There isn’t much to say about a 28-minute OVA special, but I’ll try my best.
Kowarekake no Orgel, or Half-broken Music Box, is an OVA created back in 2009, and was adapted into a manga in 2011, which is still ongoing. The premise of this story is very similar to that of Chobits, but the premise is about the only thing these two series share in common. The cute little female android in this story can talk, service herself, and doesn’t have a dark secret lying within her. Apart from her, the male human actually has some fortitude to him; and by that, I mean he isn’t a naive, pure-hearted maiden. He’s gloomy, lonely, and actually has a valid reason of being so. It’s also sad how much is actually shown within a half hour of this OVA, because most anime dedicated to showing the closeness of two people usually struggle to create any bond in twelve episodes.
The most I can give credit for is that Half-broken Music Box is harmless. It’s not bad, but it’s not very good with the little time that its given. It did the most it could with the time allotted, and for that I can recommend it as a serviceable pastime. Though, this isn’t something that will necessarily tug at your heartstrings or give you much reason to remember the series after a year or so. It’s a fun little wisp of a story that chronicles the innate desire to be with the ones you love.
Going more in-depth, this OVA’s pacing, in the latter half (of the runtime) has fairly good pacing. Things happen at a rate that’s believable while also creating a splash of empathy within the viewer’s mind. The former half, however, zooms by like a flash. One moment the male lead is trying to repair the female droid, and the next it’s a couple months later. Again, time restraints hurt, yes, but suddenly zooming through months and events that take up less than a minute of runtime isn’t doing much on the part of the viewers’ expectations towards the relationship between the two. Watching something and it telling us “They grow close over time!” is obvious. However, it should be more inclined to show that growth, instead of expecting the viewer to take everything for granted.
Relating to the characters is well enough. The male lead has a good enough reason to be angsty, but doesn’t come across as angsty, which is a very welcome change for a teenage lead. He doesn’t seem to encourage behavior seen from most male teenage leads, either. However, there isn’t much to him besides that he’s alone and he’s gloomy. His ambition to continue with life anew takes shape near the end, but it isn’t much in regards to character development. He was sad and now he’s happy. Cool. The female droid is a child who likes being loved and giving love. That’s pretty much it.
Animation is standard for the time, if not a little more mediocre. Given that the studio… or producer… or both, I’m not sure, was a company that had never produced anything prior, I can fall back a tad in that regard. Even so, the design for the female droid was very nice, and admittedly, some of the reason I was pulled into watching this. The male, however, looks like he was plucked from a mid-2000 shounen series. There isn’t much to go off of with this, as the settings are traditional urban places and what-not. Things that anyone can handle. I will say that the animation tried harder at times to give the characters a little energy, which I think looked okay. However, there’s a specific bike-riding scene near the end that looks really, really choppy. Inconsistent, I’d concur.
A cute little time-waster. I’d definitely recommend this to those who enjoys THE POWER OF EMOTIONS! Even so, it doesn’t progress in the way that one would expect from a story similar, such as Chobits. I enjoyed it, but it doesn’t come close to anything groundbreaking—but I’m repeating myself by this point.
The rating for this title and all others can be found on MyAnimeList.
Apologies to those who may have been confused by the placement of this post. This isn’t included in The Summer of Anime 2016. I wanted to add a little filler while finishing up the anime for my next post, which should be up in the next two days. Thanks for waiting!