Title: Ray the Animation aka Ray Project aka Ray
Company: Akita Shoten/Oriental Light and Magic
Format: 13 episodes
Dates: 6 Apr 2006 – 29 Jun 2006
Synopsis: Kasugano Ray grew up in an orphanage run by a crime syndicate for the purpose of black market organ sales. One day, Ray is freed from the orphanage by the director of a hospital, but not before the syndicate removes and sells her eyes. After Ray is given a new pair of eyes by Black Jack, the world famous surgeon, Ray agrees to work as a doctor, performing surgeries that no one else can with her new X-ray vision eyes. The memories of the orphanage haunt Ray, so she searches for her fellow orphans, especially Koichi, a boy who said he loved her.
Opening: The only facet of Ray the Animation that is above average.
Everything else: Average.
If there is one word that describes Ray the Animation that word is “average.” This isn’t to say that Ray the Animation is a bad show (it isn’t), but there are few moments that stand out enough to even be worth mentioning. Across the board, everything from the characters, to the plot, to the animation does what an anime needs to do to be passable, but does little that an anime must do to be memorable or great. The few shining moments are balanced out by the mediocre to poor beginning, making the finished product only passable.
The greater part of the plot is spent in predictable “surgery of the week” episodes, which give us little glimmers of the character’s inner selves in addition to future plot points. If that isn’t the spitting image of a garden-variety anime, I don’t know what is. Once the plot picks up, there are a few good plot twists, but they are not so good that I can completely excuse the filler that eats away at the episodes like Kobayashi Takeru eats hot dogs. Overall, this is what I expect from an average anime.
Strong characters can save an unexceptional plot, but most of the characters fail to qualify as strong. We are given plenty of information about Ray and those who are related to her past, but those who surround her everyday life feel like convenient plot devices, or at worst pure fan service (Kung Fu nurses, anyone?). Some developed characters plus some pointless characters make Ray the Animation average in the character department, if anything a little below average.
Only the intro stands out as being mentionable, combining interesting graphics with a decent J-Rock piece, “zero-G”. It’s kind of sad when the only eye-catching part of a show is the first minute and a half. Such is the way of a title that is only fit to be damned with faint praise. If anime were the bread aisle at the supermarket, Ray the Animation would be white bread, palatable, but uninspiring and containing only base nutrition.
The Rating: 5
Reviewed by: Kuma