Karneval and Pretty Boys. And Did I Mention Pretty Boys?

So I just watched this anime called Karneval. It wasn’t really out of the ordinary or anything; it had an interesting storyline, but nothing spectacularly new. The story revolves mainly around two boys, Gareki (age 15) and Nai (age unknown). Gareki is an orphan tsundere who got in with a bad crowd so he could raise money to support his adoptive family. While stealing from a house, he comes across Nai, a young boy searching for someone named Karoku, with no memories of Karoku beyond a blood trail leading to the ocean. Gareki rescues Nai from…well it sure looked like rape but considering what you find out later he was probably going to get eaten. One thing leads to another, and they end up with the premier government monster-exterminators, called Circus, who do their job and then as an apology to civilians put on a circus performance. Along the way we learn more about Gareki, Nai, and Circus.

So why did I really like it, then, and why do I want to read the manga and see another season if they make one?

THE ART.

THE ART IS BEAUTIFUL.

LOOK. LOOK AT THIS.

AND THIS.

The only thing I have a problem with is how on the manga covers the poor boys’ clothing is all seductively shredded and they’re all wounded. I think it’s stupid to exploit them simply for titillation like that. They’re already pretty boys and we appreciate that, now let us focus on their characters! >:-( Fortunately, it’s only the first three covers that look like that. The art gets a little more stylized and clean cut (which in a way I’m sad about because the soft roughness of those first covers was actually nice) later, and the clothing loses its rips and shreds. Glory hallelujah!

I think this is the first josei series I’ve (knowingly) seen, and it’s pretty interesting. There’s a certain amount of character development, but there’s only so much that can be covered in thirteen episodes.You can get a general grasp of what’s going on, but the climax and denouement of the 13 episodes was sudden and unexpected. Maybe that’s because it’s actually only part of the story! SECOND SEASON PLEASE!!!!

In some ways it also had a monster of the week feel, but the plot kept moving: just not enough. But the art! ALL THE PRETTY MEN!! BISHIE SPARKLES AND BUBBLES ABOUND. And the CUTENESS OVERLOAD!!! Nai is just freakin’ adorable, and Yogi is adorable and cute and cuddly as well as pretty. I feel like the characters *could* be deep if they had more time to develop. That’s why I’m eventually going to have a go at the manga.

Thus, not necessarily a bunch of substance, but a nice ooey-gooey cute-filled fairly harmless darkish anime about the power and importance of friendship. With pretty men. Can’t forget that.

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