Archives for : Touya Mikanagi

Karneval (anime review)

Karnevalreview provided by T J

Title: Karneval

Director: Eiji Suganuma

Author: Touya Mikanagi

U.S. Distributor: Funimation

Release Date: Jun 10, 2014

Format and Length: DVD/Blu-ray; 13 ep

Genre: action; sci-fi

Industry Age Rating: 14+

Overall Personal Rating: B+

Similar Series: K; Star Driver


Karneval tells the story of a world swimming in conspiracy and secret government organizations and cover-ups. The story follows a thief names Gareki who has only been looking out for himself his entire life. His motto is “Life always boils it down to three choices: enemy, obstacle, or easy mark.” That is the mantra he lived by up until he ran into a boy named Nai being held prisoner in a mansion. Gareki agrees to break Nai out as he deems the boy useful for his naïve innocence. What should have been an easy job becomes much more complicated when the owner of the mansion reveals herself to be a strange inhuman creature that wants to eat Nai and Gareki. Upon escape from the mansion, they stumble into an organization known as Circus which was investigating the mansion. It is revealed that Circus is a government organization whose purpose is to find and eliminate the criminal organization known as Kafka who has been creating the monsters which are called Varuga. Since the actions taken by Circus can be quite violent and could make a scene, they distract the public eye by holding a festival, the main attraction of which is an actual circus. Circus eventually discovers that Kafka has a special interest in Nai and then decide to use him to try to draw them out, and in turn they will help him find a man he is looking for: a man called Karuko who they find out is being held by Kafka.


Karneval is an all right series. It is not the greatest, but it is definitely not bad. The fight scenes are exciting to watch and the story is a good one. However, it does feel disconnected almost like the creators could not decide whether the main plot is Nai finding Karuko and the subplot is Circus taking down Karafka or vice versa. The comic relief is very well done as well. The way it is done plays off the characters’ naivety and makes it cute as well as amusing, especially when they encounter Circus’s robotic servants that look like rabbits and sheep.

One of this series’ main points is the outfits the characters wear. In fact, the character designs are easily the best part of Karneval. They are very flamboyant and over-the-top, which makes sense as they are in a “Circus.” There are two characters who seem to be in competition on who can wear a tux better. Even the monsters were designed excellently. They were all different and very creative, even if they were inspired by (if not downright copying) the Necromorphs from the Dead Space video games. There are only two characters that did not feel up to par and they were the protagonists. Gareki is basically a cookie-cutter angsty teenager and was easily the least creatively designed character, which was disappointing as he was one of the focal characters. The only problem with Nai’s character was the voice acting. He looks like he is supposed to be 14-16 years old, but he sounds like a 10 year old girl. This was probably done to emphasize his innocence, but it could still have been done easily if he had a more masculine voice that was more fitting of a boy of that age.

Overall, Karneval is a pretty good series. It has its problems, but it is still on the good end of the spectum.

Overall Grade: B+

Karneval overall was a decent series. The plot could never decide what direction it was going, but its still a good story. The character designs really take it though, most the characters are very interesting and are always fun to look at.

“In the Radius:”

Other similar titles to check out might be K or Star Driver