I just finished this (anime) show. I wish I could say that my mind was blown, but it really wasn’t. It was a very hyped-up show, and it had so much potential, but in the end, overall, I was disappointed. The premise was very creative, the themes very deep and meaningful, the characters very well-made (Pen-pen is definitely the best), the concept of the Angels, LCL, and the Human Instrumentality very interesting and fascinating, but unfortunately the series fell flat on its face in one crucial aspect: making sense.
The way that the series was presented made it extremely difficult to follow, and I was told that it got a lot better the second time one watched it. That’s all well and good, but generally I like to be able to like and understand a show – at least on some level – the first time I watch it. If you don’t, I don’t think it’s well done. Not having a full understanding is alright, and it’s okay if on subsequent watchings it makes more sense, but you have to start from that baseline. Neon Genesis Evangelion did not have that baseline. It started off confusing, kept being confusing, and never made sense completely; I was forced in the end to look up a lot in order to understand it.
So, I consider this show to be a great concept ruined in the act of storytelling. It just didn’t tell the story well.
But it was definitely worth watching. The animation was spectacular, and the characters were very deep. It also drew extensively on ideas of Kabbalah, and being an occultist/esoteric, it made me happy whenever the Tree of Life was mentioned. The last two episodes – or rather, the “prime” versions of them – were by far my favorite because they actually almost made sense, were deep, and generally more visually stimulating than the rest.
All in all, a decent anime. Wolf’s Rain remains my favorite.