Plot: A boy named Kakeru and his childhood friend, Yuka, suddenly get transported to an odd version of their world where the sky is red, the moon is black and no one else but a select group of people seem to exist. While they have no idea what’s going on, they manage to survive the ordeal and even believe that the event was merely a dream.
Until, however, the ‘Red Night’ appears again and launches them into a dangerous situation. They soon meet the master swordswoman, Misuzu Kusakabe who saves them with a magical sword of her ancestors. They join up to try to find out what exactly the Red Night is. Joining them is Yukiko Kirohara, an innocent girl whose power is to turn into a nearly perfect emotionless killer when she removes her glasses, Takahisa Tajima, who controls and creates fire at will, Kukuri Tachibana, a mute girl who looks exactly like Kakeru’s dead sister, and a girl named Shiori.
Breakdown: This show really gives me mixed feelings, but really veering towards anger.
All you need to know is that two orphans, Kakeru and Yuka get dragged into a world called the Red Night. Basically the Red Night is a world in which time stands still, the sky is red and monsters roam. Apparently getting transported to the Red Night happens every so often and usually without warning. Five other people get transported into the Red Night with them every time they go.
First there’s Misuzu, a master of ancient sword arts that are integral to her family, employs the use of six different mystical swords.
Next up is Yukiko, an immortal super warrior who has dual identities. There’s the happy peppy Yukiko that is seen as regular Yukiko and the emotionless alter-ego of herself which focuses on nothing but killing. She changes between identities by taking off or putting on her glasses (because prescription glasses are apparently magic)
Then we have Takahisa, a – Can I just take the time out to ask you guys something? Does he or does he not look like Inuyasha? He even acts like him too. Look.
Takahisa, as you can guess from the picture, controls fire.
Next we have Kukuri, seemingly Kakeru’s dead sister’s doppelganger (Same looks and same name, only difference is she can’t speak.) controls chains made of light.
And, finally, there’s Shiori who seems to employ the same magics as the Black Knights who are the main antagonists.
It’s very obvious, even before anything happens, that Kakeru’s power comes from his eye. Rarely is there ever an anime character that has an eyepatch that either didn’t come with a terrible backstory or a power. He is the vessel of the eye of Aion – an eye that allows the user to see the future.
Yuka possesses the ability to nullify powers within her vicinity. However, the bad side to this is it nullifies everyone’s powers. So, even if she does weaken the enemy, her allies can’t do anything about it.
The story was interesting and original. I really liked the concept of the Red Night and a seemingly random group of people getting seemingly random (barring Misuzu) powers, but it went down so many wrong roads.
For instance, Misuzu goes from being a strong warrior to being a self-pitying lump.
Yuka goes from being an average damsel in distress female protagonist to a freaking psycho.
See, 11Eyes has this dumb Three’s Company-esque “doing something innocent but looking like something bad to anyone watching” BS running fairly frequently throughout most of the show.
This starts when Yuka catches a naked Kakeru and a naked Misuzu in each other’s arms. Thing is, she was healing him because he had overexerted himself using his powers and they both had to be naked to transfer life force (Yes, it’s stupid). Even before they even did anything, even before they started ‘going there’ I had that gnawing feeling in the back of my mind that this was going to happen. She hugged him after he woke up because she was happy that he was going to be okay and that the healing worked.
After that, though, Yuka just goes insane. She can’t stand to be in the presence of Misuzu and Kakeru at the same time and then throws herself at Kakeru.
The reason that Yuka and Kakeru are such good friends is because they’re both orphans and they really only had each other while growing up. Thus, when Kakeru seems like he’s abandoning her for Misuzu, it’s supposed to be excusable that she goes Looney Tunes. Okay, yes, to a degree. She has the right to be upset, but definitely not to the point that she got to.
After Kakeru refuses to kiss Yuka (I’m guessing he said no because he didn’t want their first kiss to just be some random occurrence because she was upset) Yuka goes even further off the deep end. She runs away from him and starts talking to her stuffed penguin like it’s Kakeru. After a conversation with Yukiko I thought she’d be okay, but damn it all she just got worse. Whenever Kakeru would say Misuzu’s name she’d flinch. Whenever she’d see the two of them together she’d glare. She started correcting Kakeru by saying calling her by her first name (Misuzu-senpai) was wrong and that her name was Kusakabe-senpai.
She eventually gets beyond obsessed, and she starts not giving a rat’s ass about anything going on with the Red Night or caring about anyone’s lives.
Shiori told Yuka during a battle that Kakeru would be fine but she could not guarantee the safety of the others. Yuka responded by saying that was fine as long as Kakeru was okay….Even going this far, this would’ve been mostly understandable if it had only been Misuzu and Kakeru out there seeing as how she hates Misuzu at this point yet is consumed by Kakeru. The others did nothing to her but protect her and be nice to her yet she couldn’t care less about their safety.
I haven’t even told you the top three most disturbing things.
