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shinsengumi's Futakoi Tv Review

Futakoi tv Review

With his mother dead and his father working abroad, Nozomu Futami returns to the town he grew up in to attend high school. But there is something special about this town-- it is swarming with twin girls. Local legend says this is because of twin girls that once loved the same man, and because he could not choose between them, they turned into birds and flew away, leaving behind a single stone.
It seems that Nozomu is now in the center of this legend where twins fall in love with the same man-- but can he choose one?

Description by: DokiDokiChan

Story & Characters

"Lately, I've been having a recurring dream. It is a totally random dream, about arranged marriages, secret societies, squid monsters, and biplanes. It'd be tiresome to explain it all logically, but well, even though it's like that, if I were to try and sum it up in one phrase, it would probably be a story about love."

For an anime as quirky as Futakoi Alternative, reviewing the story is no easy task. Futakoi Alternative is a delightfully random tale of three, Futaba Rentarou and the twins Shirogane Sara and Shirogane Soujyu, set in the fictional town of Futagotamagawa (Nicotama). Rentarou is a young man who lives in the perpetual shadow of his father, a detective who died saving Nicotama from a squid attack five years ago. Sara and Soujyu, of which Sara is the more capricious and Soujyu the more proper, entered into his life three years later, arriving mysteriously at his door. Since then, they have been together as the Futaba Detective Agency, solving mysteries and enjoying life in pleasant Nicotama.

At the start of the series, we are given a glimpse of the three as the Futaba Detective Agency, an exciting life full of comedy and action. The first episode, for example, chronicles the events of a day when the local mob boss finds out that his prize bird has been eaten by Rentarou's pet cat. Hillarity insues, with croquettes, helicopters, a three-way glaring match between gangsters, kidnappers, and the local police, and a boxing match thrown into the mix. Halfway through the series takes a sharp turn towards the romantic, and here it starts to drag horribly. Thankfully, this exercise in tedium does not last, and the concluding episodes dive straight back into the mode set at the beginning of the series, with action, explosions, and attacking squids aplenty, going full throttle towards a happy ending.

Rating: 6

Art

As a whole, the artwork is excellent. The animation is extremely fluid, and the cinematography, especially for action sequences, is topnotch. Of particular note, however, are the very distinctive character designs. While the art style is not particularly innovative, certain characters really stand out. Excellent examples would be the Nicotama police duo of Kinoshita Hinokichi and Hariyama Nishimori. Kinoshita is a big fellow, drawn in curved lines, a fairly passive and indecisive person who certainly looks it. "Dirty Harry" stands in stark contrast to Kinoshita. He's a wiry fellow, drawn with plenty of sharp angles and straight lines. He's an impulsive fellow, and certainly more than a bit creepy and intimidating. Then there is the perpetually-smiling Sakurazuki Zenji, the septugenerian local yakuza boss. Old, balding, with rosy cheeks, he would certainly look the kindly grandfather if not for the fact that his left hand has been replaced by a clawed blowtorch. This series certainly didn't skimp out on the artwork, and in fact it is in the art where it finds much of its charm.

One thing that has to be noted in this section are the intermisison and closing sequences. These sequences are done with extreme attention to detail not in traditional animation, but rather in stop-motion claymation. They are very well done and add a really nice touch to the anime; while the opening theme is nothing but relentless action and amusement, the ending theme plays to the more mellow aspect of the series.

Rating: 9

Sound

Some soundtracks make you want to listen to them when you're in the car, studying, or just relaxing at home. This isn't quite one of them. As background music, however, it is still quite good, doing a very good job complementing the animation. It's jovial when obligatory, melancholy when required, frivolous when the mood calls for it, and comically ominous when needed, drawing stylistically from everything from traditional instrumental music to funk.

The sound effects were were perfectly innocuous; they were neither understated nor bombastic but found that happy medium where they meld into the background to create exactly the requisite auditory ambiance and no more, drawing no attention to themselves. The voice acting was also very good, matching the characters well, and in the case of many of the pairs of twins represented in the story, did much to add to the comic atmosphere of the series.

Rating: 7

Presentation

What can I say? I enjoyed this series quite a bit, though I honestly wish that the dreary stretch could have been shortened somewhat. With its WTF LOL factor, the first episode really hooked me in, as it was such a well-executed blend of smooth action and wry humor that left me wanting more. Little touches always brought laughs, from the casual way that Sakurazuki, the old yakuza boss, lights his cigar with his blowtorch to the antics of the police duo.

