Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
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Finished series: Uta ~ Kata

We've finished watching Uta~Kata. My first episode review is here.

Ichika is introduced into the world of the Djin. The talisman she received from Sai, one of her tutors, has twelve stones set in a yin-yang sign. By wishing it, she can come into contact with Djinn -- spirits of nature that command a certain aspect. She received this power from Manatsu, a mysterious girl who came out of the spooky mirror at school.
Oddly enough, people are willing to accept the story that Manatsu is Ichika's mail-friend -- including Ichika's parents who let Manatsu stay for the summer.

Over the course of the summer, Ichika has many adventures, using her power to communicate with the Djinn to help her friends. But not all is what it seems: her mysterious neighbour is keeping tabs on her movements, and mumbles things like 'the trials of the season have begun'...

What is really going on, is that Ichika has been chosen as a representative of humankind. Using the vision of the Djinn, Ichika is transformed, permanently seeing things like the Djinn do. This transformation is scary and painful, and no-one helps her. It is against the rules to help the child being tested, even though she is surrounded by people who know what is going on.
Ichika loses herself to the Djinn -- they start to take over when she uses her powers, often with destructive effects. But slowly and surely, Ichika pulls together and starts to regain her personality.

That doesn't prepare her for what is the ultimate Djinn: her neighbour turns out to be a Djinn herself. Ichika has to choose: either die and save humanity, or become a Djinn and wipe out humanity to begin anew...

The series is twelve episodes, but there is also an OVA which is the thirteenth episode. The OVA is not essential, but it does give a nicer sense of closure.
The series is set in Kamakura, and several Kamakura landmarks feature in the series. We've been in Kamakura once, and it was very amusing to 'spot the place'.
Designs are very attractive, and the animation is decent but not terribly high-budget. The series is pretty big on the fanservice though: we get quite a few pantyshots and Ichika's Djinn-costumes show more flesh than they cover. Luckily, it is not the focus of the series.
There is a lot of fore-shadowing that doesn't really pay off. From the first episode, people are making ominous remarks when Ichika can't hear them, but it takes too long for things to become clear. Only during the last episode is everything revealed.

Good points:
- Designs are attractive;
- Story is fun;
- Set in an actual town with actual scenery.
Bad points:
- Too much foreshadowing and too little payoff;
- Tad too much fanservice.

It's an OK 'coming of age' story, much like Pretear. It does have it's downsides, but overall it's worth a 7.
Tags: anime, full review
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