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#* For some reason, the two professors (Moss Phlox and Wyverna Dretch) are the only ones, to have full names, while everyone (including those who have families like the four main girls) else gets only their first names. Especially, the show went to development for 5-10 years, as well that since Guardian occupation is a form of arm force in the animated show's universe and has even more valuable meaning, it could make sense that most everyone needs a last name, as means to differentiate each other?
 
#* For some reason, the two professors (Moss Phlox and Wyverna Dretch) are the only ones, to have full names, while everyone (including those who have families like the four main girls) else gets only their first names. Especially, the show went to development for 5-10 years, as well that since Guardian occupation is a form of arm force in the animated show's universe and has even more valuable meaning, it could make sense that most everyone needs a last name, as means to differentiate each other?
 
# The show's main setting (including their city, where the main characters currently reside) doesn't know what it wants to be, especially goes with its transportation, technology, fashion, and aesthetic. Even they're trying to imitate the ''[[mh:besttvshows:Little Witch Academia]]'s'' 'Magical' fantasy. Instead, it blends lazily with Dungeonpunk, Gaslamp, Medieval, and Urban fantasy elements, all in one take. Which ends up confusing a few viewers, along the way.
 
# The show's main setting (including their city, where the main characters currently reside) doesn't know what it wants to be, especially goes with its transportation, technology, fashion, and aesthetic. Even they're trying to imitate the ''[[mh:besttvshows:Little Witch Academia]]'s'' 'Magical' fantasy. Instead, it blends lazily with Dungeonpunk, Gaslamp, Medieval, and Urban fantasy elements, all in one take. Which ends up confusing a few viewers, along the way.
#* Much like "[[Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble" (The Simpsons)|Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble"]]" and "[[Life of Brian (Family Guy)|Life of Brain]]", it can't even decide if it wants to be very serious or comedic in terms of the tone. It tries both ways when it comes to action scenes, but it just simply doesn't work.
+
#* Much like "[[Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble" (The Simpsons)|Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble"]]" and "[[Life of Brian (Family Guy)|Life of Brian]]", it can't even decide if it wants to be very serious or comedic in terms of the tone. It tries both ways when it comes to action scenes, but it just simply doesn't work.
 
#* The Magic System also doesn't know what theme it wanted to be. At the start, the Old Magic vs New Magic is like Stable vs Unstable element (e.g., Windmill vs Nuclear Powerplant), however, it becomes the political theme with the whole Conservative vs Progressive message (with Anise saying that Sage's mom and her old sister is so Conservative). The rot plot point which was a major point was not brought up again as it turns out that New Magic is fine.
 
#* The Magic System also doesn't know what theme it wanted to be. At the start, the Old Magic vs New Magic is like Stable vs Unstable element (e.g., Windmill vs Nuclear Powerplant), however, it becomes the political theme with the whole Conservative vs Progressive message (with Anise saying that Sage's mom and her old sister is so Conservative). The rot plot point which was a major point was not brought up again as it turns out that New Magic is fine.
 
#* The characters' design also does not help matters as some may have medieval-style outfits (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme for example), but others had Steampunk/Gaslamp fantasy/Victorian outfits like Caraway and Parsley or even Modern-day/Urban fantasy like Anise, any of the Guardian Academy students (including the central six characters, wearing them), and the Firefighters at the end of the series.
 
#* The characters' design also does not help matters as some may have medieval-style outfits (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme for example), but others had Steampunk/Gaslamp fantasy/Victorian outfits like Caraway and Parsley or even Modern-day/Urban fantasy like Anise, any of the Guardian Academy students (including the central six characters, wearing them), and the Firefighters at the end of the series.

Revision as of 17:54, 1 February 2022

High Guardian Spice
High Guardian Spice.jpg
This is why you should not pay attention to minorities and being overambitious when budget constraint happened, because in the end you will end up destroying your product, and this is the perfect example of that.
Genre: "Magic"
Coming-of-age
"Comedy"
Running Time: 22 minutes
Country: United States
South Korea (Animation Production)
Release Date: October 26, 2021
Network(s): Crunchyroll
Created by: Raye Rodriguez
Distributed by: Funimation Global Group
Seasons: 1
Episodes: 12


