I've wanted to write this up for a little while, but I wasn't quite sure where to start. Now I've completed the 11Eyes anime and I've really had quite a bit of time to process it all, I wanted to try and put a few things into words. I'll get this out of the way first. 11Eyes was one of the biggest wastes of a great concept I've ever seen.
11Eyes focuses around six high school students, one of which is blind in one eye (11 eyes. Get it?). They appear to be your average high school students at first glance, but things quickly get very crazy, and very dark.
The two main protagonists of the story, Kakeru and Yuka, are dragged into the Dark Hour. Sorry, I meant the Red Night. The Red Night is basically a warped version of the everyday setting that our characters live in. Time does not pass and only those with abilities can be summoned there. The whole thing has that great Persona 3 feel to it, and you can see that it was definitely influenced by Persona 3's unique style. It even has shadows!
The plot basically revolves around the struggles these students face, and overcoming them with the power of friendship. As they are essentially dragged into the Red Night without any warning, the characters are initially very unprepared. It's quite intense.
They eventually all meet up and form a team. There's some excellent character design here, but it's unfortunately not explored to a great level. Instead of really focusing on these great characters, the anime focuses on delivering action as our heroes battle a group called The Black Knights (Lelouch says hi.)
There's never really much explanation of the background of these Black Knights, only that they are desperately trying to stop the students when they enter the Red Night and that they keep referring to them as 'fragments'. By the end of the series, they explore one of the Black Knights a little, but this feel entirely rushed.
If you're interested in the reason why they want to stop the students then click the spoiler tag below and prepare yourself.
11Eyes, from left to right: Kakeru, Yuka, Misuzu, Kukuri, Yukiko, Takahisa.
It all moves along quite smoothly up until we get past the halfway point. This is when the plot starts getting crazy. Not only do they start abandoning any development that was made, but they also introduce things that are nowhere near being believable in the setting they've already developed.
You'd assume the anime is based in modern day Japan, but I never heard this mentioned once throughout the series. We are introduced to the past of Yukiko, where she mentions that she once fought a war in the fictional country of Drasvania. What the hell? This is supposed to be a high school student. I get that this is fiction, and that it's not meant to be realistic to begin with, but it deters from what's already there. It's difficult to explain, but I felt at this point the writers were probably having a laugh.
I was right, too.
The series shows absolutely no signs of letting up on the nonsense as the plot becomes more and more contrived. It's like they thought they couldn't keep going in the same plot direction in case Atlus charged them for plagiarism. The fact is, the aesthetic was the only thing that really felt similar to Persona 3 and I really had high hopes for this anime.
The 11th episode has pretty much the strangest ending I have ever seen in any anime.
It's hard for me to dislike something that I was really enjoying for a while, and in reality, I don't dislike 11Eyes. I do however dislike the direction that the series took. I don't know if the visual novel follows the same plot and it's something that I would be interested to find out. For those who want to watch this anime though; get ready for some crazy stuff.