ReviewsThe Ones Within

September 15, 202034/1008712 min
Alt. Name
Naka no Hito Genome [Jikkyouchuu]
Release Date
Summer 2019
No. of Episodes
12
Studio(s)
Silver Link
Source
Web Manga
Rating
PG-13
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Story
35%
Art Style
30%
Animation Production
50%
Characters
25%
Entertainment
30%
Rating Summary
The Ones Within is decent at best; one may enjoy other shows who have created and finished the same plot lines as they've tried, and somewhat failed. Don't expect anyone to come full circle within this series or even twenty-five percent due to unclear storylines combined with a lack of character development. This series, at the very most, halfway decent at best, and that's truly saddening.

Imagine it’s the beginning of someone entering the extraordinary – though sometimes weird – cosmos of anime; where will their journey take them? Will they begin watching the most popular anime of the season? Will they start watching the longest-running anime series of recent memory? Perhaps they’ll consume a hidden gem without even knowing it and if one is lucky, maybe even love what they watched. Some anime series are lovely to watch as someone begins to watch anime, and others leave a huge question mark on one’s judgment for wanting to continue a series.

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The Ones Within is a 2019 Mystery anime series by studio Silver Link, and while they’ve only been around since 2007, they’ve created some of the more “interesting” series out there. While everyone should give any anime series a full chance no matter the genre, however when multiple different sites and even streaming services claim it as various genres, it piques my interest. So dependent upon what streaming service one chooses to view this series on, it’ll either be under Comedy, Drama, Adventure, and Mystery – though the only one it happens to meet the definition of the genre would be a mystery.

With so many websites and streaming services having a hard time pinning it to a specific genre, one would think it has a fantastic story. Not exactly, this story is relatively laissez-faire. Iride Akatsuki has unlocked hidden content in the game he’s playing, ‘Nakanohito Genome,’ and it turns out that this content is a real-life game! He soon wakes up and finds that he has been kidnapped and taken to a strange place with several other teenagers. Each specializes in a specific sort of game, like puzzle games, fighting games, etc. With everyone finishing the first level of the game, a strange alpaca-man named Paka tells them about their peculiar predicament. What lies ahead of them are dangerous obstacles that must be finished before leaving the 13th avenue.

Now, if this story seems familiar and almost a carbon copy of Danganronpa: The Animation, you’d be correct. Albeit, one shouldn’t expect groundbreaking and game-changing stories from every anime series that comes out, but there must be something original within the series. While the story does get points for having a more modern assembly of players, let’s players. The Ones Within also receives a few points on not overtly falling into the stereotypical plot progression of a “trapped in a videogame, and they can’t escape until X happens.” Though some common and unavoidable aspects happen within similar plots, they are few and far between and shouldn’t detach anyone from enjoying it.

This story’s negatives are more innumerable, which is understandable given that this series isn’t an original concept. For instance, the biggest problem is the pacing, which goes from a steady walk to a fast run within some episodes. While this series doesn’t claim to be the best story, the main problem is that it has no continuity. The players’ goal is to reach a view milestone, yet they don’t mention it after the first couple of episodes until the last two episodes. However, one of the worst aspects any story can do to itself is set itself up as a high stakes game, then abandon the high stakes after the first episode.

Poor planning and abysmal pacing will turn any story’s potential into a downward spiral event. Though with so many negative aspects within one story, anyone would veer away from this series, and nobody would blame them. However, there are a few positives within the series art style, though nothing extraordinary, it was still pleasant and enjoyable. With the shifting color tones and generic character designs give off a simple, cheaply crafted designs which aren’t terrible by any means. Though don’t expect anything outside the realm of every character looking the same except with one thing being different.

The Production within this series happens to be the superior of the two, yet unfortunately, it’s other pieces were such a deplorable story and art. The opening sequence is flashy and incising while showing all the characters without giving any spoilers. The ending theme is the polar opposite, though it could have been done better for my taste that doesn’t detract from the beauty it has created. If as much effort were put forth with the story and perhaps even the art style, this series would be remarkable. Alas, the production team put all their hard work towards something that seems to be a shell of what could have been.

With any twelve episode series, one shouldn’t expect remarkable character development, and if one gets that, then great. Though there is a decent amount of character development within the series, viewers can foreguess them. Whether it be due to too much information shown within the episodes to cause mystery, or perhaps it’s from the generic characters. Here is the generic casting checklist for the personas: Overly friendly and optimistic, check. The beautiful and popular one, check. The calm type and the angry type, double-check—the mysterious character paired with the timid and kind type, yep. Lastly, the cheerful girl and the sleeper who has no lines until their arc, of course, they have them.

These characters are as generic as this series, which is terrible given they had so many options to choose from. Though with these generic tropes, the only shining light is the “villain,” and even he’s a bit generic. Paka, – the game master – who hides behind an alpaca mask. With his lighthearted personality, he has more character development within this entire series than anyone, and he’s not as present as the others. When the most developed aspect within any series isn’t one of the main characters, this is assuredly how one determines whether this series was utterly worth watching.

Though with all it’s problems, and there was a lot that I chose not to mention due to them being spoiler territory. The series was relatively dull and will quickly forgettable after being completed. While this series does draw a fair amount of similarities towards Danganronpa: The Animation, it does better in areas where the former lacked and vice versa. Though these areas are minuscule, they are better, unfortunately. However, if this series main goal was to bore its audience by giving them nothing new to work with, it’d be an automatic five-star rating. Unfortunately, it is not, making it a contender for the worst series of the year and maybe even the decade.

While there were enjoyable portions, they’re easily forgettable by the lack of ambition from the story itself. By episode four, the viewers will forget that the players are inside a video game, and if that is going to be the premises to an entire series, then make sure that’s a constant threat. If this is a high stakes game where the risk is deadly, then perhaps there should be some loss within the challenges? Outside of this, the series is ultimately a waste of time and energy to watch, and unfortunately, there is no amount of Alpaca that can save this series.

Cody Senpai

Cody Senpai is the creator of BakaNow, an anime review website that specializes in spoiler-free reviews for everyone. He is an avid anime watcher who has traveled to Japan numerous times to not only experience the culture and history but also to build friendships with people through a common interest. He is an avid animation fanatic from birth and even went on to major in communication to help share the importance of the stories we love to watch and listen to. Cody lives in Denver, Colorado and loves to do anything adventurous.

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