Posts Tagged ‘mediation’

Kurenai is a plodding, leaden, mostly unemotional 12-episode anime` that debuted in 2008. It’s mostly plot-based, although there are occasional interesting flashes of characterization and humor, on the order of a handful every two episodes or so. The music is wholly uninvolving, neither adding to the emotion, nor detracting from it, but rather it just exists the way a refrigerator or a dryer exists. While Kurenai touches upon some bizarre/unsettling topics, it does so in such a way to make them unemotional as well; the animation style is also to blame herein. The colors are dark, muted, stripped of vibrancy, and the character’s facial expressions follow with a wooden response.

The plot is rather basic and takes a while to unfurl. It’s all about Shinkurou, who is a dispute mediator, who does jobs for Benica. One of these jobs is protecting Murasaki, a seven-year-old girl, who has been removed from the inner sanctum of the Kuhōin household. Murasaki has never been outside the sanctum, so she learns to adjust to the outside world, and the Kuhōinis try to get her back.

There are sexual references and these are occasionally crude. Profanity is uncommon. Gore is rare and unexpected. As for moral viewpoint, it’s the usual self-betterment/positive Japanese cultural perspective. There’s no paganism or Shintoism mentioned (except for one visit to a shrine) but neither is God positively mentioned. The lack of moral perspective seems strangely absent, given what many of the characters go through.

No one episode is better than any other; they all run together like clouds upon a rainy day. If you make it all the way to the end, you find out that aside from the major conflict being resolved, nothing else has changed. It’s frustrating and kind of depressing.

If you’ve watched the Kurenai OVA first, save yourself the trouble of watching the series. The OVA is worlds better in terms of animation, humor, and characterization. And it’s funnier, warmer, and doesn’t restrict itself to a dead color palette.

Kurenai isn’t very good, but it’s not sludge, either. About the only thing it’s good for is occupying your time if you have nothing else to do. I guess the best way to describe how I feel about it is “meh”.

Look for the BSS batch subs (1.82 Gb) at a torrent hole near you.


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