At a point Yuka just starts throwing herself at Kakeru whenever she can. She asks if he wants to go sleep with her, walks up to him in her underwear while he’s just sitting outside and asks if they can sleep together. Just trying to casually whore herself out to him.
After seeing Kakeru kissing/sucking on Misuzu’s arm to drink her blood to gain her power (yet another ‘I knew this was going to be bad before we even hinted at going there’ moment) Yuka bursts into the room, seemingly offering a handkerchief to wipe off a wound on Misuzu’s forehead, then Yuka licks the blood off of Misuzu’s forehead……….
1 – She didn’t even know why Kakeru was doing that or what Misuzu’s blood would do to her.
2 – You see Kakeru getting all cozy with Misuzu and you’re insanely jealous, so you lick the forehead of the girl you’re jealous of?
3 – She obviously realized he was drinking her blood since she started doing it too…..so what exactly was her perception of what was going on there? Did she think that was a normal form of intimacy and was jealous?
Finally we have the most screwed up thing this chick has done. As she was making some tea for the others we see that Yuka put a FRIGGIN’ RAZOR BLADE IN MISUZU’S TEA! Misuzu doesn’t drink it and she doesn’t even bring it up, she just asks to drink it in the other room and I presume she dumps it out, but what the hell!? This is seen as an excusable act by fans because she’s sad at the thought of losing Kakeru? That makes no sense to me.
Off the subject of Yuka for now, we also have episode 11 which (Spoilers) is the most interesting episode I watched. Not only does Yuka die (YAY), but the pairing I actually wanted to happen kinda happens as Kakeru and Misuzu have sex to dramatically increase their powers through the Kusakabe blood they now share (It’s still stupid, yes). Despite agreeing to it, Kakeru constantly tells himself that it’s just a ritual and he would never betray Yuka (he believes she’s still alive). Listen up everyone, this is the greatest cheating excuse ever! If your significant other find you cheating on them just say you were doing it to gain massive power to save their lives. Works every time.
At the end of the episode Kakeru and Misuzu find out that the battle that was going on in the Red Night as they were giving each other major power boosts (I can make up so many jokes like this) went terribly. Liselotte, the main baddie, later masquerades as Yuka and proceeds to kill Kakeru by stabbing him through the chest with his broken sword. He disappears and Misuzu is eaten by the darkness.
Oh dear god….everyone’s dead! How will episode 12 pan out? Will it be some post-apocalyptic epilogue? Will their spirits meet up and somehow beat Liselotte? Will it all turn out to be a premonition from Kakeru’s eye and make episode 12 a massive SCREW YOU?
If you guessed C, you’re right! That’s right, the bulk of episode 11 was a freakin’ premonition from right before Yuka gets attacked to the ending. So, let’s recap.
-Yuka’s still alive 😐
-Everyone else is too. 🙂
-KakeruxMisuzu never happened 😦
What’s even worse is that, even though you get stung from the whole premonition thing, they do you one better.
Many characters died before the ending. Kaeko (Takahisa’s adoptive ‘mother’) got killed by a black knight. Takahisa gets killed by Yukiko after asking her to kill him since the ‘demon’ of his fire powers was taking him over. Yukiko gets killed by a black knight after trying to avenge him since it was them killing Kaeko that triggered the demon.
How do they handle this? There’s six different worlds and all of them seem to be carbon copies of the others. The characters all have the same lives barring or including the Red Night. So, after all is said and done, Kakeru, Yuka and Misuzu go to one of the worlds that has a brand new Takahisa, Kaeko and Yukiko in it. Basically, it’s rebooting the world with a backup copy. The only difference is the Takahisa and Yukiko from this world know nothing of the Red Night, have no powers and don’t know the others.
Don’t get me wrong, I really liked Yukiko, Takahisa and Kaeko, but if you’re going to go to the trouble of making dramatic and emotional death scenes, leave them dead. Even if they’re not the ‘real’ characters, it still drastically takes away from their deaths.
What’s even worse is that Yuka seems to be a fairly normal girl again after that, even accepting Misuzu as a friend. (And after one of the black knights makes the observation that Misuzu loves Kakeru too) So what the fuck? She didn’t have an alter ego or anything – it just like the creators of the anime just up and forgot what an insane bitch she was.
Oh, I skipped this part but, what exactly was the point in Yuka throwing one of the fragments to Liselotte so she would be awakened? What benefit would doing that possibly give Yuka? She wants to kill all the fragments AND Yuka’s little boyfriend that she’s obsessed over. But no, she’s just “Derp, I wanna throw this fragment to the imprisoned witch. Durrrr”
It seems like this anime took what could’ve been something awesome and managed to screw everything up while throwing in cliches and annoyances.
There are some cool plot twists (even though I basically ruined the best ones for you) and for all it’s worth, it is only 12 episodes and it seems to be fairly worth the amount of episodes it has. There’s also a one episode OVA that I will be posting the review of after this.
