Imagine a world where your favourite video game console is a goddess.
For some people, that wouldn’t be too hard to do, but actually – there’s no need to imagine it. Not when, firstly, Idea Factory make a video game series based around that exact concept, but also when David Production make the anime adaptation of said video game series.
The series follows Planeptune, Leanbox, Lowee and Lastation after they form a treaty of friendship as a result of years of fruitless war over Share energy, the source of their strength which is based around how many people have faith in their goddesses (also called CPUs). This treaty bans any attempt of claiming Share energy by means of military force with the aim of bring peace and prosperity to each of their worlds. However, when Neptune, the CPU of Planeptune, spends her time goofing around, her land’s shares begin to plummet. Neptune and her friends attempt to increase the Shares whilst dealing with an external threat which threatens the existence of all the goddesses and even the Gamindustri itself.
Although Hyperdimension Neptunia began as a video game series, I haven’t played any of them, so I entered the world of the Gamindustri with quite an open mind. Luckily, for some of the references I had a friend who has seen the anime before and who has played the games, so he was there to explain certain ‘in-series’ in-jokes. However, some of the references just require a very basic video game knowledge, so even if you have no idea what Neptunia is all about, you’ll be able to get some humour out of it anyway.
The characters are all quite lovable in their own unique ways. Firstly, you have Neptune – arguably the most carefree of all the characters. The main protagonist, she handles situations head on, compared to the others who might think the whole scenario first, coming across as being happy for more or less the entire series. In comparison with the other main characters, you have Noire who’s quite independent, Blanc who has a short temper (particularly with her younger sisters Rom and Ram) and Vert who’s known to be the smart and polite one in the group. Argubaly, you also have Peashy as a main character within the second half of the series – the cute, annoying one, but she’s more cute than annoying.
Speaking of Peashy, she was by far the best thing coming from this series for me. Making her debut appearance halfway through the series in episode six, she is the one character who brings the entire story together. Before Peashy’s appearance, there are strands of storyline that don’t quite seem to fit together as well as they should. And, with a mixture of fanservice, mostly from the transformation sequences, this didn’t settle right with me. Peashy is introduced – everything is brought together nicely. Without Peashy, I honestly don’t think I would have watched this series past episode six, but, due to a certain string of events, the show keeps you wanting more and more. Apart from a good soundtrack, Hyperdimension Neptunia doesn’t really have anything going for it in the first half, which is a complete shame, really, considering how good the second half actually is.
Would I recommend Hyperdimension Neptunia? It’s 50:50. On one hand, if you’re interested in video games, like cute girls, don’t mind magical girl transformations and don’t mind having to wait a good few episodes until the series gets good – go for it. On the other, if you’re like me and a little impatient, don’t really like certain types of magical girl transformations and don’t play many video games, this probably isn’t the series for you.