Labyrinth (Ali Project)
I was bored one day and so I watched the first couple episodes of St Luminous purely on the recommendation from animesuki.com. I mean, how bad can an anime series about an all girls high school be? Not as good as I had hoped it seems. I wasn't all that thrilled by the series when I watched it. Instead, I watched most of the series out of sheer stubbornness. I just wasn't satisfied with thinking up an ending for the series and moving on.
An anime with an all girls anything is begging for a guy to end up being in the middle of it and Kaihei Kijima is that man. As grandson of the previous chair of St Luminous, he inherits the job of running the school after his elderly grandfather dies. The reluctant recipient of chair is prodded into actually taking it by his friend (and womanizer to boot) Ryuu Tanami. Ryuu's big plans of taking classes with all the hot girls backfire when he learns he has to cross-dress to attend classes.
Unfortunately for Kaihei, the inheritance of his grandfather's job means having to deal with the recent problems at the school. Specifically, one of school's students has spontaneously disappeared. Even more mystifying is that Kaihei is certain he saw her while waiting at the train station for a ride to the school. The story meanders it's way through introducing and fleshing out some of St. Luminous' students while Kaihei attempts to work out the reason behind the disappearances.
Maybe I'm too impatient but the series felt like it dragged through the middle seven episodes where little about the disappearances is revealed. All that meandering around introducing students without adding to solving the mystery got annoying. As well, I didn't like the art that much. Besides an odd glimmer of hope here and there, the art seemed hopelessly unable to contribute to the story. Its not an ugly series but little of the art will grab your attention.
My recommendation is that unless you're a mystery fan then you might just want to stay away. In the end, the series has a decent if highly predictable ending. St Luminous reminded me a lot of Love Hina and I couldn't help but keep wishing it had a tighter and more twisted story behind the disappearances. An improved story would place it solidly in the same league as Love Hina. Still, there are some very good and interesting characters in this series.