Back in the 80s and 90s, there was a heated console war between Sega and Nintendo with Sony and eventually Microsoft joining in the fray. In 2009, Compile Heart decided a game called Hyperdimension Neptunia (超次元ゲームネプチューヌ) that personified each console (Sega Neptune, Nintendo Wii, Playstation 3 and the Xbox 360) as cute girls. When they announced an Anime from the two games, I decided to take a look.
This show is a loose adaptation focusing on the two main plots of Mk2 and Victory, which takes place in the world of the Gameindustri. The goddesses compete for shares, which is a source for their powers. In the beginning, the goddesses sign a friendship treaty to signal peace. Eventually, trouble lurks ahead as two different antagonists have their own motivations to take over the world. With this, the goddesses and the younger sisters tries to defeat of these enemies that want them gone.
While the story is very light-hearted with a good amount of fanservice and some drama mixed in, the overall appeal of this show and the game was always the characters and their personalities. While each goddess’s personalities are based on various archetypes (such as the tsundere and the older sister) from Anime, they manage to be very enjoyable. For instance, the main character, Neptune is depicted as a lazy girl who wants to play video games all day, but when transformed, she has a more mature personality. As seen here, each goddess’s personalities and hobbies resemble the consoles they represent. While I enjoyed all of them, my favorite goddess out of the 8 has to be Noire! Along with the goddesses, video game companies are also personified as seen with IF and Compa (personification of Idea Factory and Compile Heart respectively). Just like the goddesses, they also have their own personalities reflecting the kinds of games those companies made.
As for the plot of the show, I felt that the stories from the latter two games were enjoyable even though it had flaws. While I only played the idol spinoff game, this show is pretty accessible for people who haven’t played the game. In addition, I liked the references made to video games and culture from video such as a theme park based on Super Mario Bros and even Noire getting hacked by Anonydeath (referencing the Playstation Network hack). While the battles look good and flashy, the story was not perfect as the transitions between each arc felt rough and at times, ends abruptly. For example, in Episode 10, Noire and Pururut gets rid Eden’s shares generator, which cause Peashy to lose her goddess form and eventually regained her memories while returning to her own world with Pururut. Although I understand that they couldn’t fit everything, I felt that the transitions between each story arc could have been a bit better.
Overall, I think Neptunia anime adaptation was very enjoyable. While it’s nice to see video game consoles personified as cute and attractive girls fighting against digital piracy and a mysterious girl wanting to destroy the world, it had a few rough edges with it’s story writing and inconsistent animation. Even so, I think it’s a good introduction for newcomers who might be interested in the games, but may want to check out the story before playing it.
Overall Rating: 8.8/10, B+, Very Good
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