Hinano picked Seraphim Call as the most obscure anime that she’d seen on one of our podcasts. It might have been, because she might not have downloaded Mizuiro Jidai yet. Looking at my MAL page, if I exclude things like DVD omake, short films, and anime I haven’t fully watched (I’ve only seen a half dozen episodes or so of Taiyou no Kiba Dougram, which has a whopping 17 votes), I’ve only seen about a dozen anime with fewer votes than Seraphim Call.
I believe she also called it the worst anime that she’d ever fully watched on the same podcast. I don’t think it was nearly that bad. The format of the show sets it up to be very hit and miss: the show consists of 11 self-contained episodes (followed then by a wrap-up episode), each revolving around a different girl and set in the far-off futuristic year of 2010. It’s a bit different from the standard bishoujo setup however in the sense that there is usually no male self-insert like in say, visual novel adaptations. For me, it was probably more miss than hit. There were about three or four episodes that I liked, while the rest nearly put me to sleep.
Most of the episodes I liked had some kind of clever hook. I sat there the whole time during episode 2 wondering why every shot was in a series static long shots that would go on for minutes, and then chuckled at the revelation why in the last minute. Episode 10 with the interspersed panels from the manga that the main character was drawing was clever, too. I liked how sometimes the manga would be more fantastic than real life, but sometimes its cliches would make it more boring than real life. It was also interesting seeing the disconnect in the various characters minds between whether the “real” anime story or the manga story was more interesting. But the yuri twins? The swimmer who could be cute and feminine if she wanted to? The math teacher? The rich girl who decides to take on a part-time job? Snore.
Would I watch it even if I weren’t forced? This show is kind of worth watching simply because there might be something for you in one or two of the episodes—that is, if you can handle the bizarre conehead character designs.
Appendix: if you care, here are all the shows I have completed on MAL with fewer votes than Seraphim Call (242 votes):
Tenbatsu Angel Rabbie (235)
Butt Attack Punishment Girl Gautaman (228 and 113)
Space Runaway Ideon (225, with the movies having less)
Refrain Blue (168)
Mad Bull 34 (138)
Garzey’s Wing (135)
Bobby’s in Deep (134)
With You ~Mitsumeteitai~ (115)
Silent Service (85)
Crystal Triangle (81)
Mizuiro Jidai (77)
Don’t Leave Me Alone Daisy (59)