Anime Club: This Ugly Yet Beautiful World

Hello everyone! For this week’s anime club, we have This Ugly Yet Beautiful World.

THIS UGLY YET BEAUTIFUL WORLD

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CREATOR: Saeki Soji

GENRE: Comedy-drama, Science fiction, Romance

NO. OF EPISODES: 12

YEAR: 2004

COUNTRY: Japan

Takeru and Ryou are high school students who work doing deliveries for the former’s uncle. One night, the two go to investigate a mysterious light in the woods only to find a young girl emerging from the light. Takeru and Ryou are attacked by an alien, which is defeated when Takeru transforms into a powerful and strange-looking beast himself. The girl, whom the boys name “Hikari” (light), is taken in by Takeru when she confesses to having no memory of who she is.

They are later joined by Jennifer Portman, an American scientist with an interest in the boys and Hikari; Ioneos, a shape-shifting robot loyal to Hikari; Kuon, a little floating alien; and Akari, Hikari’s “sister”, who also appeared just as Hikari did. The series follows the daily lives of its characters as they learn about the human condition, Hikari and Akari’s alien origins, and face the incoming monsters and catastrophes.

thisuglyworld1

Just like many anime nowadays, Kono Sekai has beautiful girls with glossy skin and big, shiny eyes. However, the character designers took care in their characters, making it so that the normal Earth girls in the story had more realistic hair and seemed less attractive than Hikari and Akari, who both had unusual and bright hair colors. I also noticed that apart from Jennifer Portman with her tall height and blond hair, none of the characters seemed foreign.

One thing that I found unnecessary was the amount of nudity that was allowed in the scenes. All of them were somewhat related to the event or further defined the characters and what others thought about them, but I felt that they could have used a bit of censorship.

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On the surface, This Ugly Yet Beautiful World, can easily appear to be just a sci-fi inspired high school comedy with a slightly cheeky rom-com flavour. But dig a little deeper and there are some thoughtful moments – what it means to protect someone, what a family really is and what it takes to be a part of this world. However these moments are few and far between, which is a real shame, because coming from the same studio who made Neon Genesis Evangelion, expectations are high.

When you compare This Ugly Yet Beautiful World to Evangelion, it can only suffer in comparison, there are few animes that can match that standard. But given a chance, I’m sure this series will surprise quite a few Evangelion fans further into the series.

PROS:

  •  Well designed characters.
  • Art style.
  • Overall presentation.

CONS:

  •  Lack of censorship.
  • Shame coming off of Evangelion.
  • Genuine moments few and far between.

SCORE: 6.0 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

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