C³ – Cube x Cursed x Curious – The anime where swearing is a casual greeting and a dentist drill is 4ft long
December 22, 2011 Leave a comment
So C³ – Cube x Cursed x Curious has finally finished, and quite frankly it was terrible. In my first impression post I talked about the plot being all over the place, the characters not making sense, and the show itself simply boring me. I decided to finish watching this series in the hope that it improved, unfortunately the opposite happened and if anything it actually got worse. But let us start again in case anyone didn’t read that.
C³ – Cube x Cursed x Curious is a curious anime that is based on a light novel series written by Hazuki Minase and illustrated by Sasorigatame. The story follows Haruaki Yachi, a fairly ordinary high school boy, who apparently is pretty resistant to curses, whatever that really means. One day he gets a big black box from his dad, and during the night that big box apparently turns into a small, blue haired girl who goes by the name ‘Fear’.
Straight away Haruaki and Fear are attacked by a longhaired psychopath wearing a pink ball gown and with massive arm length gauntlets; she also seems to use the word ‘bitch’ as a casual greeting. Sadly this is the first episode and it is also where the entire series begins to fall apart at the seams. We quickly find out that Fear is a ‘cursed tool’, and so his is childhood friend Konoha who for some reason can transform into a katana.
This is the plot and the first major issue I have with this series, well more accurately this is part of the plot, but it’s the only bit that makes any real sense. Very quickly we are told things such as the existence of ‘cursed tools’, not entirely sure what they are, but they appear to be objects that have been used to kill or destroy and several of them appear to have acquired physical bodies. They are sort of like sacred weapons or artefacts and there appears to be some sort of war taking place to either control or destroy them. Basically I have no clue what’s going on.
We quickly find out that this naked girl ‘Fear’ is one of these cursed tools, she seems to use some sort of rubrics cube device to pull weapons out of thin air, and all of them have ominous sounding names of course. Apparently she is an infamous cursed tool that has been exposed to centuries of hatred, anger and death, and she has come to Haruaki’s house in the hope of lifting her ‘curse’.
The action is interesting, but it is covering up a far more fundamental problem with the series, I actually had no idea what was going on. What are these cursed tools? Why is Konoha one, yet apparently still Haruaki’s childhood friend? Why on earth do these things surround Haruaki? And more important why should I care?
The plot is all over the place, and from what I saw of the series there isn’t actually any real story. We simply get a series of action scenes with some strange bits at school and different villains seemingly appearing out of the woodwork to attack Fear for entirely unknown reasons, disappearing or being killed and then everyone moving on with their lives. This shows a fundamental flaw with the series as a whole, it has no direction, as a viewer I simply did not know what was going on or whether any of it would actually amount to anything important.
The idea of Fear lifting her ‘curse’ seems to be the main element of the ‘plot’, to do this she apparently has to kill or cure other peoples/tools curses to obtain disks. I only know all this from putting various plot points together, because at no point are the viewers told anything. I do not expect to have my hand held and be shown how the series will end, but what I do expect is to be given enough information to know what on earth is going on. It is almost like a collection of sketches in the way the show is put together. Not only episodes, but also even whole scenes don’t seem to have anything to do with the series overall and feel a little alienated.
Now we get onto the characters, and unfortunately it is as bad here as it is with the plot. I honestly did not care about any of the characters in this series, except perhaps for Kuroe, but she was immensely entertaining to watch. But it wasn’t just this; I simply had no idea why the characters were there, what their purpose was and if I cared.
Haruaki is a strange male lead, someone who happily takes everything in his stride. He seems completely used to seeing crazy girls wielding axes, oversized dentist drills and big gauntlets of doom without any explanation as to why. Possibly he grew up with parents who exposed him to such things on a daily basis, we will never know. Fear is apparently the main female lead, who seems to posses the rubrics cube of death, and a 4th dentist drill. Her role seems to be that of being small, cute, and occasionally psychopathic, although apparently she is wrestling with her conscience and trying to lift a curse placed upon her. Konoha, although apparently his childhood friend also appears to be some sort of cursed sword, and there is never any attempt to explain how these two things manage to fit. She does take up the role of glasses wearing, big-breasted childhood friend, and does at least appear to have her own, quite interesting demon to deal with.
