Shugo Chara is an anime with a fairly interesting concept, although, I think that it is also one of those animes that you either like or don’t like. The storyline follows Hinamori Amu and her friends as the try to keep an evil company by the name of Easter from finding the Embryo, a magical heart egg that can grant any wish.
Heart eggs represent the dream in every child’s heart, and sometimes the eggs come out from the child and hatch into a Guardian Character. Amu and her friends all have these Guardian Characters, and can use them to character transform in order to stop the contaminated X eggs from causing havoc. Normally, a person only has one or two guardian characters, but Amu is special and has three, and later on, four guardian characters.
Anyway, as previously mentioned, Shugo Chara has an interesting concept, and I enjoyed the storyline quite a bit. This anime falls into the “Magical Girl” category, and while I’ve never watched Sailor Moon, I imagine that it is similar in its presentation as Sailor Moon is. Which brings me to the pacing. While the pacing is generally good throughout the show, there are some episodes that caused me to wonder why they were doing what they were doing in the episode. These episode really weren’t needed as the didn’t really provide anything for the storyline, they were just there to be there. But, while they weren’t really needed, they weren’t necessarily boring. They were also well spaced out, so it wasn’t much of an issue in the long run. I have found that animes with similar presentations do the same thing, so maybe it has something to do with the genre? I’m not sure.
Alright, next is the animation! As expected from an official anime, the animation is smooth and portrays the characters movements well. Their movements match their emotions extremely well, even if you didn’t know exactly what was going on, you would be able to tell how a character felt about it. There’s one character who acts like a jerk most of the time so no one that he cares about gets involved in his problems, and his movements subtly give away the fact that he’s faking being a jerk. Although, if you don’t know that he’s faking it, you probably won’t notice it, just like with a real human being. This really impressed me when I noticed it, as I had not previously noticed until I found out that he was faking it.
The art also holds up to anime standards. Personally, though, I thought the eyes were a little too big at first, but later on I realized that they added to the overall art style of the series.
The characters in the show are pretty solid. Even though they have super powers, they are still very believable characters as they still go to school and face problems that some real people face. Like, being who you are verses who everyone thinks you are, and liking someone but being unsure if they like you back are examples of some of the problems the characters face. And one of the characters was almost kidnapped once, which causes her parents to be super protective and blame each other for the incident ever even happening. This blame game causes them to constantly fight, and causes previously mentioned character to wish with all her heart that she could make them smile and laugh again. Out of all the characters, though, my favorite would have to be Ikuto. He’s really cool, and usually behaves similarly to a stray cat. I’m a really big fan of human characters that either have cat ears (these characters get bonus points if they also have a cat tail), or behave like a cat, and Ikuto is all of these things.
Overall Shugo Chara was an interesting and fun watch. There isn’t an English Dub out, but if you don’t mind watching it subbed then I would definitely recommend it.
Before signing off, I’m going to leave you a picture of Ikuto being a kitty-kitty and a video with my favorite song in the series.
This video is uploaded by iAznReDii
Oh, Shugo Chara! I’ve heard of that one but never knew what it was about XD Thanks for the review 🙂
Those extra episodes with little bearing on the plot are filler episodes 🙂 They’re not necessarily unique to the Magical Girl genre (although Sailor Moon does have a lot of those), but it sometimes happens that an anime is aired at the same time the manga is being serialized. Since the manga is published gradually (like one chapter a month or something), the anime will often catch up to the place where the manga left off, so the extra episodes are added in order to match the pace of the manga. This is also one of the reasons why there are differences in character or story in the anime version of a manga.
I’m a little surprised you haven’t seen Sailor Moon, since it’s so iconic! 🙂 If you’re ever interested in watching it, you can find the series on Hulu — both the original Japanese version and the new dub 🙂
Yeah, filler episode are usually a little iffy on whether I’ll like them or not most of the time. I know that they aren’t just in the “Magical Girl” genre, but they seem to happen more frequently in the series that I have watched that belong to that genre. One series that I think did a good job on filler episodes is Avatar: The Last Airbender, as I usually didn’t detect that it was a filler episode until after I watched it, whereas I usually notice almost immediately.
Sailor Moon is on my “To Watch” list, I just haven’t gotten around to watching it yet. And there are other animes that want to check out, so I don’t know when I’ll get around to watching it.
I agree, A:TLA had great filler episodes. Even though they weren’t necessary to the story, they still revealed something about the characters, which added to the richness of the story.
The thing about Sailor Moon is that it’s long (200 episodes!), so I totally get that it’s hard to find the time to watch it 😉
I read the manga for this series, but I never saw the anime version. (My anime and manga typically vary a lot so I really get to try out a bunch of new things. Eventually, they tend to overlap though like with Sword Art Online and Naruto) I definitely like the premise a lot and the main character was decently likable. It was a pleasant series and the visuals certainly look good in the anime. The manga got a sequel series that I don’t think the anime ever adapted if you want to see where the story goes from there, but I believe that there was also a 4 koma spinoff series. The franchise definitely got pretty large. While not quite as action packed as it could have been, Shugo Chara sounds like it was a fun ride! The cat guy always reminded me of Train Heartnet, not personality wise, but in appearance. Solid review Strawberry!
Shugo Chara has two other anime series that are pretty much just other seasons with the title slightly changed. Because there is a difference in names, I decided to review them separately.
Now that you mention it, I can see a slight resemblance between Train and Ikuto. Ikuto is kinda like how Train was when he was a member of the Chronos Numbers. But, Train became like an adopted cat that still likes doing things his own way (until he gets hungry), and Ikuto is usually like a stray alley cat that doesn’t care much for humans (except for that one nice human that leaves a bowl of milk outside their doorstep).
He is so cute! =^_~=
Yes he is! ^_^