Twelve-year old Aoyagi Ritsuka is left with his insane mother as his only family when his brother, Seimei, is killed suddenly. After moving to a new school, he meets Agatsuma Soubi, who claims to have known his brother. Ritsuka eventually discovers that Soubi and Seimei used to be a fighting pair, whereby Soubi was the "Fighter" and Seimei was the "Sacrifice". Now that Seimei is gone, Ritsuka has inherited Soubi, who will become his "Fighter". After learning that Seimei was killed by an organisation known as the "Seven Moons", Ritsuka decides to investigate into his brother's death, with the sometimes useless help of Soubi, along the way.
As a fan of the manga, I was excited to see this had been turned into anime: I'd thought several times while reading it-- "This will translate beautifully to the screen."
It does and it doesn't. The creators have put together a visually gorgeous product, and the music surrounding the episodes is lovely; bittersweet and ethereal as it should be. The voice acting is good, and in the initial stages, it sticks fairly tightly to the plot.
Then things... change. Little differences start to appear and initially they're understandable due to time constraints and all the rest of it. The problem I found with it is that Loveless is an incredibly complex, multilayered manga: it's not just about spellcasting battles, it's not just about the awkwardness of adolescence, it's not just about loss and grief and abuse and dysfunction, it's not just about strange intimacy and closeness or about piecing together lives once the unthinkable has shattered them; it's about all of these things. Sadly, I don't think the anime manages to capture all this: instead of seeing the richness and having those gasp-out-loud moments in the manga, we get a hurried, watered-down version with the anime which doesn't pack the same brutal emotional punch.
This isn't to say that Loveless isn't enjoyable; its aesthetic appeal is huge. But it does make it incredibly confusing for those unfamiliar with the series (I watched with my partner who was very much in the land of "this would make more sense if I'd dropped some acid before watching this") and jarring for those who know it. I kept waiting for pivotal moments from the manga to happen, and when they didn't, I felt oddly cheated.
The last episode annoyed me; it felt like premature closure, as though the studio had quite abruptly decided to pull the plug on the project and told the animators to just throw an ending together. Given the amount of stuff going on in the series, this would have been no easy task, and the ending the audience is provided with feels not only premature, but as though it rendered the entire series utterly pointless. There's an attempt to tie up a few loose ends but not others; there's a dream sequence, of all things, and it's all very vague and unsatisfying.
My advice is that if you've seen this and not read the manga, you're probably doing it the right way around-- I likely would have been able to just enjoy it for what it was without anticipating things which didn't happen and then feeling irritated that other things did. If you are ready to judge the manga based on the series, do so by the following only: its strengths. The artwork is beautiful, the characters are interesting and engaging, and the themes touched upon are compelling. (Understandably, too, though, if the fighting subplot and the I-can't-believe-it's-not-shota bothers you, they're probably not going to appeal to you any more in the manga.)
In short: it had the potential to be amazing, and it wasn't.
The plot is okay but it is how it's written that irks me a lot. Fighter—sacrifice, competition.. that just doesn't work for me. It does have a potential, but it became convoluted. In fact, I didn't even bother finishing it.
Next the characters. I have nothing against couples with a big age gap, but what disturb me most is the way Soubi treats Ritsuka. It's like, borderline shota. I don't like Soubi. He is such a hypocrite. At first, he says he is not a pervert, but the way he treats Ritsuka says it all. I don't like how perfect he is. Nobody's perfect. I like Ritsuka at first, but when Soubi comes in, he becomes weak and I don't like characters without a backbone.
The art is nice. I like the dark atmosphere, only that the plot and characters doesn't have it.
I was looking forward to it, but it felt like I just got rick rolled.
Oh well.. if you like something to past time with BL and cute stuff, this is pretty good for you.
For me, the best word to describe this anime is simply "beautiful"... If you truly want to understand it you have to take a closer look and be able to see beyond the "shounen-ai" or "shotacon". I can't truly say it's about a homosexual love, because it goes way beyond that, at a more spiritual level, but rather to pairs by names. In this anime, love becomes a great source of power. The fighter/sacrifice couples simply HAVE to create a great bond between them in order to become powerful. But honestly, this would make one of the greatest animes ever created in my opinion. Soubi and Ritsuka all the way!
The anime was ok including the plot, the characters, but the art is good: kind of cute...in a way. The story was very slow and not very interesting well not at all. I mean I kind of get the story but it could've been much better because it's concentrating too much on the fighting and not on the characters' relationship, a lot of loose ends, you can never get a hold of what is all about. Some charaters I just don't get the purpose of them being in there and just shallow.
Overall, it was ok, I wouldn't recommanded it, but you can try. But good luck.
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