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Weskalia's Kurokami Tv Review

Kurokami Kurokami Screenshot The three main characters. Kurokami Screenshot Reishin. Kurokami Screenshot Behold Kuro's amazing hand! Kurokami Screenshot KUROWNED!

Kurokami tv Review

Keita Ibuki is an independent and struggling freelance computer programmer who had a chance meeting on one night with a high Mototsumitama named Kuro. He gives her his dinner, a bowl of ramen, and tries to protect her when she is attacked in an ambush by an unknown Mototsumitama. Keita's heart is severely damaged during the fight between the Mototsumitamas, but Kuro was able to save his life by exchanging his heart with her's since she has enhanced healing abilities like all Mototsumitamas. This creates a contract between them, which makes her more powerful than before. However, Kuro warns Keita that they need to be together all the time in order to be at their strongest.

Story & Characters

Well, it had to happen eventually. An anime adaptation of a manga created by a Korean manhwa team has finally been brought into the world, Kurokami is an example of what anime can become when it's mixed with Japanese-Korean style and proves to be more than mere action.

Having lived an afloat life and survived financially with money being given by his childhood friend, Sano Akane, after his mother's death, Ibuki Keita goes from loser to leader with one chance encounter. His fate is changed with a contract as his life was saved by the mototsumitama Kuro in the guise of a young girl. Now he's involved in a supernatural war which he and Kuro must fight to maintain the balance of spiritual life force called Tera. While initially reluctant at first, Keita eventually determines to find the truth about his mother's death as he aids Kuro to battle her brother, who is the CEO of the Kaionji Group which is responsible for the Tera unbalance on Earth.

Basically, it's a shounen action series, Kurokami is combined with various elements of what this genre can do including humor, drama, suspense with the theme of supernatural and some small fanservice parts, showing the characters' everyday lives and engaging in silly harem antics. Taking the doppelganger legend into account, Kurokami tries to make up for its weak attitude with some nice concepts such as the doppeliner system. But not everyone will agree with the way this anime tries to keep things interesting, though. The first half consists of Keita's circumstances as he tries to adapt his new life, it ends up criticizing him for his arrogant and disrespectful characters. Keita and Kuro's encounter with the Excel-Steiner pairing sets the initiation for the Okinawa arc and battle with Mikami proves to be another of those "great power exchange for life energy" type.

Fortunately, things get better in the second half, the plot is no longer aimlessly adrift. Instead, the bad guys are on the move again with the action ramping up in few episodes and closing on a triumph that showcases Kuro's fantastic repertoire of techniques. Sadly, this type of storytelling quickly falls victim to the quick-pacing formula with a revelation of what the main antagonist is up to or how Akane makes her sudden entrance as the key character of the arc. Admittedly, this type of storytelling has its place, but not in a complex supernatural anime series.

Mixed and new though they are, each character is distinct, with their own histories and reasons for acting as they do. Keita wants to learn why his mother died while avoiding conflict, a reflection of his firm moral compass and somewhat deliberate outsider status. Kuro's brother, Renshin, becomes the central villain to "do the right thing" while his little sister, unaware of his true intention, decides to take revenge on him due to past tragedy. Kuro is still an especially interesting female lead. While she gets a little predictable swinging between her cute and innocent persona and determined and noble fighting form, her fundamental emotions are surprisingly well tuned, offering some genuinely deep and thought provoking interaction between the characters. Each deals with the fight differently, and their actions lead them to an inevitable clash with potentially crushing consequences.

Rating: 7

Art

No matter what the story's prevailing mood may be, the artwork is usually up to the task. Its character designs aren't praise worthy, but consider their personalities and familiar cues, they are good enough: Keita is the spiky-haired hero type, Akane is the only "normal" person with a frail motherly smirk, the Excel-Steiner pairing is yet again an example of the "huge guy, tiny girl" characters with a few tough-looking bad guys added as colorless villains. And with the manhwa illustrator, Kurokami's fighters (namely the mototsumitama) wear some tradition Korean martial art robes. Though Kuro is cute with her lovely maiden look, she delivers some its comedies with her funny expressions, large appetite and impressive martial arts.

The series uses a dark, less color visual which can get a little disappointing and it remains like that throughout this run, but the visual works well and offers a solid and firm support for the demanding and relentless action. There are a few highlights including how to work a fight scene, the protagonist ought to look like they're really getting hurt, and indeed, Kuro takes a lot of blows. Her homeland, the Holy Land also manifests a spectacular alternate form, and the actions continue to impress with their distinctive looks. In a climatic battle towards the end of the series, Kuro fights a foe at a superhuman speed, and the show delivers the action well using its own unique style.

