Sunday, November 25, 2007

Venus Versus Virus

My First Anime Review! Well..its more of a blurb as I'm only comparing my opinion to what I read on The Anime Blog and other anime related blogs.

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According to Wikipedia Venus Versus Virus was originally a manga by Atsushi Suzumi that was made an anime that started airing in Japan in January of this year. The first English language volume for sale in North America was released in July. So its been out for a while, though it seems its been getting more publicity lately (maybe that's just me). I am blessed to have Comcast and therefore easy access to free (not really) anime previews and the like.

Plot: Viruses are naked to the human eye. So are the viruses in Venus Verses Virus, but these viruses are evil spirits or demons, not something that comes around during flu season. Enter the Venus Vangaurd. This group of people are capable of seeing these beings. Newly recruted Sumire is just an ordinary school girl who doesn't want to be part of it, but she holds a special power that might be the key to defeating the viruses.

I felt it was hard to get to really know the characters as the first episode seemed to speed by. It takes something special to get the audience to connect with the characters from the get go. But from what I have heard you don't get much connection later in the series either. I did relate to some of the characters and find some of their traits appealing. What I really did like is that Sumire was scared of the viruses and didn't want to be a part of the Venus Vangaurd. I don't know If I liked or hated the fact that Lucia seemed "weak". It made it hard to look up to her as one of the main protagonists. At the same time her weaknesses make her seem more human and show reason for the need of Sumire and her "abilities".

Animation: I try to be nonbiast but I don't really like the Shojo style especially with the design of the viruses, its unconvincing, unoriginal, and"cheesy". It feels sort of simplistic. I don't know if I like it or not, I do like some of the colors and the design though (read below).

I like the Gothic Lolita style costume design of Venus Verses Virus. A pet peeve of mine is that a lot of movies and animes are so dark in design that is puts a strain on my eyes to see whats going on, but I think Venus Verses Virus pulls off a dark atmosphere without actually using really dark colors.

"Know from here on out that I am easy on dubs. I don't hate dubs because they are dubs. Japanese is just another language, it's no better or worse than English, and if you are totally unaware the English dubs are harder to do, due to the fact that the English language (or any other language other than Japanese) actors have to match the lips and fit into the time allotted all the while giving a convincing performance. "

But as for Venus Verses Virus I have to say the dubbing was not up to par. The crys/screams made me laugh...not a good thing. I don't know how old Lucia is supposed to be but she sounded at least 25. Sumires voice fit her age as well as the other minor characters, but the acting performance was mediocre.

I went back and watched the Japanese sub and it was a bit better but not much. Sumire's beserker mode is unbarable to listen to in both the sub and the dub.

Opening theme "Bravin' Bad Brew" by Riryka
Ending theme "Shijun no Zankoku" by Yousei Teikoku
I really like both the opening and ending songs, I especially like the ending song.
Summary: I wanted to like this and the first episode was okay but by the second I realized that bad voice acting plus not even scary villain's will always equal a corny anime (or a really bad horror movie, your pick) . You have to think of how you would feel if you were being chased by a monster, but it still just feels unconvincing, especially when its broad daylight, and no one notices you shooting a gun at an invisible enemy in the middle of a school... Its almost like going back in time to the really bad dialogue and animation of older animes. Some might like this but its best read in the maga form or avoided all together.

Rating: 2/5 !

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