Tuesday, 24 May 2011

アリソンとリリア / Allison and Lillia

I must admit to being a little suprised by Allison and Lillia.

I really expected it to be my sort of anime. It had a nice, simple yet pretty art style and a slow, lyrical pace, both in the World Masterpiece Theatre mould.

Set in an old-fashioned European-influenced world in the shadow of war, I thought it would be sophisticated, epic and ambitious. Which is why I am now more than typically hostile to it now, after it came to an end. What a letdown!

Adapted from a series of novels, it concerns a long-running war and its resolution, then the various adventures of those who were instrumental in bringing about peace, as well as the lives of their children.

The big problem with the series was its paucity of fine detail and horribly rushed storytelling. Stuffing full novels into a few episodes made resolutions stupidly simple and pat, revelations abrupt and babyish, and character reactions and dialogue irksomely basic and unconvincing. Far too many unintentional laughs in this show, when baddies go tumbling over balconies for no real reason, heroes are saved by stupid coincidence and big twists are revealed to be painfully badly thought-through. Not to mention painfully obvious dialogue, horrible cheesy speeches that melt the blackest hearts and over-simplistic resolutions that contribute to the sense of bathos.

There are cute elements, the comedy of an admiring partner and a totally clueless object of affections often genuinely eliciting warm laughs, and the main characters are likeable, if not enough to elevate them from being dull. It's just that the action is so lame and cheesy, the emotional attachment possible with the characters is so insufficient for the running time, meaning the abiding impression left by this series is of how shallow, goofy and very, very dull it has been.

And the dénouement at the end of the series made me want to punch things.

(originally written 22.2.09)

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