They’re the best Anime that 2016 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Heavy Object, Macross Δ, Kiznaiver, and more!
10: Heavy Object
English: Heavy Object
MAL Score: 7.27
In the distant future, the nature of war has changed. “Objects”—massive, spherical tanks impermeable to standard weaponry and armed with destructive firepower—rule the battlefield; their very deployment ensures victory, rendering traditional armies useless. However, this new method of warfare is about to be turned on its head.
Qwenthur Barbotage, a student studying Object Design, and Havia Winchell, a radar analyst of noble birth, serve in the Legitimate Kingdom’s 37th Mobile Maintenance Battalion, tasked with supporting the Baby Magnum, one of the nation’s Objects. Unfortunately, a battle gone awry places the duo in a precarious situation: mere infantry stand face-to-face against the unfathomable might of an enemy Object. As they scramble to save themselves and their fellow soldiers, a glimmer of hope shines through, and the world’s perception of Objects is changed forever.
Heavy Object follows these two soldiers alongside Milinda Brantini, the Baby Magnum’s pilot, and their commanding officer Frolaytia Capistrano as the unit treks all over the globe to fight battle after battle. Facing one impossible situation after another, they must summon all their wit and courage to overcome the insurmountable foes that are Objects.
Art- It was pretty average
Sound- I liked some of the sound tracks and the voice actors were nice too
Character- They do a good job with the characters and it’s entertaining watching Qwenther always awakening his inner genius at the last moment and saving the princess. It’s always funny when they throw in the pervert element of the 2 mc’s too. The producers made good antagonists that made you want to smack them and it brings out the mc’s good points even more. There isn’t much character development though since they were basically at the peak from the start.
Story- Loved it. It was basically repeating but it kept be hooked the whole time just watching them fight Objects. They waste a lot of time explaining the plans and stuff though even though if you’re a normal human being it’s hard to keep up with sometimes.
Basically if you like action and a little bit of humor it will probably fit your fancy. You don’t have to like mecha to like this. Personally I’m not a huge mecha fan but I really liked this anime.
That’s all thanks for reading. ^~^
Adapted from the light novel of the same name, some viewers may be familiar with the origins of this series already. It’s created by Kazuma Kamchi, the brainchild of Toaru Majutsu no Index. With 10 volumes released, the anime adaptation covers a 2-cour of 24 episodes. As as sci-fi modern warfare story, Heavy Objects hits on a variety of ideas. But is it really satisfying with its execution?
There’s a bunch of agendas the series tries to achieve when judging on the surface. One of these is establishing the main players, or otherwise nations that clashes in warfare. These include the Legitimacy Kingdom, Capitalist Corporations, Information Alliance, and the Faith Organization. Each of these favors different values and has their own goals. Second, there are the main characters. Qwenthur and Havia are the two main guys on the frontlines and are literally daredevils. With a wacky sense of humor, both of them really has ways to escape death. Time and time again, the show puts them into situations where they are likely to die yet somehow escapes with their hearts still beating. Some might call this “plot armor” but the show marks it more as a gimmick. Both of these guys are also very crafty and is shown by the way they defeated their first Object. Joining them are two female characters – Frolaytia and Milinda, the elite princess. Frolaytia is their commanding officer and often puts them in dangerous missions. Her quite temper and slight sadistic personality makes her someone to be feared. The show also makes her more of the fan service character as often times, there are suggestive camera shots at her body. This is furthered by the fact that she tempts the boys with her pseudo-sadism. On the other hand, Milinda is more of a quiet girl who relies on using her pilot skills to get the job done. As the pilot of the Baby Magnum, she displays impressive skills that makes her a threat to her enemies. Throughout the series, I think it’s pretty obvious that she has a crush on Qwenthur judging on her reactions.
By the third or fourth episode, it’ll be obvious at how the show is structured with its storytelling. It’s chronicled in a series of arcs that has an overall connection to the main story. The Objects are the main attraction that gets featured in warfare. As thus, a good deal of the show concentrates on exploiting the strengths and weaknesses of the Objects. Each of them has a different configuration, design, armaments, model, and other features that makes it stand out on the battlefield. Now, I admit. I’m kind of a sci-fi nerd when it comes to shows like this. And by the context of this show, it’s quite fascinating when examining the features of these Objects. Essentially, they are armored fighting machines with almost all of them having a spherical main body. The design of each Object is covered by body armor that makes their defensive capabilities pretty stiff. Their propulsion system allows the Objects to maneuver on almost any time of environment. As a show that transits battle environments from the frosty lands of Alaska to dense jungles of the Amazons, it’s pretty important to show how Objects can function in different circumstances. Then, there’s also the reactor that fuels the energy of the Objects. Think of it like as a battery. The pilot controls the cockpit and each Object has its own unique control system. The show mostly features this for Milinida as we see the detailed structure of Baby Magnum’s cockpit. Finally, each Object has a heavy arsenal of weapons that ranges from impressive railguns, laser beam cannons, plasma weapons, and technology that far surpasses our own in the real world. In retrospect, the show does a neat job to cover the mechanics of the Objects and why they have such reputations. And in a story of sci-fi warfare, that needs to be.
On a more personal or relationship level, the show is a bit of a hit or miss. In particular, Qwenthur is a character that is hard to get attached to. He is a daredevil but also very dense when it comes to the feelings of some characters, in particular Milinida. At various points during this show, he gets unintentionally caught in misunderstandings that comically puts himself and others in danger. He invokes the wrath of the girls without knowing with his poor choice of words. And to top it all, he doesn’t realize it even with his good buddy Havia screaming at him. On the other hand, Qwenthur and Havia has a pretty amusing relationship. Their on screen moments shows that they act more like brothers than comrades. Their reckless tactics often requires teamwork and strategic timings so the show emphasizes on their trusting connection. This easily shows that they respect each other while also getting the job done and is one of the key reasons that they are able to survive so many times. Furthermore, the boys often help out Milinida when she is in danger while putting their own lives at risk. It earns Frolaytia’s criticism but there is also genuine among of trust that she places onto the boys. It’s a bit of an unorthodox relationship when these four are shown on screen each time but there’s definitely a good amount of connection between them.
On some of the more negative note, Heavy Object relies far too much on its comedy at times. The sex jokes are pretty evident that quickly gets repetitive. From tight pilot suits to pole dancing, the show tries to pull out every trick from the book. There’s also not enough concrete characterization for the majority of the cast. Although Havia gets some decent characterization in one of the arcs, it’s not really enough to salvage the show. And speaking of main characters, Milinida is a girl that I think people will find hard to relate or like. That stoic face and lack of character development doesn’t make her stand out much in the show. At times, she is even used in story as a fan service object. While the show invests a good amount of time about the Objects, there’s little investment on some of the main antagonists. And even when it does, it’s pretty stereotypical. Finally, some of the supporting characters like Havia’s fiancé, Ho Ho Ho(Yes, that’s not really her real name), Sladder Honeysuckle, etc will be easily forgettable except for their names.
After the promotional videos, it became fairly obvious that J.C Staff would also participate with animating the main series. And because the nature of the original character designs, except to see some similarities. On the positive side, the studio put a good amount of effort to make Objects look like a legitimate threat. I already mentioned their combat features and the show does a well job in crafting them in physical form. This is also demonstrated in the sheer force of fighting power they show on the battlefield. Indeed, the action is solid and fairly well coordinated with its stylized choreography. Character designs are also inspired with military outfits depending on the battle environment. The pilot outfits are also noticeable especially in the case of Milinda. Now, do be aware that there’s also a fair amount of fan service. The awkward timings that usually focus on the girls can sometimes feel humorously uncomforting. Despite that, artwork is decent in general ranging from the impressive Object designs and battlefield landscapes.
Depending on your perspective, the music and soundtrack of the show may or may not stand out. There are two OP theme songs although the first one has a more lyrical beat than the second. The OST of the show is what you may expect if you’ve seen other sci-fi related features. Only of course, it’s somewhat more lighthearted at times while also tense during battle scenarios. The character voice mannerisms are what I depict as fair. The guys’ voices blends between casual to stressful depending on what the type of situations they are caught up in. Sometimes though, it makes them look like fools in the face of danger. Milinda’s voice sounds like a robot at times so it’ll be hard to adapt with from early on. And of course, there’s Frolaytia. Any fan who is familiar with Shizuka Itou will recognize her voice right away and she seems to carry on her role when stepping in the shoes of the commander. Remember Akeno from High School DxD or Hildegard from Beelzebub? Yeah, you get the idea.
Heavy Object is a trick pony. It’s a show with sci-fi elements that also tosses in comedy in the face of danger. With the way the story is structured, it’s to be expected that there will be a variety to offer. This is true when applying to the Objects but the characterization in the show is rather unimpressive. Relationship dynamics is not something I think people will appreciate unless they are part of a target audience. As such, the show is designed to not be taken so seriously like some realistic war story. In fact, you’ll have to watch based on what it’s shown rather than what you’d expect.
Like i said up there about the story, in my opinion, it was a really complicated story especially when it comes into an Object. they really went deep into the Obejct that sometimes i can’t even understand what the MC is talking about. well i guess it’s obvious because it’s Sci-fi Anime. Overall from the story, it was great despite having a complicated story. Not! all the story are complicated. it’s just when it comes into an Object, i got confused. I like the way they executed the arcs. i don’t read the LN but i like it. There were no plot BIG! plot twist but overall i like it.
The animation…they used 3D/CGI for the action. i think they used CGI so that it looks real. for me, it looks great. the action looks great in my opinion. Fit perfectly to how the action goes. 3D/CGI really match perfectly with the action in my opinion. And sometimes it’s not all abou Object, fighting each other like a monster. there were some soldier figthing each other (including Qwenthur and Havia) and i like it. Not only that! the MC always bring a humorous content while in the action. There were some comedy too while there were not in the action (Fanservice XD) but i like the way they put a comedy in the action XD It was a really fun ride with the two bastard MC XD.
The character, like i said, the MC’s are so funny. Really good choice of personality to put in the battlefield, the action always filled with a comey. i like that.
The soundtrack was great in my opinion. Made a really fit atmosphere to this anime. That for the OP and ED song. for the actual soundtrack, it was good i guess. i don’t have any problem with it
Overall, it was a really fun ride to me. i wish there is a second season tho…
i really enjoy it. Thanks whoever make this show….( J.C.Staff and SANZIGEN) for making this show 9/10
I recommend it if you like Military and Sci-fi and…Mecha. and it’s really unique too with having that kind of character for the Main character. never seen this kind of show before tbh
i’m gonna miss this show
Sorry for bad english.
Hope my review can be helpful to you all.
Thanks. Have a nice day
9: Macross Δ
English: Macross Delta
MAL Score: 7.27
Eight years after the events of Macross F, a mysterious phenomenon known as the Var Syndrome is gradually consuming the galaxy. It’s up to a new generation of highly capable Valkyrie pilots to deal with this universal menace. And if they didn’t have enough on their plate already, the Aerial Knights Valkyrie fighter team from the Kingdom of Wind have come to challenge the Delta Squadron.
As someone who got genuinely hooked by the original Macross TV show and have watched all of its successors, this is the stance I would take as I write this review.
1. Story: 4.5/10
The best way to describe the story of Delta is fictional ISIS vs fictional UN. On the drawing board, it certainly looks like an enticing concept where great stories can unfold, right and wrong muddle together in the gray area, emotions are faced with hard cold reality. Unfortunately, in Delta, the staff tried to chew more than they can. What resulted of this was an unfocused show, many subplots unresolved, characters remained to their shell-like personalities until the end, opportunities to explore the lore of Macross in a deeper level have been squandered due to mismanaged storyboards and screen time, pacing issues,some main characters are even pushed to the side to give even more time to the under delivered couple that this anime features and finally, characters are killed for the sake of creating drama and not steering the cast into a resolve. Added to this is the many recalls to older series’ moments and songs which makes some of the old fans laugh in sadness and contemplate what show this has become to use this move to keep their attention. The laid back and comedic atmosphere of the beginning didn’t help for the latter since it couldn’t bring the viewer to realize how dreadful the situation have become at the end of the show. The ending was rushed with the only closure being the result of the love triangle. All of this complies into a boring and unpolished show which at the end of a 8 years long wait, is not the masterpiece that many fans of the series have hoped for.
We always had a colorful cast in a Macross series and Delta is no exception. Hayate, the blue hair human protagonist, has a nonchalant attitude towards most things but have a unyielding desire to fly. Freyja, the energetic Winderemere girl who loves to sing and wants to be in the ranks of Walkure. For the Delta squadron, we have the captain Arad, second-in-command Messer, the joyful Chuck and at last, Mirage, who’s from a family of legendary ace pilots. For the idol group Walkure, we have the mysterious lead singer, Mikumo, the caring group leader Kaname, the friendly Makina and the cool but expert hacker, Reina. We also have the fleet captain, Ernest, in the mix.
