The Unfortunate Circumstances of Studio Shaft’s Hidden Gem

On the 11th of January 2014 to May 24th, you may know that one of the most successful rom com animes aired, titled ‘Nisekoi’. You may also know that Nisekoi is immensely popular, and is stacked with various qualities which include an already successful manga source material, popular voice actors on the anime, and incredible visuals that even people who dislike the show cannot argue about.

But what you definitely don’t know, is that during the time of Nisekoi’s airing, studio Shaft took on another project. On the 13th of April of the same year, Mekakucity Actors had been broadcast for 12 episodes, and it was… something. The reviews on the show are mixed, and it’s very easy to see why. And you’ll find that those reasons are because the show ended up being too oriented towards people who already knew Kagerou Daze, and also because the art directing is experimental at best and questionable at worst. Mekakucity is an adaptation of a story that was told by music artist じん, who told that story through his music. The story is undoubtedly convoluted and hella confusing, but you have my word that it is definitely interesting and fun once you get invested into it. 

The problem with Mekakucity Actors is that it was never given a full chance. The anime released as a small fan appeal project, with not even enough effort to try and appeal to non-kagerou daze fans. And what’s most disappointing about that is the fact that, at least for my money, Mekakucity Actors manages to still be pretty damn entertaining. There’s  quite an amount of storytelling attempts that are made throughout the 12 episode course, and it tries and implements Kagerou Daze’s music element. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but to me, simply getting to watch studio Shaft’s signature trippy animation in a new light was damn fun.

If you’re still not convinced that this show really lacks the budget that it could have had, then watch this, and if you still believe the show’s budget did it justice, then I have nothing to say.

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