Title: Fortune Arterial: Akai Yakusoku
Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
Summary: Fortune Arterial’s story revolves around the male protagonist Kohei Hasekura, who transfers into a prestigious public school in the style of an English six-year school encompassing junior-high and high school students. The school is on an island named Tamatsu Island off-shore from mainland Japan, and the only way to get there is by boat. Soon after transferring, he discovers that one of the student in the class next door to his, Sendo Erika, is in fact a type of vampire.
Review: As you probably read from my first look I wasn’t too fond of this anime at the beginning. Sad to say that not much changed. I don’t want to go on an all out rampage at the very beginning of this post so I will start with best to worst. I think easing people into this bash post is the best course of action.
The art for Fortune Arterial is better than I previously mentioned. At first glance I considered it average amongst the new age anime. With computers mixing along side old fashioned pencil work it can be easy to miss the little thing. With anime such as Bakemonogatari, Arakawa Under the Bridge, Samurai Girls, and Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu I lost track of what really can be considered “average”. After ridding my mind of such jaw dropping graphics I started to appreciate Fortune Arterial’s approach. Areas of art where the anime excelled at were probably lighting and rich colors. I’m a huge fan of strong, bold colors instead of light shading. The lighting is really what set the mood for story twists and scene atmosphere. I felt that the illustrator took his time to set the mood just right to intensify the conversations between friends and enemies.
The soundtrack wasn’t half bad either. The ending song “I Miss You” by Veil was a heart warming melody. Despite a sweet sound I found it difficult to find where the lyrics fit in the anime. After reading the English translation the song doesn’t seem to really have anything to do with the message or overall plot of the anime. Although I don’t see the correlation I am very happy with the ending song. The opening was just as good. The song was quicker pace than the ending and had a strangely melancholic voice. I’m not sure if it was just me; I felt as though the song had a much more depressing message than the beat leads off. I haven’t gotten the chance to read the English translation so I could be mistaken. I don’t recall any background music, and I’ve said before, if it isn’t memorable it probably isn’t worth mentioning.
The story and characters can be described in the same way: unmemorable and boring. I have some pluses and minuses starting with the characters. Personality wise there was a large range of character sets as are in most anime. Unfortunately Fortune Arterial didn’t use the characters very well. Other than the main Sendo Erika, none of them were given a strong background. Some of you may argue that his childhood friends deserve some credit but recall that even learning about their backgrounds tied strong with Erika’s.I understand that she takes the role of the protagonist’s possible lover, but support characters can do a lot for a romance. On top of that, the series never really gave a clear lovers vibe between the two. I always felt that they just had a strong friendship-like bond.This leads us to the faults I found in the story. Against looking back at my first look you will notice the second screenshot indicates some type of magical force within Kohei. That was never further developed either. Why is he so special? Is it his blood? Bond? Strangely boring yet chivalrous personality that makes women fall for him? With the addition of fillers the anime never grasped me with an interesting story, falling short of becoming an enjoyable series.
Final statements: Fortune Arterial had some good moments, but none great and far too few. The joyous moment came from the introduction of vampires at the very beginning of the series. Soon after it went downhill with feelings of filler episodes, unlikable characters, cliché moral message, and poor development. I’m sorry but the only reason I see anyone picking this anime up is if they are a vampire fanatic. Even then, who knows if they will like it? Avoid watch.