EVIL OR LIVE – Anime Review
Don’t Miss Out on Our Wondrous Winter Giveaway! Ends January 16th!
Synopsis: In this modern society, a new kind of “illness” is striking young boys and girls; Loneliness, disbelief and outrage push this generation to get more or more attached to Internet and technologies. The experts called those symptom “Net Addiction”. To prevent that, a certain Rehabilitation Facility has been set up to “Lead the young man back to the right path”. Enrolled to treat his addiction, Hibiki had no idea that this Rehabilitation Facility is nothing more than a prison. In this place where it’s not permitted to escape, how will Hibiki challenge despair in this hell? (Official Crunchyroll Synopsis)
Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Evil or Live is the perfect reset anime. Periodically, when over indulging in anime or really any form of entertainment, you might find yourself getting annoyed with various anime. You might find yourself declaring “god this is the worst show ever” and denouncing a series others absolutely adore. Evil or Live, my friends, is the palate cleanser. The series is so impressively bad, so outrageously awful, that it’ll really help to put everything else you’re watching in perspective.
Surface level, the series completely falls apart in animation. It starts with off-model characters that look wonky and unappealing. Gradually the series takes its production woes further, failing to add in sound effects to certain sequences. One scene where Hibiki sifts through a drawer, which should have the sounds of shifting paper and clunking objects, instead only has the actor grunting and moaning, which gives an entirely different feel to the sequence. As if that wasn’t enough, things only get worse. By the final episode the series can’t even decide what color the main character’s hair is, or who he is. In one sequence Hibiki’s character model is used for at least three different characters. Hibiki arrives as a gang of students is beating another gang, and several times throughout this sequence people suddenly change into Hibiki. It’s bizarre, hilarious, but altogether bizarre and screams of the old 80s Transformers animation, which itself was wrought with mistakes.
Animation side, the series doesn’t even know how to handle its character work. Characters are thin, with gradually shifting personalities and motivation that by the end makes absolutely zero sense. It doesn’t help that, as we continue, the series can’t really decide what it’s aiming for. We’re offered backstories for various characters that range from laughably over the top and ridiculous, to almost passably decent. The two avenues of character work do not go together and further create this uneven feeling in Evil or Live’s presentation.
Finally the series chooses to go out with a rushed ending that ignores a number of key elements, character’s personalities, and plot points in order to bring this series to an abrupt, yet relieving, end.
I can’t say Evil or Live is good, even ironically, that title goes solely to Fall’s King’s Game. But Evil or Live is a wonderful watch, particularly the last couple episodes, for anyone who’s grown jaded and annoyed with their current watch list. If you’ve become frustrated or nit-picky with any of the bigger anime titles, Evil or Live exists to remind you that you really haven’t seen the worst anime has to offer, not yet.
EVIL OR LIVE is available for streaming via Crunchyroll