Entry #1: Itsuka Tenma no Kuro Asagi (Spoilers, Explicit)

And so I decided to bring back one of the titles I left for dead during the first Summer of Anime to debut my most recent Summer of Anime! I should’ve just left it dead.

Everything about Kuro Asagi is as cliche as any one person can muster up. It feels so unbelievably forced. The situations that arise all seem to lead up to this “prophecy” that everyone keeps mentioning, but don’t care to elaborate on. It’s frustrating to watch this series when it tries to be an all-out epic, seeing as an all-out epic deserves some elaboration. Kuro Asagi takes pride in doing everything and saying nothing. The plot just throws so much at the viewer in terms of magic and supernatural feats and all sorts of random characters. And for what? The viewer doesn’t understand what’s going on. They just continue the plot as is. It’s almost as if the anime itself is just an advertisement for the light novel, which is still on-going, I believe. If you really wanna know what’s going on here, read the story!

The only thing Kuro Asagi does well with its plot is when it’s gone. The fan service/filler episodes are leaps and bounds better than when the anime tries to become dark. I can’t believe I just said that. Due to the incredible lack of information given, the dark scenes are almost a chore to watch. I could feel myself wanting to drop this anime for a second time by episode four. Oh, I forgot to mention that Kuro Asagi’s dark plots don’t take breaks. There are some scenes that break the mold every so often, but through the first seven episodes, the dark plots overtook the filler scenes at least 6 to 1. And as unbearable as I’ve already made the dark plots seem, it only made it harder for me to combat this title. When an episode that didn’t focus on anything finally arrived, I actually sighed a breath of relief. “Finally, filler!” I can’t believe I just said that.

If you’re going to make an anime where the dark plot is the main focus for every episode, you’re going to have to use some reliably likable or identifiable characters to showcase it. Kuro Asagi’s characters are neither of these things. They’re archetypes. They’re cliche. They’re cheesy. And they’re really cute. I’m starting to see a trend here…. The main character has sky blue hair and red eyes. That’s an interesting-looking main character. However, as a main character, he acts exactly like any other main character. His love interest, Himea, the “vampire,” (I use that term VERY loosely) is a character who only thinks of the main character, cares for the main character, can’t live without the main character, and almost destroys the whole planet because she’s jealous of a friendship he has with another female friend. By the way, Himea is unbelievably attractive and loyal. Gee, kind of sounds like the author may want to be in the main character’s shoes, doesn’t it? There’s also the character I like to refer to as “Edgemaster,” since he’s 2cool4school and doesn’t want to deal with anything or anyone. His whole persona is laughably cliche and his attitude only makes him incredibly unlikable. Don’t make him mad! He’ll kill ya!

There are others characters, but most of them aren’t likable or memorable. But were there any characters I thought really carried the show? Two, to be exact. However, “carried the show” gives them too much credit. They’re just like nickels in a world of pennies. The characters I’m referring to are Aomi and Mirai. I only liked Aomi because she brought along a lot of that carefree atmosphere that Kuro Asagi desperately needed. Her character is slightly less cliche than others and her personality is likable enough to make her a genuine star. I kind of wish the anime would’ve focused on her more. Also, the first time I saw her, I just thought she was Haruka. That took some getting used to. Mirai, my favorite character of the series, is so unbelievably cliche that it makes me sick. But it’s my favorite (as I’m sure it is for many others) kind of cliche: the adorable mascot character. I’d like to take her home and take care of her like a pet. She is too fucking cute. I hate it.

Time to talk about this anime’s only good point: art. Kuro Asagi, like many other failures of the anime world, looks absolutely splendid. The art is unique (half of the character have purple at the end of their hair… for some reason), the art is bold and colorful (to keep the audience’s attention throughout the horrible plot), and the art makes every character look like a model. No wonder I fell for Mirai. She LOOKS too cute! Even the grotesque parts of the anime (dismemberment and what-not) look pretty (if not for the censors). An overall wonderful looking piece of shit.

Don’t you love open endings? I actually expected it. As soon as I realized episode eleven wasn’t going to have an opening, I knew that’s when the plot would stop and the final episode would just be fan service. At that point, I already knew I hated everything about the plot, so I accepted it as is. Kuro Asagi is basically what I stated above: a wonderful looking piece of shit. The art is nice, but the plot is confusing and empty. The art is nice, but the characters (all but two) don’t have the charisma to withstand the weight of the anime’s dark plot. The art is nice, but the art gets old eventually. Couldn’t you just watch this show for the art? Just look at various pictures of the anime, why don’tcha? Your imagination will fill in more than the anime itself, so why not?

Personal Score: C-

Critical Score: D

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