Feast your eyes on the beautiful art of Norn9: Norn+Nonet! I can almost hear the groans from people who don’t like reverse harem anime. But hey! This one has absolutely beautiful animations although the plot needs a bit of fixing. This will be my last review, so let’s make it count!
Norn9: Norn+Nonet is originally an otome game for Playstation Portable. It was developed by Otomate and published by Idea Factory. In 2014, an anime adaptation for the franchise became green-lit. Additionally, the anime series ran from January to March 2016.
The story takes place in a futuristic era. Guided by one particular song, Suzuhara Sorata finds himself in a time skip. He lands in a place that looks similarly like the towns from the Meiji or Taishou periods. He then meets three young ladies and nine young men about a ship called the Norn. In this world, the ship’s task is to deliver nine ability users to The World, a peace-bringing entity. However, suspicions arise from the group when they realize there are too many people onboard.
Eny’s Thoughts on Norn9: Norn+Nonet
We all had our expectations on reverse harem anime shut down at one point. And as much as I hate to say this, Norn9 also fits in the same category. I assure you not all of it is bad, just that there was so much potential wasted. Nonetheless, let’s discuss the pros and cons of this series.
The plot is probably the weakest point of this series. Admittedly, most adaptations of otome games turn out undeniably mediocre. It’s like there’s always a struggle between the portrayal of flashy romance or in-depth stories. The studio seemed content with the concept of style over substance with this series. On the other hand, the art makes up for a great deal of the anime’s shortcomings. After all, fanservice is always a powerful audience attraction. You could say Norn9 is one of those reverse harem anime we love and hate. Call it a guilty pleasure, if you will.
Now here’s the best part of the anime. Unlike other harem anime where the art isn’t consistent with side characters, Norn9 begs to differ on a huge scale. Almost everyone and everything in this series looks beautiful!
With its opening song performed by Nagi Yanagi, the start of every episode is a guaranteed delight. Her song for the series entitled Kazakiri is such an enticing music piece to listen to. And then there’s the ending song Vid en Horisont by Maria Andersson, which is rather sad but still absolutely beautiful. Oda Kaori’s Zero Tokei is equally as beautiful, the perfect ending themes to match the beautiful animation.
The series is also quite clichéd character-wise. Most of the cast are typical stereotypes in reverse harem anime. Still, there are a few likable characters mixed in there. I’ll leave it up to you to pick your favorite from the bunch.
There’s also the issue with one of the main female protagonists, Koharu. Pretty as she is, Koharu doesn’t have the brains to match. Why can’t we ever have a Shoujo harem where the boys fall for the female lead’s intelligence or skills? I feel like that’s too much to ask nowadays.
Despite the various flops on the plot and cast, I found myself finishing the series to the very end. I mean, I haven’t played the source game yet so I can’t comment much on the content. But judging from the anime’s direction, there could have been more to it than just pointless romance. The Sci-Fi genre seemed to be ignored throughout the series. Apart from the Norn’s existence, it’s as if Norn9 was created purely for the sake of romance. Though there’s a lot that could’ve been changed to make the series better, we can’t really expect much from otome game adaptations. Let’s just hope that maybe someday we’ll get a decent reverse harem series that everyone could enjoy.
Watch the video below for a sneak peek into the world of the Norn!
Source: ANIPLUS Asia