace Mikage and Ayanami announces his latest scheme to kill (or worse) Teito. All sorts of hints have been dropped which make it abundantly clear that some major secrets are being kept from Teito by his Bishop guardians, but I was becoming impatient to actually learn something important and was starting to fear that the actual revelation(s) might not be worthy of all the lengthy hype. It seems that Teito hangs around the church without learning a whole lot, somebody tries to kill him, they are magically defeated, then the cycle starts over. At the start of a new episode I would often find myself having lost track of what had happened during the last one, because it hadn't held my interest firmly. The magic which is employed isn't explained very well, and when I don't understand what's going on (for instance, is a spell actively trying to kill Teito or just restrain/possess him?) it's hard to become excited. One thing I wish I was certain of--those three bishops, Frau, Castor, and (I forget his name), are Ghosts, right, not ordinary humans? It had gotten tiresome, and if I wasn't relatively near the end already I would be tempted to quit. Were two seasons really needed to tell this story?
I thought that the Bishop Exam, especially the final stage, was pretty neat. Talk about exam hell! Rather than the usual fighting, the examinees are subjected to their own deepest fears and emerge either strengthened or broken. And it looked like the showdown with Ayanami was finally coming about. Then came the appalling episode 25--basically, an abandonment of the story altogether. The only explanation is that yet again an anime series has been based on an incomplete manga, and no attempt has been made to lash-up even a pseudo conclusion. Unless a second season is in the works, there won't be any anime conclusion at all. This was especially exasperating since the series had wandered about for so long and now was offering no credible ending whatsoever.
This show was a wild mix of good and bad qualities; like intriguing hints which are left unexplained until the viewer tires of them, and likeable characters who waste too much time. Yet I can't help feeling that the main problem was that this anime was a careless treatment of a sophisticated and quite possibly brilliant story. I guess the hints of it's brilliance which could be gleaned from the confusion was what kept me watching to the end. It was also heartbreaking because it seemed that as it ended a whole new arc was taking off, with Teito and Frau at last leaving the cathedral to investigate Teito's past; but with at most one episode to go, what was the idea with that? To add insult to injury, episode 26 was nothing more than a rerun of an episode from the first half, for no apparent reason. Somebody--my guess is the fansubbers--redid the lines to make this a sort of erotic BL episode; I quit watching before long. In general, anime series which are hurried into production even though the manga on which they are based is far from complete are especially annoying me lately. All too often little or no effort seems to be made to fabricate a credible ending. The message I get is 'we don't give a damn--as long as you've watched this far, what do we care whether you like the ending or not?'
Last updated Wednesday, October 28 2009. Created Tuesday, April 14 2009.
Last updated Friday, November 14 2008. Created Friday, November 14 2008.