Known for its reputation as “Persona 3 and Higurashi no Naku Koro ni‘s bastard child“, 11eyes may seem your stereotypical anime where the protagonists are taken into an unknown world were they must defeat the dark forces there to stop the nightmare. Thus, returning their lives to normalcy. Not quite – I say beware the red herring.
Plot: Due to his sister committing suicide when he was a child, Satsuki Kakeru has been living an empty life since. The only thing that kept him going is the company of his childhood friend Minase Yuka. And when their lovey-dovey relationship is about to open new doors, they get taken to a similar yet deserted world in which they call the “Red Night.“
Out-of-this-world creatures started attacking them, but was saved by the onmyouji and fellow schoolmate Misuzu Kusakabe in the nick of time. It appears that there are others who are trapped in this Red Night. At this point in time, Kakeru and Yuka are completely powerless. No one knows why or how they got there, but every time the Red Night occurs, time stops in the real world and they get attacked by monsters.
11eyes means the 6 characters’ eyes with Kakeru having one eye
After exploring the pseudo-city of the Red night, they find a crystallized princess seeking for their help. A typical save-the-princess scenario, right? Lol.
Of course, the bad guys show up with a menacing entrance. They are dubbed the Black Knights and from their point-of-view, the Fragments‘ (main characters) existence is a sin itself and therefore must be eliminated. So our heroes and these Black Knights fight every time the Red Night occurs and de-occurs – with the protagonists totally oblivious as to why they are getting attacked in the first place. Survival comes first, so they say. But what lies behind all that fighting?
In all honesty, I intended dropping 11eyes after watching 2 episodes because of the very cliche high-school ecchi atmosphere and Kakeru’s irritating eye-patch design. But I also wanted to see the “Higurashi” part in it so I carried on. It was only until the 6th episode where things get really interesting.
I never expected the story would derail so much for our main heroine Yuka. In the latter parts, she gets really mental due to unfortunate and inevitable occurrences within the group – which makes it all the more awkward to watch the show. After all, who would want a teammate to genuinely smile while playing with her fingers as her comrade dies? For me, more awkward is more interesting though. It builds up curiosity on how things will end. The main heroine shouldn’t be left like that.
Semi-spoiler: Seems like that the Black Knights were the good guys, after all. And our heroes, the bad guys.
It has some morbid visuals to offer, but does not come to par with Higurashi. The fighting scenes are somewhat interesting though, with the characters having unique powers each. E.g. Takahisa uses pyrokinesis, Kakeru can read his opponent’s moves via the Eye of Aeon, and Kusakabe uses her talents as an onmyouji.
Amidst all that seriousness, these two classmates of Kakeru (Kaori Natsuki and Tadashi Teruya) keeps the balance between the grim and comic aspects of the anime. Whenever the show digests a lot of drama, these two appear to save the day.
Watching all 12 episodes plus the perverted OVA of 11eyes would be a nice way of spending 4 of your idle hours.
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