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[Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito]
AKA: Yamibou, Traveler of Darkness with Hat and Books, ヤミと帽子と本の旅人 (Japanese)
Genre: Fantasy / shoujo-ai
Length: Television series, 13 episodes, 24 minutes each
Distributor: Currently licensed by Media Blasters.
Content Rating: PG-13 (adult situations, brief nudity, violence)
Related Series: N/A
Also Recommended: Revolutionary Girl Utena, Rose of Versailles
Notes: Based on the 2002 eroge visual novel game developed by Root and published by ORBIT.
Rating: One Star
 

Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito

Synopsis

Azuma Hazuki and Azuma Hatsumi are sisters. One day, on Hatsumi's 16th birthday (why is it *always* 16?), she disappears into thin air while calling out Hazuki's name, even though Hatsumi is supposed to be mute.

Thus began Hazuki's strange journey through different worlds in search of Hatsumi.


Review

This would have been one great anime save for one thing. If only one can be bothered to sit down and watch it! But by THEM policy, we sit through bad anime so you don't have to! How's that for integrity?

The premise of the story is promising and the eye-candy is ... well, sufficient for the first episode to keep viewers like me satisfied. Then it all started going downhill and downright weird.

There are lots of females in the show and the only male is simply begging for a tutu - and an axe through the television. Oh wait! Make that his head. It's really a feat that the creators managed to make him so awful. And if you are not offended by lesbianism, let's get down to the review.

The plot. What plot? The creators simply throw you in the middle of it all, then use one whole next episode to explain and recap the previous episode. It feels like you are one step (or episode) behind the show the whole time. Now, if this were a thriller a la Perfect Blue, this would be fine, but it's not! It's an anime based on a hentai game, so such gimmicks only serve to drag down the story and impede the flow. Perhaps the creators would have fared better if this anime were just outright hentai.

As for the eye-candy, the scenery is great and the character designs are good. We are, after all, dealing with Studio Deen. But the action scenes, which are actually few and far in between, could use a little more work. Granted, this is not an action anime but they could take some lessons from the likes of MadHouse. There are far too many stock images, stills, speed lines, and light shows.

The only saving grace of this anime is the treatment of the requisite not-so-kawaii mascot, Ken-chan, by Lilith (one of the main characters, if you *must* know). She's always treating him ill and flicking him to one side, which is precisely what I felt like doing myself. Then there's the irritating shrouded what-manner-of-creature-I-have-no-idea that always tries to blow things up. If there's a point to its existence, it has eluded me completely.

The music is pretty nice and appropriate for the anime but nothing to shout about.

"But wait! You haven't even talked about the plot and the characters in this review!"

Well, yeah. That's because they aren't worth talking about!

Never has an anime been this disappointing. This anime is best watched with your finger on the fast-forward button. Viewers who disagree with me may add more stars, provided that you've survived the show first. — Diane Tiu

Recommended Audience: Teens and above. Lesbianism might offend some and there's implied incest and torture. Plenty of fan-service and minor violence.



Version(s) Viewed: Pre-license fansub
Review Status: Full (13/13)
Yami to Boushi to Hon no Tabibito © 2003 ORBIT / Yamiyama Library Management Association
 
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