"The issue here is a lack of true innovation, or at the very least innovation that seems natural. Characters are one-note or adhere to traits already used in other shows, the plot is just as flat and basic, the animation... I'm not gonna complain about a western cartoon being featured on an anime service, but this animation is pretty subpar. Basic movement, mediocre art direction, often lazy backgrounds. The writing suggests the writers are out of touch with the world or have no grasp on natural progression or presentation. It feels more like meeting a quota than providing true representation. Not all LGBTQ+ individuals have garish hairstyles or a punk look, it's a borderline caricature. It's less "A lesbian character" and more. "Look, it's a lesbian character, are you satisfied?" I'm all for representation, but I fear it will always be handled in the worst possible way. If these characters are based on the writers, then it's less about representation and more of a warped interpretation of it. Either the wrong people are representing diversity, or this is just a poorly written show that was not worth the delays and vague initial details, plagued with cliches, bland characters, stories, and low-quality animation. Both. It's both."
Channeleven on IMDB
"Extremely disappointed in this show. When I first saw the level of representation in this, I was pretty excited about it. It seemed like a nice change of pace from the average cartoon/anime thing. This novelty was short-lived as I soon realized that this show is completely devoid of any mark of quality. The animation shuffles between mediocre and terrible. The characters are bland all around. The writing is downright atrocious, lacking any sense of cohesion or humor. Truly a dire show all around."
Ben on Letterboxd

High Guardian Spice is an American animated streaming television series created by Raye Rodriguez, who formerly worked for Danger & Eggs as a character designer. The series is produced by Crunchyroll Studios (formerly named Ellation) and was originally slated to be Crunchyroll's first original series before it was delayed for approximately 2 years.

After some delays since 2019, the series premiered on Crunchyroll on October 26, 2021.

Premise

A group of four young girls who attend the High Guardian Academy and are training to become guardians of the city. At the same time, they deal with friends, allies, and betrayals, as they attempt to protect everything from an unknown threat.

