A Pretentious Anime Review: Koukaku no Pandora
What's Koukaku no Pandora About?
Koukaku no Pandora is the story of a little girl who makes two new friends on a cruise ship heading towards a luxurious island. You quickly find out that our protagonist, Nene, is actually a cyborg with a body almost entirely made of artificial materials. Nene and her newfound friend, Clarion, try to live a peaceful life on this luxurious island but dangers strikes over and over again. With her newfound powers, Nene tries to fight the forces of evil with her buddy Clarion.
Pandora doesn't have much to spoil, but that's the basic idea without getting too specific with plot points.
Why Does It Fail?
Pandora tries to be too many things to do any of them well. It'll have episodes where it acts like a slice of life and the next episode it'll try to be an epic action series. This could be okay if it did any of these things well, but instead, it's so unbelievably awful that at some point, you'll start to feel like they're giving you intentionally shitty content. The question is, what makes it bad?
Pandora relies almost entirely on being "cute" and "arousing". The protagonist, Nene, draws her power from sticking her hand down Clarion's skirt, initiating the "pandora device". As expected, Nene and Clarion are moe characters with absolutely nothing interesting to them except for the creators attempt at making them "cute". They have a very obvious lesbian relationship, and there are numerous scenes where things get "personal".
Okay, sure, another anime that tries to be cute and sexy. It's annoying to watch but it's to be expected nowadays. It's been done a thousand times and it's never going to stop being done, but, here's the thing, Pandora isn't cute nor is it arousing. Instead, it's just fucking annoying. The "cute" scenes are overdone, unfunny, and frustrating. The "sexy" scenes are stupidly pointless, borderline gross, and unnecessary. Hell, even the yuri scenes are stupid, it's usually just Nene rubbing up on Clarion for no reason whatsoever. The show can't even be described as "cute" or "sexy", instead, it's just full of retarded moe scenes and annoying fan-service.
Try not to misunderstand, there's nothing wrong anime that's cute and well done. However, when you look at what happens in the show, the characters act pointlessly cute rather than being cute for a reason that we can enjoy. On the surface level, Pandora almost has the right art-style and the right voice actors to be considered "cute", but the characters act in a way that's more annoying rather than adorable.
The worst part is that the only reason why animes like Pandora keep getting made is because the anime community can't get enough of shows revolving around fan-service. It doesn't need to be good to make money, it's just gotta have naked women, waifu worthy girls, and annoying moe characters to be popular and get good revenue. Ironically, Pandora made very little money since it was extremely unpopular. Additionally, the few people who have seen the show gave it pretty low ratings.
Pandora also doubles as a comedy of sorts. It tries to be funny, and surprisingly, in a slapstick kind of way. Unfortunately, it's frustrating instead of funny. It has these recurring gags which it for some reason thinks will make people laugh but in reality it's the same three jokes rehashed over and over again until it starts to annoy you.
1: Nene's "comedic" fondling and hugging of Clarion
2: B.U.E.R.'s dick jokes.
3: Reporter lady having constant misfortune.
The worst part is that these recurring gags were never funny to begin with. B.U.E.R.'s first dick joke was okay, but after that it just started getting annoying. The reporter lady constantly getting screwed over was never funny and it's safe to say that it never made anyone laugh. The comedic relationship between Nene and Clarion wasn't very funny either, it all depends on if you find it cute or not and it most certainly wasn't cute to me.
Besides from that, Pandora makes other attempts at being funny but those never work out either. Since the show has almost no scenes with good comedy, I vividly remember the only time it uttered a laugh out of me. B.U.E.R.'s reaction to being locked in the safe was the only time the anime was comically successful. Other than that, I don't see how this show could be considered funny. Perhaps if you were sit down with your friends and laugh at how awful it is, then you could call it a "comedy".
The series is as simple as Nene, Clarion, and B.U.E.R. going about their days, helping people and doing whatever they desire. It has an overarching plot that is only shown in the first couple of episodes and the last couple of episodes, everything in-between can be considered filler. For the plot itself, it's unbelievably idiotic. For some reason, this "genius" scientist created a machine that has the potential to destroy the island, and not only did she create it, but she intentionally let the villains get their hands on it. Keep in mind that this scientist is portrayed as a good guy, which makes this even more stupid. In the first or second episode, our scientist sacrifices herself for the "greater good" (I'll just ignore the fact that her death made absolutely no sense whatsoever). Before her death, she programmed a series of bots with holograms which would anticipate every single occurrence in the anime by giving advice to our main characters when they were in a pickle. The show tries to convince us that this lady was smart enough to foresee every plot point and twist in the show, yet she let the bad guys destroy a majority of the island (presumably killing many people) when she could have easily stopped them especially since she let them have the machine to begin with. The people who betrayed the scientist and took the machine were people under her wing for a long time, and according to her, she knew they were evil from the start. If so, why the hell would you give them access to a weapon of such caliber and why the hell would you let them get away with it?
Even if you ignore the scientist's pointless death, the fact that she could foresee every single thing that would happen, and that she intentionally let these villains have the machine that would go on to destroy everything, Pandora still makes no sense. Everything that happens in this show can be said to be retarded, and in all honesty, it most certainly is.
The characters in Pandora aren't just underdeveloped tropes, they're tropes with no development at all. Nene and Clarion have no semblance of a backstory or any type of development, they're more like an on-stage comedy duo rather than characters in piece of work, and, a poor comedy duo at that. Nene cuddles Clarion, Clarion gets embarrassed, Nene says "Sorry but you're so cute", rinse and repeat. This genuinely happens a hundred times. We get it, it's not necessary to repeat this process for twelve episodes. Instead of doing it over and over again, you could try to develop your characters.
Written By a Genius
At first, Pandora feels like it was written by a child. Even if you were to ignore the excessive logic flaws, the show has some of the stupidest tropes in anime. Not only that, but the dialogue between characters is some of the most robotic and phony shit I've seen. However, it's so awful that you start to doubt yourself and instead of thinking it was written by a child, you start to think it was written by a genius. After contemplating the show as a whole, I've come to a solid conclusion that Pandora is intentionally shit. There's no way that something this bad could have been made, so the only logical thing to think would be that the creators were having fun stuffing every bad element they could think of into a masterpiece of garbage. Look at it this way, and you'll somehow have a good time.
From the start to the finish, Pandora might as well have been a really long joke. At this point, it would be genuinely surprising if it was meant to be a real show. There are almost no qualities that could redeem it as something meant to actually be good and that is part of it's charm.
Pandora is awful, and it's so bad that it's kind of scary. You can't help but feel like the creators of this show intentionally made complete garbage. It logically makes no sense, characters are tropes and only tropes, the show tries to be "cute" and "sexy" but it's gross instead, and the comedy is laughably bad, ironically. There are no redeemable qualities in Pandora besides from an okay art-style and that it was most likely a huge joke. Watching Pandora expecting it to be bad is most likely the only way you'll find any enjoyment in it.
I give Koukaku no Pandora a 1 out of 10
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