Every so often, you read the synopsis for a show and it grabs your attention. In the back of your mind you are convinced that this show is going to be really good just based off of that little snippet. Then you watch the show and you soon realize that it’s nothing more than an absolute train wreck! However, by the time you realize it’s a train wreck, you’re already invested into it so now your mindset becomes “well… let’s just finish it, I guess.”
That’s exactly what happened to me with Fukumenkei Noise (Anonymous Noise in English), but was it really as bad as I’m making it out to be?
Nino is a girl who had a childhood friend named Momo. Every day they would sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star together. One day, something happened with Momo’s parents in terms of money and Momo was forced to move away. The “loss” of Momo caused Nino great mental pain to the point where she has to wear a mask over her mouth, otherwise she’ll just end up screaming. One day, she meets another boy named Yuzu who likes to write music in the sand at the beach. Nino reads the music and begins singing the notes which captivates Yuzu. Yuzu quickly proclaims that he found his voice, but after a while, he too, has disappeared leaving Nino all alone again.
Fast forward a few years and Nino enters high school. She discovers that Yuzu goes to the same school as her and is a part of the Cultural Music Club. The other members of the club, along with Yuzu, are keeping a secret from the rest of the world. That secret is they are the members of the band In NO Hurry to Shout. Nino joins the band as their newest singer only to realize that Momo goes to the same school as her and has become a song writer as well. A love triangle over music has begun!
On the surface, Fukumenkei Noise looks to intertwine slice-of-life, drama, music and romance all into one exciting package and while the premise of the story elements for the show were good, there were some major flaws with the presentation. The biggest issue was that the show could not take itself seriously. When the dramatic moments delivered, they delivered in a big way, but about ninety percent of the time, whenever there was going to be a big dramatic moment, they would interrupt it with comedy. This REALLY killed the vibe for the show and degraded its quality severely. The show would build you up to this moment where you’re about to feel for the characters, where you’re about to care about them. Perhaps, you’d even get a little emotional over them and then they smack you in the face and try to make you laugh. This extremely sharp turn of events just doesn’t work in a show/story such as this.
Let’s not forget to mention how the humorous moments weren’t even that humorous to begin with. Their way of telling jokes was to have the characters yell at each other and over-exaggerate the situation. This was one of the most annoying aspects of the show.
The other annoying aspect was the ending, which didn’t make any sense whatsoever. Granted, I started reading and reviewing the manga before watching this so I know that the anime extends beyond the manga for what is available here in the U.S. so I don’t really know if this is how the manga ends or if they chose this as a closing point to leave it open for a second season. I will say that the ending was terrible, though, and it’s all because of Momo’s character, which I will detail in the next section. Before I do, how in the world would a girl continue to pursue a guy when said guy leaves her for a second time and makes it clear that he’s done? Especially when the girl has another guy right there in front of her that genuinely loves her? Not to mention that Momo and Nino’s entire concept of love is based around singing a children’s song together and NOTHING ELSE. The fact that the romance in this series makes zero sense is another downfall of this show. Nevertheless, let’s move onto the characters.
She is the main focal point of Fukumenkei Noise and the object of both Momo and Yuzu’s love. I have also come to guess that there is something mentally wrong with her.
Okay. I get it. She had a crush on Momo as a kid and it was psychologically damaging when he suddenly moved away without saying anything, but having a friend move away causing you to wear a mask, otherwise you’d scream, is a bit far-fetched. Add in the fact that she just randomly runs up to people and starts singing in their face is also really annoying and not normal. She would run to Yuzu and just start singing. Yuzu even called her out on it and she still stood there and sang in his face. Like… who does that? Brain damaged people do…. That’s who.
Not to mention that Yuzu kissed Nino and confessed his love to her and she bought the excuse that he only did it as a friend. They even revisited their love at the end of the series and when Nino asked Yuzu who it was he liked. Yuzu told her to take a guess and Nino replied with “I really don’t know.” Either she is in major denial or she’s the dumbest girl walking the planet today. Her only redeeming quality is her determination to do better at singing, but I will get to that in the next section because that, too, in and of itself was akin to the Hindenburg disaster. All around, just a terrible character.
For someone who is supposed to be the main focal point of Nino’s affection, he didn’t get a lot of screen time. While it did increase towards the end of the show, it felt like he was only shown on screen as a reminder that he was still there. His personality went from happy as a child to extremely emo as a teenager. He hides the fact that he loves Nino because he feels that he cannot love her until he solves his family’s money problems. He also has issues with his mother because he knows that she’s just using him for money so she can get herself out of debt.
I get that it’s a parent-child relationship and that you don’t want to harm your mother because… well… it’s your mother, but when you know that she is blatantly taking advantage of you to the point where mental abuse is a factor… all for the sake of money… there needs to be a point where you put your foot down; even if you know what the resulting turmoil will be. Momo, for whatever reason, cannot do that. He can’t tell his mother that she’s on her own when it comes to money so he can be with the woman he loves. Instead, he opts to push Nino away every single chance he gets and even goes as far as to transfer schools just to get away from her. Yet, Nino still loves a guy like this? Again…. Brain damage.
Momo’s personality is also all over the place. He’s always angry, emotional and speaks in a dejected serious tone, yet, he has no problem cracking jokes in the form of very bad puns. It’s like they’re trying to turn a serious character into a comedic one for the sake of lightening the mood and it’s not working. The darker side of him worked and that’s all that we should have seen from him and nothing more. Instead of running away, there should have been an epiphany on his part to justify Nino’s feelings for him. Instead, they gave us zero reasons to care about Momo and Nino’s relationship. Another terrible character.
