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Ephemeral-Garden's Zettai Shonen Tv Review

Zettai Shonen tv Review

Story & Characters

It's summer in Japan. As summer break rolls in, a boy called Aizawa Ayumu was asked by his mother to visit his now divorced dad who currently resides in a small town called Tana as a veterinarian. Reluctantly, Ayumu went on when his mum offered him a mountain bike to use when he gets there.

But things aren't going as boring as he thought it would be; strange things happened while he was there. First he saw 2 flying objects that could flash orange light whenever they appear outside of his bedroom window. The next thing he knew, he could see a small kid, which he thought was a kappa playing by the stream but was surprised to realise that he is the only one of the few who could see him.


Just what is going on with the world?!

Zettai Shonen, or it's alternative title, Absolute Boy, revolves around our young, curious, and maybe a little inquisitive (in a good way) teenage, Ayumu as he discover the truth about all the weird things that has been happening in that small town. Only with his mountain bike, he roamed around the little town asking for the history, background and weird stories related to Tana.

And as the Neko Odori Matsuri, the Cat Dance Festival draws near, weird things occur even more frequently, and electrical appliances are severely suffering from sudden unknown disturbance.

Zettai Shonen offers quite a dose of mystery, science fiction, and a bit of life and drama as well. However, the first 13 episodes of summer in Tana is only the first arc in the whole series of this anime. In this Summer Arc, storyline and background are set in Tana, with your not-so-exciting but a cute looking guy call Aizawa Ayumu as the main character, often seen asking questions and riding bike all over the small town. First he sees 2 orangey ball thingy which never cease to bug and visit Ayumu by his window. Next thing he could see this small kid called Wakkun, who can only be seen by a little girl Miyama Miku and Ayumu himself.

While in the Winter Arc, which takes place in Ayumu's hometown, Yokohama, after one and half years later. However, this time the spot light is shone over a seriously depressed and melancholic high school girl called Tanigawa Kisa, who constantly skipping school and lock herself in her very Final Fantasy 7 technology-ish room. If not, she'll be out roaming around the streets in black dress and clanky high heels, searching for scrap metals from rubbish dump to make something which I don't even know in her room. And one night, she sees a blue orb flying, or, floating unstably into a train station and to discover it's a material fairy, like the ones Ayumu had. But this one has blue light, and instead of giving off the magical cling-cling noise, the one Kisa discovered was 'installed' with an ambulance's siren.

In Winter Arc, some characters from the Summer Arc will reappear, of course. From the introduction of the material fairy which gives off orange light, to the blue lighted-material fairy, the story of this unknown creatures will then be slowly peeled and explained. Why are they here? When did they first appeared? Watch the anime.

Zettai Shonen is full of mysteries. I'm not a huge fan of mysteries and science fictions, so I really can't get the storyline into the head; I don't thoroughly enjoy this one. There are multiple hypothesis regarding these 2 types of material fairies, they vary from each person's point of views. The anime spun around 26 series in whole, but the conclusion of these strange looking creatures were never properly explained, or rather, never scientifically concluded in the anime.

The plot in overall, is just not satisfying, but is still watchable.

Rating: 7

Art

The animation of the characters might be one of the 2 things that deserves a thumbs up.

First off, the art of the characters. Have you seen Zettai Shonen? If you haven't, I'd recommend you to take a while to look at the design of the characters. Unlike the anime that I've seen so far, Zettai Shonen offers a clean, simple and clear drawings of a person. The outlines are black, but the cell-shadings are very interesting with the use of faded, light colour like the ones you could see in Honey and Clover, but this one is much more clearer and clean. Even with the use of such colours, the art remain high quality, enjoyable and refreshing.

And I also enjoy the way the animator drew their nose, with a little blotch on top and a curvy line to put the shape of a nose in place. It's really interesting.

But what's important is the design of the material fairies. Each look varies from kind to kind. For example, the good material fairy, which emits orange lights, has a heavenly but really weird designs. It's really hard to explain, but one thing's for sure, they have roundish edges. No go square, rectangle or triangle. While the evil material fairy which emits blue light, has a mechanical design to it. They resemble a mini robotical stuff, and they look the same - they look like a grain of brown rice as huge as your stomach, and when they feel something dangerous, they can even open their bodies mechanically and abruptly, revealing it's purple core.

