…It does, in a way. At first glance, Venus Project: Climax sounds like some kind of hentai, but it’s not…and with only 6 episodes, it doesn’t have much time to waste.
The Anime Watching Club Boss Battle is to blame for this post. See, as of the time I write this, it’s dealt me idol, dungeon, war and monster girl anime – most of the anime I have access to in those categories, I’ve either started, due to the anime club or otherwise (this doesn’t allow for anime you’ve started before the challenge), or is stuff I won’t touch with a ten-foot pole! So I tried to pick the shortest anime possible that work for the requirements and my own needs, and ended up with this idol anime from the summer of 2015: Venus Project: Climax.
Right from the outset, you can tell what audience this anime is going for: idol fans and those with a preference for girls. There’s a trio which didn’t get fully introduced but show up in the final preview, meaning this smacked of some kind of promotion. In fact, that reading between the lines is right: this is based on a PS Vita game where said trio are the stars (and rumour has it, this anime was sawn in half because it is actually half a live-action idol show and half an idol anime, and anime companies are not obligated to license the live-action half, so we only get the animated “climax” of the entire thing and not the live-action part, which presumably ties up the loose ends). That said, the anime was kinda fun before it started its prerequisite beach episode, because the idols fight while they perform: this mostly means with giant robots, with the exception of one character who has a more magical-girl inspired fighting avatar, so if I were feeling so mischievious, I might try to offhandedly recommend this to a mech fan…and watch them melt down as they proceed to watch the straightest idol anime ever.
I wouldn’t be wrong though, so I could be justified in recommending it.
(I mean “straight” as in tropes though – much like how magical girl anime and other anime where mostly girls appear, this can be interpreted as “gay s***”, especially because the main male influence – ostensibly a guy who’s trained many Formula Venus idols before, although we never meet any of his proteges aside from Miu and Eriko – is an unnamed coach who reminds me of Kotaro from Zombieland Saga.) I’ve also never seen a more literal use of “throw in the towel” as well…the manager (not the coach) throws an actual towel into the ring to forfeit.
The animation isn’t so fantastic – it melts in places unintentionally, despite being half the length of a standard cour, plus the CGI on transportation stands out, especially in one scene focussing on Eriko and Aki the manager in a train, heading to the beach. The robot fights are done in traditional animation though.
The shortened length of the anime also means a rushed development on the characters front. There’s one character defined entirely by boob jokes – her surname is “Oomori”, meaning “a large helping” if you tacked a hiragana ri on to the end of it…and that’s exactly what people get. Of her boobs.
Most of the characters get that kind of treatment – even our protagonist Eriko, whose name is a pun on her ability to eat a lot (note the audial similarities between “Hara Eriko” and hara peko, meaning “to be hungry”), and rival Ruka, whose backstory combines a country that is a mishmash between Russia and Pakistan (?) and it’s (unfortunately?) called “Pooristan”.
Some level of effort seems to have gone into the outfits, because that’s one big draw for idol shows, but Ruka’s outfit, with what is essentially purple and black underwear…not so. This trend unfortunately continues with the nitty-gritty – there are apparently specialties in songs (because the song is randomly selected for the rookie rounds), but there’s no analysis on what makes an idol a better singer for one song or another, while a character (no spoilers!) dies just in time for the finale, but because they’ve been on the sidelines for a lot of the time, you don’t have enough sympathy to care.
Clearly, you just have to be here for the robot fights or the idols and turn your brain off to the smaller details…
Venus Project: Climax could’ve been a lot better than it was, but it was hindered by a lack of details and overall lacklustre quality across the board.
So, did I intrigue anyone enough to care about this anime? Or would you rather stay well away from it?