Why It Got Expelled From The Academy

  1. The major problem is the creator and the group of writers is being overambitious when doing their work on the show. Due to this, the show has many problems shown down here.
    • To make matters even worse when they some delays from 2019 to 21 instead of going back and at least improving the writing or animation they did not do that which shows they are not good at improving the work.
  2. The characters' designs, though they aren't beyond horrible, are a little lazy. As they look like Tumblr or DeviantArt OCs, or at best, something out of a How-To Draw Anime/Manga book. It looks very unfitting for an anime-influenced cartoon due to being rather too colorful. Sometimes it may be okay to make character designs rather a bit colorful, but not like this.
    • The very rounded character designs make the characters, especially Parsley who is supposed to be short but strong, look quite chubby, and lack edges and body sections to know if they have muscles or not.
    • Most of the characters look way too similar to other characters from various media except blander and more uninteresting. For example; Rosemary looks like a bland bootleg of Madoka Kaname from Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Parsley and her mother vaguely resembles Sadie Miller and her mom (Barbara) from Steven Universe and its follow-up installments, but the former as a dwarf blacksmith wannabe type character, and her mother as a fanatical dwarf housewife.
    • Some of the characters are self-inserts of the creators or writers, which makes them even more like Tumblr or DeviantArt OCs.[1]
    • For some reason, the two professors (Moss Phlox and Wyverna Dretch) are the only ones, to have full names, while everyone (including those who have families like the four main girls) else gets only their first names. Especially, the show went to development for 5-10 years, as well that since Guardian occupation is a form of arm force in the animated show's universe and has even more valuable meaning, it could make sense that most everyone needs a last name, as means to differentiate each other?
  3. The show's main setting (including their city, where the main characters currently reside) doesn't know what it wants to be, especially goes with its transportation, technology, fashion, and aesthetic. Even they're trying to imitate the Little Witch Academia's 'Magical' fantasy. Instead, it blends lazily with Dungeonpunk, Gaslamp, Medieval, and Urban fantasy elements, all in one take. Which ends up confusing a few viewers, along the way.
    • Much like "Homer Simpson in: "Kidney Trouble"" and "Life of Brian", it can't even decide if it wants to be very serious or comedic in terms of the tone. It tries both ways when it comes to action scenes, but it just simply doesn't work.
    • The Magic System also doesn't know what theme it wanted to be. At the start, the Old Magic vs New Magic is like Stable vs Unstable element (e.g., Windmill vs Nuclear Powerplant), however, it becomes the political theme with the whole Conservative vs Progressive message (with Anise saying that Sage's mom and her old sister is so Conservative). The rot plot point which was a major point was not brought up again as it turns out that New Magic is fine.
    • The characters' design also does not help matters as some may have medieval-style outfits (Rosemary, Sage, and Thyme for example), but others had Steampunk/Gaslamp fantasy/Victorian outfits like Caraway and Parsley or even Modern-day/Urban fantasy like Anise, any of the Guardian Academy students (including the central six characters, wearing them), and the Firefighters at the end of the series.
  4. False Advertising: While this show was made to promote diversity, the only things that were diverse are that the witches are of different races and the fact that there is also one trans-male character. There are only seven male characters in this series, which makes no sense, as in real life, there are around 105 boys per 100 girls according to the ‘natural’ sex ratio. Not only is that considered sexist, it actively makes it pure-feminist propaganda because of this.
      • Keep in mind that Hanazuki: Full of Treasures, while it promotes diversity, Only has two boys (Kiyoshi and Maroshi) per three girls (Hanazuki, Kiazuki and Miyumi), which while not sexist, it is due to Hasbro putting the series on hiatus, while High Guardian Spice has been accused of racism and sexism against not just white males, but every male regardless of race and skin color.
    • There is one scene when Professor Caraway even tells Rosemary without subtly or acting human about how being transgender works.
  5. The show itself was possibly rushed due to it just coming out of nowhere for the release. This leads to problems shown here. It doesn’t help that the show has troubled production and it was announced to be released in late 2019, before being delayed to October of 2021. Also as mentioned above they did not use the delay to go back and fix it making the show look unfinished.
    • Such things like the bread and lamp poles look very detailed but clash with the cheap environmental and character designs. It was revealed that the lamppost was originally a stock .png image from Shutterstock. Yes, we’re not kidding, the lamppost was from Shutterstock.[2]
  6. The animation, while not the worst, is laggy and lazily copied and pasted props in the background due to the animators from Lotto Animation and DR Movie having a hard time doing their job right, due to pressure from time and money. Again, stock images have been used to get around it.
    • The worst part about the stock images they stole is that they didn't even bother to remove the watermark in some of them.
    • Animation errors are also really common, including such errors as:
      • In a scene from the first episode, the carriage just moves without any wheel or body movement.
      • In the market from one episode the main characters are moving but the background characters are not moving, which makes the world look rather flat due to this.
  7. Bad voice acting; with some of the characters sounding like they have a sore throat or if they're speaking into a cup or vacuum, or even sounding like they just wanna leave the production.
    • The dialogue is cringeworthy. It acts and looks unfinished as if they only used the first draft script.
  8. The show is an inferior wannabe of other anime (e.g., Little Witch Academia (which later the creator admit to majorly inspired from), Puella Magi Madoka Magica, and Magic Knight Rayearth) and even some (anime-like) western cartoons (e.g., RWBY, The Owl House, She-Ra and the Princesses of Power, Steven Universe, and Star vs the Forces of Evil) making the show somewhat unoriginal and bland.
  9. Almost all of the characters are bland and one-dimensional as they do not have anything that stands out.
    • Rosemary; is just your typical plucky, genki girl-type who's inconsiderate, self-absorbed, and annoying. That's it, nothing else. Like Peppa Pig, she also counts as one of the very worst examples of Mary Sue since she effortlessly learned magic without any struggles and even beat everyone effortlessly, but it's dialed up to 11 here.
    • Sage; a smart, studious witch, is a terrible friend of Rosemary. She is also very sexist as she compares male and female friendship saying that friendship between girls is deeper yet her relationship with Rosemary says it all.
    • Amaryllis is just your mean girl-type character. She is pretty much likable to the rest of the cast.
    • Rosemary, Sage, Thyme, and Parsley are named after herbs (grasses in Latin), which are not spices. Amaryllis is named after a plant that is not a spice either.
    • Slime Boy is a stupid pointless minor character, and his only contribution to the series, was to teach the main or major characters with new magic or any tips and that's it.
  10. The tone, while being promoted as for mature audiences only, does not do anything to justify the mature rating. (e.g. swearing). Due to the most part, until the end, the show is light and childish and when it gets dark, it is a tone whiplash due to not being shown from the very start.
    • Speaking of the warning, the show itself looks more appealing to younger audiences due to the bright color palettes and soundtrack. It tries way too hard to pander to mature audiences; an example is the violence on the monsters. For some reason, they have red blood instead of other colors like blue, green, etc. It’s okay if you want a monster’s blood to be red sometimes, but not when it’s done like this. Another example is the characters using profanity out of nowhere. Due to this, it feels like it doesn't have any idea what target audience it should be made for, similar to Beast Machines but on an even worse scale.
  11. As stated from the beginning, the show insults male characters (except somewhat on the first main characters' male relatives, Professors Hakone, Caraway, and Moss Phlox), like garbage. They portray mostly all of them as stereotypically lazy, muscularly fit, idiotic, and sexist characters who barely even do anything for the plot. They also use the same character designs of every male character that was inspired by some shows and movies. There is a compilation on YouTube that sums up the problem in a nutshell.
    • Also speaking of Moss Phlox, who spite being ironically less demonized than other male characters in the show, by personality. It still gives a somewhat unfortunate implication that he's a closet pervert due to his voice sounding sexual, the only character in the show that has his eyes closed, and in a fact, a satyr, who are usually, but uncommonly portrayed as sexual perverts in uncensored popular culture.
    • It even had a sexist writer, who posted an infamous hashtag called, "Kill All Men".
  12. There is also the lack of English subtitles, which makes it hard for people with impaired hearing to watch the show due to this.
  13. Other than having some bland storytelling, the show likes to over-rely on the "Idiot Plot" trope to move along with the story. For example, any characters like the main characters, side characters, and even the villains are acting like idiots to move along with the story, instead of having a least one or two smart characters, like Sage or any professors from their academy are supposed to be. Thus, the whole story would have ended if the characters are not idiots.
    • And speaking with Sage, her main arc is being the pretty dumbest out of the five main arcs, as for some reason, she didn't consider asking any of the Guardians of switching her class (the New Magic class) to a new class (the Old Magic class, if there any at all?), if can't stand how New Magic works? Which could be easing her cool down and avoiding it altogether? That alone also would've been not trash-talking her mother, like treating her as some sort of minor antagonist for her and Anise, despite being a background character, for the audience.
  14. Most of the jokes here fall flat.
  15. Sequel Baiting: The series ends with a setup that most likely will not happen due to the series coming to an end and being forgotten about by Crunchyroll.
  16. Due to this backlash, some anime fans have responded to the show's backlash by canceling their Crunchyroll subscriptions and going back to pirating anime or buying their official merchandise and Blu-rays to the point that this show almost ruined Crunchyroll's reputation as a whole.
  17. In summary, this show is nothing more than LGBT pandering that shoves political propaganda in your face.
  18. Hypocrisy: Despite Anise trash-talking Sage's mom and her older sister for being an Old Magic user (Conservative), when she's married to an Old Magic user with Aloe (regardless her political beliefs). Which comes out extremely weird and could unintentionally insult her wife, if she was there and misheard it, and that alone could create a subplot about the two's relationship, for the rest of the series. But didn't happen, for some reason.
  19. Aside from the sequel baiting, the ending is not very good; it just ends on a very dumb cliffhanger.

