Seven Senses of the Re'Union
Six years before, a group of elementary schoolers played an MMORPG called Union, but one of the players, named Asahi Kuga, not only died in the game, but at the same time in real life. Now urged on by some friends, Haruto Amo, the "leader" of the group (which called itself "Subaru" in the game), reluctantly accedes to play a NEW version of the game called (naturally) ReUnion. Shortly after starting play, Haruto is examining a treasure chest in the game- and who should pop out but Asahi, who somehow still seems to exist within the game itself. In a plotline lifted from Anohana: The Flower We Saw That Day (as are its characters; see Review), Asahi's reappearance stirs old passions, and opens old wounds; but HERE, there are parties who are deliberately stirring these emotions for sinister purposes.
I've never seen a show that as blatantly rips off the personalities of another show's characters as THIS one does. Here are the equivalencies:
Haruto Amo pretty much = Jinta Yadomi from Anohana. He's the one with the closest relationship to the formerly "dead" girl. (It should be remembered, though, that since this Asahi has not existed in the "real" world for six years, she's still got the personality of a 10 or 11-year-old girl.) Asahi herself is, of course, equivalent to Meiko "Menma" Honma in Anohana. Haruto is our chief fighter within the game, wielding an enormous sword called Pleiades. (Of course, "Pleiades" and "Subaru" are different terms for the SAME thing.) He's hotheaded, getting into fights about Asahi with:
Takanori Mikado, who = Atsumu Matsuyuki from Anohana. Takanori's got the same feelings of jealousy about Haruto with Asahi that Atsumu felt about Jinta with Menma, and is a comparable jerk about it, though at least Takanori doesn't feel any desire to impersonate Asahi. It's Takanori who's always the instigator in his fights with Haruto, though Haruto can get in the (physical) swing of things pretty quickly. Takanori, by the way, may pledge absolute fealty to Asahi, but we all know how fickle guys can be. (His capriciousness might, in the end, be even more annoying than his belligerence.) The person who usually intervenes in his fights with Haruto is:
Satsuki Usui, who's got Naruko Anjo's personality from Anohana; that is, SHE is in love with the lead (Haruto here), but the lead is still obsessed with the "formerly deceased" (Asahi here); the main difference of course is that in Anohana there was eventually closure to all this (since Menma, in time- uh- "gave up the ghost"), while that may not apply here. As I recall, I didn't like Naruko from Anohana that much though, while Satsuki I rather DID like; I liked her character design the best of anyone's here, and while she'd like to be with Haruto as much as Takanori would like to be with Asahi, Satsuki's not awful about it like Takanori is. As noted, she tries to be a peacemaker, but she's quite inclined to speak her mind (including getting angry with Takanori, even though Satsuki and Takanori both recognize that they're kind of in the same boat about wanting to be with someone who's just not into them.) I feared that Satsuki was going to be "odd girl out" in the end. And there's
Nozomi Kusaka, who's our Chiriko Tsurumi stand-in here, though she’s a much more reserved sort than I remember Chiriko being. She (re-)joins Re'Union late in the show, and we'll say she has ISSUES that leave her personally vulnerable to manipulation by the bad guys, though she's timid and self-deprecating most of the time. And, finally, we've one
Clive Vivali, a non-Japanese player; since he’s not physically located with the others IRL, he can't socialize with the others outside the game, and therefore seemed kind of irrelevant to the main plotline.
An organization called Gnosis exists in the game, that is trying to use everyone's particular quarrels to take down Subaru. I won't say why here, but it relates to the reason for the game’s existence in the first place, which promises some interesting subtext, but that may suffer from inadequate development here. Subaru's worst vulnerability, interestingly, may be due to a previous assertion of “male privilege” by our hero Haruto. I gather that the series here is the bare opening to a longer saga. But, given that Satsuki is the only person I had much positive feeling toward at all, even if another season appears, I do not expect to visit THIS game’s world again. (The magical battles are rather ho-hum, and frankly the villains we see here are nothing special either. The only hope for this to hold my interest would be some expansion on the Union/ReUnion backstory.)
Takanori’s insufferable jerkishness, in particular, ruined this for me, though Haruto and Nozomi have such cliched personalities that I couldn’t really warm much to them either. — Allen Moody
Recommended Audience: Violence includes fights among our nominal heroes as well as against the bad guys. Mild fanservice (mainly Nozomi's appearance, late in the show.) Amazon does TV-NR; I'd say PG-13.
Version(s) Viewed: Amazon Prime video stream.
Review Status: Full (12/12)
Seven Senses of the Re'Union © 2018 Lerche
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