Posted by psgels on 22 September 2009 with categories: 07-Ghost, Anime Reviews


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To be honest, until a week ago I still wasn’t quite sure how to review this series. I mean, there obviously was something wrong with it, but I just couldn’t put my finger to exactly what. Nevertheless, with the final two episodes (which were very exciting, by the way), I finally know where this series went wrong, and why it went from a very promising series to just… boredom.

Imagine yourself as the villain: you’re placed high in the military. A certain kid escapes your clutches, and this kid happens to hold the evil godmode powers of doom, and it is vital to get these powers back, so you are assigned this task. You’ve got a number of competent henchmen and you youself also are an experienced commander. It shouldn’t be too hard to come up with a plan to capture a 14-year old boy, right?

Well, this guy here sits on a chair for more than 20 episodes, looks evil and hardly does anything, and the plans that he does carry out hardly can be called the most effective ways to get to his objectives. In a lot of series, a good villain can really make a series, and really, Ayanami would have made an excellent villain if this guy actually stood up and DID SOMETHING.

the major problem with 07-Ghost is that it drags. Horribly. The plot here could have been carried out in one quarter of the time it actually used. So in the process, the lead characters have to find ways to keep them busy. Sometimes this is meaningful, but often it’s just way too angsty, melodramatic and shallow. Not really worth the investment of 25 episodes.

Which is a bloody shame, because this show definitely has some right ingredients. The direction during the action scenes is actually quite good: with an excellent soundtrack it knows how to entertain by pushing the right buttons at the same time. The series is full of creative shots and camera-angles, and the animation also hardly has any distorted faces. This is exactly why I was excited about this series: it sounded like an epic premise, but in the end the creators could have done so much more with this premise.

This series takes place in a church for the most part, so there is a unique religious feel about this series, so it’s really a bit of a shame of this wasted potential. Unfortunately, it’s really typical of the director: he did the same one to Hatenkou Yuugi, ruining it by an abysmal pacing. This guy really knows how direct technically: he knows how to make things exciting. However, in terms of content and especially pacing he still has a lot to learn. The best episodes in this series really ended up being episode 1 and 24. That has to say something.

Storytelling: 7/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 8/10

15 Responses

  1. Anca says:

    hmm, as for me, it was probably the exact opposite. I found the first part incredibly boring, and only got through it because the character designs were exactly like in Kyou Kara Maou; bishonen riding on motorcycles who double as priests? Angstangstangst? It was too much like Saiyuki all over again.

    But it turned awesome sometimes around when they revealed Frau was Zehel – after that each episode was a delight. Teito’s angst was suddenly justified and very realistic (you don’t get over your bff dieing that fast) and Hakuren was the perfect character to support Teito. Maybe also because we got the sense of ‘something more’ – I love it when they involve gods and other such beings with the main character. Hakuren was the perfect character to support Teito.

    More importantly than Teito gaining realism was that Frau and his two side-kicks suddenly got interesting – moving them on from nice guy at day, leather-clad hero by night to something that wasn’t quite meant to be a nice guy in the first place, but fits perfectly in the setting. Labrador is the only character of his type I actually like. My score will be much higher simply because I adore how they handled the ghosts (especially technically).

    But I agree that they hideously undercharacterised the villains; I’ve been wondering (haven’t seen #25 yet) whether the Fuuma look-alike Ayanami’s pet is one of the 7 ghosts; it would fit. It’s pretty much clear that Ayanami is one (either way, he knew about the three at the church – there were few ways he could have moved and he tried them all.). It might be the fault of the manga it was adaptaded from, since it runs much longer than the anime does.

    • VV says:

      Well, not only as a reply to you but the writer of this well-written review as well, the problems listed above technically don’t exist.

      /Technically/. As in, they don’t exist in the manga. The anime closely followed the manga well enough, with each episode covering one chapter right about, but the thing is..

      07 Ghost is a 99 Chapter Manga. In other words, they didn’t even cover half of it with these first 25 episodes, as you may have realized at the ending of the 25th episode.

      Ayanami as a villain rarely appears to fight Teito head on for a variety of reasons that do indeed make sense. However, me saying those reasons and many other things would spoil everything else.

      To put it simply; while 07 Ghost did drag on at times, and the manga didn’t have a great ending, I have to say I really did like it. Ayanami’s character, not just who he is as a person but /what/ he is, is crucial to the story. The same is with Teito, as he isn’t merely the prince of raggs, or the eye of mikhael’s master.