Redeeming Qualities

  1. While it came across as pandering and being a self-insert of the creator, having a trans-male character known as Professor Caraway being a supporting role is alright.
  2. Despise being childish, the soundtrack is very decent, besides both the intro and end credits.
  3. The backgrounds and sometimes the characters' designs are nice (take Wyverna Dretch, the devil ethics professor as an example).
  4. The show's color palette is nice to look at.
  5. It has a few likable characters such as Amaryllis and Snapdragon.
    • Parsley, Slime Boy, and Olive can also be likable depending on your view.
  6. The original pilot is better than the show.

Reception

Similar to Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go!, people littered a bunch of hate pictures on the IMDb page to protest against this show.

High Guardian Spice was universally panned by users, critics, and anime fans alike due to the childish tone, cliched dialogue, poor voice acting and laggy animation. Only 11% of Google users said they liked this show. It currently has a 1.2/10 on IMDb, making it one of the lowest-rated animations on that site. Not long after the release, some people went as far as to outright trash the photos section of its page, similar to the IMDb vandalism of Thomas & Friends: All Engines Go! adding pictures ranging from memes that poke fun of the show, to some of them adding poop emojis on the characters' faces. These photos were taken down about a few days after they were posted, due to IMDb being supportive of the show secretly.

On Twitter, the official High Guardian Spice account, as well as the staff members and the creator himself started to block users who called them out, showing they can't handle criticism.

Not to mention, the creator, Raye Rodriguez, recently tried to dismiss criticism by using the "The show were on a budget" excuse.[3] Keep on mind that Hoodwinked! also had a "small" budget and yet it managed to pull off a decent film with that budget due to the writers effort showing you don't need high budget to make a good film/show.

Trivia

  • One of the show's writers, Kate Leth, made horrendous hate and misandrist tweets towards men on Twitter, which soured the show's image for a lot of people. She refused to apologize for it by claiming "She Was Tumblrpilled" showing she can't take criticism for her actions let alone makes her incompetent when doing story writing.[4]
  • Crunchyroll itself even starting to move away from it as it shows in Anime NYC they did not mention anything about it, showing they are aware how bad the show is.[5]
  • A Twitter user, under the name Idiotanation, sent HGS Rule 34 links towards Kate Leth and Raye Rodriguez through their Twitter accounts as a vendetta for wasting the money that was supposed to support anime/manga creators.

The Original Pilot

Videos

Comments

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