Four years in the making and two years delayed, Crunchyroll has finally managed to release their original "anime" series for the world to feast their eyes on. Now, said "feasting" might result in violent projectile vomiting and blindness, but still.
Before we dive into this shitshow of a series, however, let's take a page out of CR's book and begin with a content warning for our more sensitive visitors:
Now, with the content warning out of the way, let's begin with a look at some of the better-looking scenes:
It's hard to argue that the style is objectively horrible, compared to a higher grade indie creation or low budget western cartoon, but that's when the quality level doesn't tank – which it does more frequently than is excusable for a production that isn't a simple hobby creation.
While there's certainly been worse productions in terms of animation and style consistency, many of the shifts in the animation here are borderline off-putting by themselves. Sure, one might argue that your not really supposed to be looking quite so closely at a simple dumb cartoon, but CR does clearly market this towards a fully grown up and "mature" audience.
Speaking of "mature audiences," the storytelling is borderline offensive to an audience with a functioning brain. For one, the writers seems to never have heard of the concept "show don't tell," and they seem to presume that the target audience doesn't possess the ability to put two and two together, without shoving the message directly into their face, over and over again until it's crystal clear to even the most intellectually and socially retarded person to exist on this earth.
One example of this, reminiscent of the classic Mass Effect Andromeda scene with a certain transgendered character – who upon being one singular dialogue wheel option in proceeds to tell the player all about their past and their gender status – we once again have the rather jarring display of "openness" from one such character here as well.
Next we have the issue of voice acting. For one, half of the voice actors doesn't feel like they match the characters; and more than a few of the characters' lines sound like they've been recorded over a Skype call.
Presumably the mismatched voice acting is partially deliberate, as to further drive home the "diverse" and fantastical display of gender dysphoria that the show embraces in full. However, once again, the degree of which the issue is present in the show, only further takes one out of the viewing experience. The quality though, that's just baffling. It's as if no one on the team knew how to, at least, clean up the recorded lines from static and irregular levels.
So yeah, let's put aside the odd horrid-looking texture and character design, and stunningly jarring and asinine writing. Let's instead focus on yet another aspect of the show that can objectively be considered bad: the appalling sound mixing.
There's multiple places where this issue is present, but the most immediate area in which this becomes clear: the music. While the film industry seem to love having the music explode your eardrums, while letting the characters deliver their lines by way of whisper, that's a whole separate issue. The problem in this show seem to stem from an apparent lack of any sort of post-production checks and touching up in regards to the audio.
With oddly "compressed sounding" music, voice lines that's not been properly leveled, and terrible stock sound effects (UPDATE: and images), this show is actually below many small indie productions' level of quality. For an example of this, just take a look at Studio FOW's productions and you'll find better audio design – to the extent it's in a completely different realm than what this series has to offer.
The show also tries very hard to be comedic. However, most of the "comedic" moments end up falling flatter than Rushia's chest, and the bits that are supposed to be serious and emotional (presumably), ends up being so bad that one can't help but laugh at it.
Finally, this show is literally painful to watch, to the point I actually started to feel physically ill by the end. Sure, 'twas probably a coincidence, but I'll choose to chalk it up to being this pest in animated form's fault anyway.
Here's some of the many, many bizarre design choices in the show:
Go watch this random dude critique it for about three hours combined:
This show is complete garbage – an absolute mess which is passable at best, and vomit inducing at worst. Don't watch, even if ironically. Seriously, don't waste your time.
English: High Guardian Spice
Studio: Crunchyroll Studios
Broadcast: October 26, 2021
Stream: No, I refuse to link to this abomination.