February 6th, 2007



I've been watching the anime Haruka_Naru_Toki_no_Naka_de_Hachiyoushou on and off for the first while.

It is horribly derivative. A young girl from modern day Japan gets sucked through a well into another world which resembles ancient japan, where she finds out that she's the priestess of Ryu and has to find 8 warriors for some reason, (two of Suzaku, two of Seriyu, two of Byakko and two of Genbu) and possibly summon a dragon, or something. It's like Fushigi Yugi, but instead of the humour there's pointless angst.

There's a complete love-in between the priestess and her Hachiyoushou, which betrays the anime's origin as a love sim for girls. Luckily, the anime doesn't focus on the priestess, who's bland. Eight should be too many for the Hachiyoushou, but somehow, it seems like too little. Some of them have very little screen time, but perhaps their development arcs aren't complete yet.

One of the choices for the priestess's true love is the leader of the demons, which is why there's a "demons are people too" thread running through the series, although that doesn't stop them being evil and I've seen none of them demonstrate love or compassion yet. (The hot demon chick lusts after the demon leader and there's a woman that loves the demon swordsman, but they don't appear to be treated with more than disdain, yet.)

The series suffers about episode ten as it doesn't appear to show what the priestess needs to do. She just seems to sit around drinking tea while stuff happens and gets resolved an episode or two later. Episode 14 finally gives them a goal, which is nice. I should mention that the priestess doesn't even have a quest to find her mythical warriors - it just turns out that some of the people she meets at the start are them. Really. It took Fushigi Yugi26 episodes to find all of the Celestial Warrriors. Akane doesn't even try.

I should hate this anime, as I like humour and angst gets annoying when it's piled on so thick, however I couldn't stop watching the early episodes. I think it's because some of the Hachiyoushou are well drawn (the ying-yang guy) and they're very earnest about what they're up to. There is also a nice distinction between the adult and the teenage characters. The adult characters are adult and the kids are more childish. So while the adults are more interesting to me, I can how the others would appeal to those who like younger characters (the bullied guy, the angry guy, the angry guy and the other angry guy, as well as the princess).

They're starting to use their powers consistently, but Akane still hasn't done anything useful. A few less cliches would be nice. The main demon chick uses her seductive abilities to achieve her ends and she's very jealous of the child priestess who draws so much of her lord's attention, even though he's only planning on using her to do something. She also ignores his orders so that she can bitch slap the priestess. Why are hot women so insecure? There seemed to be a little romance hint between her and the glasses Hachiyoushou, which would be nice to develop, but there's been no sign since.

I mean, the demons are in a great position. Why on earth (Kyou) did they need to summon a priestess in the first place?

And how can she think that guy's hot, when he's wearing a mask and baggy clothes the entire time and shows her not a hint of interest?