OP: 「時世界 ～トキセカイ～」 (Toki Sekai) by (Itou Kanae, Aizawa Mai, Mikami Shiori)
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「機械人形」 (Kitai Ningyo)
If there’s a single word I would use to describe Shining Hearts, it would be “pretty”. Mind-bogglingly, awe-inducingly pretty. It’s like Production I.G. felt like they had something to prove – there’s almost no doubt that Shining Hearts is one of the most visually-pleasing shows this season has to offer.
But what about everything else? After four episodes in, what does this RPG-adaptation have to offer the masses? Quite a bit more than what one would expect at first glance, that’s for sure. I have to admit though, Shining Hearts probably won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – it does subvert expectations, but it does it in a way that can leave people… well, wanting. There’s quite a lot I want to talk about though, so let’s break this down piece by piece.
Short blurb under each section, with a more detailed explanation under spoiler tags.
First off, the premise:
tl;dr: decent plot hindered by slow pacing. Shining Hearts is still enjoyable though, and there’s still room for the story to pick up, so it’s not the end of the world.
tl;dr: visually-pleasing characters with enough personality to set them apart from each other and make the show engaging.
tl;dr: a luxury, gourmet treat for the eyes. By far Shining Hearts’ greatest asset.
tl;dr: woo hoo! A free, automatic game experience that will take care of the pesky back-tracking and endless dialogue cutscenes? Sign me up.
And finally, general impression:
Despite the misgivings I have about the pacing and the utterly RPG-like atmosphere, let it be known that I like this show. The relaxing mood is refreshing from some of the more deep, philosophical shows the season has to offer and it’s an easy watch. I just kick back and watch some nicely-designed characters run about doing their RPG business and I’m satisfied. Shining Hearts isn’t a show that should be watched with a serious mindset and the show knows where its strengths lie – it’s got confidence in itself, if you will, and hey… if a show is confident, then so am I. I might not know where this ship is headed and how it will reach a proper conclusion in twelve episodes, but I’m not as worried about it as I should be.
tl;dr: is Shining Bread going to be everybody’s cup of tea? Probably not. But it’s certainly mine and I plan to get the most out of this tea time.
ED: 「ふわっふわのまほう」 (Fuwa Fuwa no Mahou) by (Itou Kanae, Aizawa Mai, Mikami Shiori)
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