This Ugly and Beautiful World

Japanese Title: Kono Mininiku mo Utsukushii Sekai
Also Known As: Kono Mini
Genre: Comedy/Drama
Format: 12 Episodes
Allegiance: GAINAX
Director: Saeki Shouji
Vintage: 2004
Intelligence Agency Report by: Phate
Takemoto Takeru is a high school student who also makes deliveries for his household via his motorcycle. During one of his deliveries with his friend Ryou, the two spot a mysterious light in the sky and watch as it enters a nearby forest. Upon investigating the landing site, Takeru finds a girl glowing in a cocoon-like ball of light in a tree. This mysterious girl calls herself Hikari, and is not the only unusual creature in the forest, for the trio is soon attacked by a giant monster. Could Hikari be related to this strange attack?

Field Agent Report by: Phate
Overall 5.25
(not an average)

To be honest, I did not have the highest hopes when I decided to watch Kono Mini. The majority of the opinions I had heard about this series were fairly negative, and rightfully so. Kono Mini is a show that fails in almost every important aspect that makes for good anime. This is a significant drop in quality from GAINAX, and I can only hope that this is not an example of what they have in store for us in the future.

In retrospect, the plot of Kono Mini had some definite potential; the subject matter could have very well made for an interesting story. However, this potential is wasted, as after the first episode, not much is done to forward the plot until much later, with the majority of the episodes being little more than filler relying mostly on ecchi comedy. The pacing picks up at about the eighth episode and becomes more serious, but after all the fanservice and filler it was hard for me to take it as seriously as I was meant to.

A central theme to Kono Mini that heavily depends on the characters is how humans show love in different ways to each other. Intriguing as it is, it unfortunately fails to work because it’s hard to really feel anything for any of the characters, even after the show has finished. The real drawback is that each and every character is fairly generic in terms of both personality and looks. To add insult to injury, due to the amount of filler, there is little time for any development. The only characters to really get any semblance of growth are the four main ones, and even then it’s not much. Most of the secondary characters don’t add much to the show.

The visuals are a mixed bag. On one hand, the character designs are nice. Nothing really exceptional, it is nonetheless clean and attractive, though it doesn’t really fit the more serious tone of the latter half of the show. The animation, however is barely average, and the action scenes are fairly mundane and uninspiring. The music is forgettable for the most part, but the ending theme for the last episode is quite nice.

Unless you’re a die-hard GAINAX fan determined to see every one of their productions, there really is no point in watching Kono Mini, as it really has nothing to offer. Its concept is one that could have been great had it been utilized and nurtured properly, but unfortunately, it ended up being a complete flop.