Posted by psgels on 28 December 2010 with categories: Anime Reviews




Otome Youkai Zakuro was another one of those series that went under the radar this season. And granted, when looking at its premise it seems like a very simple youkai series. However, it’s a series that really shines through its execution and it does a great job combining the youkai genre with the romance one.

It’s the kind of series that perhaps doesn’t do anything new, but what it does it does really well. The three lead couples are all charming, each in their own way and especially Agemaki and Zakuro are two very good main characters who are both more than just romantic stereotypes. The simplicity of this series also allows the creators to put in a lot of detailed character development, and that especially manifests itself in Zakuro’s background, but the entire main cast emerges from this series with some depth.

the only real flaw of this show is its restriction to some cliches, like Zakuro the Tsundere, or a villain who listens to a few overused archetypes. It’s well told though, so despite these cliches it’s really able to put an emotional charge to just about every episode. It’s very consistently told and at the same time the drama is genuine enough to get nowhere near the levels of cheese, thanks to some subtle characterization.

It’s a great recomendation if you’re looking for some light romance. the story itself is well paced and keeps a great balance between the romantic developments between the characters, and the actual story and the growth of their characters. Autumn 2010 had many sleeper hits. This is one of the biggest ones.

Storytelling: 9/10 – Well balanced, treats its cast seriously and can be both very subtle and pack a punch.
Characters: 9/10 – Characters are neatly laid out, the main ones have a lot of depth and backstory, but it’s especially the relationship between them that really well done.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Great artwork throughout the entire series.
Setting: 8/10 – Youkai series aren’t new, but it’s nevertheless a very solid setting for this series.

Suggestions:
Rozen Maiden
Ga-Rei Zero
Natsu no Arashi

8 Responses

  1. Jday says:

    This is the best directed series I’ve seen from Chiaki Kon. Maybe a lighter workload (and backing from good artists/animators) helps?

    Hopefully, this is sign of things to come.

  2. Hogart says:

    I’m surprised you enjoyed it more than the likes of Soredemo and Panty and Stocking (or at least graded it slightly higher). I found it much less entertaining, pretty production values aside.

    To me Zakuro started off relatively appealing (for what it is) but quickly squandered it’s characterization for a pretty cheesy and generic plot that undersold it’s potential. It’s still better than average for it’s genre, though, and certainly holds up well among what’s airing this season.

  3. Nomus says:

    Didn’t expect this will be so good. I think this series must be used as a reference for anyone, making 13 ep show. Because this is how things must be done not to have lot of plot holes, unexplained actions and undeveloped characters. Thank you once again, psgels! I started to watch this only because of your post.

  4. Kalandra says:

    ” Spring 2010 had many speeer hits. This is one of the biggest ones. ”

    Whats speeer? I assume you mean sleeper hits.

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Kalandra: really weird typos yeah. Thanks for noticing it.

  6. Kalandra says:

    It be great if you make a list for sleeper hits that you blogged about (that remained unnoticed outside of this blog).

  7. psgels psgels says:

    Kaladra: you mean like, from this season or just all of the sleeper hits I blogged about?

  8. Kalandra says:

    All the sleepers hits you blogged about would be too much, you probably forgotten half of them. How bout the sleeper hits of this year?

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  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 03:46 PM)
    @Bam Nice. I fucking love hard hitting electro music.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 10:29 AM)
    I freakin love the Norweigan electro band Röyksopp. Their videos are also award winning works of art which hit all the surreal chords that I adore:
    http://m.youtube.com/?#/watch?v=ADBKdSCbmiM
  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 08:21 AM)
    @K-Off She’s so gorgeous X3
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 08:17 AM)
    @Asuka I know Francoise Hardy, she’s amazing. http://youtu.be/LNEEVsZt8vI
  • Asuka111
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 08:10 AM)
    Amyone listen to European music? Stromae for one.
  • WyattX
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 07:41 AM)
    @Vincent Well, Japan has its own pop scene, so I don’t think that really equates.
  • Vincent
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 07:32 AM)
    @WyattX In Korea, it’s about the same, except indie bands turn into pop bands rather than shouty bands and anyone who’s not relatively good looking is eventually kicked.
  • WyattX
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 07:28 AM)
    But going back to Miyavi real quick, I remember being really impressed with his guitar slap. But now I just roll my eyes. A lot of these Jbands have fallen and have been replaced with this generic, shouty music.
  • k-off
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 06:58 AM)
    This was kickass as well. http://youtu.be/c9kBdIG-NcY
  • Emma
    (Tuesday, Sep 30. 2014 06:55 AM)
    @Wyatt: listening to this now: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-20sTMvEVs

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