Monochrome Factor anime review

Monochrome Factor anime review
The story revolves around high school student Akira Nikaido, a typical slacker living a normal life. That is, until he meets the mysterious Shirogane, a man who suddenly appears and tells him to meet him at the school that night. Though he is skeptical, he goes anyway, and subsequently gets attacked by a shadow monster. Shirogane convinces him that the balance between the human world and the shadow world has been distorted, and that Akira must become a "shin", which is a creature of the shadow world, in order to help restore the balance.

As a lover of all things perverted, even the seemingly innocuous Monochrome Factor didn’t pass my beady gaze. Initially finding it through a recommendation with Neugami Neuro, I thought it would be a dark humoured amusing romp. However, what it is instead is a weak wristed, shounen-ai flirting that will put off the usual action fans and not contain enough bishies or boy on boy action to placate the fan-girls.

Following the high school delinquent Akira, the story is quick to make our unlikely hero into a good for nothing layabout that leaves his class prefect, Aya, despairing. Throw in goofy best friend/sidekick Kengo, add the flirtatious and mysterious stranger Shirogane and leave the group to fight off the arrival of some red-eyed snakey things and you have yet another generic shounen action flick to add to the list. However, what sets this apart is the use of a doppelganger to disguise Akira’s new job in life. Oh wait, didn’t they do that in Bleach already?

Once our hero has been made into an uber demon slaying machine, Kengo and Aya soon find themselves kitted out with magical artefacts (including some gloves that are very similar to those found in Hitman Reborn) and get in on the action. From this point onwards, the story is rinse and repeat dreary filler that drags on episode after episode, with the “loveable gang” meeting someone new and then having to save them from a parasitic demon. The underlying story is drip fed gradually throughout this episodes in a way supposed to be tantalising, but that becomes more frustrating than anything.

Unfortunately, what could have been an earth shattering climax becomes a damp squib of predictable monotony. As the manga is currently unfinished, a messy ending is cobbled together that answers very few questions and will probably leave most viewers scratching their heads. If there was to be a season 2, I would probably watch it (the OCD sadism in me demands it), but only to have a conclusion drawn under the plagiarised boredom. I know of a couple of people who have enjoyed Monochrome Factor, however they watched it early in their anime career when they had no standards to base this by. Maybe a little open-mindedness is needed, but I didn’t have the patience for mindless fluff that gives very little in the way of rewards.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Monochrome Factor. Watch it now:
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