For the Windermere side, we got Heinz, the prince and his father, the king Gramia, the Aerial Knights which ace pilot is named Keith or White Knight. There’s also Roid who help the king and the prince with battle tactics and politics.
With all this said, the characters remained much to their cliché-like personalities until the end. There’s little to no development on their part. They are like blank sheet of paper and as the story progresses, only few of them get some gribble on it while some of them get thrown in a fire pit while they are potential platform to create meaningful relationships between them or get their back story explored. For the lack of better words, the staffs wasted the materials on their hands. As for the viewers, there’s little to relate to these characters due to their bland, unrealistic and uninteresting personalities.
3.Love Triangle 5/10
As for the love triangle we come to expect from this series, it is very much a linear line with a firmly marked line between Hayate and Freyja and a line composed little uncanny dots between Mirage and Hayate, closed with sometimes tense and loose line between Mirage and Freyja. Yet, the reason for weak link for Mirage to the two other characters is not because her character ,itself, is unable to express her feelings until the end. It is the consequence of her badly written and little-to-none development that everyone of them suffers but out of all of them, she’s the one who suffer the most because all she ever gets is one-liners and barely enough screen time to prove her relevance compared to the other two mains.
4.Character Art 7/10
I won’t spend much time on this since it is not my area of expertise but the characters do have a lot of popping colors. You’re kinda looking at a candy show to be honest. Sometimes, it even detracts the viewer and break the show immersion when they bring in the serious moments since the characters looks so funky. Costume designs are ok. The main gripe I have and that is personal ,is the doodling on their nails when they are in some of their costumes aka nailpolish. Since those colors are meant to pop and to catch your attention. Closeface shot of their hand with their face on camera inevitably draws your attention to their nails instead of their intended focus of their faces. This may cause you to wonder if the artists have too much freetime on their hands and doodle them on the characters.
5.Mecha design 3/10
For this series, we got the VF-31 Siegfield, which is, the mass production model of the experimental YF-30 Chronos from the PS3 Macross 30 video game. The VF-31 is essentialy it’s predecessor, with a forward swept wing design, the ability to deploy drones for Walkure use, a beam cannon and a wireless recharger for the drones on its foldable backpack system instead of the missile pods in the backpack(called multipurpose container), a pin point barrier system for shielding, a combat knife in the forearm and a fresh coat of paint. It has only one pack, the super pack, which give it additional missile pods. It also incorporate the fold crystals which where present since the YF-29 Durandal. Fairly disappointed for the lack of innovation in this domain and the lack of packs since we were so spoiled by Frontier with its multiple packs.
For the Windermere side, we have the Sv-262 Draken III which is a new design, with a delta wing design, have 2 drones on each wing tips that acts as secondary boosters and can be deployed for combat. It is also equipped with a gunpod and 2 small gunpods located in the nose of the plane.
Then we have Macross Elysion… Just imagine Macross quarter and twice its size. That’s it. Move along….
6. 3D animation + battle choreography: 3/10
The 3D animation + models we’ve gotten have not been improved since Frontier. In some ways, it is even a step back. In all the battles, it seems like the animators have too much fun with the shading and made all the colors too dull and lifeless + a white filter that tries to bring the dull colors back to life and the result is a unattractive product that has uneven blend of gray and dull colors that make you question the effort put into it. The 3D models do not mesh with its surrounding. Beam effects and explosions are underwhelming at best and terrible at worst. There’s no sense power or magnitude coming from them. It seems dumb down. No soul. No spirit in these works. Well, at least the particle effects after the VF-31 look ok. That is the only effect that I deemed original.
As for the battle choreography, there’s none of that fluid 3 mode Valkyrie battles we come to expect. In Delta, what you have the majority of time is a watered down version of the dogfights from Top Gun. Gerwalk mode and Battleroid mode are barely featured in the entirety of the series. When there are of it, the sequences are incredibly short. Valkyrie battle choreography is one of the fundamentals of the Macross franchise. In this case, it is not taken seriously and the end result shows it.
7.Sound and songs: 6.5/10
For the sound effects in this series, it is perhaps the most forgettable thing of them all. Why you may ask? They reused the sfx from Frontier or slightly modify it it and call it a day. To make it worse, they even forget to add sfx for the moving Valkyries. Normally, when mechanical parts move, you have piston sfx for the hydraulics. When you go into boost mode in your plane, you should hear the engine roaring. If you break the sound barrier, there should be a sonic boom. Yet, in Delta, they completely forgo the use of that because the songs played in the background are way more important than adding realism. The sound balancing was an issue during the first court of the anime. It was either too quiet or too loud or inconsistent at all.
This finally leads me to the songs. They are based on the popular idol group trend. Therefore, they are going for those catchy lyrics. As music is based on personal taste and experience, this will be my opinion. Due to the fact that previous Macross series had legendary songwriters/composers ( The recent one being Yoko Kanno who composed for Macross Frontier), Delta music feels underwhelming in comparison to its predecessors , though few of its songs are quite ok like “Hametsu no Junjou”, “Giraffes Blues” and “Ore no Senjou”. Yet, you gotta ask yourself: “Is it alright to ruin a song because you want it to follow a certain trend?” Because, Delta songs have a bad habit of doing this. The prime example is “Ichido dake no Koi nara” which started with a beautiful transition of voices, building up to the refrain with a dramatic fashion and it gonna be ecstatic to listen but the listener is greeted with some generic cute idol trick that ruins the momentum of the song and that’s repeated throughout it. “Ikenai Borderline” suffers greatly as a whole for the cute idol group singing style. How disappointing for the few decent songs the series have to offer, they get covered up by more of the mediocre idol group trend songs. Plus, a lot of these songs cannot convey the emotions they carried since the singers themselves are young, ranging from twenties-something to the youngest, 15. They do not have the the singing experience nor the life experience to pass the emotions in these soulful songs. But, I would say they do a decent job for an Idol group and considering the numerous blank music time have to be fill in with dances and stage choreography. As for the song that the prince sings, it is quite impressive, compared to Walkure songs, but it gets spammed to non stop and gets quite annoying by the end of the series.
Unfortunately, after 8 years of waiting, this may be the worst entry of this franchise but it is by no mean an awful anime in and out of itself. The show was planned to be a 13 episode anime + a movie but they decided to be a 2 court anime by the middle of it. Therefore, it is why I presented my thesis quote in the beginning of this review : << A show that had promise but was ruined by bad planning.>> They simply didn’t have enough time to plan the second court and it was kinda made on the fly, At the end, if not for its “ok” music and the few good moments it has, it would landed itself in the very bad category. But, with the flaws it present and the lack of novelty it brings to the franchise as a whole, I give it a 5 out of 10. It will be awhile again for the next Macross series… *sigh*
Suggestion for those who wants to watch more Macross:
If you want story, I would suggest the original Macross TV show. It has, overall, better story, character developments and what establish the reasons older fans have fell in love with the franchise. When you finish it, take a look at the movie “Do you remember love”. It has some of the best tracks of the franchise.
For laidback and some fun like Delta, try the sorta sequel to the original, Macross 7. It has its quirks + rock and roll music in contrast of the more pop music. It should be a fun ride.
For dogfights and epic airplane maneuvers, Macross Zero and Plus are what it’s all about. Ace vs ace aerial combat.
If you’re more into recent pop music or wants some breathtaking 3 mode fluid Valkyrie battles, I would suggest Macross Frontier and its movies.
That’s it for me. Hope y’all got a good read. If you want to discuss about Delta, you can find folks in the forum. Who knows, I might even join in.
Macross Delta is representative of the ‘Macross formula’ in the late stages of its existence, by that I mean that the Macross formula, if one continues to comply to it to a T as it has so done since its inception, only makes the formula age badly. Why? Because unfortunately at this moment in time, Macross as a whole has inexplicably entered into a dire situation of Catch-22. To change or not to change? IF we change, then HOW MUCH SHOULD we change? Do we leave Macross as it is and END it RIGHT NOW, or PERHAPS LATER? The extent of the questions that had ultimately left the Macross formula in this state ultimately consummates into what can simply be deemed as “If we change Macross then we’ll end up upsetting the fans, but if we don’t change then Macross will start to become stale.”
This raises several questions. For one, just what about Macross ESSENTIALLY defines it as Macross? And for that matter, if we experiment around and create variations of the ESSENTIALS of Macross, will that in turn result in Macross no longer being ‘Macross’ too, or will Macross continue to remain as ‘Macross’ regardless of how many or what Macross series are produced? With all of this in mind, we can thus say that the first Macross series introduced to the audience the general outline of an archetypical Macross plot -which is itself somewhat of a Jungian archetype- as well as the themes and concepts it wishes to tackle. From there, it can be observed that all Macross series are variations of those ESSENTIALS, with Macross 7 being the zaniest Macross, Macross Plus showcasing Macross in its simplest form, Macross Zero being Macross at its most somber and poignant, Macross Frontier highlighting Macross at its zenith with the successful revitalization of the classic formula that propelled Macross into the world stage, and… Macros Delta with Macross retreading the same old formula in hopes of replicating the success of Frontier but ultimately fails due to the various components that the creators have used in an attempt to differentiate Delta from the rest- hence the formula showing its age REALLY BADLY. That, and well every aspect of Delta’s concepts -from plot to characters- are simplistically understood and implemented.
Although it may seem that Macross 7 was unfortunately conceived with and steeped in such mistakes, rather what led to Macross 7’s incredibly divisive response and resultant overall identity in relation to the other Macross series was its identity being rooted in an experimental lighthearted absurdism that is implemented in extreme fashions at certain moments within its narrative in comparison to Macross Delta, where as previously mentioned, the roots of its identity and narrative are built upon an attempted resurrection of the cultural impact of Macross Frontier, but that the comprehension and resulting implementation of the elements that constitute the core elements that made Macross and Macross Frontier so culturally impactful and resonant were disappointingly oversimplified, hasty and even outright incorrect.
In any case, to further expand upon the reasons as to why the formula has clearly shown signs of its age with Macross Delta, it can be said that there is just simply not much to expand FROM, without resorting to the constant homages and the mere repetition and toying around with motifs, plot points and the various structures in place, in addition to having to maintain a linear timeline of events, unlike Gundam- but even then, Gundam too is stuck in this stage and both will forever continue to remain in their current states so long as there is no CHANGE.
I’d personally rather not discuss about Delta’s plot considering the above reasons, but I believe that nonetheless, whatever plot points that were introduced to us in Macross Delta were adequately developed with straightforwardness in mind, thus allowing viewers to be able to understand it well, even though the scripting of and the actual creative value of events is as textbook Macross as it can get, simply uninspired. In addition, Macross Delta in contrast to Macross 7 left us hanging with quite a few plot points that were simply left unresolved, which makes us question as to why in the Milky Way did the creators designed the plot in such a way so as to add them into it to begin with. There were several heartfelt moments emanating genuine sentiment but with the way the plot’s designed, there’s just simply not enough of that to bring the plot out of uninspired hell.
When it comes to the overall tone of Delta, it is generally much, much more lighthearted, carefree, optimistic (especially optimistic and carefree) and poppy which likens it to Macross 7, but considering the narrative structure and the various events scripted into it, results in a different product in the end because if there ever was one thing about Macross which gave it its distinctive identity is that as the plot nears its end, the situation becomes SIGNIFICANTLY DIRE thus giving the necessary emotionality to the bleak end game situations, whereas in Delta due to its very nature and uninspired and stock plot design results in the emotional charge of the plateau deflating before the plot had even begun to enter its climactic stage. In short, just about every single aspect of the narrative in Delta simply does not lend itself to the sense of sheer dread and desperation that previous Macross series had, hence the emotional blandness of the show.
The overall dialogue is frankly serviceable as it is simply not creative enough and once again, uninspired throughout to warrant much of viewers’ attention, not to mention that due to the tone of Delta, comes off as quite cartoony. I just roll my eyes most of the time, hah.
Indeed, despite the inherent potentialities that lies within a much more carefree approach to Macross, it is regrettable to say that all of that is wasted in an unresolved Catch-22 problem resulting in a trite work which adds little towards fanning the infernos of nostalgia to Macross’s past or even towards igniting the embers of Macross’s future on fire. Absolutely disappointing- hhmph!
But hey, there’s at least some of the songs and all so yeah, let’s just move on and talk about that down below. Junbi wa ii ka nen?
Narrative, Thematic, Scripting & Character Design/Direction (Rating: 4)
Okay, so before we get down to the music and sound, let’s just talk about the visuals for a bit. For one thing, this show actually has very consistent visuals throughout, in the form of consistent animation both hand-drawn and computer-generated, consistent drawings, backgrounds consistently full of features, and constant inclusion of plenty of well-done visual effects. Once again, I’d like to reiterate that I’m simply no expert or even that deeply knowledgeable about these technical aspects, but simply put, Macross Delta is competently produced. It’s just that, while it is indeed competently produced, it doesn’t have many standout and highly creative visual features either, barring the straight-to-TV Macross shows of the pre-2000 years.
