Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Juuou Mujin No Fafnir (Unlimited Fafnir) Review

If a giant magic tree appeared one day and offered to give you a big-ass, time-altering laser gun in exchange for a few memories that you don't even care about, what would you do? You'd take the damn laser gun, am I right? Unlimited Fafnir is an anime that lets us look into how our lives would be if we were given the choice I just mentioned. I mean, just think about all the things you could do with a time laser. The possibilities are endless.

Yuu Mononobe is a dude with smooth blue hair and only one outfit that isn't going to let anyone harm his friends. Not even weird CGI dragon monsters that shoot laser beams out of their eyes. Set in a world where young girls called "D's" are being born with the power of those weird dragons I just mentioned, Unlimited Fafnir is easily labeled as an action/fantasy anime. Yuu Mononobe, in addition to having a laser gun given to him by a talking tree, is the only male "D" to ever exist. So obviously the only course of action for him in this scenario is to enlist in a school designed to protect all the other D's. So now there is one dude with special powers surrounded by a whole bunch of girls with similar powers that coincidentally want to jump his bones...Hey wait, didn't I already watch Infinite Stratos?

In order to protect the D, Yuu must unite with all the girls of Midgar (Not the same Midgar as the one in FF7) and fend off the giant dragons that come kill them all. But along the way, he obviously winds up getting sidetracked and going to the beach with them and whatnot because harem. So in total, we have about 7 episodes left to conquer all the dragons and save the world. Seems like enough time to me. I have faith in the D. Heh. Anyway, I will now break this show up into a few key components in order to describe what went wrong and what went right (If anything).

Music: 6/10
The music of Fafnir really isn't all that bad. If only there were more than like two damn songs you could listen to during the fight scenes. Hell, I'm on Youtube right now and I can only find one of the songs from the OST. BUT, I will admit that the one song I did find is dramatic as all hell and has a wicked guitar solo. Think of what it would sound like if you were to walk to the top of Mt. Vesuvius to find all of the gods of Greek mythology just jamming out together. Pretty sweet right? But now think of what it would be like to listen to that same thing for six hours straight. No longer sweet. The opening for this show is actually pretty good as well and is reminiscent of the anime scene from around 10 years ago. But that's probably attributed to the fact that the rest of the show is that far behind as well.

Characters: 4/10
I feel like almost every character in Unlimited Fafnir was written in simply to annoy you. Iris is so incredibly stupid that you will literally want to punch through your monitor whenever she has the chance to speak -- which is far too often. Yuu is a completely unmotivated and dense protagonist that the show tries to make you think the complete opposite of. His entire character is based around trading memories for power, but if you can't remember any of your past, why the hell would you even fight? It doesn't make sense. The only character I even liked was Mitsuki and that's because she was the bad-ass "Let me kill everyone so you don't have to" blood-related sister that harbored "Special" feelings for her brother. (SPOILER ALERT!!!) But then you find out she isn't blood-related at all and even that goes out the window! What was the point of any of this?! 

Art: 3/10
I was originally going to give the "Art" column of Unlimited Fafnir a much higher score, but then I found out that it wasn't actually drawn by seven-year-old's. FOOLED ME. The CGI of the dragons is something that could be mimicked by anyone with even the slightest understanding of beginner-level 3D design software. They're disproportionate and just all-around weird looking. And then they have these eyes...Man you won't understand unless you watch the show. None of the animators wanted to set aside time to draw an extra outfit for anyone other than THE WORST CHARACTER, Iris. Plus, they all have this dumb look on their face all the time that just turns into a different level of dumb any time the mood shifts. Not even the effects are good. And, being an action/fantasy anime, there are a lot of damn effects.

Story: 5/10
The story of Unlimited Fafnir isn't necessarily terrible when it's written on paper. I mean, I don't normally sign up for shows unless the story sounds at least slightly interesting. And there are a few solid elements here: Dystopia/The world resorting to depending on children/a terrible past/etc. But the way all of these elements were executed honestly just ruins the legitimacy of the entire show. Yuu's past, which they show like four small flashbacks of, is only barely touched on and doesn't even matter because HE CAN'T REMEMBER IT ANYWAY. The dystopian society doesn't matter either because it isn't immersive and is just plain unbelievable. Even the world resorting to depending on children seems blasé because more times than not they are receiving help from some generic deep-voiced, black-haired commander woman and an old guy named Dylan. I haven't read the light-novel series this anime is based off, and now I don't intend to either because of how disappointed I am with the writers. I do hope, however, that the novels were executed much better than this was.

To put it plainly, this show kind of sucks. At least in my opinion. You reserve the right to think of it any way you want, but just know that I will think less of you if you like it because you are wrong. With several tweaks, Unlimited Fafnir could have been a relatively enjoyable show -- but weak characters, poor artwork, and a story that doesn't really know what it's doing make it something that got hard to watch more times than not.

Long live the D.

Overall Score: 4.5/10

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