You know it is an anime when people take an alien in stride. This Ugly Yet Beautiful World opens with a mysterious light in the woods and a nude teenage girl. The protagonists Takeru and Ryou are immediately attacked by an anime. Takeru abruptly transforms into a beast version of himself and pummels the alien, saving the girl. The boys name her Hikari since she doesn’t have a memory, and Takeru takes her home.
With pure intentions mind you…
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World follows the boys through their daily lives as they teach Hikari and, the soon to show up sister, Akari what living on earth is like. This anime has many Zen-like moments as the 2 ladies discover smiles and heartache, beauty and ugliness. This is all set against a backdrop of the usual fan-service and the odd alien monster attack.
Ugly yet beautiful characterizes this anime. It isn’t bad, but it isn’t great either. It has a lot of potential but felt disjointed and bland. Gainax did a decent job on the animation; although it felt uneven in quality. The characters were interesting but could have been better. I’d like the anime more if it focused more on discover and appreciation for life against hardship than wandering into the odd alien fight. Which, I must add, all the characters took in stride. The cast even sat there calmly as the boys discussed how they found the girls in the woods, believing every word as a matter of fact.
The anime is a romantic comedy with some action elements. It has some good emotional moments. Again, I especially like how Hikari and Akari viewed the world with wonder, freshness, and Zen-like awareness.
This Ugly Yet Beautiful World isn’t terrible, yet it isn’t great. The 12 episodes felt disconnected at times. There was too much focus on the oddities of aliens and shape shifting humans when the anime would have been much better focusing on character interaction amidst some real life hardships. The alien angle could have been a source for some conflict, but noooo. Everyone just accepted it as par for the course.
This anime isn’t one to got out of your way to watch, yet it isn’t one to avoid either.