Karnival Review

Story:
Nai doesn’t really feel like he has any purpose in life aside from one. He must find a long lost friend who appears to have been abducted for unknown reasons, leaving behind only one clue: a bracelet with a ID belonging to the nation’s top defensive agency known only as Circus.

Violence:
Blood is in this show, but thankfully not in chilling amounts. The worst set of episodes deal with one character and his sister who get caught up in the middle of a killing spree by a monster. Blood from the bodies of the dead cling to their hands and clothing, making for the most graphic aspect of this show. It’s also worth noting that some “human” characters turn into monsters and, while they tend to be predictable transformations, they’re a bit ugly to behold. This section alone marks this show up to a YA rating, although the violence level isn’t as extreme as it sounds. We’re spared any graphic close ups of wounds and such, after all.

Language:
Gareki can let some choice words fly here and there, so in addition to the usual sh-t and d-mns, expect a few b-words sprinkled around. Noting frequent, but it’s there.

Nudity:
Another strange pass. This series really doesn’t have any nudity problems at all. Shocking really, considering how flippant Japan has been with fanservice lately. But I’ll take what I can get. So aside from seeing some bare stomachs and cleavage when characters are in costume (there’s also a scene in a play where a villain character insinuates the heroine of the play must get in bed with him or die. Thankfully nothing happens), this show is clean in this area.

Theology/mythology:
If the idea of magical creatures with special powers unnerves you, this isn’t your show. It’s set in some magical world where various creatures exist with unusual properties. They are then used to make special equipment for Circus members or, worse, fused with humans to create monsters. There’s no religious implication, and even the moral aspects of this are glazed over.

Personal impression:
Meandering disease. More recent shows have had this illness than I care to keep track of. Much like Eight Dogs of the East, this show does indeed have a plot. But the characters consistently seem to forget that and just wonder about doing whatever, only bringing up their supposed goal during pointless conversations with themselves or in pointless conversations with bespeckled characters who are such painful clichés, it’s a wonder I made it through all thirteen episodes without having my eyes permanently rolled back inside my head. The fact that the main character is one of the most whiny male characters I’ve ever heard doesn’t help matters.
As for animation and music, both are decent enough. The artwork is pretty highly detailed for a show with quite a bit of fighting. In fact, the line count is to such an extent that I wondered, more than once, what audience this show was aimed for, giving me deja vu of Letter Bee. The music was mediocre, as is typical for most shows now.
I wish I had some good points to make, but aside from some of the cute mascot characters aboard the ships, this show just doesn’t have anything to offer that another show hasn’t done better. And the fact that it ended with some major plot elements left untied means that it’ll be needing more than its current thirteen episodes to actually wrap up. If you don’t mind your heroes being either super whinny or super dense (or both), you might find this show more tolerable than I did. Otherwise, this might just be a solid skip.

Personal rating: Young adult

Episodes: 13
Languages: Sub
Official rating: TV14
Genre(s): Fantasy, action, adventure
Website: http://www.funimation.com/shows/karneval/anime
Legal streaming: Hulu
Screenshots:
 photo k1_zpsbbd244b1.jpg photo k2_zps20efa4de.jpg photo k3_zps0a4bce54.jpg

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This entry was posted in Ages: Young Adult, Anime Reviews, FUNimation Shows, 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.

8 thoughts on “Karnival Review

  1. I wanted to like this show, I really did. It had all the things I’m usually all over in fangirlish glee, but… they just didn’t seem to come together at all. Sadly, I can’t disagree with a thing you’ve said – hell, I didn’t even make it all the way through this one, and finally dropped it after about 4 episodes.

    • I probably would have dropped this one myself except that I was watching it with someone else. So, painful as it was, I trudged on through. Hours of my life that shall never return…

      • Not really. No. 6 had FAR heavier Yaoi tones than this show did. And considering that even that show one can misinterpret the signs, this show doesn’t really qualify in my opinion.
        Although, considering how eccentric fans can be over the SMALLEST things these days, often claiming stuff that isn’t even there, I’m not surprised a few tagged this show as such.

      • Don’t blame you. I think it takes a particular viewer to get into a show like this. Probably one that likes the art and colors enough to push out the nails-on-chalkboard main character. xD

  2. Pingback: Extra: The Liebster Awards | Risembool Ranger Anime Reviews

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