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» Cover

» Company
ADV Films
» Running Time
100 mins
» Genre
Action, Drama, Sci-Fi
» Type
TV Series
» Final Score
7.0
» User Rating
No user votes yet.

Kurau Vol. 1: Between Two Worlds

» written by Wai Yung (Wayne) Chim [Discuss]

Synopsis
Her name is Kurau, and in a world of mercenary agents, she’s the cream of the elite; a master swordswoman, martial artist and thief so skilled that no secret or objective is beyond her grasp. The greatest secret of all, however, is the one Kurau conceals inside herself: as the freak result of a disastrous experiment with a new kind of energy, Kurau’s body has been fused with a binary alien life form called the Rynax.

Every second Kurau lives is lived twice, one alien sharing her consciousness, the other still waiting to be born… and now neither of those lives may last very long! The truth about Kurau has begun to leak out, and a worldwide manhunt has been launched. The ultimate agent is now the ultimate target.

Review
Kurau was a little girl when her mother passed away; ever since, she had been attached to her father. On her birthday, she receives the gift of accompanying her father to work. It was this day, the lives of Kurau and her father will forever change. The discovery of Rynax energy was new and it just so happens that Kurau’s father was the head of the Rynax experiment. At the testing site, a phenomenon occurs and Rynax runs wild. When things were finally stabilized, Kurau underwent a change as Rynax now flows in her. What effects would this incident bring to Kurau’s future? The answer will be slowly revealed to you within this volume.

As the show fast forwards to the future, it is shown that Kurau utilizes her powers to take on jobs as a mercenary. And the first thing that I noticed right off the bat was she was no longer with her beloved father, which is a note worthy to jot down as they were inseparable previously. Anyways, although she lives as a mercenary, Kurau’s… or Rynax’s promise to Kurau’s father to take care of Kurau’s body is absolute. She refuses to take on dangerous jobs, but then things are a bit different when it is shown on the screen.

Kurau, the show is thoughtful. It is an anime series that requires viewers to think and question. One of those questions that were brought up early on in the show was if Kurau was Kurau or was she Rynax. Did the ‘real’ Kurau wandered off somewhere when Rynax entered her body? Or did it have no effect at all? But then if there was no effect, how come Kurau acted strangely right after the phenomenon? If that does not bring up some questions, what about her slow transition back to normal in her father’s standards? I mean, in the beginning he was distant towards her then when he saw the light his treatment towards Kurau was no different than prior to the Rynax incident. Hmm… and if Kurau was Kurau then why is she in search of her other half? Rynax exists in pairs and the sign that she is looking for her pair shows that she is not all Kurau. Am I just making something out of nothing or are there more that meets the eye? I do not know, but I get excited just wondering the various possibilities of outcomes that may exist.

Alright, enough with speculation and let us get down to something I am sure everyone who has looked at our heroine has asked. Is Kurau female or male? Heh, believe me if you at first thought Kurau was a guy, you are not the first, Kurau’s looks has tricked even Ayako Kawasumi (the voice actress of Kurau) and I during our first encounters. Now that we got that out of the way, let us get back on topic. From what I have seen thus far from this series is that there will be a lot of story development. And there seems to be a good split between dialogue and action to aid in the effort. This balance has kept the show somewhat interesting until during the midpoint of the volume, by that time I felt that things were just dragging on.

The drag on did not stop until towards the end of the volume, where the plot was beginning to unravel with certain questions from the earlier parts of the show being answered. At the end of volume one, you are revealed just enough to know what was going on and spark some thoughts as to what may happen in the future. I believe it was a decent wrap up for a volume, but Kurau will need more than the occurrences in volume one if it wants to keep its viewers. It will need to do more than what it has been doing, because the show itself from a standpoint is not attractive. It does not command the attention of a show like say, Gantz or Elfen Lied, where the characters are colorful and dynamic. In Kurau, Kurau herself shows little emotion prior to meeting her sister Christmas. And even after meeting Christmas, her emotions only improved a tad bit. Do not get me wrong, I am not saying an anime should consist of only happy, energetic characters, but it does help in my opinion for the main character to be the grasp of the show. With the introduction of Christmas, I felt I was moving my attention onto her, rather than Kurau. Rather the focus shift was intended for me or not, it does not matter, but for Kurau to work, it must maintain the audiences’ interest through its story development. There must be some sort of solid gripping aspect of the show in the next volume, or else it would be difficult for viewers to keep their attention span towards this anime.

The Breakdown
Kurau has the potential as it has shown with the beginning and the end of volume one. But at the middle was an area where the show stalled and seemed to have gone nowhere. The pacing of this piece was adequate; it gave viewers enough time to soak in what was the subject at hand and what should be expected in the future. Other than that, Kurau to me so far, is an average anime at best. I liked the action, I liked the animation and I liked the story to an extent, but it lacked the interest factor. There are the shows that make you want to continue watching and then there are those that you can do without. And Kurau is a do without show from my experience of volume one. I did not get the urge to want the volume to not end; moreover, I was hoping that it would end faster.

 

» The Pros
Potential. As stated before, potential is the thing Kurau's got. Whether it realizes it and turns this potential into something decent or great, I do not know as I have not seen the whole series. But it is essential that it does realize this potential, because I cannot imagine a viewer sticking through another one of those boring midpoint stalls.

» The Cons
Lack of an interest factor arising from the main character. Yes, Kurau is mysterious, but as I was watching, I was more concerned with whether there was a connection between the viewers. Kurau is distant and there is this barrier around her character that is getting cracked slowly by Christmas, but as much as Christmas can do, it is highly unlikely that she would be able to change Kurau's personality much.

» Animation
8
Kurau looks good visually. The fights and the overall various effects were particularly neat.

» Sound
8
The soundtrack did not stand out. It was more like it was just there in the background, instead of existing to bring life to the sequences.

» Story
7
This anime's main attractive point and its potential point lies in its plot development and its characters' developments. If both potentials are realized, Kurau would be a better show than what I believe it is now.

» Recommend
5.5
There are better anime series to invest in than Kurau if you are on a tight budget. From what I have seen from volume one, it was not as entertaining as I would like it to be. The balance was good, but it was an effort to get through the fluff in the middle.

 

» Other Information
Language: English/Japanese Dialogue with English Subtitles.

Extras:
Production Artwork, Promotional Video, Key Words, Clean Opening Animation, Clean Closing Animation, and Previews.

Package:
The cover looks pretty abstract. It fits in with what Kurau is about.

 

 

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