And the last ‘main’ character is Kirika Ueno, the student council president and a character that makes about as much sense as anything else in this series. Her role appears to be that of fanservice maker, since she wears a cursed tool that seems to double up as a bondage suit, complete with black leather straps, garter belt and corset. Apparently it means she cannot die from physical attacks, but also she will die if she ever takes it off. Again another little something added into the series that is not explained and makes almost no sense at all.
The bad guys are quite frankly a joke and all seem to be the other side of crazy. They all seem to swear, laugh and generally glorify in the spilling of blood, killing of innocents, and quite probably drinking tea. They also appear without any warning or explanation, run around grinning, cackling and killing, and when they finally get beaten by Fear and the gang wonder what went wrong with their lives.
The characters make as much sense as the story and are about as interesting as well. There are cute scenes and random high school scenes that seem to be pushed in between two killing scenes with a crow bar so that they fit. It is slightly disconcerting, or even off-putting having a cute little scene in a high school classroom where everyone is having lunch only to be followed by some slightly crazy guy or woman with knives sticking out of them walk appear.
The show does have some good points however, so it isn’t all doom and gloom. Konoha is pretty cute and she is also quite sexy with very large breasts, and Fear, when she is happily eating is very cute, and Kuroe is probably the cutest little thing outside of Mashiro-Iro Symphony this season. I also do quite like the ambiguity around the story. We have a group of people who are attempting to destroy these cursed tools that they call ‘waas’, they come across as quite evil in this respect. Howevet the cursed tools, and especially Fear, along with Konoha don’t seem to be particularly safe either. Fear has already gone on several rampages, cutting the arm off of the crazy swearing woman, and Konoha also seems to have her own demons. It is this ambiguity on who is good and who is evil that I do quite like, rather than black and white, its shades of gray.
And then we get onto the animation, which quite frankly is amazing. It really is a wonderful mix of different styles with a nice colour set, featuring blues, pinks, purples, and reds. The animation is quite standard in places, with the usual moe elements, but it can shift into black and white, parts that look almost like a puppet show, deliberately rough edges and overall a very stylised look. Some of the styles used reminded me of the animated Shakespeare series that was shown in 1992 (series 1) and 1994 (series 2), which featured a variety of different animation styles. It was wonderful to look at and there were places that were quite simply staggeringly detailed.
There is also plenty of fanservice; we have Fear, who unfortunately seems to be the shows token ‘loli’ character (until Kuroe turns up) walking around in only a shirt, with her panties clearly visible for example. There are of course many ‘bouncing breast’ moments and gags surround Konoha’s massive breasts. And of course we have Kirika in her do-it-yourself bondage outfit. The school uniforms are also very cute, and wouldn’t be out of place in a cutesy high school harem anime. In fact that strikes me as quite odd, since between the opening and the uniforms you would be forgiven for thinking that this is a simple high school romance.
While these points are all nice and good, my overall impression of this show has been one of boredom, even the cuteness of Fear when she is eating and watching TV cant save me. The show is all over the place, the plot is nonexistent, and I honestly have no clue what’s going on. I think one of the reasons for this is because C³ – Cube x Cursed x Curious has been adapted from a light novel series. Light Novel series are ridiculously popular in Japan, and although I may not have read it I suspect that there is far more story in the Light novels than we saw in the anime. If this is the case then C³ – Cube x Cursed x Curious is an absolutely terrible adaption with almost no redeem qualities, save for the animation. If I want cute girls there are plenty of other series out there such as Mashiro-Iro Symphony; if I want fanserive, there are many better shows such as Majikoi. Quite simply everything in C³ – Cube x Cursed x Curious has been done significantly better in other shows already. My main issues are I don’t care about the characters, have no idea what’s going on, and worse still, don’t see why I should care. I’m not even disappointed in this show; my overall impression is one of being entirely unimpressed. In fact the only thing that really disappoints or annoys me is that such a terrible show has such amazing bits of animation, something that it simply does not deserve. I’m sure the cute artwork and characters like Fear will draw people in, but there are better shows for this kind of stuff. Avoid it like the Plague, actually go and find the plague because its going to be a damn sight more interesting than watch this series.