Karneval: A Quick Take

Useful one and useless one.
“You look…so pretty.”

A young boy carrying the bracelet of a man he was fond of and a thief end up running away from a monster before becoming involved in the actions of a secret organization in the first episode of Karneval. Nai wakes up being trapped in the clutches of a strange woman before Gareki arrives to steal things. The woman transforms into a monster and through Gareki’s use of explosives they are able to escape. As they leave the city, they get involved in the actions of an organization called Circus as a hostage situation takes place on a train. Using Nai’s powerful hearing, Gareki and Hirato save the passengers from doom. However, all wasn’t as it seemed on that train.

As much as any first episode this season, it felt like Karneval was going through the motions already. There’s lots of eye candy for viewers who want to ship any of the men in this cast. The woman who turned into a monster, was supposed to be frightening I guess, but nothing was really shown of what she did to that poor henchman. There was a wasted opportunity to do something good.

As for characters, Nai seemed rather annoying in his uselessness. I spent more time wondering what those purple tufts of hair were than on his relationship with this unseen Karoku character. Gareki seemed rather useful as a character, but when Hirato got involved it seemed pretty obvious what his purpose became. Go ahead and ship these guys away, but shouldn’t you be watching Utapri and Shining Saotome instead? There were also 3 female characters. The aforementioned Mine was a monster, the young girl on the train who was useless and probably never re-appears and Tsukumo, the angry, violent fighter type. Basically, there’s no balance in any of these one-dimensional characters.

As for production type issues, the direction seemed to lack conviction. On a visual level it was pretty ordinary or should I say ordinarily pretty? There was also the train itself and the explosives being used seemed to be out of place. Relatively modern guns on a steam-powered train? The music was also not anything to write home about either. So yes, it felt mailed in even by first episode standards.

Reasons to Continue Watching: Shipping characters and very attractive looking male character designs
Reasons to Drop: Not much potential for story and single archetype characters

My Verdict: It’s really too boring for me to continue. Dropped.

2 thoughts on “Karneval: A Quick Take”

  1. I liked this episode a bit. But then again, I don’t really delve very much into this sort of material. So I’m probably just coasting by on curiosity. To be sure, Nai annoyed me, too. Plus the words “shota-bait” just came to mind. I have a feeling I will regret this curiosity just because of that.

    1. I guess I really couldn’t get over the Shota-bait aspect of the first episode. It just felt like it was catered to the taste of a fandom I’m clearly out of touch with.

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