Saturday, March 25, 2006

Lemon Angel Project 12

Poignant emotions. Kadowaki Mai (Miru) gives the best performance I've heard from her. Shihono Ryou (Tomo) proves she can act, in scenes with Miki-sempai and with Miru. And she proves she can sing, with the insert song Watashi wo Sagashite ("Searching for Myself").

Music. After depending on variations of one song (Angel Addict, the OP) for most of the series, all of a sudden we have three new songs: insert songs from Shihono Ryou and Shimizu Kaori (Yui-sempai), as well as some actual rock from Koyasu Takehito (Yui's evil producer). Shihono Ryou's singing sounds young and rather amateurish, but she has some real musicality, and her song actually carries a couple of minutes of the episode. Kaorin is a pro.

Animation. The character design is way off-model, and it seems from the preview that it will be off-model in another direction next week. Not that it really matters, as long as the drawing works. The animation sometimes seems a bit jerky, but it's not bad. And there is at least one scene that is particularly well-conceived. When Miru is trying to convince Tomo to come back to the group, she grabs her awkwardly but intimately by the bare forearm.

Summary. Their world has imploded, and the members of the new LAP are reeling. Saya shouts in anger. Tomo shouts in grief. Miru collapses. Erika mopes until her brother the rock star gets her going. Fuyumi is goaded into action by her old friend Haruka. Lots of angst and acting all round. Gradually the group reforms, with only Tomo still unwilling to rejoin. How can she go against Yui-sempai, whose original LAP has reappeared? In the end, her friends convince her to come back to the joy of singing. And she realizes that's what Yui-sempai would have wanted. Meanwhile, Katagiri their music director meets his former friend Himuro, the producer who perverted Yui's music and rejected Yui's love, and now is involved in reviving the virtual LAP. Finally, as a distraught Miki reaches the cemetery, who does she find already at Yui's grave? Himuro.