We can be the Flat Friends!
A review copy was provided by FUNimation Entertainment
Good day, MoarPowah readers! The Inverseman here with another review, this time for the anime adaptation of Hyperdimension Neptunia. With a popular JRPG series getting an all-original anime, how does this new story compare to the games? Let’s find out!
Okay, where to begin with this one? Video game adaptations have always had a checkered history with anime. At best, they come out alright or tolerable fanservice for fans of the game, but at worst, they are insufferable for everyone. Neptunia has the misfortune of tending towards the latter end of this spectrum. Personally, I’ve played some of the first game and had a rather horrible time of it; it’s one of those fanservice JRPGs from our good friends at Idea Factory where sex jokes and boobs replace a plot and the gameplay is so tedious you see your first recolored enemy already in the first dungeon. I hear the remakes are better, so maybe they’re worth another shot, but I’ve been scarred. If the game is a huge fanservice-fest already, you can already tell what direction the anime is going…
Anyway, the anime takes place in the land of Gamindustri where the CPU goddesses, personifications of popular video game consoles, rule using the shares of their invest-, I mean subjects. Already the first episode throws you in without really establishing any context for any of the characters. Sure I played the game so I already know some of the foundation, but even I don’t know where in the game timeline this anime takes place. Presumably after the first game but before the sequel? It’s actually an all-original story, but context is thin. You’re kind of already expected to know the girls, their sisters, and their motivations; not very appealing for a new viewer who might be interested in the games. Fortunately, there’s not much to catch up on and the central characters are rather one dimensional; Neptune is lazy, Noire is tsundere, Blanc is kuudere, and Vert is lewd so on and so on. I’ll admit the cast was entertaining, but I’ll be lying to myself if I said they didn’t have predictable development or a lack of complexity.
If you’re not in for the fanservice, you’re not going to have a good time with this anime. The first episode alone has the cast covered in suggestive places with slime, and later episodes will have other innuendos. The plot is very threadbare and generic. Four rival goddesses and friends work with each other to ensure the land of gamers is safe in a lighthearted romp. However, much of what goes on is insipid or outright idiotic. The villain plots make Team Rocket look like criminal masterminds and the main characters have no competent critical thinking. I love witty banter and lighthearted jokes, but when your protagonists come in contact with a powerful power-nerfing substance and shrug it off without investigation or let criminals use cell phones and bust out of jail, maybe you do deserve to let your security systems get compromised.
The great part of the dub is that the game cast reprises their roles for the anime. I love how FUNimation goes that extra mile, and the same snappy writing from the games returns as well. The script has cheese written all over it, and I love it. You’ll have surface jokes a la “princess is in another castle”, deeper ones where Noire’s sister Uni is playing with a pet bandicoot, and much deeper references such as the PSN crash from a few years back being a plot point. Perhaps the dialogue is groan-worthy to some, but in a show of bouncing boobs, a cup of bad jokes helps prevent one brain aneurysm with another.
While I love the acting and scripting, don’t expect the animation to be much with flat looking characters and awkward models during flight scenes. To think David Production from JoJo’s Bizarre Adventure worked on this! The OST is rather serviceable though, almost a hair better than this show’s caliber. Well, at the end of the day, don’t expect Hyperdimension Neptunia to change video game anime adaptations. Moronic characters, lack of context of who-this-is-for outside of already loyal fans of the game series and puns galore Take the plunge if you want meh-fanservice to a fanservice JRPG series and bad jokes or if you’re a fan. If you’re the latter, you’re already used to it. but stay far away if both happen to make your stomach lurch. This show gets a 3.0/5.0. Seems like a “C”, but feels more like an IGN 6/10. Join me next time when I raise eggplants.
– Virtually all the actresses reprise their roles and bring their hilarious performances
– Personally I prefer the cheesy jokes
– Poor establishment of context
– Fanservice marred by animation woes
– Plotline is almost insulting to intelligence at worst and generic at best
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