Fortune Arterial: Vampires and Astonishing Normality

OK, OK, The Gallery Was Right…

How Can It Be This Normal?

Fortune Arterial is a show that starts out with a special little twist unworthy of spoiler tags: the leading girl (as well as her big brother) is a vampire. But, she can walk around in daylight and have a “normal” school life in spite of her advanced chronological age. Well, she seems pretty young for a vampire, and certainly has a young girl look.

So, our main male character comes to discover this and, while containing some kind of secret alone related to his blood, which has not yet been properly revealed, he is essentially drafted into the Student Council to keep the secret safe and to contribute to a shockingly normal private school life.

What I mean by shockingly normal is that there’s festivals, races, other school events, helping people with their personal problems, and so on.

It feels like RPG sidequests.

I’ll admit straight up that I happen to like these characters, and certainly the girls are by and large a collection of sweet looking girls and a lot of eye candy, but this is one of those shows that was based on an adult visual novel. We’re talking adult as in R18+ and “naughty” content.

This is not the kind of show that is constantly flaunting its association with a game involving adult material. (In other words, it’s not Yosuga no Sora.) The paradox of this is on the rather simple side: it’s possible for people to find that a not insignificant part of the point was lost by cutting out the “naughty” material for television purposes. That or they’re just saving that for later, but seriously, it hasn’t been anywhere close to that kind of content.

Now, this is an excellently animated show with likable characters (for the most part… our leading girl’s older brother is kind of an egotistical jerk but oh well), nice voice acting, lighthearted comedy, and eye candy to watch by virtue of the cute girls. Therefore, it is, for pretty much the whole part, an easy show to watch and listen to, very little that’s heavy and… er…

Well, therein lies the problem. The plot is incredibly lightweight so far.

I mean, I’m not saying that’s bad, but… it kind of is?

Now, this isn’t going to proceed without something to shake things up to break things out of this state of affairs, to get more serious, and indeed, that’s what starts to form in the last episode that aired. Put simply, a beautiful vampire girl getting happiness this easily isn’t going to be allowed. It’s against the rules of drama.

It’s just that we’ve seen what amounts to an astonishingly lightweight, puddle deep romance building with a wide variety of other girls who would love to go after the main character, but won’t, since unlike a video game, there is only one “route” in this anime. (Some shows try things differently, but in this case, there’s no attempt to go there really.)

It’s sweet, and all, and I’ve enjoyed watching to this point, but… good God, people, some plot with some actual WEIGHT to it is not a crime!!

Lightweight. That’s what’s going to be written on this show’s tombstone. No one needs everything to be filled with gloomy depression, or at least, with gloomy main characters (Yakumo let’s say…) but there is another extreme, and this kind of show is it.

I mean, at least in Shukufuku no Campanella (another game based on an adult “visual novel” PC game) it existed in a fantasy world where there were occasional battles with baddies worthy of an… RPG intended for 8 year old girls.

But it was something!!!

Actually, that show had a lot more teasing scenes for fan service (albeit with an innocent air that might fool people who don’t use Google into thinking that it wasn’t based on a game with adult content) than Fortune Arterial has.

Personally, I have no real problem with that, but I’m sure a lot of people will mind, somehow…

Anyway, astonishing normality or not, the high quality animation and (to me) likable characters made watching this no chore, as of episode 7. I just hope that the inevitable drama is worth it. Plot does require such things after all.

We still value plot, don’t we?

J Sensei

About J Sensei

Blogger, writer, linguist, former Japanese> English translator, rusty in French, experienced in Japanese, fluent English native. Writing for Technorati.com and various blogs. Skype: jeremiah.bourque (messages always welcome). E-mail: [email protected]
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