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Aguu: Tensai Ningyou Anime Cover

Score: 5.52/10

Synopsis

The series is about a missing genius whose mysterious disappearance becomes a shady secret among the successful members of society. (source: MAL News)

Japanese-Chinese collaborations are nothing new, especially in the anime world, where we got to know the popular ones from China that are raking in the money from the oh-so-popular Tencent Animation & Comics, the largest Chinese regulator for comics and animation from China. Apparently Chinese people love Japanese manga (which comes as no surprise), and being a Chinese myself I can see why. But when it comes to the anime medium, sure there are classics that are well received like Quan Zhi Gao Shou (The King’s Avatar) or Huyao Xiao Hongniang (Fox Spirit Matchmaker, which was recently dubbed in Jap last year), but with the good comes the bad series such as Evil or Live, and Aguu: Tensai Ningyou, falls under the “so bad it’s good” category.

Aguu: Tensai Ningyou tells the simple premise of power: What are your dreams and ambitions to be like the friends who are more talented than you, only to find out that talent that they had, was all but a farce? And that sets up the story of two friends gone bad: Ai and Machi, both trained in ballet school, with both of them envying each other for fame and talents…that is until the existence of Aguu: human-lookalike embedded Devil spirits, dolls that can be consumed to give its user the ability to perform their life’s ideals. And of course, one thing led to another that in a trance, something bad happened and caused both Ai and Machi to be separated, and forcefully altering their life’s fate as well.

And without going into spoilers, an evil force is brewing over with the Tailors (masters of Aguu), with the defect boss wanting to alter the course of the world with Aguu, and it’s up to the Saviours who have been fending off the evil-warts for generations, and with Ai, time has come again for them to do the same. The story starts out slow, but it definitely has some kind of linear progression which is nice. Character models are OK at best, it’s the exact replicate from the Chinese-based web manga source so I’m fine with that.

The art and animation are truly worth of Studio Deen’s low-budget quality, and it shows a hella lot here. The background art is like some kids’ simple drawings while the animation is truly lackluster, just like the not-so-passive action scenes which is not a turn off, but is watchable (I guess). So, don’t expect flashy scenes and great artwork, you’re not gonna find it here. And that is the case similar to the music, which is not a whole lot too. The same tunes just kept repeating on and on to compensate for the same lackluster and boring visuals, and that goes for the OST as well which is decent to say the least. The OP at least displayed some decency with the tunes, and it’s sounds quite weird, but somehow fits the overall aesthetics of the show. The ED is simple, but the clearest favourite of them all, showcasing the fallen relationship of both Ai and Machi and if there was one tune I would takeaway from this series is the ED, without question.

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this show, mainly due to the pro-Chinese demographics that are meant to showcase how well the manga source was (and still is) against the anime adaptation, but this isn’t bad by any means. But it is still a shovelware show in the Summer season of shovelwares, and if you really find this intriguing, give this a try.

Story, like in many animes starts intriguing, but by the 3rd-4th episode it gets watered down and the only thing that can keep you going is knowing there are only 12 episodes so it will be over soon, so you might as well bear with it. The characters feel shallow and their motivations are questionable. Like those Ai and Machi girls, both their characters and backgrounds feel like they were created by an aspiring 13 year old "writer". So one girl gets burned in flames and disappears, the other one just up and leaves home to join some shady old dude and a kid. Both girls are 16 and nobody cares that they disappeared, not their parents, not the police, nobody... First the story starts about the beef between the two girls, but then it becomes something of very little importance, they introduce this mother and her kid and they become the new focus of the story and only for the last few episodes they resurrect (pathetically) the original story only so they can say in the end "see? we finished it". Overall I had struggles to finish this show and would put it in the list of mediocre animes that you watch when you're bored out of your mind and can't think of anything better to do. There is little story, little intrigue, it's as I said - something so basic that an amateur 13 year old kid can write something like this.

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