But wait, if there was anything about Delta that I could consider to be very creative, it would have to be the first ED sequence. It’s basically a very well-made sequence featuring one of the main characters Freyja Wion going about locations in real life, in which all of that is animated via a technique that I’m frankly not knowledgeable about but can be described as utilizing captured video footage to set up as the visual basis for the sequence, then after animating and inserting Freyja into that footage, having the footage go through intensive post-processing with image filters and such which ultimately gives the sequence its highly distinct look. Very interesting and quite impressive I’d say.
Visual & Animation Design/Direction (Rating: 7)
The overall sound design in this show is once again, just like the visuals competently produced- voice acting included. As for the music, wherein due to the tone of Delta, it is essentially designed to be as contemporaneous and poppy as possible- what with electronic and brass based music timbres, dance pop based song structures, generally faster time signatures, group based synchronized vocal performances in the style of so-called idol groups and whatnot. Not all of Delta’s music consists of such style of pop music however, as there’re some slower, more soulful songs as well, in particular the general vocal track sung by the opposing faction featured in Delta, as well as one Walkure song which is composed as more of a ballad than the more electronic dance pop based fare.
As for me, I generally really liked a fair bit of Walkure’s songs, particularly Ikenai Borderline as well as the first OP song, and both main ED songs.
Sound Design/Direction (Rating: 8)
The drive to constantly recapture the success of the original Macross in the post-2000s straight-to-TV Macross shows has resulted in the Macross formula becoming increasingly stale and trite, unless it changes or utilizes the formula to tell more different narratives like Plus and Zero did. In fact, one could even say that Macross Delta is ironically the antithesis of what was sooooooo extremely archetypal -in the Jungian sense- of the original Macross; Frontier came close to replicating this, but it was ultimately created in such a fashion so that it may stand on its own, i.e., with its own sense of identity, so as to become a fine addition to the over-arching narrative of the setting of Macross.
Speaking of which, you know what all of this “formula aging badly and getting stale” reminds me of? The entire post-1990s career of the rock band U2 and -in a different way but still quite the Catch-22- the Resident Evil series of games as a whole, go figure. That and well, there’s just waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy less combat-based action in this show compared to previous ones.
Personal Enjoyment/Appreciation (Rating: 4)
And with that, I shall bid all of you farewell and thank you for reading. Till next time then!
(Personal Rating: 5)
(Critical Rating: 5)
MAL Score: 7.41
Katsuhira Agata is a quiet and reserved teenage boy whose sense of pain has all but vanished. His friend, Chidori Takashiro, can only faintly remember the days before Katsuhira had undergone this profound change. Now, his muffled and complacent demeanor make Katsuhira a constant target for bullies, who exploit him for egregious sums of money. But their fists only just manage to make him blink, as even emotions are far from his grasp.
However, one day Katsuhira, Chidori, and four other teenagers are abducted and forced to join the Kizuna System as official “Kiznaivers.” Those taking part are connected through pain: if one member is injured, the others will feel an equal amount of agony. These individuals must become the lab rats and scapegoats of an incomplete system designed with world peace in mind. With their fates literally intertwined, the Kiznaivers must expose their true selves to each other, or risk failing much more than just the Kizuna System.
This should not be taken as an insinuation that all Kiznaiver has to offer is style without substance. There is value here, and Trigger has evidently tried to capitalise upon some of Kill la Kill’s prior successes, particularly with regards to its characters. Kiznaiver tries– it tries ever so hard– but in the end crumbles under its own ambition. It is an excellent premise that unfortunately never really finds its footing. Were it a full two-cours of content rather than the mere twelve episodes it actually is, the result might have been different.
Kiznaiver’s characters are likely the first thing to catch one’s attention. They are rich with personality, visually distinct from other characters in anime. There is no one that feels particularly bland (aside from maybe Sonozaki), but a number of them never go much beyond simply looking cool or being weird. Nico is a cute airhead suffering from a variety of mental illnesses (and quite possibly low IQ), while Yoshihara is an extreme masochist who orgasms at the very idea of pain, and exists largely as fuel for shounen-ai fanfiction and doujinshi. The protagonist, Katsuhira, is also a mopey emo kid who lets people beat him up without a care. This is about all that characterises them for the entire show. They are as one-dimensional as can be. It is bit of a waste, given how unique their character designs are. (And I do not only say that because I like twintailed girls named Nico.)
Some characters are more compelling than others. Tenga’s dialogue in the original Japanese, for example, is fairly natural and feels like something that could come from an actual teenager’s mouth. Chidori, as annoying as her scream-fests tend to be, is also pretty representative of how the average teenage girl handles their emotions. The writers of Kiznaiver know what they are doing and are capable of doing it well, but the problem is that the short episode count prevents these characters from ever realising their full potential. It throws a lot at the viewer, but never gives them time to digest it or room for the characters to breathe and relax. It is, almost invariably, the quiet moments that stand out the most in a story. There are no quiet moments in Kiznaiver.
I suppose it makes sense for something like Kiznaiver to be as short as it is, as Trigger puts a great deal of work and effort into each episode. It obviously shows. But that still does not excuse them creating a story and a cast of characters bigger than they could handle within the allotted time. For something like this, a more briskly-paced movie, perhaps a duology, would have been a better way to compress the story without sacrificing visual quality. But I suppose a movie or two doesn’t make quite as much money as five or six over-priced BluRays would. Anime is expensive to make, and Trigger needs to pay its animators so they can eat and have a roof over their head. I get it, but it is still a bit disappointing to see business prioritised over artistic quality in this case. If Trigger saved up extra money for a year or two through smaller projects, and used that to fund an extra cour of Kiznaiver, we would undoubtedly have had a much more exciting product.
Some aspects of Kiznaiver, however, are less the result of its short episode count, and more related to lacklustre writing. Most of Kiznaiver’s drama involves angsty, spoiled teenagers overreacting. Being rejected by someone you like is a sucky thing, there is no doubt about that, but it is not the end of the world like Kiznaiver tries to paint it. There are things far worse going on out there, and yet they’re traumatised because someone they had a crush on couldn’t reciprocate those feelings? Big deal. Give it a couple months and it will barely even cross their mind again. It would be one thing if these feelings were long-term, but for everyone excluding Chidori, they have had these crushes for a few weeks, tops.
Kiznaiver tries to create an absurdly complex set of romances. Every character is attracted to someone else, and often the one they love is interested in someone else entirely. With eight main characters and only twelve episodes, you can have a pretty good guess of how well these romances are handled. They get angry, scream and beat each other up when they find out the one they love is being treated poorly by one of the other Kiznaivers, only for another person to get upset in return, and another and another, it raining and dramatic music blasting all the while like the world is on fire and ready to explode. It is extremely difficult to care about their feelings for one another when most of these feelings (particularly surrounding Tenga) have been seldom explored and revealed only one episode beforehand, without so much as an explanation– or heck, even a hint– for why they like each other in the first place. Considering the experiment within the show is also manipulating these characters’ feelings, the romance doesn’t just feel lacklustre– it feels artificial. Chidori and Katsuhira are about the only couple that make any sense. Everything else is just a big mess that the show could and should have done without.
It is also quite silly and cloying how emotional ‘pain’ is shared and hurts them all as well. One of the Kiznaivers is heart-broken, so, hey, that means everyone else must succumb to the feels and suffer from heart-break, too, because emotion is equivalent to physical pain and not at all psychological, or something. There are other scenes, like Chidori confessing to Katsuhira in the middle of a storm (weather in anime being the convenient device that it is), or Yuta and the rest screaming at the top of their lungs and jumping into the river (because that’s how you deal with your anger?), that make it quite clear that Kiznaiver is not all too interested in appealing to adults. I can totally understand why someone who is around fourteen-years-old may enjoy and empathise with that sort of thing, but being twenty-three myself, it doesn’t warrant much more than a sigh and some head-shaking. For how believable Tenga’s and Chidori’s characterisation can be, it is a bit disappointing to see the show stray so heavily into melodrama territory. At least Kill la Kill was aware of how blatantly over-the-top it was; Kiznaiver takes itself seriously all the time, and it wants you to take it seriously, too. It forgets how to have fun with itself, and that is perhaps the most disappointing thing of all.
I’ll still give Kiznaiver credit for trying. Most of these issues could be resolved simply by the show having more episodes to develop its characters and their feelings in a more meaningful way. It would still not be an anime without significant flaws, as the copious amounts of melodrama make clear, but there certainly was the potential to, if not match Kill la Kill, at least come close to its quality. Kiznaiver looks and sounds so nice that it is easy to forgive some of its issues and enjoy the ride regardless, but, in reflection, there just is not much else to praise aside from that. I really, truly wanted to give Trigger’s big new project a glowing review, but I just can’t do it. It’s not there, and it never gets there.
At the same time, not everyone is looking for the next greatest thing. Having charm and style alone can please most people, and merely being a standout title within its respective season is enough to warrant a viewing. And, you know, that’s perfectly fine. I wouldn’t hesitate to give Kiznaiver a recommendation if all the person wants is a few hours of fun and something a little bit different. Because, make no mistake, Kiznaiver is not a bad anime.
It’s just an immensely disappointing one.
What makes an original?
Is an original a piece that spawns copies, or something that comes from within a creator; something that no one else has ever before thought? Have you ever had an original thought? What if, despite your thought that your idea was original, someone across the globe, someone with whom you have never and will never have contact with had your same idea and yet, weren’t able to act on it. Is it still original?
No matter your definition of original- Trigger continues to pump out quality writing and both new, heretofore unseen content, and new ways of presenting old ideas. This season, they pulled the trigger on a double barrel shotgun of new for the anime viewing populace with the zany Space Patrol Luluco, and the much more subdued Kiznaiver- and what a season it’s been.
Kiznaiver is what I would describe as a new twist on an old classic. One of the interwoven themes is referenced in both my opening and ending quotes- the power of friendship. Had Trigger just stopped there, they would have produced a trite, unimaginative, and unfulfilling series much like those that crop up each season. Kiznaiver is not content to merely focus on the power that friends hold over you, but also delve into deeper concepts of pain and loss, the stages of grievance, and the ties that bind.
Much like the multifaceted Kill La Kill before it, Kiznaiver tackles these themes with depth and sophistication. Conversations that outwardly appear to be simple exchanges between friends often reveal much more about the characters and their mentalities. The characters themselves also outwardly seem to represent the kind of one note stereotype- Katsuhira the unfeeling, dull, mophaired main character. Chidori the tsun tsun. Nico the genki girl, etc. However simply the characters are presented in the beginning, throughout the course of the show, we watch them grow as people, friends, and characters. In the early episodes, we see the group forced together as part of some sick social experiement- a disparate group of persons from different cliques, if you will, thrown together and told to “become friends” (whether through traumatic shared experiences, which has been proven to form bonds between people who might not otherwise associate- such as in fraternity hazing, gang initiation, etc. or the typical socialization process that people go through.)
We get to know the person of the characters, what drives them, their insecurities, wishes, and failures. Each has their turn in the spotlight, and as the viewer, I felt like most of these characters, even though many had larger than life personalities, could have been real people. They don’t have superpowers. They aren’t infallible, neither are they perfect. They don’t win every time, and the certainly don’t all get along perfectly, kiss and make up after every little thing. Like real friends with disparate interests, they get on each other’s nerves, hurt each other (in more ways than one) fall in love, fall out, make each other cry, and experience life together. Trigger, in all their savviness, also recognized the potential for relationships in the show, and makes moves for different character romances to happen, fall apart, and change. It’s not your typical ensemble where the bland, self insert protagonist has color coded dereotype ladies throwing themselves at him for no reason. No, Kiznaiver takes a more nuanced approach, and the characters have viable, believable reasons (some are not pretty, just like life) for being interested in each other like mutual interests, pure pity, opposites attracting, and finding kinship.
The plot of the show takes a backseat to characterization in what’s known as a “character driven story”, which is also something of a rarity in anime these days. It’s not all about some grand scheme or hero’s journey, but about the interaction of the characters themselves that matter. As mentioned above, I think that the characters experience the five stages of grief (denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance) throughout the show, as a theme. As part of the Kizna experiment (linking people through sharing pain), these kids in the story, through their own relationships and getting to know themselves and the people around them, experience these stages as part of their characterization. Each is in denial over some reason or another, whether it’s “how could my friend have died?” or “this person loves me, they just don’t know it”, etc. This progresses as the story heats up- they’re angry over their inner demons, and it spills out onto each other- until the voices of reason, Hisomu and Nico bring them all to their senses (bargaining). After the climax of the show, they all decidedly experience a strong depressive episode, where the characters decide what they’re going to do with themselves, and about each other- having made themselves vulnerable and revealing their secrets to each other. Eventually they come to accept each other, and the story takes its final twist, which would be criminal of me to reveal. Suffice to say, it’s certainly worth watching to find out.