One final note bears mention, and that is the word "alternative" appended to the series title. In short, Futakoi was a bad romantic anime with lots of twin girls. Futakoi Alternative takes those sets of twins and tosses them into a crazy, new, adrenaline-filled story, which is certainly an improvement over the original, though as noted earlier, the anime can't help but regress to its more romantic roots at times. All in all, however, the series is an extremely enjoyable one, and at thirteen episodes, quickly finished, leaving one wishing for a bit more.

Rating: 8

Final Verdict

7.33 (above average)

Reviewed by shinsengumi, Dec 06, 2005

Comments

  1. harakiri Dec 06, 2005

    The first episode was great indeed but as the story progresses its quality goes downwards fastly. The whole first episode is misleading because you expect a fast action comedy series but get a anthology of really boring detective stories. I have stopped at episode 7 or 8 because I couldn't bare the "nothing happens scheme". The latter also killed all half funny moments because you were already asleep when something funny happened. All in all I felt that Futakoi Alt was the disappointment of this year's season and a waste of time. I have also had the feeling that they wanted to fake FLCL sometimes (regarding animation and directing style of the funny sequences) but they failed, of course. So I wouldn't rate the presentation that high and the animation was only good in episode one.

  2. ShugaYouko Dec 06, 2005

    LA LI HO!

    Congratulations for your review! ^^
    I didn't saw the serie yet, but before I read your review... I'm gonna catch Futakoi Alternative xD Really fantastic anime ^^
    I saw some sacans and the character design it's really cute *O*

    About Harakiri comment... Well... A boring anime it isn't good ~.~ But... The character design ;-; I can't resist xD No matter if it's boring or not, the design is beautiful *-* But if I get REALLY bored with this serie, I'll just stop... And I'll only get scans xD

    KiSsUs

    ~Sorry for my bad english

  3. kawaiiguy Dec 06, 2005

    Welcome back to the world of reviews ;) It's very well done and you made many good points. I particularly liked the description of the soundtrack, as it really gives me a good image of what it sounds like.

    This is one of those series where I've only seen the first episode. Admittedly, I watched 3 episodes of Futakoi. I could never bring myself to finish it. At some point I'll get to FutAlt...

  4. kusco Dec 07, 2005

    Sorry not to agree with you, but this is just my personal view.
    I found the anime to be a "collection" of idea without any structure.
    Hard to follow the plot, you said it yourself.
    You are right about the soundtrack, don't ever remember a note (saying that didn't touch me).

    It's one of the series I have followed until the end and I have regretted having lost my time with it.
    But when I start an anime, I just can't give up. (I should have started that one).

    Anyway I respect your review, which I find very sincere

  5. Kryuzei Dec 07, 2005

    wew...its the first time i've seen your review....
    so the music isn't too good, hm...all right.
    do you think the story is bad or good ? i haven't see your opinion about this one..
    hmm...

  6. shinsengumi Retired Moderator Dec 07, 2005

    As a quick note for those who are curious or who are particularly observant, after re-reading my review and re-watching some of the episodes again, I decided to bump my presentation score down one notch, as a score of 9 seemed after some reflection a touch high.

  7. kuroimisa Retired Moderator Dec 08, 2005

    Hahaha that really does sound like a really crazy anime *___* Reading through the review really wants me to watch this... probably for the laughs and seeing what other strange things can happen with a detective agency [one of my favourite movies is set in one]. The overall rating seems pretty good as well *nods*
    Great and informative review *thumbs up* :)

  8. fireflywishes Retired Moderator Dec 09, 2005

    lol, i've got the first episode of the series sitting here on my desk, but i haven't found the time to watch it yet! now, reading your review i think i may forego studying for some finals this weekend to watch it! ^_^'

  9. kannasan Dec 13, 2005

    the whole story was corny...not the begining tho...that was fine
    but the squid part was so F***ed up like...wah!?!?!

  10. Kupo-Chan Dec 14, 2005

    Futakoi Alternative is somewhat hard to describe. When my friend ask me what I was watching, I said "Futakoi Alternative". Than he ask what is it about (I was at episode 8), I said "I am not sure, it kinda boring". Yes! to me it was boring and I still like it and I think is good.

  11. winxfairykay Dec 19, 2005

    Very good review. I don't think I'll be watching any of it, though, because of the 6 in the story. But, thank you for giving me such a detailed vision for the art. I may have to wall it, then. Thank you for the review. Very helpful. :)

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