The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials


Title: C3 aka C³: Cube×Cursed×Curious
Genre: Action/Drama
Company: Silver Link
Format: 12 episodes
Dates: 1 Oct 2011 – 17 Dec 2011

Synopsis: Yachi Haruaki is an ordinary high school student with an extraordinary ability: he is virtually immune to all kinds of curses, and this enables him to remove them from anything both living and non-living. He regularly receives random artifacts from his explorer father, and the latest package is a heavy and mysterious black cube. Yachi soon realizes that the cube is actually the alternate form of Fear Kubrick, an impudent girl who claims to be a living torture device responsible for killing many people since ancient times.

The Highlights
Fear Kubrick: Carbon copy of a Kugimiya-tsundere; dubious extreme behaviors.
Artistic value: High; comparable with other visually engrossing shows like ef: a tale of memories.
Content value: Low; comparable with other fanservice-laced shows like Baka to Test no Shokanju.
Premise: Jarring mix of grim stories, gruesome fights and tiresome boob physics.
Sheer pretense: Gross.

I’ll get straight to the point: is terribly pretentious. It’s an anime hypocrite that looks impressive on the outside, but is actually pedestrian on the inside. It’s a pure waste, especially when it does have some grim and potentially riveting aspects in the story, especially with the use of cryptic and unconventional visuals to narrate certain parts of the story. However, it instead chooses to focus more on Fear being childish or Konoha showcasing her self-bouncing tits, which are not only distracting but they also seal my opinion on what this show wants to be.

Indeed, the visuals are perhaps the one (and only) thing that’s remotely ambitious about . Aesthetically, it’s on the same caliber as Gankutsuou, especially in terms of the approach to colors and textures. It comes as no surprise when the director is Oonuma Shin, who previously did ef – a tale of memories and Baka Test. He appears to be aiming for something different by combining major elements of the former and latter together, but what he gets is a result that can be defined as “artistic pretense”. If there is a befitting word to describe the result, it would be “bizarre”.

As for the characters, female lead Fear is one of the biggest issues of . She’s supposed to be a collection of torture devices that has grisly taken away numerous lives throughout history, and yet she comes off as a typical spoilt brat. Questions on why she’s like that in the first place are left unanswered, and what viewers get are scenes where Fear behaves maniacally for one moment and then breaks out in an immature fit in the next, which makes it cringeworthy. Never mind how Haruaki exactly gets rid of the curses of those around him; trying to understand Fear’s split personality and the irrational actions of the other characters are enough to make one’s head spin. And if it doesn’t get any worse, almost every female character belongs to a certain archetype: Konoha is the childhood friend, Sovereignty is the klutzy maid, Alice is the oujo-sama, and Kirika is the kuudere.

One doesn’t need to think hard to decipher what is: a cheap and run-of-the-mill gift enveloped in artistically designed wrapping paper. Its clunky and disjointed narrative renders each episode difficult to follow, the story is littered with plot holes and most of all, it has one of the most derpy and laugh-out-loud climaxes I’ve ever seen. The show is simply one big mess, and the only thing the audience might take away as consolation are the Shinbo-like visuals. While watching the series, I had to wonder what Oonuma envisioned in his mind when he directed it: was he earnestly trying to make something avant-garde which ended up being misguided, or was he just going for the conventional but superficially beautiful? Nobody knows but him, but this is one production which doesn’t deserve a second season at all, even though it apparently has one in the pipeline.

The Rating: 3

Reviewed by: AC

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