Zakuro Review – Can co-existence really happen between humans and spirits?Posted 3:00 am on Wednesday, July 25th, 2012 by Chris Del Castillo
Don’t be fooled by all the pink and pretty artworks, because you’ll miss out on some comedy and action (romance is already a given).
The story is set in an alternate Japan during the time the country started westernization. Spirit creatures are on the loose and are starting to harass humans. Three military men, Kei Agemaki, Riken Yoshinokazura, and Ganryu Hanakiri, are tasked with bridging the gap between humans and spirits with the help from a half-human, half-spirit girls, Zakuro, Susukihotaru, and twin sisters Bonbori and Hozuki. Together, they form the Ministry of Spirit Affairs.
Spirits are looked down upon, and because of that, the girls aren’t welcomed by the public. But because they’re trying to bridge the gap, the girls must go on. Each girl has different powers, and being half-human, half-spirit will make things hard on them. The team must accept Western culture and help it expand.
I find myself liking Kei Agemaki. He’s got the most interesting past and is afraid of spirits. He puts up a front and flirts with Zakuro, his partner. She later finds out he’s really a coward when he reaches the breaking point.
Zakuro was raised by a loving mother, and at a young age she was introduced to a group of timid girls. They all found her to be their strength. Susukihotaru is a very quiet girl, and Bonbori and Hozuki are twins who think as one.
Check out the movie to see an interesting dynamic between spirits and humans.
It’s a DVD release only, but even at 480i MPEG-2, Zakuro’s art style is something you notice from the start. The character design and intro made me think of Ouran High School at first, since there were visual similarities. The art is crisp and the art style is very light for the humans. The character design for the spirits and half spirits is darker. Overall, Zakuro has beautiful art from start to finish with great design overall, including background.
The DVD contains Japanese voices with English subs, as with all NIS America releases. Zakuro has a focus on having the music be sung by the girls, which is a form of raising their power. Make sure to pay attention, since the voice actors do a great job with Dolby 2 Surround.
Extras include Clean Opening and Endings, intros to other NIS America releases, hardcover artbook featuring character biographies, episode synopsis, artwork from magazines, and more artwork used to promote the anime series.
Silly and amusing, Zakuro is a series worth checking out, but it’s very short. The characters have an interesting relationship. They started out rough and have grown to care for each other in the 12-episode anime series.
Growing up Chris watched a lot of the original Saturday morning cartoons and developed a love for arts and animation. Growing up he tried his hand at animation and eventually script writing, but even more his love of video games, anime and technology grew.