I have to face the obvious and announce the abandonment of Crescent Love (Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na). The show was formally "suspended" after ep.7 since mid-February.
This is unfortunate, because I didn't see a character as interesting as Feena, the female lead, since Reki in Haibane Renmei, if that. Creators cut an unusual and lucky balance with her. Feena is a crown princess of a moon kingdom, and she had a good rearing. She is smart like Valerie Hanson, beautiful like... perhaps Liv Tyler, tough like Margaret Thatcher. Still, she is not an all around Mary Sue. For example, she's not as inhumanly strong as anime girls too often are. Although she's skilled with a sword (re. the demonstration in ep.3), her self-proclaimed "fiance" easily bests her. Her biggest fault is that she becomes indecisive under pressure (and her men tend to use it). But that only humanizes her. To top it off, she's nice. Maybe I'm tired of tsunderes and hungry for a genuinely likeable character.
Because of Feena, I didn't want to drop this show. And I do not agree with vicious reviewers. It was a death by the thousand cuts.
The animation quality wasn't as bad as everyone makes it out, but it looked cheap. Actually, it was very puzzling and I researched quite a bit, the line and shadow count, eyebrows, backgrounds, everything. In Azumanga Daioh they often use the same number of lines, yet the result is lively and attractive. I have to note though, while Azumanga is virtually defect-free, I saw several gross layering errors in just two episodes of Crescent Love. At the time I lost count, it started really piss me off, more than flat shading and weak color key.
Most reviewers were horrified by the nose-pinching. But I thought it was great! Maybe clumsily executed, but a great idea. As it turned out later, the ham-fisted execution is the hallmark of the show. My notebook had a few examples, but I think the most striking one was when Mai (the imouto) turns over her chair in ep.7. Even references were mostly dull. I mean, Mission Impossible? Please! Survivor? Kitsch! Indiana Jones? Overdone! The only one which worked at all was Iron Chef.
I had a few scenes saved for a write-up, like the Sad Feena In Snow above. But there's really no sense. It's the same pattern everywhere. If Feena acts, she overpowers bad plot, bad writing, and bad animation, but only for a short while. I didn't have the strength to cross the barren earth between these oasises.
So, there we have it. Oh, and OP song was pure magic. The tempo changes were very pleasing, and the "we are not alone" theme sounds nice (unlike the anime itself, where they drill it into our skulls like Caltrans workers with pneumatic tools).
Liked: Not really, although Feena FTW and uber alles.
UPDATE 2011: Hikago mostly agrees and adds some insights, such as:
Even the climactic marriage scene became the apex of failure as they tried to shove as many “comedic” instances as possible in an otherwise heartwarming and solemn occasion.