The art is really the kind of style we've never seen, and of course, interesting in it's own way.

Rating: 8

Sound

Another thumbs up for the sound department.

First, I would like to explain the voice acting. They're great. Toyonaga Toshiyuki has done a great job bringing Ayumu to life with his "So what, you think I care?" voice. I have to say Ayumu is quite a hard character to voice since he's the kind of guy with no particular significant personality at all. Quiet, aloof, with a dull expression and his mouth that usually goes in straight horizontal line across his fair face. However, Ayumu is highly likable compared to the depressed Kisa since he has blonde hair and yeah, he's GOOD-LOOKING, hm-hm.

Surprisingly, you can't find a lot of those famous voice actors in Zettai Shonen. Okay, maybe only one, Sakurai Takahiko, who voiced Kobayakawa Shigeki only starting from episode 13, sighs. But that doesn't mean the voice actors aren't good in doing their job. I said, they're great. They've done a very well job in picturing each and every one of the characters in the anime.

Second, sound affect. The only thing I can say in this section is the sound made by the good material fairy. It's just too magical to be described. It goes cling-cling but not exactly cling-cling. You'll understand if you watch Zettai Shonen. The sounds made by those materiaal fairies are captivating.

Last but not least, original soundtrack. If you recognise Nanase Hikaru, a pseudonym used by Ito Masumi, then maybe you'll like her music in this anime. However, unlike her cute soundtrack which can be heard all over Galaxy Angel, the music in Zettai Shonen are very traditional, okay, some. Like, in the Neko Odori Matsuri, a musical play featuring flute, drum and some other traditional Japanese musical intrument. But what catches my attention most is the song which was used when a huge number of material fairies flew out from the cliff and passed by the festival site, setting themselves visible under Wakkun's command. While this was happening in the sky, a large number of stray cats, and even pet cats can be seen running through the crowd's legs, as if they're following the material fairies. YES. That's the part. That music was awesome. Fushigi na Kagerou. It's just magical. Be sure to listen to this part.

So overall, music department is very highly enjoyable.

Rating: 8

Presentation

The overall presentation of Zettai Shonen? Okay I guess. It's really good, but not that good, really. The plot is , well, mainly talking about the existence of material fairies, and maybe some other stuffs which have nothing to do with material fairies at all. Maybe, Shione's and Takuma's unrequited love? Ayumu dating Miki? Rieko has a crush on Shigeki? But that's not important.

The laughable part in Zettai Shonen is less than 5%, maybe. The characters are 100% serious in the story. So don't expect anything dramatic from this anime.

If you like mystery and science fictions, go for it. You're Nanase Hikaru's fan? Listen to it. You like Sekine Masayuki's character designs? Check it out.

But overall, this anime is okay. I just hope someone in the anime could make a research on these material fairies so the ending could be better. Hypothesis is not enough to just conclude the whole good and evil material fairy issue because I'm extremely curious about what the heck are those things!

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by Ephemeral-Garden, Apr 06, 2007

Comments

  1. Akaiken Apr 07, 2007

    Hey, is this Absolute Boy? Ooooh... so Zettai Shonen is its Japanese Title, eh?

    Haven't really gotten watched the whole episodes of the anime since I have classes in the morning (sigh, this anime is interesting... T_T). But yeah, the art is very interesting and it really got my attention. Wish I can watch the whole episodes...

  2. BossMac Apr 07, 2007

    Haven't really gotten much into watching this one... the fairy thing was just too off for me.

    Hey, pretty long review you got here...

  3. shoujoboy Apr 10, 2007

    I've seen the name before but I knew nothing of it before this. Dunno if I'll watch it (probably too anime overloaded to begin with) but at least I have a better picture of what to expect in the event it crosses my eyeballs. Either way excellent job on the review. You have staved off the lynch mob... for now.

  4. roien Nov 23, 2007

    i agree with ephemeral-garden....it should at least have a better ending....i too don't quite understood the real meaning behind the existent of the 'material fairy'....maybe a sequel perhaps....

  5. SchRita Jan 15, 2010

    Thanks for the review!

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