The art of Kiznaiver is also excellent, with the flair Trigger has for small details, and making their characters look fresh and interesting. There are a lot of stylings of Little Witch Academia, especially the hair, but still very within the modern style. It’s crisp, clean, and flows well, but the lighting is really something. Reflections, eyes, and anything lit look really great, drawing attention to details and adding depth to the shot composition. I applaud the casting director at Trigger, whoever they are- for they have done it again. Similarly to Kill La Kill, Kiznaiver is impeccably cast. The nuance and emotion (or required lack thereof) that was put into the performances really sells the drama and characters. The larger than life Tenga, fragile Maki, zany Nico, wacky Hisomu, hot and cold Chidori, stiff Katsuhira, and mysterious Noriko (and some nice performances from the supporting cast as well) all add up to a very well produced product.
tl;dr for my lazy folk
+ great characterization
+ fantastic art
+ a human drama, one that you can get behind, that doesn’t descend in to pointless melodrama
+/- your favorite characters might not get together
Friends are soy sauce! The omnipotent seasoning! – Nico
So which is it for Kiznaiver? Is it truly trying to craft something memorable? Is it seeking poignancy in the anguish of others? Is it studio Trigger trying to branch out into unfamiliar territory; a leap of faith, hoping their dedicated followers would comfort them when they fall on their faces? And really, should I care, even if they did attempt something out of a place of honest effort? Well, short answer, fuck no.
I don’t need to babysit a half-baked effort. I don’t need to try to empathize with a failed project that slipped out of the creators’ hands. As harsh as that mentality may be, it’s the honest truth. I’m the consumer. The only thing required of me is to be entertained and engrossed by the project they put forward. And guess what? I wasn’t. In fact, I was mentally drained by this synthetic try-hard and its relentless efforts to pull at my heartstrings; operating with as much subtlety as a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade trying to sneak down Central Park West. A good concept doesn’t make a good anime and Kiznaiver embodies that very notion. The message it chose to convey was fine, but the way it went about delivering it was the problem.
In a sickeningly idealistic attempt to bring forth “world peace” and a greater level of understanding among humanity, the Kiznaiver project was created to combine the shared pain of its placeholders by linking their sensory output together. The more these placeholders are made to open up to each other, the deeper their connection becomes; experiencing everything from the surface-level physical pain, to more emotional-based pain, as the walls that separate them dissipates.
If the premise wasn’t made explicit enough already, it’s essentially one big character study and self-examination of human relationships. And it should go without saying, but whenever topics like these are made your primary focus, there are some prerequisites expected of it in order for it to function with any semblance of validity. You can’t go swimming without a pool of water, and in the same light, you can’t have a character study without characters. Notice I wrote “characters” NOT “caricatures,” a distinction that Kiznaiver can’t seem to make.
If Kiznaiver had an extended title, it would go something along the lines of:
“Kiznaiver: Forcing Archetypes to have Da Feels”
These color-coordinated caricatures are so cookie-cutter by storytelling standards that you could sum them all up with one-liners. They’re basically human smurfs, each feeding into pre-assigned roles with little in the way of diversifying their default archetypes. Instead of swimming in a pool of water, Kiznaiver attempts to achieve the same feat with a pit full of dirt. A task that’s not only nigh impossible but also painful to watch play out as well. Archetypes are meant to serve as default personalities to further build upon. To simply present them as is without building on who they are as characters is not only conceited, it’s borderline delusional when taking into consideration the importance that the characters hold in the confines of this material. This isn’t an action adventure where the world being trekked is the star attraction, it’s a character study, a CHARACTER study. If there’s one aspect of your screenplay that you want to shine the most, it’s in this department. And yet, redhead tsunderes are pre-packaged in this anime in the same way every live-action movie and TV drama depiction of high school has the popular blonde cheerleader and varsity-jacket-wearing jock.
So when these non-entities are placed in a situation where they’re forced to open up to each other, there’s very little that could be done to divert the audience’s attention from the obvious truth. That truth being that there’s nothing to truly pull from these “characters” since there was nothing there from the beginning. The show desperately attempts to squeeze a modicum of emotion from this dirt pit, and when that plan fails, we’re brought back to my original inquiry. This anime is strong-armed into producing something it never had to begin with; genuine emotion.
To be fair, there are transient glimpses of decent writing in this dirt pit of a cast, that coming in the form of one character, Honoka Maki. If there was ever a character in this show that Kiznaiver didn’t butcher with its ineptitude, Honoka was it. With the introduction of her backstory, as well as the time dedicated to exploring her psyche, she stands out like a sore thumb, especially when placed in her vapid surroundings. Had the show handled its cast with the same amount of effort and care as it did with her, I would have been singing a different tune. But this sadly isn’t the case, and just as quickly as Honoka’s character focus brought hope to the show, it’s immediately snuffed out as the artificial angst surrounding every other facet of the screenplay further plunges the material back to the subpar levels that it was constructed out of.
If I had to offer any other appraisal outside of this temporary moment of decent writing, it would be that of the art and animation department. Unlike the rest of the show, this area demonstrated the talent found at Trigger that they accumulated from their time spent at Gainax. The color palette used was radiant and immediately draws the viewer’s attention. With storyboarding that kept a sense of flow in mind and a decent amount of consideration made in its use of color theory, there was clearly more effort here than what’s usually expected out of typical studio projects. The same could be said (for the most part) about the character designs. While some were painfully by-the-numbers, others were quite expressive and easily identifiable. At the end of the day, these designs are wasted on cookie-cutter archetypes, but they’re still appealing nonetheless.
One a side-note, for readers who’ve already seen Kizanaiver, the designs of the gomorin outfits take clear inspiration from the Maromi doll in Paranoia Agent. Perhaps this was done so as a tribute to Satoshi Kon, given his extensive work in the field that the show is trying to dive into. Whatever the case may be, it was a nice touch.
Another detail that, while not innovative, still deserves mentioning was the color of the characters’ hair. Katsuhira’s hair—which was supposed to show someone close to complete apathy—was represented with pure white hair overlapped with some brown, with the white representing an absence of emotion and the brown being the faint presence of it still left within him. The same could be said about Niko’s hair, which obviously denotes to the flamboyancy of her personality given the diverse, bright colors. Again, pretty simple in how the hair color denotes their traits, but still worth noting.
As for the soundtrack, there isn’t much to say. The only thing that sticks out is the opening theme “LAY YOUR HANDS ON ME” by BOOM BOOM SATELLITES, and rightfully so, given the infectious nature of it in accompaniment with the visuals presented. This could be attributed to the fact that sonically it has much in common with one of pop’s more recognizable tunes “Take on Me” by a-ha. At the time of this writing, a quick youtube search of “Kiznaiver take on me” would bring you to a video that exploits this, merging the song with Kiznaiver’s opening, demonstrating just how interchangeable it really is. That being said, BOOM BOO SATELLITES certainly delivered. Everything else in the sound department is forgettable by comparison. The only other thing worth taking note of is the sound effects used at times; like the glitchy noise made whenever the Kiznaiver device was activated, or the added sound effects given for objects when motioned. It was minor inclusions but still did something for the show than had it been excluded.
Now, what should have been excluded but ultimately made the final cut was a love heptagon. Not a regular one-way love, not a love triangle, but a full-blown love heptagon! And what happens when you involve a bunch of dimensionless smurfs in an ouroboros-like relationship? You get an embarrassing display of cardboard cutouts inserts pleading to each other. A potpourri of ill-advised confessionals that transformed itself into a deformed, blubbering mess. There’s very little in the way of actual characterization for these mouthpieces with legs, so expecting them to divulge genuine feelings for each other just comes across as half-assed. Some characters don’t even have much in the way of one-on-one interaction prior to these events either, and those that do get that time barely share any semblance of chemistry. This made what was suppose to be emotional climaxes in the story, into an over-bloated cringe-filled sob-fest. This was midday soap opera levels of awful.
The show steamrolls through all of this melodrama and artificial angst in order to deliver a message that no one needed help figuring out in the first place; getting closer to others runs the risk of eventually being hurt by them. This isn’t exactly an eye-opening revelation, this is just common sense. But what’s possibly worse than off of this is the fact that what Kiznaiver struggles to deliver in 12 episodes, is easily understood with just 1. This 1 episode I speak of is the TV pilot of Kino’s Journey. Watch those 20 minutes and save yourself hours of seeing a show drown in the kiddie pool section.
I told myself, as well as a few colleagues, that I wasn’t going to review this, due in large part to the fact that just talking about it made me feel mentally exhausted. But then I thought about what it would mean for those people that share my stance but can’t quite articulate the reason for why they feel the way they do. I thought about our perspective going unheard in the frenzy of hype and unchecked evaluations. Letting Kiznaiver get off scot-free to gain unwarranted appraisal became far bigger of a burden than simply ignoring it to comfortably go about my way. And so, here I am, writing this review for all those, who like me, are tired of these empty vessels being filled with accolades it doesn’t deserve. The only emotional response that Kiznaiver got right was that of frustration, as that’s precisely what I felt while watching it.
Kiznaiver is fine until it gets into the character drama, and seeing that the whole show revolves around character drama, you could see how that leaves very little in the way of value. Had the characters been handled better, had the concept not been bare-bones, had the writers tried a bit harder, then maybe, just maybe, there would have been something here worth talking about. But that wasn’t the case, and Trigger, once again, “saves anime!”
“The show wasn’t that good, but the opening was so nice though!” How many more times do we have to make this statement before we let insufferable titles like these crash and burn? How many more times would we equate trying with being good enough? The only good that Kiznaiver can offer is serving as a future example of what forced melodrama looks like. With that being said, ignore this one if you haven’t already, it’s a practice in tolerance-control that would only serve as a distraction from watching something else that’s truly worth your invested time.
7: World Trigger
MAL Score: 7.58
When a gate to another world suddenly opens on Earth, Mikado City is invaded by strange creatures known as “Neighbors,” malicious beings impervious to traditional weaponry. In response to their arrival, an organization called the Border Defense Agency has been established to combat the Neighbor menace through special weapons called “Triggers.” Even though several years have passed after the gate first opened, Neighbors are still a threat and members of Border remain on guard to ensure the safety of the planet.
Despite this delicate situation, members-in-training, such as Osamu Mikumo, are not permitted to use their Triggers outside of headquarters. But when the mysterious new student in his class is dragged into a forbidden area by bullies, they are attacked by Neighbors, and Osamu has no choice but to do what he believes is right. Much to his surprise, however, the transfer student Yuuma Kuga makes short work of the aliens, revealing that he is a humanoid Neighbor in disguise.
Sadly it is underrated alot of people dropped it at the start? the art is kinda okay but what’s more important are the fights and scenes very cool, there’s no overpowered character like most animes or the true main guy owns all no everyone is accounted for everyone in it has a job to do not totally focused on main character
I heard that they didn’t continue the anime cause people aren’t talking about it? which is a lame reason.. I look forward to see the rest of the story it’s amazing jumped to be one of my top 10 animes..
people need to give it a try atleast 10 episodes or something to see the story and the battles
As per most WSJ series, World Trigger starts off slow introducing its world, concept, and characters, before kicking off into the actual conflict. Enemies come from another dimension, people set up an organization to stop them, right, yes, whatever. Fairly straightforward Jump exposition dumping. Mainly bizarre is the anime’s weird name sense, though does get better later. The series starts out as main character Mikumo Osamu finds out a neighbor, Kuga Yuma, transferred into his school. Things gets more interesting around 10 episodes in when Border finds out what he is and attempt to deal with him, and even more so later when Border comes into conflict with other Neighbor worlds.
Osamu is extremely weak but he’s well worked as a character. Initially introduced as a morally righteous individual, it was shown in initial scenes that simply being righteous was useless when he gets his ass kicked pathetically by his classmates while Kuga watches. He never gains anything undeserved and doesn’t win just because he’s more virtuous or emotional than his opponent. He struggles with his lack of strength and his goals in the story, often fearing inadequacy and failure. This is really one of the big things that Jump has traded away over the past few years. I certainly do not expect some inner turmoil on par with shows like Evangelion and others, but seeing protagonists struggle with themselves and make mistakes is always welcome. This combines with Osamu’s efforts to improve which are well thought out and interesting to watch. Though somewhat smart his honesty, despite the potential self damage it incurs, is appealing. It creates a good underdog character. And most of the characters run along similar lines of characterization.
