Note: This review is part of an event called "The Nine Hells". This is Day VIII (The Circle of Fraud) and contains very mild spoilers. While this doesn't give everything away, your discretion is still advised.
Fuuka is a 12-episode music and romance anime about a jilted Twitter addict getting into a love triangle between a psycho that grows attached to him after multiple volatile run-ins and a famous childhood friend that managed to get back in touch with him after signing into Twitter.
Storyline It starts in one of the worst ways possible and from there on, it continues to be a complete mess of bad cliches, pacing that often drags on between episodes, shoddy directing and a severe amount of plot conveniences that end up favoring Yuu most of the time. It does give Fuuka and Yuu some development in their relationship, but not as much as the far heavier development between Yuu and Koyuki and their relationship, which turned out to be much less contrived than the former, yet ended up being rendered completely useless in the worst of ways. As for the music aspect, that subplot was shoved in like a rushed rap verse in a cipher thanks to Yuu and the couple of friends that he was with getting roped into becoming a cover band by Fuuka and even that turned out to be a mess. Although the turning point was meant to deviate from the source material into an alternate take, the cliches and plot conveniences involving Yuu's love triangle and the band member fiasco turn out to deal far more harm than good for most of everyone involved. The end result of this is just a painfully forced and predictable mess, aside of it becoming a happy end for most of the characters involved.
Characters I will go in my usual order from best to worst, and there's a lot to say for the ones who took the truck ride into their permanent home, Evil Town. Koyuki ended up being the lone person that did nothing wrong and ended up obtaining the most competent development as well as the biggest amount of it in general out of everybody else in the show thanks to some of the episodes delving into her past with Yuu alongside her binds in her unnecessary celebrity scandal later into the show. She even grew a bit as a character around the moments that she gets tragically wrecked by the plot while on dates with Yuu and after the climax, manages to succeed in her role as a tragic character. The minor characters that are in the neutral zone were actually only a few other characters aside of them not being much to them at all and those characters are the "HEDGEHOGS" members, Sara, Iwami and Makoto aside of his water drop of development involving him and his band, "The Fallen Moon". Despite Yuu's sisters being pointless fanservice, they are excepted out of Evil Town and into low-neutrality instead thanks to them not partaking into the assumed pervert cliche through the whole show, unlike someone from the top of the show on.
Onward to the others that have made it to Evil Town besides the remaining side characters for either just being there, being just a senseless jerk throughout like Kazuya or the addition of being more pointless fanservice was Fuuka herself. She is poorly constructed as a character and ends up being one of the worst pieces of human filth from the start of the show and extends to that even more at multiple appearances throughout the entire show, including when she even was the cause of the band's split-up fiasco despite also being the one that built the band in the first place. She does get some development in between times as well as the relationship building with Yuu from earlier, but most of the latter was just forced and even felt cheesy. There were also some moments that attempt to redeem her like her first date with Yuu, but all of them end up failing epically. Speaking of epic fails, the person that shares the worst character spot is Yuu. He is not only a stereotypical bland and incredibly dense self-insert protagonist, he's a doormat to everyone that does him wrong and has a painful amount of forced indecision for the love triangle to the point of it harming the show's quality even farther than it already had. He does have some development and evolution thanks to his involvement with the band and the dates with Koyuki to a point, but even that doesn't fix how hollow and terrible of a character he is.
Pros and Cons The few things that this show actually has going is the brightly-colored art style, aside of some characters like Yuu, Koyuki, Makoto and many others being generic-looking. The animation happens to be severely stiff with scenes that have multiple background characters and while a lot of the animation is above average for some character scenes, the same also goes for some of the band scenes while things also get lazy in between times for the characters playing with their instruments. There are some Easter eggs in the show for those with knowledge of the other works from the source material's author, Kouji Seo that some may be fond of (or not in the case of Fuuka's mother).
And just like that, I'm just out of nice things to say about this show. The music is complete garbage for starters and it's pretty damn shameful for a music-themed show and the worst offenders of the bunch end up being both opening and ending sequence themes which is very grating for the former and very bland for the latter. Some camera shots within the show like the freeze frames in episode 3 are totally shoehorned just like all of the fanservice, which end up carrying some of these episodes greatly and can even last as over half an episode at most. The romance aspect is tattered beyond belief for all parts of the triangle to the point of no return as the story goes on with Fuuka's case being the entirety of the show and Koiyuki's case being from her boyfriend scandal onward.
English Dub and Sub Comparison/ Evaluation Unfortunately, there's an English dub for this show and the voices are mixed. They are either good like Sara's and Makoto's or completely grating like Fuuka's and Kazuya's. Yuu also ends up being the worst voice of them all as well as he somehow sounds very stereotypical in English as well. The official subbed version ends up surpassing the dubbed version in the translation, but there was one scene where simultaneous dialogue and music lyrics end up stacking on the bottom instead of the order of the music lyrics being on top and the normal dialogue being on the bottom, which does get patched in a later episode. Other than that, there are no other goofs with the official subtitles.
Final Verdict This was honestly the most soul-crushing and damaging experience I had with a music-themed anime and in a seriously bad enough way to be my worst romance anime that I've seen in years. This is truly what it means for an anime to become Absolute Hell from start to finish. Unless you like terrible cliche-ridden storylines, annoyingly cheesy music and protagonists with the mentalities of three-year-olds, please don't even think of watching this show. The circle of Fraud has been defeated and now, the icy realm where the beast lies is in sight, reveals itself to unleash an anime that it has created for the final trial...
Current Situation: I wanted another excuse to use Enterprise as an avatar again.
I somewhat enjoyed the anime despite not being a music person (good singer who does English lyrics) but it didn't do much for its ending
I didn't think it was pretty controversial after finding out it it did make it the news. Just to show you that anime community is too strongly tethered to manga source material compared to comic books and their adaptations.
Old Man Dream: ...later titles in the Macross franchise can finally come stateside with all involved parties finally coming to a truce over how to handle things with the Macross trademark and all later anime in the franchise associated with it.
Apr 9, 2021 10:26:05 GMT
Taka: I see. A global release will benefit it. Gundam did pretty good. The only few franchises that are only popular in Japan but not popular in the west - Yokai Watch comes to mind.
Apr 10, 2021 1:55:16 GMT
Master Menos: F for Respects. DMX did all his work while suffering from a drug addiction, and I almost never knew until a point. I hope his next life treats him far better.
Apr 10, 2021 15:30:45 GMT
HungryWorld: Sorry for taking so long for the things i have to do, have been suffering from some health issues (including mental health deterioration). Anyways hope i can be a bit more active here soon enough once i am properly patched up again.
Apr 27, 2021 17:45:38 GMT
Taka: No worries, health, family, school, and work take priorities first.
Apr 28, 2021 7:41:52 GMT