Title: Hidan no Aria
Genre: Action, Comedy
Summary: The story takes place in Tokyo Butei High School, a special school where armed detectives — “Butei” — are trained to use weapons. Kinji Tooyama is a second-year-student who has a special ability, but he keeps it a secret to maintain an ordinary, peaceful life. However, when he gets caught in a bombing on the way to school, he encounters H. Aria Kanzaki, the most powerful S-Rank Butei student in Assault Studies.
Review: There always has to be one anime that is the joke of the season. The absolute worst of the lot. The dark spots of anime culture that should never be spoken of unless in jest. And even then you must be weary what you say, for a season two may be just around the corner. Hidan no Aria was such an anime, one that even fansubs bothered trolling just for a laugh. I gave the series the benefit of a doubt and decided to take a gander to see what all the fuss was about. I want it to be noted that I did get non-trolled subs before watching the series to know that at least what I was reading was correct. I have to say, I kind of preferred the trolls sometimes.
The animation for the series was nothing spectacular. It was standard for the most part, and quite possibly below par at others. The sharp faces and stiff body movements gave me the impression that the series wasn’t planning on going anywhere far. Considering it was supposed to be heavy action, the series lacks in the visual pleasure department. Now for some viewers they probably didn’t do that bad a job by having the rare but effective panty shot. Or possibly the sexy girl on girl action. Heck maybe to some the sexual advances of Riko were enough. Not for me though. The art couldn’t have made me more disappointed. Not only were there very few fight scenes that were also short, they weren’t anything special. Sure they had the occasional cool spin shoot flip move, but what anime doesn’t nowadays? The one thing they did seem to focus on is female anatomy. And even then that wasn’t perfect. The occasional bullet-time moment is always fun to watch. It’s just unfortunate that none of the moments were actually intense enough for me to care.
The story was just horrible. They did a very poor job trying to mix other fantasies with the modern world. Lupin the 4th? Holmes the 4th? Freaking Dracula?! I guess they were trying to make things more interesting adding in big name thieves and detectives into the equation. And fictional characters I suppose. The entire plot focuses around Aria. A young, talented individual trying to lift her mother’s multi-life sentence. First of all, who the heck gives someone 100+ years of sentence instead of just saying “for life”? Or for that matter can break up the sentence into an X number of years depending on the person who screwed her over for that specific crime? It really makes me wonder how many people were out to get her and why. Sorry to say, but I can’t buy the whole “family rival” junk. How many generations of a family do you need to piss off before one of them finally comes up with the perfect plan with OTHER generations of family you also pissed off to finally land you in jail? The entire premise was a joke. Matched with horrible character designs (artistically and personality) the anime gave me a good laugh for the wrong reasons. The biggest problem was Kinji’s Hysteria Mode. Starting off as a Butei Rank E (lowest rank), he suddenly becomes super charged and is equivalent to a Butei Rank S. Not that bad right? I mean having the main character a badass is always a good thing. Until you realize the reason he becomes beast mode is because he is turned on. That’s right, he can only fight when he is horny. This clearly had to be a joke from the get-go. It was a very poorly planned joked, but a joke nonetheless. One particular scene comes to mind. In his attempt to free his childhood friend, Shirayuki, from chains, he is struggling. Being a lowly Rank E, what was he to do? Well lucky for him the room was filling up with water, soon to drown his damsel in distress and himself. How is that luck you might ask? Because Shirayuki was wearing white, loose fitting clothing, and all of you know anime + white clothing + girl = ecchi time. After diving under the water his Hysteria Mode was activated, and he went from one lockpick that took an hour to pick one lock to TWO lockpicks (from one tool) and immediately picked the remaining two. Easily one of those “What the hell just happened?” moments. Throughout the anime I just couldn’t take anything seriously. I would constantly be laughing because of the horrible “acting”, and poor evildoers motivation.
The soundtrack wasn’t all that bad actually. I have to admit that the opening always through me off a little bit because I would also double check to see if I started Hidan no Aria or Gosick. But that clears away once I realize I’m slightly hating myself for each episode I watch of Hidan no Aria. As for the animation I would say that the OP and ED had equally good animations. Sad to say that the animation was better during the OP and ED than the actual anime. I’d probably at least give it one listen. I at least want to give the anime ONE thing.
Final statements: Don’t bother watching this anime, don’t even even the title. Oh you already did? I’m sorry. So, so sorry. I’m sure that the main purpose of this anime was to make all the OTHER anime this season seem all the better. Avoid watch, avoid it like the plague. If they make a season two (which is a possibility) I will try my hardest to sit through it. But I wont make any promises.