This is the one anime airing this season that I don’t know how to put my finger on. I’m not sure what it is, but there are a few things that throw off the series for me. This doesn’t mean that it’s bad because there are quite a few things that I like about it so far. It just so happens for me that the things that I like are flipped on their side or countered in some way. I guess I can describe it by using a quote from The Dark Knight. It’s like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. What happens when those two things meet? I don’t know if there is clear explanation of it all that can be explained in physics for it, but that impact is about how I feel about Suka Suka. It’s that weird and mysterious zone that is beyond explanation and I’m going to try to explain it. Lord help my soul.
The first thing I want to talk about is Suka Suka’s world building. This anime’s world is truly unique and well developed. We know about why the world is like it is, a glimpse of the history of the world, we have seen a few different cities, various different floating islands to add some more uniqueness, and even a little bit of what the surface world is like. We even know some of the political ramifications and military issues presented in this world. Truth be told, all of these are good things. The only complaint I have here is why are we still learning about this world in episode 7? If this is a one cour series, which I bet it is going to be, then that is a massive problem. It means the pacing of everything is slown down just to have the world feel more real. This is a massive detriment to the story because it’s taking time from everything else to make the world feel bigger and bigger and bigger. There are characters to explore and a plot that at least needs to be partially settled by the end of the cour with a cliff hanger for a season two that may or may not happen. At the pace the series is going, it might not even do that. There are five episodes to go, but I’m still worried about how it’s going to end. I hope it’s not too rushed and feels somewhat natural for this series.
Speaking of pacing, the show has had a rather wonky pace to it since ever since episode three or so for me. You know, when Willem fought Ctholly? He only ever did that one time and yet, later on, he was called a master by Ctholly. That did not sit right with me. Maybe that was a throwaway line to make fun of Willem even more than usual, because he does deserve it sometimes, but that set off so many alarms in my head. I admit that I could be overthinking this, but Fighting somebody one time does not equal one person being a master. There are so many things involved with being a master that require a lot of time and energy then one scene. That’s not the only thing though. Why did they have to go through the possible Ctholly dying scenario twice in a short span of time and withhold the whole “I’m back” thing for three episodes? Seriously, all of that deadens the impact of what they were trying to accomplish on an emotional level to me. Combine these things with the world building that keeps on going when it’s not needed, and you have a big mess of a series that doesn’t know where it’s going. It’s like the writer of this series has some great ideas, but doesn’t know how to fully express them in a cohesive manner. To be honest, that is kind of frustrating.
I have more things that I can say about pacing, but I am moving on to characters. For the most part, the characterization is top notch. The little girls act like little girls and have very distinct personalities between them, which is fabulous. In fact, the individual personalities train goes all the way around for the side characters. The teenagers are well characterized as well, though one of them is annoying as heck all the time. I suppose that is her character as well. There is a troll guarding this large group of girls who dressed as a maid and has shown various sides of her character, which makes her a multi layered character. I could go on and on about them. The only boring characters are the leads and even then, there is more layers to them than usual light novel protagonists. Willem, for instance, is very comparable to the main protagonist of any other light novel show. The plot does revolve around him in some ways, but his expertise and fighting experience is needed in training a new group of people to carry on a fight that is no longer then him and that added layer makes him and the show interesting. Ctholly is comparable to a standard light novel heroine as well, but she is presented as an insecure teenager who is in love. Given the age of her character, that personality is very realistic. The one thing I don’t like is the addition of two other girls in the latest episode. Yes, the show gave them a minute to breath and know what their personalities are like, but it feels like too little too late. Even Willem says something along those lines. This is a twelve-episode series, I think. I know that this is an advertisement for the light novel, but could they make it less obvious?
Lastly, there is forced emotion in the series. When I mean forced, I mean the whole “this girl is going to die” cliff hanger thing. That happens twice in the way for two episodes in a row. It felt forced the first time, because we knew that she wasn’t going to die. There were unique parts involving her in the opening that haven’t come to pass in the show yet, so that was obvious. The second time was grasping for straws for emotions that weren’t there. Even if a small amount of lore and mysticism was added by that one part, there had to be other ways to inject that into Ctholly’s story and character. Maybe it could have just been a dream and the threat of death could never have been on the table here. That would have solved that issue for me. There is a great emotional resonance throughout the series, but it is centered around one. Sadness. Tragedy seems like the name of the game of this series because the protagonist has a tragic backstory, the leprechaun girls are treated like weapons instead of real people, and world is in a very bad place at the moment. Known of that is forced because all of that is written so well, but Ctholly’s incidents don’t add anything to this already dark world where people die every day. I wish there were more small moments of happiness spread throughout the series to provide a better balance of what is going on. Grey with more grey isn’t very appealing.
In the end, I think that Suka Suka is a good series but it has a lot of flaws that bring its level of quality down. I see a great potential in this series to be something great, which is why I am being hard on it. The author of this light novel has great ideas that make it better a lot of the light novel anime series that are out there right now. The major flaw of this series is the fact that the great ideas are over used. If the author learned how to reign them back a little bit, then this series would be truly something special. With all that I discussed, Suka Suka also has great production values. So much color and great fight animation when it’s needed. It’s truly a unique piece of anime that I still look forward to every Tuesday, even if it has all these flaws. I honestly never expected to write this much about this series, but apparently, I had a lot more to say about this series then I thought. It could be because I have been writing a ten page term paper for my class and I am in that writing spirit. Either way, I hope I did bore any of you with my seemingly pointless dribble.
What do you guys think? Am I wrong? Am I being too harsh on this series? Please let me know in the comments and I will reply to you whenever I can.