Final Thoughts: Amatsuki

When Tokidoki Rikugou fails his high school history class, he has to make up for it by attending a virtual reality tour of Edo- the last resort for drumming information into young minds. Unfortunately, what started off as a simple make-up class turns into something more sinister when Tokidoki is pulled into what appears to be the real Edo- albeit one where magic and the supernatural are a way of life. Can Tokidoki adjust to this new life- and will he ever find a way home?

You’d think that after Shounen Onmyouji I’d have learned my lesson about the potential mediocrity of feudal era supernatural series, but no sooner had I cleared that hurdle than I was ready to throw myself into the fray once again- this time courtesy of Amatsuki. Drawn purely by the need for a good historical series, I asked myself “how bad could it be”, and sadly the series seemed determined to test just that.

Rather than going the route of having no plot whatsoever, Amatsuki’s problem was that it kept trying to have a plot and then completely forgetting about it in favour of another storyline- perhaps a consequence of trying to make a short series from an ongoing manga. At first, one could be forgiven for thinking that the series would be about Tokidoki’s destined powers and his attempt to go home, but in short order this was put to one side in favour of alternating between a quest to break a curse on another character and another character who had the misfortune to be possessed by a dog demon.

Uninspiring as they are, one might feel inclined to at least give these storylines a chance, but even if you did, you would only be disappointed once again as the series veers off into new territory. Instead of focusing on any of the previously introduced characters, Amatsuki decides to bring us the tale of a vengeful fox demon driven mad when the sacred tree she loved so much is cut down. Not only does this have nothing to do with what has come before, but it is by this point that the series becomes impossible to concentrate on- you know that events are happening onscreen, but the brain refuses to absorb any of it. To be honest, however, this may be for the best as it at least aids with forgetting the series once watched.

As lacklustre as the plot is, it can only be matched by the blandness of the characters in the world of Amatsuki. Apart from the slightly likable dog-demon possessed Kuchiha, everyone from Tokidoki on down is as flat and forgettable as they come. It’s an impressive feat to be able to remember more than two or three character names, and the fact that minor personalities of generic design keep showing up hardly helps matters.

Visually, Amatsuki has a handful of reasonably attractive character designs spread amongst a largely unimpressive selection, with the overall quality of animation being rather poor and low budget. The opening theme is rather pleasant, but other than that, the music is as forgettable as every other aspect of the series.

Final Thoughts

Even when a series isn’t a masterpiece, it is often possible to recommend it for the purposes of light entertainment, but sadly, Amatsuki doesn’t even reach that modest level. A series so mediocre and lacking in direction that watching it is barely more stimulating than looking at a grey screen, this is one anime that no one should bother wasting their time on.

Tier: Wood-

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7 Responses to Final Thoughts: Amatsuki

  1. KaMen says:

    It is true that Amatsuki lacks a clear plot (similar to Harukanaru Toki no Naka de, where the main objective was to get home, but somehow this was forgotten in the progress). There isn’t really an enemy to defeat, since all enemies becomes friends due to Toki’s peace loving nature.

    Sometimes I wonder why they give the generic characters so much screen time, for example the fact that they have spent a whole episode to the side story of some nameless monk who works in the kitchen. Normally such filler episodes can be amusing, but only if the whole series contains over 100 episodes. One can guess what waste it was for a small series like Amatsuki (13 episodes).

    When generic characters and their filler-stories gets more screen time, it means that there is less place for the character development part. I guess no-one noticed it, but Kon (used to be introduced as one of the three main characters) was totally forgotten in the latter parts.

    And of course, because Toki came from the modern time, it is only ‘natural’ that he knows about explosions in small confined places where a lot of power and dust is gathered. I am not sure what the makers wants to convey with the fact that modern people are more knowledgable than historical people (if it is true, anyways).

    Nevertheless, I hope they do a sequel, so we can at least get answers from the questions they created, such as: Who is Bonten and what is his objective? How does he come to know about Toki’s time and when did he obtain his power?
    Why does the Princess have green hair, is it part of the transformation? Why was Kuchiha (when she was little) worshiped at one moment and despised by the villagers at the following moment, how much time has passed since moment 1 and 2?
    And thus there are a lot more questions to be answered in the sequel, but the chance will be big that the sequel will only create more unanswered questions.

  2. jeanne says:

    U’ve just convinced me to not watch the anime.

    In truth the manga isn’t that much better either. Despite the AWESOME art, the story is confusing (it gets better later on) and keeps on drifting. So I guess if the anime is based on such a story line, its plot can’t be any better.

    I’m sorry u had to watch such a bland anime.

  3. tsukune says:

    perhaps you guys simply missed the point. sometimes the extraordinary even isnt something thats huge, its the subtle things, and the fact that you missed them probably means you need something shiny and flashy like naruto to satisfy your needs, however the characters progress through the story in a way that shows you who they are in a deeper manner. For example there is the subject of romance between toki and kuchiha that keeps getting touched on lightly, among other things. something to think about is in most anime you will find the main hero/heroin beating up/killing whom ever is the problem. this anime is unique in the fact that the main character actually makes and acts upon the more difficult decision of keeping everyone alive, no exceptions. hopefully there will be a sequal though, because the one thing i feel was not done well enough was answering questions that were raised.

  4. Karura says:

    Why is it that every time someone disagrees with an opinion they have to justify it by labelling the dissenter as a shallow Naruto fan? Get some imagination- I don’t even watch Naruto, and I never have!

  5. zero-kill says:

    Karura – The reason behind that is because most “hard-core” anime fans hate good anime. It’s simply the truth. I have just finished watching and in sum it is in full not a good flowing anime. I think, besides being thrown together loosely, the story is part of what it is for some people, not all focus driven and sort of lazily drifts from one topic to the next.

    It has a good foundation and I’d be interested to watch more, if they continue the show, if not then so be it.

  6. animemonkeyking says:

    i have just finished this anime and agree that it has issues(like the haphazard story line and the episode wasting filler pluse the painfuly short run) If the story would finish or really go some where it might be worth a watch but as it stands now its not worth a mention it is as everone has said in these postings……………………………

  7. Tech says:

    I have to agree that it is a well put together anime(despite the filler) it takes us down a path of what indecisiveness can cause when your a major player in something, this show hits the fact that violence and force are not necessarily a good thing, and that going out of our way to find a middle soulition is and can be whats best for everyone, even if everyone doesn’t agree on it, i ope to see more of this, im glad this is one of the fue animes that can look to the other side of entertainment

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