After watching a few episodes here and there, I managed to watch all 13 (12 + 1 OVA) episodes of Hyperdimension Neptune The Animation.
How do I like it? Well… I think the drawings are a bit of hit-and-miss. Sometimes they look okay, but there are obvious instances of bad drawings. Maybe it can’t be helped, since the character designs are more detailed than usual anime characters. But often, the drawings couldn’t seem to match the energy of the voice acting.
Also, in some scenes from earlier episodes, they made Uni look too tall, like almost the same height as her elder sister Noire when standing side-by-side. Maybe it’s because of her battle posture in the games, but I always feel that she’s a relatively short character (at least slightly shorter than Nepgear).
I’m also not a big fan of this recent trend (maybe, since I don’t usually watch anime ^^;) of ‘arty’ backgrounds in the anime. Another anime I feel the same about recently is the anime version of Nisekoi. They try to play around with the moods by using striking colours and making the spaces grand and huge. Feels out of place to me considering the original material is not that ‘arty’.
As for the story, it’s a mash-up of the second and third Neptune games, with a bit of original pieces, like the anti-crystal (obviously a plot from Superman ^^;) and the beach episode.
I think it has its cool moments, like how Neptune saved Noire in the first episode saying ‘transformation is used for times like this!’, the 5pb’s concert that marks the start of ‘mk2 arc’ and seamlessly switches to the opening theme, why the sisters couldn’t transform at first, the after-credits outtakes, and how they invert the situation of the third game by making Plutia come to Neptune’s dimension (instead of the other way around in third game Victory).
One of my biggest problems is probably how they made Neptune cry and feel depressed in all seriousness for a character that only bonded with her in just a few episodes or so. Feels out of character to me. The final battle (episode 12) is also another mushy shit that Japanese for some reason love to make.
Probably the high-point of this anime is some of the background music, which is new to the series, like this piece called UTTS:
If I was given a blind test, I would probably think this is some music from Ultraman series, when the Ultraman is about to transform to his ultimate form or something, lol.
These battle music are also not bad:
There are also these:
Which are three variations of the same tune.
Also, this ‘calm’ instrumental piano version of the originally energetic opening theme: