Anonymous Noise – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 11th, 2017 – ???
Synopsis: Nino sings for one reason only: to be found. Blessed with a beautiful voice, she wishes to reunite with two childhood friends: Momo and Yuzu. Things start to change as she enters her first year of high school. (Official Amazon Synopsis.)
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: The character designs in Anonymous Noise have an almost Clamp-like look to them. Everyone is on the lanky side, for the most part, and faces are drawn tiny with the eyes taking up a huge amount of surface area… until, in the case of Nino, when she starts singing and her mouth ends up becoming 80% of her face. Every time she opens her mouth to sing, it becomes a gaping maw that looks scary and off putting.
Tom: Reactions to Anonymous Noise’s art are bound to be divisive. The eyes are huge, far larger than other anime, placed upon what seem like exceedingly tiny faces, giving it this very stylized feel. Taking to this art style is your first challenge, followed up by some absolutely disappointing usage of CGI for a number of band sets with longer and mid shots that just do not blend or move well at all. It’s seriously stilted and looks terribly clunky.
Linny: Anonymous Noise plays its premise extremely over the top. Everyone is super emotional, over reacting to every small thing. Nino bursts into song like it’s the only thing she knows how to do, even in the middle of a conversation. And when she gets a chance to properly sing and perform on the main stage, she looks like she is having a complete and total mental breakdown. The problem with all of that is if you aren’t immediately sucked in by the story, everyone and everything in the episode comes off comically try hard and over the top.
Tom: I actually think there’s a decent story to be had under here about a girl who’s had to say sudden goodbyes to two close childhood friends and her eventually reuniting with them. But the way the show goes about executing this tale feels entirely off base. There’s so much melodrama, so many questionable decisions and double down on its more hammy aspects that Anonymous Noise unfortunately almost comes off as amusing in a train wreck kind of way.
Linny: The first episode can also be a little confusing if you haven’t looked up the series summary beforehand. The episode doesn’t make it immediately clear that she’s actually seeking out two different male friends of hers from the past and while it does eventually make that crystal clear, that’s only after you’ve spent a good 2/3rds of the episode in a wee bit of confusion.
Tom: Some of the biggest issues are the way Noise portrays its characters. Nino seems positively insane at times with how often she bursts out into singing her lalala song. It comes at the most inopportune times, making it difficult to keep a straight face as, what should be, emotional stuff happens on screen. This isn’t helped by her later burst out singing during an impromptu concert performance that again speaks more to insanity than genius or killer musical ability. It’s all compounded by additional characters becoming angsty and brooding for no reason, or at least no discernible reason. This is probably due, again, to poor execution and direction as scenes don’t sub textually convey or hint at what might be bothering some of these characters, making their actions feel abrupt, sudden and difficult to relate to.
Linny: I cannot stop emphasizing how over the top and teen angsty this show feels. The show desperately wants to sell its romance and how Nino has a very strong bond/feelings for the boys from her past. In fact, so strong is her longing for Momo that even though she’s on stage screaming like a banshee amongst what one can safely assume would be a lot of noise from the musicians accompanying her on their instruments and the crowds screaming, Nino is able to clearly hear and identify Momo’s voice even though he is all the way outside the auditorium she is performing in and quietly speaking on the phone with his mother. Now, if you have gotten invested in the episode, this would have been a very poignant moment, affirming to you, the viewer that Nino has an almost supernatural connection with Momo. However, if you haven’t gotten invested, it just adds to your sense of disbelief and disengagement.
Tom: Anonymous Noise is a good idea done poorly. If you could get past the divisive art style, the poor CGI, and still relate to the characters there’s what seems like a decent romance beneath all this. But I imagine the above is a deal breaker for most people as it is for me.
Linny: Anonymous Noise SCREAMS teen angst thanks to its over dramatic and overemotional teenage cast. What seals the deal is watching the after credits and all the ‘cool’ poses everyone portrayed in. I’ll try to be fair and mention that maybe I am just too old for this show and maybe it might connect better with a teenager who is also in the throes of teenage angst/passion but for anyone over 25, the bad CGI and the overdramatic characters are going to prove mighty challenging to get into.
Anonymous Noise is available for streaming via Amazon’s Anime Strike Channel.