Shonen Jump has a tendency to constantly have the MC in the spotlight before all else as the recognizable face of the series. Whenever there’s a big fight, the MC is always in the lead, even if the fight has little to do with him. He may or may not give a big speech rebuking his opponent, often with little actual relevance to that conflict. Osamu is the antithesis of this. The MC doesn’t preach to the opposition, or the viewership, which gets highly annoying and silly if not meaningful. Characters are no longer shoved into some the unnecessary “good guy” and “bad guy” categories.
This means that characters have to more be defined by their thoughts and actions as people, not just as a hero or villain. This helps the author bring attention to the vast cast without having the audience first watch a huge amount of content. It’s frequent that a huge cast is introduced and only really make a small amount of that huge cast is interesting, or they all end up boring even if a huge amount of time is spent on the characters. They’re all just there to make up numbers, but it doesn’t feel that way with World Trigger. This is because they don’t take up huge amounts of screen time or hold big 1v1 battles involving irrelevant characters.
The power system is actually quite interesting for the series. Fighting series are defined and remembered by their power systems. World Trigger is no different. Jojo, One Piece, DBZ, Hakusho are all examples of this done positively. Usually most shonen series which involve abilities usually center around everyone having their own unique ability, but that’s not the case. The system is simple, but the way it’s implemented makes it a great system as it still allows creativity but does away with individual gimmicks of one character having a silly overpowered ability, or powering up until he has one.
World Trigger’s trion system resembles a video game in its use. The show places tangible importance on the skills of the individual user, how they use what they have, the situation they are in, and how they fight with those around them. This is what make the battles truly exciting in World Trigger. They rely more so on strategy and very rarely if ever is there an outright power battle between two characters. It enticing to see how each character uses the weapons along with their own skills. And even if you’re stronger, it’s possible to lose in a way that’s not an asspull designed just so the protagonist can win. While I do love to see a couple characters duke it out and try to kick each other’s ass every now and then, this is fun and refreshing in its own right.
I bring up Jump, the target Shounen demographic, and other shows that make these strange errors frequently because that’s the standard. Those are all the tropes and oft-used clichés. Those are all the unnecessary additives along with the annoying detractions that appear in this specific genre, particularly recently. These series hold a lot in common with each other and end up stiffly adhering to a formula to satisfy an audience and they fail to hold the entertain value that they strive for because of it. There’s definitely good in World Trigger, but that comes out because it doesn’t do basic things improperly. It doesn’t do things that are unnecessary, out of character, or out of line.
As for the animation, I mentioned that the first 10 episodes are quite slow, but any further pacing issues come down to how this show was animated and directed. World Trigger’s first 10 or so episodes look god awful, plain and simple. Stills, the rehashed Trigger activation animation, and occasional strange lack of frames in scenes contribute to this. Luckily, they managed to get rid of 2 of these problems as the show goes on.
The main issue that persisted is the stills. I found them strangely endearing at times and they got me to laugh at their placement and how unbelievable it was. There are frequents moments in each episode where the frame sits on a character’s face for several seconds as they say/do absolutely nothing. In most other anime, you’d see panning shots and some sort of camera movement or change in perspective when there is no dialogue to keep the viewer occupied.
Various scenes are also censored even though most action takes place in a fake body. It’s annoying, but bearable. Even with these problems World Trigger may be the best animated of Toei’s TV works of the current century, particularly with how underwhelming One Piece is and what little I’ve seen of Dragonball Super. This should be fairly embarrassing. All fight scenes are done pretty nicely and it’s nice to see that Toei at least doesn’t slack off here.
This is the first time I’ve seen an OP/ED stuck in the middle of an episode. They’re good though and for the most part the OST is as well. Toei still uses the same old not so dramatic sound effects that we’ve heard all the way back since DBZ aired. You’ll also find it in One Piece. This helps to draw out various stills and take up episode time.
Really I’m surprised by how much I enjoyed the anime as I was expected to eventually drop it and just go with the manga like with One Piece, but it worth at looking into.
The filler sucks so don’t watch it. It’s genuinely like they tried to put Pokemon battles in World Trigger. It’s insane.
6: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096
English: Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096
MAL Score: 7.59
By the year 0096 of the Universal Century, a fragile peace emerges from the ashes of conflict. Sixteen-year-old student Banagher Links visits the Industrial 7 space colony on a school field trip, but because of a broken shuttle, he is left completely stranded.
To Banagher, who has always lived a normal life, war had always been a distant, almost mythical part of history; but within minutes, fantasy becomes reality when he rescues a girl named Audrey Burne, who urgently needs to meet with the leader of the nearby Vist Foundation, Cardeas Vist. She hopes to persuade him to withhold the “Laplace’s Box,” an object that holds the potential to destroy the world. History is set in motion as galactic forces converge on Industrial 7, each vying for possession of the Laplace’s Box. As Neo Zeon remnants clash with Earth Federation Forces around the colony, Cardeas, in his final moments, gives Banagher the key to the Box, a mobile suit dubbed “The Unicorn Gundam.”
Packed with explosive action and rising tension, Mobile Suit Gundam Unicorn RE:0096 follows Banagher as his conviction is tested and the destiny that has laid dormant for more than a century is finally realized.
If only the character development was held as well as the animation, this could have been an outstanding series.
Having been cut from a series of OVA movies, RE: 0096 has stellar animation for a TV anime. There are (almost) no dips in the budget, as we’re presented with consistently solid line art. Spaceships and the lead Mobile Suits are done up in conspicuous CG, and I honestly wouldn’t have it any other way. The intermittent hand-drawn instances of the Unicorn and Banshee Gundams are gorgeous, but being animated with 3D models lends them a welcome sense of consistency, especially during their transformations.
The character designs are pretty standard fare for Gundam, with none of them too outlandish and many that are just bland. However, the real reason to watch this (Or any series, if you ask me) is ultimately the robot designs. Gundam Unicorn is absolute Universal Century PORN. Remember that Mobile Suit you liked from Zeta Gundam? That one’s here. So are the ones from 0079 all the way to Char’s Counterattack, as well as many never-before-animated Mobile Suit Variations. The original designs of the Unicorn, Banshee, Sinanju, and Kshatriya are all impeccable, and look simply amazing in action. The grunt suits are nothing to sneeze at, either.
I’ve listened to Unicorn’s soundtrack on and off ever since 2012, because it’s just a damn good soundtrack. The lush orchestral pieces range from sweeping and powerful to moody and atmospheric, with varyingly pounding and eclectic electronic percussion. The opening song gives me a heavy Kingdom Hearts “Sanctuary” vibe, the production of which sounds like something I might do given a song like this to work with. Both ending songs are pretty forgettable, but neither are really bad enough to be bothersome.
From the beginning, Gundam has been host to a vast array of normal folk characters to larger than life egos. Unicorn is chock full of the latter, with a few of the every-man sprinkled in here and there. I find the main character Banagher to be particularly weak as a leading role, seeing as he is honestly a static character, passive in the plot, and worst of all… A pacifist. Gross! His direct opposite can be found in antagonist Full Frontal, an unstoppable, pragmatic, and menacing force. Other prominent characters include inconsistently characterized Mineva, white bread Riddhe, hardass Zinnerman, and–my favorite–tragically powerful Marida.
Being known for it’s lengthy plot lines, I was somewhat afraid that Unicorn would try to cram 50 episodes of story into its run time. Instead I was pleasantly surprised to find a plot appropriately paced for its original format, covering just a few key story beats. If I had to describe that plot as succinctly as possible, I could only call it a massive game of hostage hot potato, wherein our protagonists attempt to prevent a war by waging war themselves. I did find the conclusion a bit dissatisfying, perhaps because I’m accustomed to all out, large scale battles capping off Gundam stories.
Every episode seems to have characters on opposing sides brought together for calm chit chat, and while this does facilitate ample characterizing dialogue, it also somewhat deflates the tension that should be tangible in the presence of a mortal enemy. I remained mostly satisfied with the robot-fight-to-episode ratio of .91, being subjected to only a couple of episodes completely devoid of combat. I will admit that the political drama kept me engaged during these episodes such that I scarcely noticed the absence of action until the credits rolled. Speaking of political drama, I hope you’re ready for the plethora of ideological speeches our characters love to blurt out at every opportunity. All of those monologues can be a bit tedious, but they do get to the very heart of the Gundam Universal Century’s lore.
Being contained within the UC timeline is both one of Unicorn’s strongest assets and a curse all the same. The entire story is written as a finale to a nearly 100 year conflict that has been the underlying cause of every Gundam story chronologically prior to it, and one’s understanding and experience of Unicorn may be diminished without a decent familiarity with UC history. That said, the UC timeline contains stories of wars fueled by the same motivations far into the future, undercutting much of what Unicorn hopes to accomplish.
You may find yourself wondering if RE: 0096 is worth watching if you’ve already seen the OVA series, and I would have to say… Probably not. As best as I can tell, there is no new animation contained within the episodes (Excluding the OP and ED), so I hope you’re not expecting any new content. Compared to my attempts to watch the OVAs, smaller segments of story were actually easier to digest. Additionally, due to the run time of each OVA episode, the pacing is very unusual for a TV Gundam series. Action climaxes can be found every 2 or 3 episodes, and the writing does not feel forced to accommodate unnecessary robot battles (As if there is such a thing!).
The requisite TV anime elements which were added made this a more enjoyable experience for me, but may be off-putting for others. For starters, nearly every episode begins with a recap of the previous ones. Some of them are lengthy, even reaching 4 minutes! In an easier to follow story this might be grueling, but in such a dense and sometimes understated plot I found the recaps to be a welcome addition. The opening and ending themes add a nice touch of familiarity and repetition even if they are a bit underwhelming, with the visuals feeling largely phoned in. All in all, everything they added pushes the total run time from 7.25 hours to 8.8!
When considered strictly as the toy commercial it is, RE:0096 is a work of pure genius. With a budget only large enough to account for opening and ending sequences, editing, and bit of extra voice work, Bandai managed to create a perfect advertisement for their already colossal line of model kits from Gundam Unicorn. Using almost entirely pre-existing footage, they produced a nearly full length TV series to air in front of people who never had the interest or volition to seek out the OVAs. On the Gundam Info uploads of the series, each episode even has 5 straight minutes of ads showing off every kit from the series! If that ain’t genius, I don’t know what is.
So who should watch RE: 0096? I would recommend it if you’ve never seen Gundam Unicorn before, are a hardcore Gundam fan, or enjoy gritty robot warfare and pacifistic ideals. If you’re in a rush, the shorter run time of the OVAs may be more suitable.
MAL Score: 7.62
Naho Takamiya’s first day of her sophomore year of high school is off to an uneasy start. After waking up late, she receives a strange letter addressed to her. However, the letter is from herself—10 years in the future! At first, Naho is skeptical of the note; yet, after witnessing several events described to take place, she realizes the letter really is from her 26-year-old self.
The note details that Naho’s future life is filled with regrets, and she hopes that her younger self can correct the mistakes that were made in the past. The letter also warns her to keep a close eye on the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse. Naho must be especially careful in making decisions involving him, as Kakeru is not around in the future. With the letter as her guide, Naho now has the power to protect Kakeru before she comes to regret it once more.
It’s a well known fact that shoujo anime have never been the most original pieces of work. They follow a very basic and straightforward structure, and more often than not end up feeling way too dramatized and overly-melodramatic for no apparent reason. Once you’ve seen one you’ve seen them all, right? Some people would beg to differ, and as to disprove my claim the adaptation of Orange reared its ugly head out of the deepest depths of shoujo hell itself to quickly rise to the top of this season’s charts, smirking all the while it does it. Watch as the magnificent story of Orange unfolds, giving us deep insight into taboo topics like depression and suicide, viewed in distasteful shoujo fashion.
The story of Orange revolves around Naho, a carefree girl in her second year of highschool. One day, she stumbles upon a magical letter that is able to foresee her near future. The letter was sent from Naho to Naho 10 years in the past in hopes of her younger self being able to correct the mistakes she once made in highschool. How did the letter get there? Err.. A black hole in the Pacific ocean.. n’ stuff.. I couldn’t make this shit up even if I tried, could I? Anyhow, it’s up to Naho to correct her past mistakes by saving the new transfer student, Kakeru Naruse, from taking his own life. As convoluted as the plot may seem, it’s not bad straight off the bat for lacking a sense of realism. Instead, Orange’s problem is that even that which is supposed to be grounded in reality feels like it isn’t. What I’m referring to is the lousy presentation the series decided to resort to when tackling both the internal and external conflicts of the characters, like Kakeru being depressed for the sake of it and Naho being the weakest and most helpless creature on planet earth, thus making it unbearable to watch her interactions with Kakeru as she hopelessly tries to undo the regrets that the letter spoke of.
