Initially a very successful twelve volume manga, Gravitation has now been adapted into an anime series that’s thirteen episodes. It’s been released as four separate volumes and now available as a single boxset. Directed by Bob Shirohata and distributed by MVM Entertainment in the UK, this anime is primarily about one young man keen to become Japan’s next successful Pop Idol in a band called Bad Luck. However, this simple plan runs into a few problems when the lead character meets another young, sexy, cool and bad tempered man who gets in the way of his plans.
Shuichi, the lead character, is a cute, ambitious young man with dreams of becoming a world renowned Pop Idol with his band: Bad Luck. Yet, in the first episode he finds himself in a bit of a rut, uninspired, struggling with his lyrics and on top of this, he’s got studio deadlines to meet. Bad Luck or good luck, whilst taking a walk with these lyrics he stumbles into a far darker, cooler and sexy young man named Eiri Yuki, who just so happens to be a famous and grumpy novelist. He sees these lyrics and has got plenty of things to say about them, and not all of his feedback is positive or seen as constructive. Despite this unfriendly start, Shuichi becomes a victim of the nasty side of Eiri and the clearly infatuated Shuichi has his emotions ripped apart by Eiri. Whilst all of this is happening, his music career isn’t exactly moving forward either. The storyline isn’t the first of its kind, but it still gets a thumbs up for originality due to its unusual love story.
There is a fairly large cast of characters, all ranging from humours to serious. A lot of the auxiliary characters are very generic and it’s mostly the main characters that have any form of character development and even that is on that slim side. Shuichi is a typical lolli-shota character, young looking, happy-go-lucky and wears his heart on his sleeve; whereas Eiri Yuki is a darker, more distant character, full of maturity and great one-liners. Their relationship could be compared in many ways to that of Hunni-chan and Mori from Ouran High School Host Club; except for the “adult” relationship between Eiri Yuki and Shuichi. The two are opposite ends of personalities yet form a confusing and unbreakable bond. Even by the third volume, Eiri Yuki’s personality is confusing. He never lets on what he is truly thinking and to make him all the more mysterious he has a hidden past that’s not revealed until later episodes, a hidden past that holds some very deep, dark secrets. The rest of the characters are completely forgettable and for a band that’s attempting to be the next big thing, the rest of Bad Luck are dull and characterless.
The quality of the voice acting cast in English isn’t too bad, the key characters have got good, somewhat-unique voices and they are easily understandable. The Japanese cast are much better in this situation, with their voices matching the characters in a better way; however, both tracks are watchable. The subtitles are also well done, the positioning is good and the majority of the “extra” bits of information, such as signs, are translated for the most part as well – something that’s being dropped from a lot of releases at the moment.
The character designs are fairly good. Each character is clear, distinct and almost glows. With plenty of costume changes, close up shots and singing there’s many chances to cost-save, but for the most part they’ve avoided this. The actual quality of the animation is just about average, with a few extended “sweeping” shots where nothing’s actually moving and it’s rare to see more than one character moving at the same time.
In reality it’s all about music, it’s about sexy men, big hair, soap opera worthy relationships, bright colours and sparkles. It’s very obvious whose attention this anime is trying to grab just by its imagery. It’s funny, filled with heart throbbing moments and the occasional adult humour.
Far from being the best anime in the world and although it can be a little slow, it’s certainly a watchable. Gravitation is ideal for an audience that craves gorgeous men in love, music, love, teasing and something to giggle at.