Zakuro Review

Story:
In a world where westernization and the spirits of old Japan intermingle, three soldiers from the military are requested to join up with Spirit Affairs, an organization dedicated to fostering understanding between humans and spirits. But when they arrive, they find that they will be paired with half-spirits for their missions. And understanding their new partners and the hardships they have suffered might be a bit of a bumpy ride.

Violence:
Overall the violence is pretty standard for its rating. Blood comes from cuts and such. However, there are a few unusual deaths where people’s blood (or life force, hard to say) is taken from them and the corpses are pretty gross. The monster that feeds off of them, a female spider thing, is pretty scary too. Also, there is the beheading of fox spirits and the draining of their blood for a ritual. It’s surprisingly graphic for a show that is more reasonably balanced in this section at the start, so be warned.

Language:
Nothing too unusual here. At worst you’ll have a b-word once or twice, but most of the time you’ll only find d-mns and such.

Nudity:
Cleavage. Lots of it in the case of one ally and a villainess. That’s about it for the typical nudity, but I should address another issue. The manner of birth for half-spirits. It heavily implies women are raped and such to achieve it. Also, one character has an affair that results in pregnancy. We never see stuff actually “going down,” thankfully. But one villain’s desire to “plant his seed” into the heroine is extremely uncomfortable for multiple reasons and you should be well warned on this before taking the show up.

Theology/mythology:
If Japanese folklore, including spirits, half spirits, and such bother you, skip this show. Although there’s no real indoctrination going down (there rarely is with Japanese shows), the main heroine is a half spirit. There’s no getting around that. If it bugs you, choose another show to storm.

Personal impression:
This show was amusing enough for what it was, but it doesn’t break or even bend many rules. And the ones it does flex near the end actually only leave a funny taste in the mouth.
The animation is sub-par (although the lighting is very strange. It’s almost as if everything is washed out. I’m not sure if this was intentional or simply due to a bad video format via Hulu). The music is rather forgettable, though the chant the girls sing is actually nice. The story is on the more predictable side, as is the norm for these kinds of shows. The only real surprise was how far some issues were taken. The main villain is all about happy-rape-fun-time so he can get more “power” and it’s quite disturbing once certain facts come to light concerning his intended victim. But most disturbing of all is that a large part of the end focuses on how he got to be messed up in the head and how we should suddenly feel sorry for him. Which is really hard to do considering that he’s getting ready to rape an unconscious girl… The show manages to salvage itself and return to its predictable and average roots by the very end, but the “redemption” angle they tried to pull will only leave an odd feeling behind, largely tainting what could have been a rather cute ending.
If you like these kinds of shows and are not concerned about a bit more creepy on the villain plate, you might enjoy this show. The comedy isn’t stellar, but it has its moments. But if you like characters to be consistent and really “earn” their change, this show might just give you the willies. Especially if the whole shoujo thing isn’t for you in the first place. I mean, there just happened to be a spark between each partner? And they all just happened to be evenly numbered (twins come as a pack, I guess)? Can’t get much more predictable than that.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Magical girl, comedy, romance
Website: n/a
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screenshots:
 photo z1_zps8e61c50f.jpg photo z3_zpscd664838.jpg photo z2_zps935f2377.jpg

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This entry was posted in Ages: Young Adult, Anime Reviews, TV Series and tagged , , by inrosegalaxy. Bookmark the permalink.

About inrosegalaxy

Raised on everything from Moby Dick to the Star Wars X-Wing books from a young age, it came as no surprise to anyone who knew me that I’d become a literature graduate and avid writer. But my love of a good story wasn’t restricted to the written word in my early years. Star Trek, Mystery Science Theater 3000, and badly dubbed Godzilla flicks helped shape my love of science fiction on screen as well. I wrote my first story while in the second grade. It was a horrifying tale about murdering a fairy-eating dog via a slice of pizza (in my defense, my only exposure to pizza was in the cafeteria and I swear you could legitimately kill someone with those things). I was a special snowflake. Today I write science fiction, fairy tales, Gothic epistolaries, fantasy and anything else that pops into my bizarre and twisted mind. I write new articles for my blog every Tuesday and Thursday. And if you happen to fancy Japanese animation, I also run an anime review blog, RRAR, which updates every Monday.

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