Adding on to that, to say that Naho is not a very outgoing girl would be an understatement. At certain times she appears to be completely and utterly socially inept, despite seemingly being a part of and having a decently-sized group of friends. Such a protagonist works great for Orange though, as having anyone other be the lead instead of such an indecisive girl would bring about a rather quick and uneventful resolution to things as no mind-mindbogglingly unnecessary conflict would ever arise. The fact that Naho prioritizes the most trivial of things over changing the future is also a huge problem. She finds out that there’s a way to undo one of her regrets simply by writing “No” on a piece of paper. And what does she do? She messes it up by postponing it to go and clean the classroom. And even when she isn’t caught up in anything and has a clear resolution of what she’s supposed to do, she doesn’t do it simply due to reluctance. I understand that she’s a refined girl and all but that doesn’t mean that she should constantly refrain from going out of her comfort zone every once in a while due to her shy demeanor when her actions will literally dictate whether a person lives or dies.
Following the cursed traditions of the shoujo genre, it is a given that emotion beats out logic in 99% of cases. And as such, logic and rationality completely cease to exist within the relationships between the main cast. Fuck magical letters that bend the space time continuum, Suwa’s attitude towards Naho and Kakeru’s relationship is where the real supernatural stuff kicks in. I don’t care if he’s the nicest guy on the face of the planet, no person has the ability to undermine their own feelings like that solely for someone else’s sake, especially seeing as he knows Kakeru for like, what, a month? I’d have a difficult time believing it even if the two knew each other since birth, but at the start of the series they’re not even buddy-buddy entry level yet. The relationship between Naho and Kakeru itself often tends to fall into unbelievable territory as well. How unrealistically oblivious these characters are to each other’s feelings for a handful of episodes is what makes the series feel so stretched out at times since instead of going from A to B, their relationship has a bad habit of going on detours and wandering off to C,D and F. The “Oblivious teenagers” trope in romance anime has been oversatured beyond repair and it doesn’t help when the anime at hand has a set premise that it can’t seem to get to the point of because it’s too busy playing a game of ring around the rosy with its’ romance. Nevermind that they saw the fireworks together or held hands, that’s just what friends of the opposite sex enjoy doing. No implications what so ever.
Most of the characters in Orange aren’t good or bad, but rather painfully average as they tend to play into various cookie cutter tropes due to the genre at hand. Starting from the bottom in a literal sense, we’ve got Naho. She’s weak, inattentive to an unhealthy degree, lacks the confidence to say a single sentence without stuttering, crying or running away and has no defying personality what so ever. All of these things when combined essentially just make her an all-around terrible character, with her only redeeming quality being the fact that she’s relatively cute. You remember that one time you were at the shopping mall and walked by that small child that was very clearly lost? That’s Naho in a nutshell. She’s got absolutely no clue how to act or even think on her own and while her constant blunders keep the story moving forward, her lack of resolve ultimately makes her an extremely unlikable character.
I know it may seem like I’m nagging on her simply because she is a flawed human being, something that’s supposed to make her more realistic and/or relatable. Brief rundown: A character is (not) complex when he or she is not a perfect human being or close relative of Jesus-kun. Whether a character is complex or not is simply the aftermath of good writing, something that Orange lacks entirely. Comparing her to Shinji Ikari from Neon Genesis Evangelion would be good practice of that. Shinji, at the end of the day, is a well-written, multilayered and sympathetic character. Granted, he is not a likable character, but his personality is entirely justified during the course of the series and the anime makes the viewer very well aware of that. Naho, on the other hand is also unlikable, but her personality is not justified in the slightest, nor is she the least bit sympathetic. She is presented as a mentally-handicapped schoolgirl that can’t be bothered stepping out of her comfort zone when her actions literally dictate whether the person she loves lives or dies, and that just makes her a cunt.
Angsty Teenager-kun (Angst-kun for short) first enrolls into the story appearing as a mystery figure, as for a good duration of the story we don’t know much of anything about him. This is totally acceptable though, because by the time the nature of his character comes to light, you’ll be wishing he had just remained angsty for no apparent reason. After many not-so-subtle hints throughout the anime, it is then revealed that Angst-kun suffers from clinical depression. I liked you Kakeru, I really did. Due to Naho’s over-incompetence in every situation, I had come to view you as the hero who takes the initiative, thus making this story move if but a single inch further. Unfortunately, Orange seems to have a very falsified perception of depression and suicide and for that, Angst-kun had to be the scapegoat and embodiment of the writer’s complete and utter lack of knowledge on this subject. There’s also no real way to feel sympathy for him either, seeing as his other attributes consist of being heavily controlling and having severe anger-management issues. I can see why him and Naho get along so well. Here’s how Kakeru’s cycle of depression tends to play out:
Step 1: In case everything is going well, make sure to bring up your dead mother for no apparent reason other than to kill the mood
Step 2: Get pissed off about friends trying to cheer you up and unnecessarily lash out at them (preferably Naho)
Step 3: Quick, make a run for it!
Step 4: Regret doing so & turn suicidal :'(
Step 5: Rinse and repeat
If that wasn’t enough, they top it all off by demonizing the relationship between his mother in order to victimize him further, until pulling a Shigatsu where it actually turns out his mother was a living saint the whole time! You know, they were just taking her bad deeds out of context, when in actuality she really cared about him.. Fuck off. Moving on, Suwa is easily the most likeable and respectable character in the entire story. However, while you can tell that unlike Kakeru, he genuinely cares about his friends’ wellbeing, his stance on Naho and Kakeru’s relationship is far too idealistic to be real. While his goody-two-shoes persona does make him prevail over the likes of Kakeru, it also makes his character all too stale and predictable. His best moments are easily the ones in which he feels conflicted whether or not to act upon his intuition and snatch Naho for himself instead of undermining his feelings. Unfortunately, they are very few and far in between, as for the overwhelming majority of the show he simply acts as Kakeru’s wingman without bothering to intervene. No one else in their group stands out.
Setting aside their heavy resemblance to puddle-toads, the character designs are somewhat visually-pleasing and even help the aesthetic in a sense. The animation doesn’t really have any opportunities to shine as the most intense it ever gets is just the characters running away from each other (I just made myself giggle).The opening looks decent for what it is and the ending is mostly just a slideshow of still images, but the directing is really where the technical department of Orange shines. I was skeptical to see the poor guy behind Steins;Gate and Texhnolyze be reduced to directing Orange, but alas, he once again successfully utilizes many different editing tricks in order to enhance the atmosphere and the various emotions displayed throughout, shrugging aside any previous doubts of mine. If anything, it just proves his talent is being entirely wasted on a project like this, as a few directing tricks ain’t nearly enough to pull it back on its’ feet.
Yuck. The happy-go-lucky J-pop feel of the opening and ending made me nauseous. OST and voice acting aren’t anything too impressive but get the job done. KanaHana going “Eh?” 20 times per episode made me want to nom on a handgun.
It’s been made very evident to me that I’m not the target demographic for this show. Orange is like my antithesis in every sense of the word, from the obnoxious cast and generic plot, to the subpar theme exploration and lacklustre pacing. Trying to complete this series was excruciating in every sense of the word. There was no light at the end of this dark, desolate tunnel. After finishing it, my psyche feels like it’s been violently flushed down the toilet, head-first and everything. What was it all for? For the credibility of this review? Definitely not worth it. Apart from the directing choice, there was not a single enjoyable element in Orange to be found. Even the driving force of the show – The drama which all fans of the show (fujoshi, mainly just fujoshi) gush over felt surreal and managed to miss its mark entirely. Muh depression :< At its core Orange is an extremely character-driven show and as such, a weak cast is the biggest detriment it can possibly have. Poor characterization accompanied by constant, God-awful melodrama and a false perception on serious subjects like depression and suicide drag the series through the dirt, when it could have been much, much more. While the themes themselves are fairly intriguing as they are rarely ever brought up within the medium, the lack of proper execution doesn't give them much of anything to stand on, and as such, they tend to violently tumble over and fall into the realm of boring impracticality, where they'll soon after be forgotten. It prioritizes constant melodrama over everything else, and suffers heavily because of it. Every weaker aspect is subsequently amplified as the show progresses, and the only way it can be fully appreciated is if the doctor's prescription of sleeping pills is currently at a standstill. [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews2:”][CONTAIN SPOILERS] _INTRO_ School life is so fascinating and a typical shojo romance without a setting in high school isn't common, "orange" is no different but there's a lot more to it than just being your every day's anime. __PLOT___ The plot is quite open from the first episode itself,nothing much of suspense.we're being introduced to Naho a 16-year-old girl,about to attend her second year of high school abruptly receives letters while on her way to school,the letters are from Naho herself, but ten years into future, who ask her youngest self to prevent her "biggest regret" from happening and that is to save Kakeru from dying. Though initially skeptical, Naho eventually begins to read the letters as they predict some of the events that would happen in her time, the foremost being the enrollment of Kakeru (the main character), a transfer student from Tokyo, to her class. Kakeru is quickly befriended by Naho and her friends. Through the letters, Naho also learns that something bad will happen to Kakeru. She decides to do the opposite of the events detailed in the letters in hopes of averting it. At the same time, in future,Naho is now married and has a baby with Suwa, visits Kakeru's former home together with her friends, where it is revealed that they are attending a memorial for the long-dead Kakeru. What surprises them, however, is the revelation that Kakeru died not because of an accident, but suicide. Now it's up to Naho and her friends to save Kakeru of this timeline where the future of their selves failed. Mostly,we've been talking about how greatly the show touches our heart and I'm no different, but nothing is flawless and at some point,we've to be practical while judging a work as wholly and can't let our emotions get the better of us,the biggest mystery remains in this show is the execution of time travel mechanism. It's not like Doraemon use the time machine and deliver the letter to their respectively past selves from the future. Although we're told that they used the theory of black hole to interact with their past selves but we would never know how they did it,this part is so mess up and I wouldn't have complained if it was just a regular romance shoujo but it's a sci-fiction as well,we got all the rights to know and all other aspects can't overshadow it,Something things are better left untouched rather than bringing up unrealistic logics. ___CHARACTERS___ The story mainly revolves around these three Kakeru, Naho and Suwa,although we can't deny the fact the others characters are less important,but they didn't get much spotlight. Kakeru-I considers him the most realistic character of the show,it's not often that an issue like depression is highlighted in the story these days, but over here it's done precisely in the form of Kakeru. He's the type of guy who would never show the pain in front of others and will bear it all alone from inside. Naho- she's like any other girl of her age who believe in first-time love,she was deeply committed to saving Kakeru. Suwa-The most cheerful guy in the crew,despite his feelings toward Naho he tried his best to keep her happy and help Kakeru. Hagita- A creepy character but he did something good at the end. Azusa-The official bread girl. Takako-A friend,I really don't know what else to say. Who doesn't like a love triangle?Probably many but still I would like to bring up. In the future timeline, Naho fell in love with Kakeru but things didn't work out right and had much lesser interaction,meanwhile, Suwa couldn't control his feelings anymore,confessed to her,Kakeru died and they end up together but a feeling of regret always remained in Naho which hurt Suwa seeing her like this In the parallel timeline, Naho fell in love with Kakeru as usual and was able to understand him better and spend more time,while Suwa deeply in love with Naho knew the outcome if he was to confess his feelings,so he didn't let himself become a bother to their relation and ended up acting as the selfless good guy but no one is certain of the future. I don't know why so much hatred towards Kakeru,everyone got their fair chance in both the timelines. ______ART_______ Another breakthrough point for an anime besides the plot is the animation and over here,it's pretty mediocre. Although the background seems to be quite up to the mark but the characters design,movements are so sluggish and imperfect,it's really disappointing to see. _____SOUND____ The opening 'Hikari no Hahen" by Yu Takahashi is really splendid and set the mood for the next 20 minutes of the show while the ending "Mirai" by Kobukuro act as a catalyst to all those feelings we go through. And it's a anime with deep emotion and with the right tone,it did justice to the show. _____ENJOYMENT________ I did enjoy it and each episode was an emotionally roller coastal ride for me, but I somehow felt that the manga was better in depicting each aspect to the fullest. ___________OVERALL________ Emotion is something that fuels us,as everything we do is fueled by love,hate,passion,sadness;thus opening up an infinite number of paths which will inevitably change the way we see thing forever as every second goes by,Positive or negative there will be changes and that gamble of nature is thrilling.So get ready to ride on the feel train. It may not be the best adaptation right now but as a whole, it was worth watching and one of the best, the summer has to offer. [/collapse] [collapse title=“Reviews3:”]Adorned with lush textures of green and wrapped up in the endless blue horizon of the summer sky, Orange rests softly on the lips like a faint drop of nostalgia just waiting to be recollected. Approaching the quiet slice of countryside that remained dormant over many winters, we're flung back ten years to where it all began. The place where two paths collided but only one was allowed to move forward. A