One final note before I get to the individual points are, during the first half of the series, there’s a problem with panty shots. They seem to take any and every opportunity to get a panty shot in, even if the scene is particularly tense or dramatic. It tends to take away from the story and makes it hard for you to take it seriously. In a weird twist, though, later on the panty shots all but disappear, though that might be because Yuka and Misuzu both go down to their underwear at certain points, and almost takes itself too seriously.
Art: The art is actually great, barring the kinda oddly proportioned girls, and the animation is pretty well done. I will say that, despite this being an action anime, there’s a shortage of epic battles. Fighting does go on, but nothing particularly memorable. As another reviewer on MyAnimeList stated, I was expecting some epic awesome battle between Superbia and Misuzu, but it’s like they fight for a second, cut away, some time has gone on in the battle and Misuzu just says she’s too weak to beat her.
Music: The BG music is great and the OP and ED are awesome. I’d definitely buy the soundtrack.
Kakeru: He’s too gloomy, but he’s not the worst protagonist I’ve ever seen. He never laughs and hardly ever smiles. His only driving force is protecting Yuka at all costs. In that respect, he’s rather cookie-cutter. There’s really nothing about him that’s all that memorable. In fact, I can see myself forgetting his name in a couple weeks. I’ll just remember him as that anime character with two different colored eyes and a funny looking eye patch.
Yuka: I already explained Yuka. However, she has the same speech impediment as Miaka and Tamahome from Fushigi Yuugi, because if she said “Kakeru-kun!” one more time I was gonna smack someone.
Misuzu: A character who started out as stoic and badass turned into a self-pitying lump who relied on Kakeru through her battles through the rest of the show. I like Misuzu a hell of a lot more than Yuka and wish Kakeru had gone with her, but dammit all if she just didn’t lose her edge entirely.
Yukiko: Yukiko’s rather annoying in her first few episodes. She has this weird habit of grabbing a girl’s boobs for no reason which has sadly become a trope in anime, and she’s really happy and peppy. I like her better later on after she explains her backstory and I like her alter-ego a lot better as well. I just will never understand why it is those glasses are the reason she changes.
Takahisa: He’s basically Inuyasha if he was a high school student. It was one thing to look like him but he acts just like Inuyasha too. Rude, likes junk food and snacks, has a temper, prefers to be alone, but his weaknesses are the women in his life. I really liked Takahisa and hated that he had to die.
The Black Knights: Your average group of antagonists. Again, nothing special or memorable about any of them. Barring that one of them, Superbia, who is actually Misuzu’s idol, Misao, from the Kusakabe family who was banished many years ago. Their situation with the fragments (The main characters) gets complicated when they find out that the black knights are actually the good guys, and they’ve been killing them. (To quote Angel from…. Angel, they should really start wearing lapel pins or something) Apparently the black knights never bother to just explain the situation to the fragments instead of all-out attacking them in hopes of killing them)
Shiori: I really like her character design and she’s the one girl fragment that actual seems to be focused on nothing but the task at hand. However, she doesn’t appear as a fighter until it’s so late in the series, you don’t care.
Kukuri: What’s there to say about her? She’s mute and apparently there’s three of her. It’s too complicated and insane to go into details, but she is Kakeru’s dead sister, yet she’s not, but she kinda is, but not from this world, and oh dear I’ve gone cross-eyed. She never talks so I never got annoyed by her.
Liselotte: She’s basically nothing until the last three episodes. For a villain she’s okay, but it’s hard to be scared of someone who looks like lolicon fodder. What’s even more confusing is she seems to be doing all of what she does for her old love, Verard, but even after he randomly appears for 10 seconds to tell her to stop she just brushes it off and continues without any more words from him.
Bottomline: It’s not terrible, in fact it’s pretty interesting and entertaining, but it is a shame that so much potential seemingly went to waste. They ruin most everything halfway through, turn what were once awesome characters into shadows of their former selves, turn Yuka insane, and make a plot that’s too complicated and just plain crazy (not in a good way) at some points. I mean, what exactly is the point of having six worlds that are exactly the same barring which one keeps the fragments? It just seems like a plot device to excuse the ending. I do believe it’s worth the watch since it’s only 12 episodes and it is something somewhat different than the norm.
Additional information and notes:
11 Eyes was directed by Masami Shimoda, created by Studio Dogakobo and is currently licensed by Sentai Filmworks.
Year: Entire run played out in 2009
Recommended Audience: Some violence, gruesome scenes, one sex scene, implications of sex, some nudity (I have to ask, though. Yuka gets sealed away in a container similar to that of Liselotte’s, she’s clothed when she gets kidnapped, but in her underwear and bra when she’s in the container. Is there any point in that? If she needed to be without clothes she’d have to be fully naked, there’s no point in stripping her of just her uniform. Just seems like the biggest not-even-excuse for more fanservice) dark scenes. 14+
This review was revamped as of 4/10/18