May. 26th, 2013

the_sun_is_up: Giorno in a cloud of flower petals, making a sexyface at the camera. (giogio - faaaaabulous)
In my experience, adaptations are usually inferior to their source material. However, I wasn’t terribly surprised to discover that the MerMelo anime is a vast improvement over the manga. The Coleman-Francis-esque boom-mike phenomenon has been largely expunged from the anime, the amateurish wrinkles ironed out.

For example, there’s the episode centering around Meru, the young mermaid from Hanon’s kingdom. Not only did the anime writers cut out all the melodramatic nonsense with Meru hitting on Kaito and making Lucia jealous, but they also strengthened Meru’s motivation and made the build-up to her betrayal of Hanon much smoother. In the manga, Meru’s all gaga about Hanon, and when she suddenly turns on her, we get a brief last-minute flashback indicating that Meru blames Hanon for failing to find her missing mom. In the anime, Meru sees the heroines flirting with their respective dudes and grows more and more aghast that the princesses she idolized are wasting their time romancing lowly human boys instead of finding her missing mom, until she finally gets upset enough to betray Hanon.

There’s also much better use of flashbacks. Hanon, Rina, Caren, Sara, and Mitsuki all have sad backstories that get developed much more gracefully, thoroughly, and earlier than in the manga. And praise the gods, Sara’s tedious wangsting about how she’s literally the only person in the world who’s ever been dumped, boo hoo, woe is me, was cut from the anime.

However, the anime's still got its share of problems, mostly owing to the central gimmick of replacing fight scenes with musical numbers. The manga's problem was that comics are a silent medium, so all the fight-scenes-cum-musical-numbers barely even existed, lasting an average of two pages apiece. The anime has the opposite problem: the addition of sound means they can let us hear the songs. Which they do. Repeatedly. We get to hear the same minute-long sugary J-Pop tune performed all the way through in every single episode. The animators at least try to make this visually interesting, but it's not like they had a huge budget or an overflowing of talent to work with, so the choreography and cinematography end up being pretty dull. It gets worse when the villainous Black Beauty Sisters show up; their song is a minute and a half, which they sing every time they show up, with the exact same chunk of stock footage used every single time. The heroines do get three power-ups over the course of the first season, with "power-up" in this case translating to "new song," but that's still an average of 12-13 eps spent with one song before we get to hear something new.

Continued... )

Final verdict: The MerMelo anime is miles better than the manga, but it still blows in some pretty major areas. Polishing a turd can only get you so far.


the_sun_is_up: Panty from PSG wearing glasses. (Default)
Sing me a bawdy song, make me merry

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