Kurenai OVA comes at us with a different approach

February 21, 2011 at 3:14 am | Posted in Anime OVA Reviews, Anime Reviews | Leave a comment
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Pool scene in the beginning...genius!

Kurenai OVA bases the character’s looks on the manga much more than the series did. The Kurenai series made many changes to the character models, which I actually didn’t know about until I found out about the Kurenai OVA. I haven’t read the Kurenai manga yet but I’ll get to it sometime. Anyway, Kurenai OVA is 2 episodes long and it has a different atmosphere to it than the series.

What? Tired already?

Random thoughts & rant:

When I started episode one up with expectations of familiar characters, ones I’d grown to like from the series, I was startled to find that I barely recognized any of the characters. Upon realizing this I stopped the episode and checked to make sure it was Kurenai that I was playing. Sure enough, Kurenai OVA episode 1 was the title. A bit confused, I went onto myanimelist.com and searched for the OVA. I was relieved to find that I wasn’t mistaken nor was there a mislabeling. The character models had changed to reflect the manga. After this little detour I restarted the OVA and immediately felt awkward. It was the type of sensation where something simply felt wrong or amiss. It wasn’t until after the midway point did the OVA grow more comfortable to me. It was simply the fact that I had expected one thing and was given another. The OVA has a completely different feel to it than the series; mood, atmosphere and ambience seem to have changed with the newly adapted look. They’re both different beasts and although I compare them, I know that I enjoyed both as separate entities which don’t really tie into each other. They don’t complement each other, instead they seem to be stand alone experiences. If you haven’t seen the series but you want to watch something short like this 2 episode ova, go right ahead. Nothing from the series is spoiled.

Watching the OVA after having watched the series so long ago, I wondered why they changed the characters to reflect the manga more. Maybe the manga was simply superior and they knew it? Maybe fans were put off by their redesign of the characters in the series? Maybe they wanted to be unique? Whatever the reason, I’m glad they changed the character designs because I didn’t feel like this was a rewatch or even just a rehash. This felt like an entirely new experience with a tinge of nostalgia. Definitely felt good watching the two episodes, though they didn’t bother with any deep storytelling, it was still a good romp around with the characters I’d grown to love from the series. Sure, they look different but their personalities still match. It was fun remembering the little things that made each character uniquely entertaining.

The Mist

My only problem now and before about Kurenai is how the male lead sounds when he feels troubled or nervous. It’s a bit off putting when he sounds so wimpy and annoying. I guess that’s simply a character trait which the manga portrays strongly or something. I don’t understand why anyone would want a character who sounds so whiney, as if he’s constantly grovelling.

Review:

The character designs really threw me off. The two main characters look completely different. Then, faced with a different type of anime from what I was expecting, I had to change my expectations. Luckily the OVA has great art, immersive voice acting, great animating and short but sweet stories.

The lack of a real story doesn’t exactly hurt Kurenai but it definitely could have improved its standing. This is a bit of a shallow experience which still delivers the entertainment, just not the value.

Recommendations:

Anyone who enjoys cute girls with killer bods or someone who likes the shounen genre and wants something light.

Where would you want it to be?

Overall: 8
Fun light romp with familiar feeling characters from the series and familiar looking characters from the manga. Best of both worlds? Sort of. The lack of story didn’t give the OVAs that edge but I guess that’s the point of most OVAs produced these days.

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