Zettai Karen Children (a.k.a. Absolutely Lovely Children) is a fantasy, sci-fi anime series that take us to the world of espers and their battle to be accepted and maybe, just maybe, to achieve world domination. Of course, not all of them are like this and some have teamed up with the ordinary humans to serve and protect the status quo.
The original story by mangaka Takashi Shiina is angst-filled, action-empowered and with a touch of drama whereas the first anime series from 2008 are light-hearted and fun to watch, even if there is a bit of tongue-in-cheek humour which is not entirely suitable for all tastes. What makes this original idea worthwhile and interesting is the uniqueness of the characters and he way all of them are combined and related. Many of the protagonists are always together when at the same time their backgrounds are as different as heaven and hell. Helping the feeling of completeness and the charm are the small details that are put into the characteristics of each role. Kaoru, for example, is a girl with quite the adoration for female forms. Even though her friends make fun of her, she is as she has always been – cheerful and open-minded as well as her own self at any point in time. Shiho, on the other hand, has grown up in a strict environment and as such a child she is serious, but nonetheless – a great gamer and is always ready for a challenge on the console. Aoi is the balancer between the two, but once she gets mad nothing can stop her.
Nonetheless, even with this part of the story kept, the Zettai Karen Children anime series are a lovely anime because this al happens on the background. The main plot lines in the anime is going to school, having adventures and rediscovering the world as well as finding new friends and loves.
The other two main characters are Aoi Nogami (black/blue haired teleporter) and Shiho Sannomiya (white haired telepath). The three of them, together with Kaoru, are the members of a special ESP squad used to fight other ESP gone bad, leading them to uncanny adventures such as defeating the infamous Muscle Okama esper.
The positive sides of this moe and loli-filled series is that is it light hearted and charming, the music does not do it much good, especially considering that the year of making was not 1996, but it does manage to catch the eye and keep the attention of the viewers. Character development, naturally coming from the manga story, is done exceptionally well. Even though it is not shown in detail, it is possible to feel how the characters grow in front of your eyes.
Another great quality of the anime is its sense of humour and the fact that where many anime fail, it does not – the self-irony department.
If, however, you are not up for a cheeky show with extremely powerful and at the same time very cute protagonists who have not even turned 16 yet and would like something heavier, harder and filled with more drama, you should try last year’s Zettai Karen Children: The Unlimited Hyoubu Kyousuke original sequel It told a story from after the end of the first show and from the point of view of the real antagonist Hyoubu Kyousuke.
Last but not least, you should also try to watch Zettai Karen Children because of the epic references. Starting from Code Geass and going through Death Note, there are numerous of them. Not satisfied? Initial D, Saint Seiya and Macross Frontier are also there if you can spot them!
Zettai Karen Children on the List
Zettai Karen Children Official Website