Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation
As a viewer who hasn’t played the game this show is based on, I approached Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation not knowing what to expect.
For those unaware, Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation is based on a game that is based on the video game industry itself. Meta enough for you? Good, there’s apparently some manga on the way as well. Expect gratuitous amounts of puns and moe anthropomorphism all over the place – the whole cast borrow their names from the consoles they represent. The universe is called ‘Gamindustri’ – and the 4 main characters (who are goddesses, also referred to as PC’s) get their energy from ‘shares’. You get the idea. Subtlety was thrown out the window before development even began for this franchise. And it was not missed.
So, is it any good?
The first 6 episodes have shown off quick pacing, puns galore, fanservice galore, an avalanche of gaming jokes, the best ED of the season, and a very glossy colour palette. A whole lot of content has been packed into this show, its universe is huge and full of life. Admittedly, this approach will be confronting for some viewers – you will know early on if this show is for you or not. Those who have stuck with it have been rewarded though. It’s highly unpredictable (for those like myself who are unfamiliar with the source material) and unabashedly hyperbolic. There is never a dull moment in Gamindustri, and the 12 episode format could easily be extended if the budget and demand became available. The story has been adapted well and the setting allows more than enough room for the narrative to evolve.
The cast are all equally hilarious and likable. As already mentioned, their names are references to the video game industry and particular consoles. Some of them are obvious, but seek out a wiki if you’re not sure about some of the names. I’m confident 99% of them stand for something video-game related. The humor comes from the characters – and is generally well-written. A Bill Gates character reference was almost lost in translation during the most recent episode, but the idea gets through loud and clear and it’s hilarious that they even tried. This all took place during a spoof story arc that poked fun at Sony’s PS3 online privacy breach last year. I’m not joking.
OST and voice acting are of good quality. Neptune’s voice acting stands out in particular seeing as she commonly finds herself in believable fits of laughter. The whole vibe is of the show is very tongue-in-cheek except for the action scenes – but these are entertaining in their own way. The animation is slick and the artwork is bright and shiny like a fantasy game world should be.
The narrative follows a group of video-game goddesses as they band together to fight piracy through exaggerated metaphor. It’s kind of hard not to like this show.
Choujigen Game Neptune: The Animation is unique. But more importantly, it’s incredibly fun to watch.