Vatican Miracle Examiner – Mid Season Anime Review
Synopsis: Two priests charged with traveling the world to validate “miracles” find themselves tangled in events filled with deceit. As members of the Assembly of Saints, Robert Nicholas and Kou Hiraga seek the truth behind the supposed works of God. (Official Anime Strike Synopsis)
Mid Season (6 Episodes) Review (Warning: Minor Spoilers to Follow):
Linny: Every once in a while, a show comes along that makes you sit up and go ‘wtf am I watching?’ Vatican Miracle Examiner seems to be that show for this season, maybe even for this entire year with its extremely outlandish plot lines that will remind you of cheesy and campy B-grade horror movies, for better or worse. How outlandish is it you ask? HITLER’S FROZEN SPERM is a plot element, need I say more?
Tom: Vatican Miracle Examiner opens with a balls to the wall pace and never lets up. It moves through its increasingly bizarre tale with a blindingly ferocious pace that leaves little time for anything but plot. This means there’s no suspense, no building or rising of tension. None of that. As Linny said the story gets increasingly ridiculous that it can’t really be taken seriously as a mystery tale. At a point it really becomes something to watch more so ironically than for what it truly offers.
Linny: The story is executed with such a hectic pace that even though the first story gets 4 entire episodes to tell its tale, the pace never lets up once during that entire time. Too many things happen one after the other, often with the most abrupt and random cuts that make no sense at all. Not only that, when you do get reveals, they often turn out to be a cliche, stigma or controversy normally associated with that particular sect of religion. Think of one of the biggest controversies associated with the Catholic religion and its priests…that is a plot element in this show. And it’s not just the Catholic faith. In the latest arc, our protagonist are off to examine a miracle in a place that looks to be based off Amazonian and African sensibilities and lo and behold, tribal religion-like chanting and imagery ensues. This isn’t a criticism of the show’s employment of religious imagery but rather the fact that some viewers might find the predictability of tired tropes leaving them wanting.
Tom: Very little time is given for characterization. This means by episode six you probably won’t feel any closer to either of our two leads than when you first met them. I for one have zero greater understanding of either character, other than that they’re good at their jobs. And with our leads lacking in deeper characterization, you can’t expect the side characters to exist for any other reason than to extol plot information or act as a suspect while our heroes work to hunt down the truth.
Linny: What the show does devote a fair amount of effort to is homoerotic undertones between its two leads. Some of the scenes are downright blatant about it with super suggestive dialogues, expressions and camera angles so Yaoi/BL lovers and fujoshis rejoice. However, when it comes to actual story, Vatican Miracle Examiner disappoints in many ways. Its plot rarely ever makes any sense, and seems more interested in trying to be sensational then failing to close on any sort of a convincing note. It’s clear that the show wants to keep the lines between science and faith blurred ever so often but it does a sloppy job of doing so with stories that seem too ridiculous to leave any serious impact on the viewer.
Tom: Overall Vatican Miracle Examiner is a mess. It moves too fast to allow its characters time to evolve and grow on the audience. Its story gets too outlandish too fast for the audience to find any of it truly engaging and worthwhile. It’s best watched ironically or not a all.
Linny: The only way I can imagine anyone truly enjoying Vatican Miracle Examiner is if they pick it up wanting something campy with outrageous plot lines that will have you laughing in an ironic and unintentional manner. Maybe you might even pick it up to enjoy the subtle and not so subtle homoerotic exchanges between two men of the cloth. But do NOT pick this up expecting a serious, well executed supernatural mystery or thriller.