Anime Review: Red Garden

Red Garden

# of Episodes:
22 + 1 OAV

Shoujo, Supernatural, Horror, Mystery

Yes, 4 trades.
Not currently licensed in US
Japanese and Chinese language only.
Adapted from TV series.

Basic Premise:
4 girls, strangers except for their connection with a mutual friend, have been sucked into a world of supernatural intrigue. There is only one catch — they are all dead. They’ve resurrected to battle. They have no choice but to fight and kill or they will die again… this time for good. Their lives are thrown into turmoil as they try to balance being formerly dead and teenagers.

Engaging. It really makes you care for the characters and their lives. Each character is dynamic and you’re able to relate to them. Interesting premise.

Now for the bad news. Red Garden commits my all time biggest pet peeve where anime is concerned — they don’t explain anything. There is an understanding that all anime viewers have come to with regards to the medium — you know you have to wait for the huge explanation that will shed light on everything. It’s just something you accept. I waited 22 episodes for a more in depth explanation of why the girls had to die, why there was a curse, and who exactly were the Animus and Dolore? None of it was explained.

Instead we get to see the main characters — Claire, Rachel, Rose, and Kate — go through the same un-life crisis over and over, episode after episode. While that helps to flesh out the characters and make the viewer care more for them, it does nothing for the plot. Some of the high school girl angst could have been cut so focus could go back to the real issue — a war being fought under the city’s nose.

And I’m still not sure why the characters felt the need to break out into song at odd intervals in the earlier episodes. The songs were nice and I wouldn’t mind hearing them again. It was just a little strange.

The OAV picks up where the series leaves off. I can’t say too much about it without giving away the ending of the series, but it was an interesting installment.

I’m glad I rented this little gem. If I had bought it based on the previews, I would have been very, very angry. As it is, I’m just sorry I wasted all that time.

Rental — something to pass the time if you want a little drama in your life and don’t care about plot.

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