place tucked away behind walls of foliage, cradled in a valley older than time itself. There it resides, a small town that carries with it a sense of cultural simplicity that only the exclusion of the outside world could allow. Under cover of low hanging branches, the sun pierces its way through, lighting the path where a group of friends walks side by side to a future that lays bare before them. And in this huddle of jovial faces, we find Naho; a soft-spoken girl that has within her grasp a letter. A letter that will forever alter the course she takes and the fate of the ones huddled around her. And with the arrival of a new student named Kakeru from Tokyo, this quiet little town perks up, and so does the latent curiosity residing within Naho. A spark ignites as these two worlds collide, their fates forever becoming intertwined in the process. And so begins the tale that unravels before us. A tale of bittersweet consequence, regret, and seeking solace in the embrace of others. Breathing new life into what many would consider being a worn out formula, Orange proves that any set-piece could be spun into something wholly immersive under the right care. By only giving events a gentle push when needed, this anime found a way to offer freedom too noticeably absent in other works. A way to let things run their course. To give characters chances to emote in ways that feel at home with who they are and not what the screenplay strongarm them into being. To let what must be, be. With acclaimed director, Hiroshi Hamasaki, the man behind such works as Steins;Gate and Texhnolyze, taking the helm, this is immediately expressed with the first soft brushstroke that gives the world of Orange life, as things come into focus and we're formally introduced to the story it wishes to convey. After opening a letter addressed to her, Naho is rendered speechless by the contents written inside: "I'm writing this letter ten years in your future." Was it a practical joke? Her friends leading her on for harmless fun? Or perhaps it was something more profound... and maybe, just maybe, the words addressed to herself, from herself, was real? And as the day transpired the unlikely answer became truth and any doubt that might have lingered faded away with the realization of what she held in her hand. This letter was no mere trick; this was real. "This is the one day I don't want you to invite Kakeru," she didn't listen before, but now she heeds those words. Now she knows that this far-fetched truth isn't something to disregard. Whether it be something as grand as divine prophecy or merely an elaborate setup she's incapable of figuring out, what is for certain is that the letter wasn't wrong—a window into the future was given. A truth beyond comprehension. But what she does understand is her friends. The clique that always welcomes her with open arms. Free to look on at their antics in silent bliss: Hitaga's larger than life persona, as he fends off comments, being playfully antagonized constantly by the quick-witted Azu, taking pleasure in seeing him fluster behind his thick-framed glasses, while Suwa towers over them amused by the "married couple" squabble taking place. Takako hanging back instigating with Azu complying gleefully, as they all crack a smile enjoying each others company. Trailing behind them with a small gesture of content, Naho doesn't ask for anything more than this. These are the moments that she lives for. The moments that Naho feel at home. And with Kakeru being brought into the mix, it's these moments she never wants to let go of. Despite being indoctrinated into the group with ease, Kakeru remains the anomaly. He flashes a reserved smile, accepts their gestures of friendship, humors them when they tease each other, and even participate on occasion. But just behind his gentle expression, there's a feeling of distance. A wall that keeps them outside from the truth that's eating away within. A mind that's off somewhere else, a lonely place that only his thoughts are allowed to occupy. And staring back at him is Naho, fixated on the truth behind the smoke and mirrors. The truth she now possesses. Kakeru isn't going to be around for long if he follows this path, an idea that saddens her to the core. The pain of carrying that burden alone. A life resting in her hands. A life she cares for immensely, yet can't express without the fear of rejection, or perhaps even more unnerving, the fear of being loved in return. Determined to save him, she's forced to open up. A girl who's not confident in her self-worth having to muster up enough courage for both of them. And though she may fumble over her words, go about nervously even to make eye contact, afraid of being adored by another, scared to death at the thought of being yearned for, she still presses on. Whether she manages to surpass the regret of her future-self at one minute only to fail by the next, every fiber of her being wants to keep Kakeru alive. A love that's equal parts selfish and unquestionable; a love she feels guilty for, ashamed at the thought of pressing for answers that she knows will hurt him to express. A pain of caring too much to see him go but being too bashful to say what's needed to make him stay. Regret. Suicidal tendencies. Adolescence. Young love. Life-altering decisions. Self-acceptance. Self-awareness. Selfish desire. Deceit. Earning trust. Learning to let go. Accepting defeat. Perseverance. A whirlwind of dilemmas heaped onto her lap the moment she decided to take action to stop the inevitable. But is it alright to change the future, to listen to herself ten years ahead? A 26-year-old Naho, willing to change the decision of her reserved younger self for a future that would rob her of the life of a newborn child, nestled in the bosom of a loving mother's arms and a man who's in his own right the right match for her? This decision becomes about much more than saving someone, it becomes about weighed sacrifices. Nothing could be gained without the loss of something else. Is it right to gamble the happiness of others, and possible life of another, just to fulfill a want to preserve someone else's? Even the most trivial of occurrences could tip the scales in one side's favor. Fate doesn't choose favorites. The slightest swing of the pendulum determining the outcome and love of those involved. A fragile web that's only held in place by the desire to mend wounds not yet made and save a life that's not yet lost. The summer breeze caressing her cheek, sunburnt hair fluttering ever so gently, with eyes of emerald looking outward to the unforeseen outcome of her actions. Was it right for her to challenge destiny? Was it her call to make? Pensive feelings only interrupted by the presence of a partner. Resting his steady hand on her shoulder, a caring look of reassurance offered, Suwa eases the burden; don't worry, I'm on your side, no matter the decision—A silent exchange that says everything. These are the moments that are brought to life by the talented team staffed with seeing the vision through. With vibrant earth tones protruding through brushstrokes of greenery, a rustic, yet polish look that's acid washed in Hiroshi's unique stylistic choices; everything displays a delicate touch, fine-tuned by people who care about the projects they're working on. With character design credit given to Nobuteru Yuuki, the same man that lent his talent to Kids on the Slope and Paradise Kiss, it all comes together into one cohesive piece. Carrying this off is a soundtrack that gently chimes in, with the soft stroke of an acoustic guitar, the gentle thumping rhythm of drums, and doled out piano keys that occasionally makes its presence known when the time calls for it; everything here has its place. It's a soundtrack that doesn't drown out the actions on screen but instead works in synchronicity with it. Choosing to be a supporting actor than the main attraction. This aspect was also true with the opening and ending themes, with "Hikari no Hahen" by Yu Takahashi capturing the essence of what's seen when you visit the world of Orange, and "Mirai" by Kobukuro capping it off with a bittersweet performance that embodies the underlying emotions that makes itself more apparent the further you venture in. The two—art and audio—found a space that they both occupy with complete acceptance of the other, creating a true sense of symbiosis. This wasn't to say that the presentation was always consistent, there were certainly moments that faltered, but when it counted the most, it found a way to drive things home. Orange takes school rom-com setups and elevates it beyond the stereotypical trappings and downright formulaic reactionary content it's usually infamous for. Where most school-orientated anime see fit to typecast characters with a small stock selection of personalities to choose from, often being identified by garishly colorful hairstyles and borderline caricature appearances; Orange broke away from this cast-iron mold, going against typing and the very notion of limited range for what's supposed to be considered as "relatable" characters. Instead, we're given teenagers that look and act as teenagers should. There's no token tsundere or mullet-sporting high-school delinquents, only different people with their mannerisms and personalities being brought together under one roof. This unit all compliment each other, in a manner that's done without so much as outright stating it. We simply see it in their daily interactions. The socially inept know-it-all Hitaga's stubborn outward gestures against Azu's teasing, the two practically joined at the hip, refusing to address the source of their partnership. Takako's level-headed outlook on her friends, eons ahead of them all in maturity but won't hesitate to join in on "girl talk" if the chance presents itself. Naho's reserved nature, a person too kind to say no, satisfied with just being able to see others happy. And then there's Suwa's adopted role as big brother, putting aside his happiness to aid the happiness of others. He willingly becomes the anchor and bearer of unrequited love, harboring his feelings to allow another to blossom, all while doing it with a smile on his face. Each of these friends existing independently of each other but choosing to pool together where they have others that complete whatever they lack. Good on their own but better when there's a shoulder to lean on, someone to share their happiness, troubles, and existence with. The very idea that frightens the outsider being accepted within their circle. Kakeru admires but fears the very idea of their friendship. A lingering thought that he carries with him, afraid to open up to let others in: "I don't deserve it. I haven't earned it. I'm not good enough. No one understands me. If I get too close, I will only hurt them in the end. How could anyone care for me after what I've done? I shouldn't be allowed happiness." He sits there, eating away, wanting to reach out but pulling away out of fear. Out of guilt. But whenever he's had enough, ready to end it all, there's always a voice ringing out in the distance. His name being called out by the short-statured girl with sunburnt hair. A girl that tugs at him to stay. A girl he wants nothing but the best for. Orange isn't filled with characters spouting out summations of themselves, nor does it bother to hammer home points not expressed explicitly through dialogue. It lets the actions, the expressions, the mannerisms, the scenes, the camera, the color, the music, the very nature of the show itself, to do all the talking in its place. And while I've expressed nothing but the utmost praise for Orange, there's still a lot of issues that plague it. For one, details about the conflict itself. Admittedly, the romance aspect can get clumsy at times. There are occasions where it's awkward, and that doesn't count scenes when it was done so on purpose. With the density of some characters pushing it, especially when considering their giant progressive leaps forward in the latter half of the show, it does wane on you a bit, if only temporarily. A big confessional scene could be truncated for awkward teenage crushing by the next episode. A kind of regression that felt like it served just to pad out the schedule running time than it did to service the material at hand. While some of these issues could have been credited with the fact that they're teenagers and are not fully capable of expressing themselves to the best of their capabilities, it still doesn't magically make the feeling disappear. But of course, that's an excuse I'm sure many have grown tired of hearing, despite the fact that it inherently holds a great deal of truth about any youth in the middle of their teenage years. It's not always an answer we like, but it's still one that's acceptable for the sake of immersion. And then some viewers would address the issue regarding time-travel. Let it be known that there wasn't any need to try to explain the mechanics of the time-travel used since time-travel was nothing but a narrative tool to set in motion what mattered: the characters. But even with that being said, it doesn't negate the fact that that element of the show was never adequately explained in a meaningful way. Given the fact that this aspect of the show came in the form of a letter required some suspension of disbelief as to why more wasn't done to take full advantage of it. However, I believe downplaying the time-travel aspect as something that's not needed to drive its narrative or be used as a means to reset mistakes if they fail to follow through on the words written the first time, was the best decision to make. Had they been able to repeat critical events constantly, it would have diminished the regret and success of their efforts throughout the course of the show. The letter was merely a timeline for them to follow, but the actual legwork, struggle, pain, happiness, lessons learned, and obstacle conquered, was done of their own accord. And when their efforts, or lack thereof, diverge from what's written on the letter, it disproves any omniscience to control the course of time or predict it flawlessly, which makes this an example of a plot device not being readily abused. And when accounted for how often that isn't the case for anime that include time-travel, or other forms of media for that matter, that's a great accomplishment. And in a nutshell, that's Orange's greatest strength; taking things that are quickly disregarded, such as school rom-coms and time-travel setups, and turning them into something that could be engaging and level-headed. If time-travel is readily abused in most stories, don't make it a central focus of your narrative, use it as a guideline instead. If school rom-coms are infamous for having color-coordinated dimensionless personas, take a subdued approach that pulls from the same core values yet brought to life with personalities that feel far more believable. Orange takes the basics and proves that with enough care it could be reacknowledged as a viable means of storytelling. With the right amount of passion interjected, what would usually stop as just characters on-screen, backdrops for 23 minutes of entertainment, and a quick conversation of some piece of media, can now be transformed into a lasting impression that people could carry with them. One that could offer fond experiences for moments you've wished for, and passing instances of nostalgia you've never had. And as we depart, leaving the world of Orange behind us, zooming past the aged walkways, green linen jackets worn by adolescence; back through the cracks of the skyline hidden behind a wall of leaves hanging above, we know that we're leaving a place with a memory to take away from it. And as we become less aware of its existence, going about our routines, the world of Orange and its inhabitants continues on, living their day to day lives, making memories of their own and looking up in bewilderment at the endless blue, pondering as to what their future may hold. [/collapse]
4: Flip Flappers
English: Flip Flappers
MAL Score: 7.67
Cocona is an average middle schooler living with her grandmother. And she who has yet to decide a goal to strive for, soon met a strange girl named Papika who invites her to an organization called Flip Flap.
