Anime Review: Zettai Karen Children OVA

(Originally published on Livejournal on 8/12/10)

Anime Review in a Minute:
Zettai Karen Children OVA

Anime Review in a Minute: What this is all about.

tl;dr review: Evil queen hypnotizes Minamoto and wreaks havoc; Kaoru and her friends save the day.

The Skinny: As more and more people gain ESP abilities in the future, the Japanese government sets up a special organization called BABEL to train and control them. This organization finds three young children-with-attitudes (who also happen to have the highest level of extra-sensory ability) – can they mold these brats into refined ladies? After five years, Kaoru, Aoi and Shiho are now in junior high school. Their mentor, Minamoto returns from a trip and inexplicably attacks BABEL, and then sets his sights on “The Children”. Turns out that he has been brainwashed by a power-hungry “Queen”. Wracked with self-doubt, Kaoru is reminded she is the true Queen, and with the help of all her friends defeats the enemy threat and saves Minamoto.

My Thoughts: Apparently this show has a following, since there are 22 volumes of the manga (and still going), and a 51-episode anime series. I recall watching the first episode of the anime series a few years back, and filed it away as something to possibly check out in the future.

What was I thinking? Was the original anime series this bad, or am I viewing it through rose-colored memories? Because this Original Video Animation (set about five years ahead of the beginning of the anime series) is just plain sub-par in every way. Sub-par artwork, sub-par animation, sub-par plot and sub-par story. I mean, none of it is really *terrible*, but certainly less impressive than I would have hoped. The whole thing gives me a creepy Kiddy Grade vibe, too.

I was using this show to gauge whether I should go back and check out the previous anime series. But if this is how everything turns out, it’s not worth the effort. Oh, and what’s with all the weird ground-level forced perspective shots? Were they having an Animation 101 tutorial exercise in storyboard class or something? Just odd, I’m sayin’.

For more info:

Anime News Network Entry: http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/encyclopedia/anime.php?id=9177
Wikipedia Entry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zettai_Karen_Children

The Verdict:

The tally for Summer 2010 season first episodes so far:
Passing Grade: Ookami-san, Highschool of the Dead, Mitsudomoe, The Occult Academy, Black Butler II, Kurenai OVA, Nurarihyon no Mago, Shiki, Legend of Legendary Heroes, Cat Shit One
Failing grade: Amagami SS, Sekirei: Pure Engagement, Seitokai Yakuindomo, Strike Witches 2, Shukufuku no Campanella, Black Lagoon: Roberta’s Blood Trail, Digimon Xros Wars, Black Rock Shooter OVA, Asobi ni Iku Yo, Sengoku Basara Two, Tono to Issho, Zettai Karen Children OVA

Up Next (not necessarily in this order): Kaichu, Break Blade, Bungaku Shoujo Memoire, Kyou Koi wo Hajimemasu

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