Hundred is the anime adaptation of Misaki Juns’ light novel by the same name. The project is managed by Production IMS who have two shows airing this season. Both of which have been very mediocre so far. So I can here in the first paragraph say , “ don’t watch this show , it isn’t worth your time” however what’s written below can be applied to almost every mediocre harem/ecchi series so if you are interested in why they so often fail , stick around.
The story is only one step in generic-ness from, “ cute girl arrives in new school “ story. “ Expressionless male character arrives at a training academy to fight hone his fighting skills and fight evil monsters. “I could elaborate with details but really there’s not much point since that’s about it. Nothing feels new or inventive.
Now before I begin to talk about the shows writing I’d like to point out the “ecchi” and “ harem “ tags attached to the show. Since this is the obvious intent on the show I won’t complain about the fan-service and tropes too much. Since you already know if you like harem shows or not. Though this show is much milder with its fan-servicing , so if you’re looking for something a la Highschool DxD then this isn’t the place for you.
The writing and dialogue of the show is some of the most awkward I’ve seen in a while. Except for one character I don’t feel any chemistry between these people so I can’t care about their 2-bit romances. This boils down mainly to the shows problem with pacing. Let me explain, massive exposition dumps are thrown in every once in a while but the entire point of an exposition is to fill in audience in on the world and characters as quickly as possible. But three episodes in I still had no idea what the main conflict of the show was. The monsters known as “savages “had been given no proper introduction and the world felt completely blank. However whenever a new character appears I was instantly told their full back-story, motivations and entire family tree. But there’s nothing being developed. In the fifth scene of the first episode two characters bump into each other, end of episode boom they’re best friends. The tsundere of the show completely gives up on being icy by the second episode and begs the MC to kiss her.
The story is told in the same way, there’s a lot going on...but there’s nothing happen. Things that should happen over time are finished up in one episode and crucial plot points aren’t touched. For example, from the first episode there are two mysteries set up. And they’re both answered in detail by episode 2. A character uncovers something that should be major news but is glossed over completely. And it just perplexes me why the studio wanted to play it’s hand so fast. It’s as though Attack on Titan asked, “what are the titans , where did they come from ? “ and then revealed it in the next five minutes. The dialogue holds no real weight and feels empty. When a well-written character speaks, you should forget that they are, a character. However I find it impossible to imagine something said in Hundred coming out of a real person. It’s clichéd and conversations flow in a stilted. Statement; reply, formula. There’s no chemistry which kills the romantic side of the romantic comedy, none of the jokes land either. It’s mediocre but I don’t think the team was aiming for anything better.
Animation is just the bare minimum once again (with an exception I’ll get to). The backgrounds don’t have a shred of complexity and feel dead. Think of these locations and imagine them in the simplest way possible: School, Lab, City. What you just imagined was probably miles more creative than what the hundred team thought off. Background characters suffer from being grey paper cut-outs with minimum attention and literally no animations. To create a false sense of life we’re treating to the good old “moving image of a location with ambient conversation sounds played over it.” which is always telling of a low budget project.
I think there were about six different shot types used throughout the entire series and little else. It’s obvious that the studio didn’t splash out on a director as the shot-composition screams “film 101 “.
In terms of character design and costume I will give Hundred props for breaking away from the school-outfit routine, even if the combat suits are the most ridiculous and impractical for fighting monsters. Other than that the designs are rather standard and don’t do well to reflect on the character and who they are. It Personal preference but I dislike characters whose eyes take up 90% of their upper face. Especially when the eyes display about as much emotion as a button. Facial animations aren’t present half the times since the character resemble an undetailed blank canvas with no room for them. Lip flaps are small circles that go up, down and slightly squint. And the idle animations are scarce. Once a character has said their two lines they take a step back into the background and stay unmoving until it is time to speak again or change scene.
Even though the character are the most basic of harem tropes they could be but because they’re so suppressed and quiet I can’t even enjoy them at a base level. And I sure as hell don’t care about any of them or the paper thin story. The MC especially is the blandest vessel for self-insertion. The one character ( the MC trap best friend )who is allowed to have any fun is the one I latched on to desperately for scraps of entertainment and even that gets ruined quickly.
Now the exception I spoke of earlier. The fight scenes. Which I was originally dreading are probably the best part of the show. The CGI and particles are well done. Movement feels great with a lot of tracking shots that create speed. The fighting feels very tight and in your face. If you want to take a look at how to create a flowing fight scene I’d actually recommend looking at Hundreds’ to get the basics.
Despite the story being weak and not even the focus of the show, the idea of “Hundred stones “is pretty unique and the weapons the side characters get are rather unusual. The MC of course gets the least un-provoking of course: a sabre. The particle effects and bright colouring is handled rather nicely too.
It isn’t hard to see that STUDIO didn’t exactly see this as passion project but rather than a way to squeeze out a quick buck. I addressed my doubts about the shows funding for a reason. Studio IMS is putting out two anime this spring session, Hundred and High school fleet. There’s no easy to find budget for either of these shows but I can make an educated guess that they’re probably the bare minimum to get the show on TV.I Think if the studio worked hard on one project we might get something half decent. But in the current state I can’t recommend Hundred to anyone and I can’t say that it is deserving of a second season.