Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi

Title:Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Usagi
A Dark Rabbit Has Seven Lives
Itsuka Tenma (Japanese)
Itsuka Tenma no Kuro-Usagi (Japanese)
いつか天魔の黒ウサギ (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: TACHIBANA Shinnosuke
First year high school student Kurogane Taito is a disillusioned youth. He has thrown away the belief that hard work and effort will be compensated. Now, he simply exists as the days pass him by. However, there is something that he has forgotten. A stolen memory of a girl, a pact, and a curse. Nine years ago, the young Taito had met Saito Himea, the eldest vampire, and made a pact with her. Now, Taito's memories are about to be restored, and he will remember the girl which has been kidnapped and kept imprisoned for the past 9 years, waiting for him to free her.
(Synopsis courtesy of ANN)

A Summer 2011 TV series

12 episodes

OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Watch 8 7 7 8 8 8 Dreamer [series:2467#2279]
Here's a series that I was skeptical on for a while before I finally decided to pick it up. This is due to the semi-weak synopsis, of which is a big determination for me in considering a series to pick up and watch. After throwing caution to the wind, I decided to go for it. And the results?

Art, Animation & Character Designs
Artwork had it's moments. Most the time and overall, it was pretty decent. Colors were sorta rich and animation wasn't too bad. It does miss a few frames here and there. the one thing I didn't care for were some of the character designs. A few of the character designs suffered from the "me-too" syndrome.... where the appearance look too much alike except for maybe a different hair color or one extra bang or two. This was noticeable between the "spell breaker brothers" vs Gekkou, or Taito's little sister vs Haruka, etc.

The soundtrack was a better part of this series. Alot of it reminded me of something from Yuki Kajiura, dramatic, unworldly and epic. The OP was an upbeat and quick alternative piece with deep female vocals. Not bad. One of the EDs was a cute girly piece with vocals that sounded like it was coming from a little girl.... not a bad flavor. But the other one was quite dramatic.... think Kajiura again and enjoyable to listen to.

Series and Episode Story
The opening episode almost draws you into the quickly executing sequence. But somehow it ends up being anti climatic (again, the first episode), and really didn't do much for me. So I figured this would probably be a dull one with stereotypical characters, a mini harem somewhere and a love-triangle that really doesn't go anywhere. However, it surprised me a bit as I sat and watched a few more episodes. It ends up being more of a love story with two characters (protagonist & supporting role), flushed out for the most part. And it does a decent attempt at having a supporting cast that does make the series enjoyable. Some of the elements of the series gets lost however, such as Himea being a vampire. This wasn't really played out or explored. Which is a shame cause it would be nice to understand a bit more about her.

Overall, this series does a fair job of keeping you intrigued and watching more. I'm sure there's going to a new season coming soon (as evident near the end), so I'll be keeping a loose eye on this one.

Last updated Tuesday, March 26 2013. Created Tuesday, March 26 2013.
Unevaluated Stretch [series:2467#628]
(Four episodes watched):

There seems to be a trend when I compare my first impressions of new Summer series with those of the ANN reviewers: They like shows I don't, and I don't like shows that they do. Such is the case with Dark Rabbit. Again, a silly sounding title left me with the wrong idea of what to expect. I guess the best argument I can offer for this show is that yes, somehow I really did like the principal characters, Taito and Haruka, and felt sorry for them after their nine year seperation. This should have been another dopey and stupid show, like so many others, but one thing was done right, namely developing the characters of these two. This show will not be brilliant, but I wasn't expecting much quality at all. The bit with the accident Taito has halfway through made me laugh out loud. On the other hand, the frequent pantsu was uncalled for. I don't know what to make yet of Gekkou, a magician (or something) who will likely cause trouble for Taito and Haruka later on. Towards the end the pace seemed to speed up in an mildly unpleasant manner, and the show seemed to be getting melodramatic rather than keeping up the touching tone which it had had earlier. That makes me worry that the quality of this episode might be a fluke and be done with, but I will certainly be eager for episode two. If I give a damn about the couple, and hope things will work out OK for them (and I do), then it will be difficult for this show to completely screw up.

Overall, episode two seemed kind of sloppy, but there was a little life to the characters, and a twist to the Taito (good guy) vs. Gekkou (bad guy) stereotypical setup. Surely this will be nothing more than a ‘Watch’, but it might be worth that. It will definitely need to be more than just fight-of-the-week, though. This is going somewhere, with odd twists and halfway decent jokes. Perhaps the reason I enjoy this show is because it takes the occult less seriously than most. The sweet relationship between Taito and Haruka seems to have faded away and been replaced by the usual stuff, however. There's also the all-too-common risk of there being too many supernatural factions and entities to keep track of.

Back in episode one I thought I had detected an unusually touching tale of love amid supernatural danger, but Itsuka has become the usual canned magic show. Instead of focusing on the relationship between Taito and Himea, it went after an occult fight-of-ther-week premise. It seems like a mish-mash of a little bit of every possible kind of the occult heaped together--for instance, is Himea really a vampire after all? Whole episodes go by without any mention of it. When names like Ba'alstra (or whatever) turn up, it sets off an alarm in my head--the message I get is lots of glitter, but little substance. I neither understand nor care much about the long term plot. With what have turned out to be mediocre jokes and a lackluster plot, I can't help concluding that this show is not really worth the precious time I am investing in it.

My favorite line: "Bye-bye, immortal guy!"

Last updated Friday, September 09 2011. Created Friday, July 15 2011.

Other Sites
Itsuka Tenma @ Kadokawa Anime (japanese)
Official Website (japanese)

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