      Things such as that are very, and I mean /very/ crucial to the plot. The story essentially boils down to Ayanami, Teito, the Princess of Barsburg, and Frau. More so Ayanami and Teito than Frau and Ouka-hime, but Frau is a definite driving force for Teito.

      Something else that needs to be taken into account is that 07 Ghost despite having several excellent fights, isn’t really all about the action. It’s about the characters, their pasts, their personalities, and how this all plays into a grander scheme of someone or something else, for good or for worse.

      The Anime falls horribly short however, as it essentially covers the equivalent of the Golden Age arc from Berserk.

      Actually, using the Berserk anime as an example is an excellent comparison, as the story of 07 Ghost doesn’t /truly/ begin until after Chapter 25–or for the anime, Episode 25. Unfortunately since the anime stopped there, your choices are to either accept that or read the manga.

      Personally, I’d just skip the anime entirely and go read the manga from the beginning.

  2. mds says:

    Agreed with psgels on most part of it.Ayanami should’ve been dangerous,and moreover,both fearsome and hatred villain.The manga’s plot paced much more faster than this one; Mikage’s death even occured in volume 1 …
    I dropped this at the point where they did 3 filler episodes over and over again…

    So,like always,manga version is better than anime.A very rare exception is Bokurano (both manga and anime are equally awesome) ,Ga Rei (manga is ok,but anime was much better),and Vampire Knight (manga definitely shoujo angst over and over)….

  3. Khan says:

    That’s probably because nothing has happened in the manga yet where Teito is directly facing Ayanami since there’s a lot of politics involved that aren’t in the anime.

  4. Iza says:

    I to think it’s a real shame for the series. The pacing really ruined everything, they did put too much unnecesery stuff.
    Although the main problem is that 25 episodes is too short and they filled the time up with useless fillers. The manga has a faster pace, but it does things much more logically. Also the story is still unfolding…- I don’t wish to spoil anything for anybody, so I won’t say too much – Teito slowly moves on from the church and things happen after that. Slowly everything becomes clear.
    As for Ayanami, he is much more of a villain in the manga – he does actually get out of his chair, he doesn’t use weak Kor to do his work (they do what they do naturally), and his plans mostly worked. He even does some things in person.
    It’s really a shame. The manga for me at least is interesting, but they should have put more though into the anime.

  5. 3mapletrees says:

    I also feel the show dragged but still had some gems that made you want to hang in there. Beautiful to look at, appealing characters (especially when Teito got less emo), intriguing storyline (once it got going). Also, just wanted to say I really enjoy this blog. It’s kinda cool to read another’s opinion on the episodes I watch (Phantom, 007-Ghost, Aoi Hana, Tokyo Magnitude 8.0, Guin Saga).

  6. I haven’t seen 07 Ghost, but I was, however, searching for a new Anime to pick up. The animation in Anime is one of the things I look for most, and this animation looks beautiful. Judging by your review, you think it’s slow, but Code Geass started out the same for a while, and I quite enjoyed that.

    I’ll give this a go, and see what I think. If I like it, I’ll be sure to come back and say so!

  7. WatcherZero says:

    Its returning next year, still dissapointing final episode and the pacings been so slow I almost dropped it three times.

  8. oppy says:

    The best part of this anime was at the end of episode 23 when Teito finally sees Ayanami and it’s playing that music.

    I agree with much of the above; the biggest problem with this show is that there was about zero character development for the bad guys like Ayanami and a few of his more interesting looking henchmen and also little development of the world they live in. Instead, they waste all the time sitting around doing nothing in a church, which, okay, may be an interesting setting, but it gets boring seeing that same setting for literally 24 episodes.

    A lot of the development of the setting that does happen is very passive and there are many episodes spent doing things which essentially amount to nothing, like all those early ones where they face a new kor each time.

    I have no clue what the manga is like but it seems like the anime is missing out on a lot of things that I’d certainly hope are there.

  9. Happy!! says:

    Even though it was slow paced, I still loved it. The manga was too fast for me, that I had to go back a couple of times, and yet I still didn’t get it. The anime was practically faithful to it IMO. The only part that I thought was dragging was when Mikage warned Teito not to get near him.

