Hein (fub) wrote,
Hein
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Finished series: Red Garden

We've finished watching Red Garden. My first episode review is here.

Red Garden tells the story of four girls -- who happen to be zombies. They all attend the same highschool (an exclusive school on an island near/in New York), but their characters differ enormously. One is part of the student council, one spends her nights partying, one is living on her own in poverty, one is a scaredy cat who looks after her brother and sister.

The one thing that links them, is that they were friends with a girl who commited suicide... At least, that's what it looks like -- but in fact she was murdered. And the four girls got murdered as well. But then they were given new bodies by some mysterious group/sect/faction. And they are made to fight the members of the other group/sect/faction.
You see, the two groups have been battling for quite some time. One group (let's call them the werewolf group) has been cursed by the other with a disease that kills their females. Also, the males may turn into werewolf-like monsters involuntarily. The other group (let's call them the zombie group) has been cursed to be undying. They know how to make new bodies, and they have revived the four girls into the zombie bodies after they had been killed by the werewolves.

Being in highschool isn't easy. Being a zombie in highschool sucks. Being a zombie in highschool that has to go out at night to beat werewolves into a pulp sucks even harder -- though the Matrix-like abilities of the zombie bodies do help a bit with that.
Apart from that, the girls have their own personal issues: Claire can't get along with her father, Rose's father has abandoned his family and her mother is in the hospital, Rachel finds it hard to balance her carreer as a zombie with her relationship with Luke...
And meanwhile, the conflict between the werewolves and the zombies heats up more and more -- there are some interesting twists, The violence is actually downplayed: the first few episodes do feature the girls (barely) kicking werewolf ass, but later episodes actually focus more on what it means to be a teenage zombie, and how the machinations of the two factions affect the girls.

Visually, the series is stunning -- but that is to be expected, this being a Gonzo series. Character designs are meant to be realistic, but they won't be to everyone's liking -- some characters have quite angular faces.
The voice acting is quite good, as is the music. Except for the ridiculous singing (by the characters), which they thankfully got rid of during the course of the series.

Good points:
- Interesting premise;
- Focusses on the human aspect;
- Excellent animation;
- Good voice acting.
Bad points:
- Character designs could have been more pleasing;
- The ridiculous singing!

I'll give it a 7. It's a solid series with a good plot, but it does have its downsides.
Tags: anime, full review
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