Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Anime Review: Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou

GENEI WO KAKERU TAIYOU: Promising start, but that’s about it

Akari Taiyo dreams to be a fortune-teller, but her mother has always prevented her from pursuing such a career. Now that her mother is dead, no one can stop her from realizing her dream. She becomes an apprentice in a fortune-teller shop. Soon enough, she discovers that fortunetelling is more than meets the eye. And it takes a death of a cousin for her to realize that she has been drawn into a dangerous world.

I must admit that the story interests me. The idea of Tarot cards, Daemonia, and magic in general, has its appeals. What make it even darker are the video effects, eerie soundtracks, and blood. As for the story itself, I think it is executed very well. There is much progress in the overall plot and the development of the main character to keep things interesting. However, this good execution doesn’t last very long. It is consistent only up to episode 3.

Episodes 4 to 6 are so character-driven that they almost have zero development in the overall story. These episodes seem to be episodic, and the only reason why I can’t say that they’re filler is that they have been used to introduce certain plot elements, like Cerebrum, Ginka’s father, and Seira’s past – all of these could have been introduced by interweaving them to the overall story, and not by creating seemingly filler episodes.

Episodes 7 onwards, however, resume the development of the overall story. But unlike the first three episodes of the show, they are not executed very well. The ideas presented don’t seem to be well thought-out, and the philosophical insights are a bit forced and cheesy. The dark atmosphere, too, has almost been completely removed. The video effects, eerie soundtracks, and blood, are not as well-executed as the earlier episodes.

 In the later episodes, there are also hints that everything will turn out worse for the protagonists, but the last episodes just don’t deliver and everything actually turns out to be a happily ever after. The ending would have been fine if it wasn’t suggested in the later episodes that the worst is going down, but I guess that’s the writers’ way of catching the viewers off-guard by giving them the opposite of what they have suggested.

The girls of Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou

As for the characters, they are not that complicated. But each has its own unique characteristics and opinions that, sometimes, these opinions could even make them clash against each other -- which is always interesting. If there is something I don’t like about the characters, that’s their design.

The art style, in general, is not of my taste. It is too funky, and it doesn’t suit the story at all. It is obvious that the creators are trying to create a contradiction between the dark story and the cute art style, but I think it’s not done well.

Genei wo Kakeru Taiyou, more commonly known as Daybreak Illusion, holds such a promising start. It is just too bad that it hasn’t been able to keep it up until the end. It just went downhill from episode 4. Its attempt on adding a twist in the Mahou Shoujo subgenre is interesting, but I can’t help but think that it’s trying too hard to make it big like Madoka Magica. Overall, I still enjoyed this anime. But I could’ve enjoyed it more if the quality of the first episodes have been the quality of the later episodes.

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