Rating: 8

Sound

Most of the voice casting decisions and performances in the show are solid ones. The solf-spoken Shitaya Noriko, often portrays maiden-liked characters, using a higher pitch voice, is a good fit as the action titular character, but Keita and Akane's seiyuu, well-known for their hero man and motherly figure types are less than impressions, creating some flat dialogues. There are enough good performances present to balance out the weak ones, however, some still remain unsatisfying.

Music wise, Kurokami has a highly passable choice with the two OPs are rich rock beats while the other two are calmer and offer a lonely feel. Visuals literally change in the first ED and the second OP as the series jumps to arcs. At times through the second half the musical score can go a bit overboard, especially when attempting to stress a particularly dramatic scene. There are some stunning soundtracks here, they are just what the viewers need to psy up before the fight. It is still normally quite good, however, especially in some of the grand, orchestrated pieces used in the late episodes, it becomes somewhat outrageous.

Rating: 8

Presentation

What this series lacks is creativity, and it tries to compensate with its attitude and energy; keep in mind, this is still your standard shounen series. Good visuals, fantastic music score and a few strong scenes ultimately elevate this one above the mediocre level, but those are far from enough for this to be reasonably considered a top-tier title. The potential for this one to have been much better is certainly here, but the execution is not even if Kuro is utterly adorable.

Kurokami is a very enjoyable anime for fans of the genre and those who keep looking for a decent action comedy with likable characters. It gets a little irritable at times, but the story is engaging enough with a poetic and memorable ending and an outstanding climactic final fight scene the story is delivered well, even if it seems to take itself a bit too seriously. Let's forget its cliche and fast pacing, the series still has Kuro to keep it moving. Kurokami is still a fun action supernatural to watch, but it needs more works to become anything more than that.
____________________________________________________________________________________________
Story: 6
Characters: 7
Art: 8
Animation: 7
Voice: 7
Music: 8
Overall: 7.5

Good:
+Unexpectedly good writing, effective musical score, lots of action pack.
+Bittersweet ending.
+Kuro.
Bad:
+Shallow plot developments and predictable comedy antics; second half feels like a rush.
+Exceed scenes often feel like a loud, pointless racket.

Rating: 7

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by Weskalia, May 14, 2011

Comments

  1. angelxxuan Banned Member May 14, 2011

    sometimes predictable comedy can be helpful in an anime. never encountered this one either. I might look into it, I have watched other anime in the past with a slight fan service, heck I've seen all sorts of anime from all sorts of genre. I'll have to look into this, at least I know what to expect, to a degree. it's more fun to learn what's in something beforehand, in my opinion. another nice review thanks for sharing it :)

  2. SnickerdoodleNinja Retired Moderator May 14, 2011

    This sounds rather interesting! The description vaguely makes me think of Shakugan no Shana (but with more emphasis on humor) with some of the concepts, and Shana is one of my all-time favorite animes.

    Also, I really like how you include the "good" and the "bad" at the end of your reviews. It hits the key points to sum up and also gives your reviews a distinct style. Lovely, thorough writing and great review!

  3. MisaSasekage Moderator May 18, 2011

    A lot of ppl have never seen this anime, which is sad because I thought it was pretty good, so I'm glad you did a review on it. While the second half did seem a bit...weird to me, rushed. The fights I thought were really nice. Though I must agree with you, the ending was very sad. Nice review!

  4. aozoraskies Jun 18, 2011

    Hmm this particular anime doesn't sound like something that I would watch without prejudice xD. From the sound of it, it stays true to its manhua roots with its tendency to have shoujo-istic plots that initially fray and wander lol, and sometimes flat characterisations. I know that's not a nice impression to have of manhua, but that's how I find a lot of manhua to be... I suppose there's a difference with 'values' between the audiences, because korean manhua generally seems to get carried away with popular kids being big bullies, social pyramids and criticism of kids who look/act different, a lot more than manga does; often with the catchphrase "So what if I'm like this? You're still a @#$%! and I'm gonna kick all your a**es when I become strong/popular/pretty! You wait! It'll hurt!" To which some random hot guy will witness at the sidelines and snigger at and think "What an idiot. But how interesting." lol which can be enjoyable if presented right, but I haven't seen many that do lol.

    Still, Kuro looks and sounds adorable. :3 And sweet, action! It sounds like quite the lively series from your review, even if lacking in originality. Everything's been reviewed nicely, from story to presentation.

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