Here we have an anime based on the Hyperdimension Neptunia series of video games. However, I’ve never played any of those game, simply because I don’t own any of the consoles they are currently on. So, my review of Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation will be based solely on the anime itself.
Hyperdimension Neptunia: The Animation starts with Neptune, Blanc, Noire and Vert signing a peace treaty between their four nations; Planeptune, Lowee, Lastation and Leanbox, respectively. The treaty prevents them from taking Shares through military force. Shares are what gives the aforementioned CPUs (or goddesses to you and me) their power.
The plot of the anime takes different events from the games and puts them together. The first episodes serves as an introduction for Neptune and Noire, whilst the second has Blanc and Vert enter the spotlight. After the introductions are done, the anime becomes quite serious with one of the antagonists successfully carrying out their plan.
The anime doesn’t remain completely serious throughout however, and has plenty of funny moments. Heck, even during the more serious episodes, the anime pokes fun at itself through outtakes found after the credits.
There are quite a few characters, the most of important of which are the four CPUs.
Neptune is the CPU of Planeptune, and her HDD Form is named Purple Heart. She is based upon Sega’s cancelled system, the Sega Neptune. Neptune would rather sit around playing video games than doing work, though if her nation is threatened, she will become serious about protecting it.
Noire is Lastation’s CPU, and her HDD Form is known as Black Heart. She is based upon Sony’s PlayStation 3. Noire appears to be hard-headed as she generally wants to do things alone. She often tries too hard to improve for the better, which leads to poor health or her efforts going to waste.
Blanc is Lowee’s CPU, and her HDD Form is known as White Heart. She is based upon Nintendo’s Wii. Although she cares deeply for her younger sisters, she has quite a violent temper. As long as she isn’t angered (which happens often), she is normally quiet and reserved who keeps to herself.
Vert is Leanbox’s CPU, and her HDD Form is known as Green Heart. She is based upon Microsoft’s Xbox 360. Vert is considered to be smart and usually very calm and polite. However, she doesn’t really know much about anything outside of Leanbox. She is also an otaku and will spend hours playing video games.
In addition to the CPUs, you have their younger siblings, known as the CPU Candidates. They are initially unable to achieve HDD Form, but an event happens that allows them to unlock that ability.
Nepgear is Neptune’s younger sister, and she is based on Sega’s Game Gear. Unlike Neptune, she is shy and tends to apologise a lot. Although she is timid, she is friendly.
Uni is Noire’s younger sister, and she is based on Sony’s PlayStation Portable. She is a lot friendlier than her sister, although she does has tsundere tendencies. She really looks up to Noire, and works as hard as she can to earn her recognition.
Rom and Ram are the younger twin sisters of Blanc. Rom wears blue, whilst Ram wears pink. They are based on Nintendo’s DS. Rom is the shyer of the pair, and Ram is the more dominant of the two. The two are never seen apart. They also seem to enjoy annoying Blanc, though they do love her.
There are numerous supporting characters, and they all have their own varying personalities. There are IF, Compa and Histoire who support Neptune in the running of Planeptune. Peashy is arguably the youngest character, and she develops quite a friendship with the characters from Planeptune. Plutia talks slowly and falls asleep easily, but has a drastic change of both appearance and personality in her HDD Form. There is also 5pb, though her appearances are limited to a concert and the events at the end of the series.
Of course, there are the antagonists as well. The most prominent of which is Arfoire, and her mouse companion Pirachu. Gothic witch would be the best way to describe Arfoire’s appearance. She serves as the main antagonist for roughly half the series, though she still has appearances afterwards. Pirachu is very much a put-upon minion who has a crush on Compa.
Anonydeath and Rei Ryghts are two more antagonists. Anonydeath is a cross-dresser, though he wears a mechanical suit so it’s kind of hard to tell. Rei Ryghts appears to be someone who has been dragged into the situation. She does not possess any confidence. Without trying to give away too much to anyone who doesn’t know about Rei Ryghts, her personality changes somewhat drastically towards the end of the series.
There are other antagonists, though they only have minor appearances. CFW Trick and Underling spring to mind. CFW Trick is obsessed with little girls, and very much acts like an incredibly disturbing old man. Underling lives up to her name; she is not much more than that.
Rather than one single overarching plot, different events from the games are shown in the anime, as stated above (almost word for word, I believe…) Of course, the plot will always revolve around the CPUs or the CPU Candidates or both. Generally, they are dealing with threats to their nations which can range from a perverted creature that targets only little girls to a nation declaring war so pornography can be distributed freely worldwide.
I believe the soundtrack for the anime is lifted from the games, though I may be wrong. I imagine that fans of the games will enjoy the fanservice from the familiar sounds. As someone who hasn’t played the games, I have to say that I quite enjoyed the songs. Both the opening and one of the ending themes are extremely infectious, and the music played during the episodes fits the situations quite well.
Talking of fanservice, there’s the other type as well. Vert’s breast will spontaneously bounce for no reason, there’s a beach episode and there’s the run-in with the slime type enemies in the first episode. Either you’ll enjoy the fanservice, be put off by it or just simply not be bothered. I fall into the latter category.
The highlight of this anime for me would have to be the last couple of episodes. Watching all the CPUs and CPU Candidates come together in order to defeat arguably their biggest threat was pretty damn neat. Of course, there were other moments in the anime that could be put on TV Tropes’ Crowning Moment of Awesome page, but I’ve limited myself to picking just one.
If I was familiar with the games, I reckon it would have got full marks. However, even without any prior knowledge of the games, this anime is extremely enjoyable, keeping the balance of fun and serious just right.