Here is the only normal character in this entire show. Yuzu was my favorite character because he was the most relatable out of the entire cast. Yuzu is a bit on the stubborn side, but his background actually explains why he is the way he is. He disappeared because he transferred hospitals due to having a throat disease that ruined his chances of ever singing again. When he heard Nino’s voice, he found the person who could sing the music he wrote. All of In NO Hurry to Shout’s songs were written with Nino in mind and this lead to their lead singer, Miou, leaving the band so that Nino could fulfill Yuzu’s dream.
The dark side of Yuzu’s story involves his mother. Apparently, Yuzu’s father passed away and music played some sort of factor into it. His mother condemned him from writing music and absolutely lost it when she found out he was writing songs again. Still, Yuzu continued to do it all for Nino’s sake. Since Nino’s last name is Arisugawa, Yuzu took the Arisu part and named the lead singer of In NO Hurry to Shout as Alice… the English counterpart to the Japanese pronunciation.
Yuzu is the only well-written character (possibly aside from Miou) in this show. Everything about his story and character makes complete and total sense. All of his actions are justified and, yet, Nino is completely blind to all of it… even when it’s more than obvious. Again… brain damage.
She’s, probably, the only major supporting character the people actually care about as Yoshito and Ayumi… the other members of In NO Hurry to Shout… were nothing more than male cheerleaders for the entirety of the show. Miou, on the other hand, liked singing for In NO Hurry, but when the truth came out about the Alice character, she knew that she had to leave the band. Miou was in love with Yuzu, but she knew that as long as Nino existed, she wouldn’t have a chance in the world. She was selfless and moved on so Yuzu could be happy. That is how much Yuzu meant to her. As long as Yuzu was happy, she would be happy. While she was with In No Hurry, she would sing the lyrics, but Yuzu, dressed as Alice, would lip sync them just so he could experience what it is like to sing again.
Miou gave everything she had for Yuzu. Even in the end, she gave up being a part of the band just for Yuzu. I don’t know what else needs to be said here to convince you, but Miou was, most definitely, best girl in disguise.
Art, Animation, and Sound
Brain’s Base was the studio behind Fukumenkei Noise with Sentai Filmworks providing the licensing for the show. I have to ask… did they just hire a bunch of interns to make this series?
First off… the character art. I know that the manga also sported larger-than-average anime eyes, which was a very common art style a couple of decades ago, so I have no real problem with it, but the inconsistency between frames is glaringly obvious. Sometimes, the characters are shown in such a way where they look completely different. Whoever drew this show has no concept of consistency whatsoever.
On top of that, the CG was among some of the worst I had ever seen. The CG was not only painfully obvious in the places where it was used, but it looked absolutely ATROCIOUS! The movements of the characters looked terrible and unnatural… especially during the final couple of episodes where they used CG for In NO Hurry’s concert. Not to mention that they re-used the same CG footage multiple times to the point where I felt like I was watching an episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.
The detail on the characters was also lacking; however, when it comes to other things… such as this hot dog…
…the detail is turned up pretty high. Seriously, they spent more time and effort on a hot dog than they did on their characters (or the rest of the show for that matter.) The art and animation of this show was an absolute train wreck from beginning to end.
Since Fukumenkei Noise is a show that has music intertwined into its story, you’d think that this would be a highlight, but nope. Nope. Nope. Nope. And NOPE! Saori Hayami, the voice of Nino, served as the vocals for all of the insert songs in this show. If she was trying to become the next LiSA, she should probably give up and stick to voice acting. Ayahi Takagaki has some music background so when she played the part of the vocalist… it didn’t sound all that bad, but as soon as you stuck Saori into that role, things fell apart in a big way.
Saori cannot sing. She just can’t. I get the fact that she was supposed to probably sing badly on purpose for the sake of the story point where Nino goes to Miou to help her improve, but… there was no improvement. She sounded the same all the way through the show and whenever she opened her mouth, it was absolutely terrible! Now… the actual music itself was really good. Takayuki Yamaguchi and Narasaki came together and produced some amazing songs, but sadly, they were all ruined by Saori’s nails-on-a-chalkboard voice.
Some shows have tried to follow the lead of Angel Beats. They want to produce the next Girls Dead Monster and find the next LiSA. I get that… I really do, but this wasn’t taking a shot at that at all. This was pointing the gun at your own face and staring at it quizzically before putting the barrel into your mouth because you thought it was made of licorice.
I don’t think there is much more that can be said. Character stories that are nonsensical and all over the place, inconsistency in the art and animation, a voice actress pretending to be a singer in the worst way possible and dramatic moments ruined by unfunny, unnecessary comedy take a show that had an amazing premise, douses it in gasoline and then sets it ablaze all while standing there with a smile on its face and muttering “This is fine!”
I don’t think Fukumenkei Noise could be summed up an any other way. I am a big fan of romantic dramas, romantic comedies or just romance in general, but when a drama and a comedy try to mesh together and form something harmonious, it ends up as nothing more than pure dissonance.
If you were considering on watching Fukumenkei Noise, then I wouldn’t give this show the time of day. There are MUCH better shows out there to satisfy you. If you want a show with romance, drama and music that will leave you in awe, go watch Your Lie in April if you haven’t already and even if you have… go watch it again; especially if you’ve made the same mistake I did and watched Fukumenkei Noise.
Until next time,
A show with amazing potential ruined by bad characters, terrible art/CG and even worse singing.