  10. Firechick says:

    Please don’t hate me for saying this, but I LOVED this anime to bits! Everything about it was just awesome to me (especially the soundtrack! Irish anime music FTW!!!) and it really hooked me like a fish on a fishing line. Plus I also noticed something. We all notice that the 07-Ghost military academy uniforms look like the ones in Code Geass, but here’s the thing: the manga actually started in 2005, and Code Geass didn’t exist until late 2006, so I’m thinking the latter has the most unoriginal clothes designs. I know, just my opinion. I loved it to bits, but it’s ranked #14 on my list (behind Haibane Renmei and even A Little Princess). I am kinda sad that the villains didn’t get much development (especially Konatsu, but I like him! He’s too cute to be a villain!!), but hey do villains EVER get any development for that matter? But this doesn’t stop me from loving it. Plus, Teito’s practically a boy version of ME!! But I respect your opinions so I won’t push anything. I loved it a lot, and I’m trying to get my friend Emmy into this since she loves pervs (Frau) and pretty boys in general.

  11. Medha says:

    i kind of agree with you, but since i continued reading the manga, i kind of don’t. XD

    SPOILER (:
    In the manga, ayanami goes much more badass, and he actually injures castor pretty badly. T.T
    END OF SPOILER. :P

    i loved all the charectars, and i especially loved how they made the villains so…likeable-y evil. if that makes sense. XD

  12. ria says:

    Yes 07- ghost might be a bit slow in the first couple of episodes but the anime gets better and interesting with each episode. A lot of characters get added later and more exploration into Teito`s past makes it watchable. Also one of the major bishops of the church turning out to be a spy and along with exploration into Frau`s past makes the series really interesting. The clash of the imperial military with the church is a really interesting theme and the complications and development of the main characters such as the bishops adds a bit of realism to the anime. The anime ended beautifully on a really interesting note with Teito leaving with Frau to know more about his past, leaves wanting for more. The season 1 ended rather abruptly and suddenly. I wish the Studio Deen looks forward towards making season 2 of the anime for the earnest fans of 07- ghost. The manga is great and there is enough manga material for a season 2 of the anime.

  13. Cedric says:

    Thanks for the review! Finally saw ep1 and didn’t think much of it.

  14. Stella says:

    I agree that Ayanami could’ve been more active but, I love how there are moments when it’s funny on the bad guys side too (read the manga, you’ll understand more). (Spoiler) Speaking of the manga, they do end up traveling all over the place the anime just doesn’t include that part. Something that I actually found really unique about this anime is that the seven ghosts (supposed “good guys”) looking just as menacing as Ayanami when he’s doing his glower. Also, something unique about the bad guys is that they mess around and act like friends probably more than the good guys do. I mean sure they act evil sometimes but unlike villains in other animes (especially the older ones) they don’t sit around and do nothing but obsess over how to stop the hero. Well, I’ve probably ended up ranting and stating my opinion more than anything else but, I’d advise you people who want something more after the anime or more of an understanding of it to read the manga.

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  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:48 AM)
    Ashura was an excellent example of how to through anime illicit and emotional response in an honest, non-melodramatic way.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:46 AM)
    @Bam: I’d be more than happy to take a look at some of those shorts anytime.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:44 AM)
    @Emma: there’s a lot of European animators that got active in the last 10 years or so that are really reinvigorating their animation scene, and every now and then I get introduced to some fabulous shorts.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:40 AM)
    @Emma: no I don’t really mind gory ‘for the fuck of it’ violence, I even like it in some grindhouse type of works, but I just don’t think it’s always effective as a shock factor. Live-action is the most sympathetic for obvious reasons, but there are animated works that do elicit a deep response. Probably because of circumstances but also the details of the in-between animation, which can induce certain feelings of disgust.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:39 AM)
    *here and there
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:35 AM)
    @Bam: I really wish there was more arthouse anime now to give some kind of a balance to everything thats out these days.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:33 AM)
    Now I like my exploitation every so often, but yes Bam I really do wish that adult and mature storytelling could be better associated with truly, more pure mature themes.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:25 AM)
    I get choked up over Bergmans cries and whisper and Autumn sonata, I look back on a work by Key and Jun Maeda and wonder, think of how silly it looks to me now.
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:24 AM)
    I also find it easier to get an emotional response from a honest drama, live action film, largely due to the real people doing the acting. Sometimes you get an actor whose just that good too…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, May 24. 2015 05:22 AM)
    I’ve gotten my odd emotional reaction here from anime and manga but a lot of the time it feels like the jump scare in a generic horror movie, I got shocked but I felt minipulated afterwards it wasn’t genuine, the same goes for some anime/manga drama when it takes a melodramatic turn instead of a bleak, honest one.

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