Shuffle!: It wasn't that bad of a show, at least the last 6 episodes weren't.

Currently sitting on top of 3 months of time spent watching anime, I have seen a few poor shows till the end, Blood+ rings a bell. I have recently begun watching a few Harem shows and although it's old, I just finished watching Shuffle!. I will take this opportunity to talk about Shuffle! as a sort of practice run to get ready for the Fall shows I might blog about.

Shuffle! was in a sense a dull, pointless harem. At least this is what I thought until episode 19, when we are FINALLY introduced to some events worth caring for. For the first 18 episodes we learn of the main characters, have a few episodes dedicated to them, and throw in a few jokes and minor events occurring around Primula (which made me care just slightly). We are given VERY few hints and foreshadowing within these 18 episodes as to some deeper issues laying dormant among the characters. although we soon forget them because the show kinda sucks. While we do reveal and solve (in a rather sad way) the concerns surrounding Primula, Sia, and Nerine, these are pretty dull and don't quite grab my attention as something to really care for.

[WARNING! spoilers below, I suggest watching the final 6 episodes of Shuffle! before reading, however you may read on and might be convinced to watch them as the show has a change of pace.]

Finally get to see the Yandere of the show.
Episode 19, this is where I was shocked to find the dark events surrounding Kaede and Rin's past where Rin took blame for Kaede's parents' death in order make her place the blame upon him and get past the trauma and out of the hospital. It turns out Kaede once strangled Rin, cut him with a razor blade, locked him outside in the rain overnight, and turns completely dangerous when her father isn't around. Talk about frightening after seeing how super happy and bright the show was before this. After Kaede realizes that her parents died because of her instead, she devotes her existence to supporting and taking care of Rin, this brings up a rather scary look on Kaede as she is continuously ignored when Rin decides to date Asa. This was the moment I was waiting for, after finding out that this had Kaede as a Yandere character it only took me 19 episodes to get to the good part.
You have no idea how creep'd out I was when I saw this.

This was pretty well done as we never really had many episodes dedicated to learning about Kaede. This helped reveal her character and past very well as I was suddenly interested in watching the next episode right away to find out how Rin, Kaede and Asa would work things out, I was even considering a possible murder or suicide (thinking of School Days' ending). The show got even better as Asa is suddenly stricken with her mysterious sickness and ends up nearing death. More dark events are occurring and this show would have been far better off with more of this in the beginning instead of love. We learn about Asa's mother being the first Demon test subject giving birth to Asa who has magic power, but because of her human body she cant contain the magic, slowly killing her unless she uses it. (There was a foreshadow to this earlier on but since the show was so slow and didn't seem to head anywhere you wouldn't have noticed until after this moment.) The show made it seem very uncertain as to how things would end, and I was sure Asa was going to die, however, Rin has the bright idea of slitting his wrist, risking him to bleed to death in order to force Asa to use her magic and heal him (I'm surprised he didn't even consider what kind of magic she could use since there was no mention she had the ability to heal!).
You're useless, you know that?
Overall if I look back at this show it was OK, at least it had a strong ending rather than starting strong and failing harshly, nevertheless I think it was because it was such a bad 18 episode run that it made the final 6 to appear well done. At least Asa, Primula, Kaede and Rin had better end development than most harems. I would recommend you watch episodes 19+ if you gave up halfway through the series, don't worry your not missing anything in between the beginning and end, in fact watch the show until it gets boring then just watch the ending, you wont miss much.