Dragged along by the energetic stranger, Cocona finds herself in the world of Pure Illusion—a bizarre alternate dimension—helping Papika look for crystal shards. Upon completing their mission, Papika and Cocona are sent to yet another world in Pure Illusion. As a dangerous creature besets them, the girls use their crystals to transform into magical girls: Cocona into Pure Blade, and Papika into Pure Barrier. But as they try to defeat the creature before them, three others with powers from a rival organization enter the fray and slay the creature, taking with them a fragment left behind from its body. Afterward, the girls realize that to stand a chance against their rivals and the creatures in Pure Illusion, they must learn to work together and synchronize their feelings in order to transform more effectively.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]To be honest Flip Flappers should-be more popular. I felt that it had all the material needed to engage with audiences regardless of their preferences, and most importantly sell great merchandise. The only thing that stopped me from giving the incredible piece of art a solid 10 was the strange and often times confusing story; which I’ll get into in a moment so please keep sitting in your chair, or levitating above, you wizards.
So what is Flip Flappers about? Why should you be watching it? Can you eat it? Only two of the three questions above will be answered.
Flip Flappers’ story is interesting in many ways. We follow the lives two cute girls, there’s intense action, amazing visuals, a yuri undertone lurking. What more could you want— other than nudity, perv.
The Story can be hit or miss depending on your preferences. If you’re into simple story-telling and plot developments then Flip flappers most likely won’t be on your watch list. The plot, the real plot, not fan-service is very confusing at times. It is so bad to the point where I found myself questioning “what the hell going on?” in certain episodes. You see, Flip Flappers method of storytelling is hard to follow…
There are often times too many distractions, mostly imagery, that if you miss a single detail then you will be momentarily confused as to what is happening in the story. This is extremely prevalent when there are scenes filled to the brim with dialogue and monologues. Personally, I found myself getting lost in the vibrant imagery or special effects while characters were talking. Now as far as the story telling goes, the “direction” I have to say that I strongly believe that both the narrative was straight forward as to be expected. Flip Flappers method of storytelling is “the hero’s journey.” For example, think of movies like Harry potter or Lord of the rings.
For those who are unfamiliar with the scenario, something bad or out of the ordinary happens. This causes the girls to go on an adventure to solve the problem; they receive supernatural aid, and get just a bit of character development. As their adventure progresses, they run into the antagonist whom they proceed to do battle with. At this point, “death & rebirth” kicks in. The girls lose, but suddenly realize that this battle is important, plot armor kicks in, and they both gain some sort of supernatural ability that helps them defeat the antagonist. After the grueling battle rests, a predictable outcome, the heroes succeed and head back home where everything is nice and happy.
Now with “the journey “that the girls go on. It is not incredible but it sure is unique. During the span of the entire series Papika and Cocnoa are involved in some type of journey that teaches them both lessons. For example they both need each other. They’re friends! Most of the problems the two have to fix during the series, I perceived them as stepping blocks for the two to continue building their budding relationship.
There’s never a dull moment in the Flip Flappers’ story I feel like it provided more than enough entertainment.
At first glance, depending on if you have a good eye or are just really experienced with watching anime. One would assume Gainax worked this title with its unique choices in art. However, they didn’t (as far as my knowledge goes) do much in the animation department. The credits in episode 11 say that they were used for outsourcing. This is common in the anime industry. Personally I believe that their unique art style was used as inspiration for 3hz.
Backgrounds are beautiful despite lacking detail and high quality at times. Character designs are unique, cute which is most important. On the other hand, the animation wasn’t as impressive. I felt like there could’ve been improvements to the aesthetics and quality to make the show look more modern. HOWEVER! And Honestly, I think everything worked out. I enjoyed the beauty the show had to offer. It has a sort of “dreamscape” fantasy design to it. This choice fits with the theme of the show. Lastly, the colors are rich and the special effects are fluid.
The soundtrack does an excellent job setting the mood for certain situations. I felt that the composer did a wonderful job of creating songs that fit theme of the show. Happy, jaunty, tunes, the bells are of course the most important part. Voice acting was good to say the least. I didn’t feel like the actors were anything special. The opening and ending song… Scratch the opening song. The ending song perfectly describes what the show is about! the sound director deserves to be acknowledge for their contributions to the show.
Enjoyment & Overall: Flip flappers deserves some notoriety for its great efforts and contributions to the fall 2016 season. I felt that this title was incredibly fun to watch! The characters, art, soundtrack and story. There was so many things that I liked in the show that made it enjoyable. I had to give Flip Flappers a solid 9/10 because of how great I felt watching everything unfold.
The story follows two girls who meet each other by coincidence: the extremely energetic and cheerful Papika, and the much more level-headed and all-round normal Cocona. The somewhat futuristic world which Flip Flappers plays out in does not only contain hoverboards and advanced robotics, but also a fair amount of less explainable things. Supposedly there exists a second, overlapping dimension called Pure Illusion which Papika and Cocona end up stumbling upon by literally falling down a hole into it. This other world is largely responsible for what makes Flip Flappers so different, because in Pure Illusion pretty much anything seems possible. It reminds me of Fantasia a bit with its magical, colourful landscapes, mythical beasts and other strange creatures, doors functioning as teleports, and just a ton of magic in general. Sometimes however it can be sci-fi-esque rather than fantasy-esque, with digital Tron-like cyberspace environments, mechas and more.
Papika and Cocona work for the Flip Flap organization, which tasks them with searching for so-called “amorphous” fragments within the world of Pure Illusion, which are supposedly capable of granting wishes. These fragments can be found in different kinds of environments within Pure Illusion, which is largely what causes them to end up in such blatantly different surroundings in almost every episode. In their adventures however they end up finding out that Flip Flap is not the only organization on the hunt for amorphous fragments, as they encounter a second group who seemingly wants them for their own ulterior motives. And thus we end up with a lot of fighting in-between the two sides throughout the anime as they keep trying to beat each other to the punch for every fragment.
Flip Flappers utilizes the strange world of Pure Illusion in order to tell unusual stories on a mostly episodic basis out of chronological order, and on top of providing interesting adventures it also has a plethora of symbolism underneath the surface. Pretty much everything in this show has a meaning. However, not the entire anime is on an episodic basis. Towards the end, everything starts to connect, and an overarching storyline you might not have even realized was ever there suddenly starts to become visible. Ultimately, it all culminates into a quite grandiose and conclusive ending.
But what really makes Flip Flappers a success to me is that it manages to deliver its deeper messages without it really hampering the fun factor of the anime itself. A common problem I have with more philosophical anime is that they often end up feeling like nothing more than lectures and either turn out to be quite boring (like Mushishi) or just plain cringey (like Yuri Kuma Arashi). But Flip Flappers is actually a ton of sheer light-hearted fun on top of its subtle themes, like a child’s imagination come to life with its execution, and even though there is generally way more to each scene than meets the eye, it is still very entertaining to watch. And as a result it actually made me interested enough in the show as a whole to motivate me to pay attention to the details as well, so in a way the fun factor actually made the deeper themes better too. It is the same reason you usually learn more from a class you actually enjoy than one that makes you literally fall asleep.
The characters are overall quite likable but also very symbolic. Papika’s bubbly personality is like a representation of childhood innocence, whereas another girl called Yayaka rather seems to symbolize adulthood, with Cocona stuck somewhere in-between the two extremes, unsure what she really wants to do. It’s a nice way of combining character diversity with contrasting deeper themes.
The production value is also quite surprising. Studio 3Hz do not have much in their repertoire other than Dimension W and Sora no Method prior to this, but even so they still definitely delivered here. The art style looks incredibly hand-drawn, like something you would normally see in a Studio Ghibli film rather than something you would expect to see airing on TV. But it fits really well with the Fantasia-like setting of Pure Illusion, further enhancing the experience of magic and wonder of it all. And on top of that, Flip Flappers boasts with not just having one of the best opening themes of the entire season, but also quite frankly one of the best ending themes I’ve ever heard in anime.
Overall, what you have is an anime which honestly does not feel like it has any clear weaknesses in my eyes. The unorthodox setting and story, the way all the dots suddenly connect towards the end, the diverse and symbolic characters, the gorgeous art and the enjoyable theme songs, it is all really good. Just… not utterly amazing either. I guess the biggest downside would be that at times the story will undoubtedly come across as rather confusing, even if you really try to pay attention. Granted, this is all intentional, but that does not really help much in practicality. However, as mentioned earlier, even if you will not understand literally every message that Flip Flappers is trying to convey, I think you should still be able to enjoy it quite a lot. When it all comes down to it, that is probably its greatest strength.
I’ll add that it’s also “diverse, unique, immersive, and, most importantly, it’s (*cough*cough* mostly *cough*) coherent!”
Flip Flappers is pretty underrated and will take you on a relatively unpredictable journey with two middle school girls named Papika and Cocona as they travel to another dimension called “Pure Illusion”. The story begins mysteriously as it follows the warm and simple-minded Papika as she escapes from what looks like a lab and flies off into the night sky on her hoverboard. It then switches to the perspective of the visibly depressed or kuudere Cocona and briefly gives insight into her struggles to figure who she wants to be and what career path to choose. At this point, no one could have guessed the incredibly diverse future that was in store for these two protagonists.
TL;DR at the end
I strongly believe that Flip Flappers is one of the most original and imaginative anime ever made. It should get more attention because it definitely has all of the necessary ingredients to become one of the treasured gems of the anime genre. I highly recommend that you check this out if you enjoy diversity, unpredictability, action, and beauty. I usually like to contemplate anime, but this series was so unpredictable and silly that I had to turn my brain off for most of it, haha!
The concept of other dimensions gave this anime the ability to explore unlimited possibilities. Mechas, ghosts, sci-fi, action, comedy, horror— you name it and it was probably in Flip Flappers. The overarching plot showcases the growing friendship of Papika and Cocona as they journey to “Pure Illusion” to collect rock-like-things that grant a wish once collected (kind of like finding the dragon balls). They eventually come to face opposition from another group that’s also trying to collect them. However, ~PLOT TWIST~ things aren’t really as they seem… What real-world consequences will their actions in Pure Illusion have? Do the rocks really grant wishes? Who, exactly, is Papika? In fact, who is Dr. Salt? In fact… who… are you…? Just kidding, but these are some of the major questions that you might wonder throughout this anime. Overall, I did think it was a bit random (mostly in a good way) and sometimes the randomness strayed from the coherence of the plot. However, the pacing was, nonetheless, great and the stories/sub-stories were all interesting as well.
Although the art was mostly simple, it was beautifully simple. The art was deliberately made to look simple and is one of the most colorful anime that I’ve seen. It was truly a work of art! The motion was a bit choppy at times, but you could really FEEL the action. Pure illusion (alternate dimension) was absolutely stunning with rich and vibrant colors, and its artwork was enough to make me feel fully immersed in this series. The art wasn’t good because of its detail, but instead because of its creativity. They did a great job on setting the moods of the diverse settings in Flip Flappers. Sometimes it goes from a fun and light-hearted mood to a sci-fi mood, and then to more darker moods. Although the art was really good, I never once thought “Oh… My… Fuck… BRILLIANCE! MASTERPIECE!” like I did for Unlimited budgetworks (unlimited bladeworks) or Kizumoneygatari (Kizumonogatari) so I couldn’t give it a 10 (Visit Kill la Kill or Katanagatari [10/10 Art]) for how to be flambuoyant, but still fluid in animation)
Every character’s voice matched the character, battle sounds were great, and background noises were normal. The background OSTs were primarily cinematic and didn’t have a memorable central theme like in Fairy tail, Kill la Kill, Guilty Crown, SAO, Madoka Magica, or Tsubasa Reservoir Chronicles but it was nonetheless great background music. The opening was pretty good, but the ending was perfect for this anime. The ending was lighthearted, had an Alice-in-Wonderland-like feeling to it, and the artwork really matched the music perfectly. The sound was great overall.
I personally think the characters were the weakest part of this anime. All of the characters were cliche tropes that weren’t complex at all. The story was diverse enough that it didn’t matter much, but none of the characters were particularly unique in any way. It’s fine because I’m not sure how they could’ve developed more complex characters with its diverse settings in a matter of only 12 episodes. Their simplicity didn’t really take much away from the anime, but you probably won’t be getting any new favorites from it.
I really enjoyed this anime. It was pretty unique, so I think I’ll remember it for a long time. I enjoyed it enough to watch it again someday! That doesn’t happen to me often (I’ve only really re-watched like 2 series). There was just something special about this anime that I haven’t seen elsewhere.
It was very unique, the story was pretty good, and it was interesting overall, but it could have been better. The story was also extremely diverse but consequently had some very minor inconsistencies. The artwork was creative, but a bit choppy. The sound was great and well-suited to this anime, but not amazing.
Should you watch this anime? Well, I totally recommend it personally but:
If you value anime for its uniqueness, then definitely!
If you like artistic anime, then yeah!
If you like girl action anime, then yep!
If you like sci-fi anime, then ehhh you might want to give it a shot…
If you found the story or concept to be intriguing, then you should probably try it for about three episodes…
If you dislike simple anime and tropes, then no because this anime is very simple and trope heavy.
If you dislike “friendship power”, then nah this anime “Fairy Tail”ed at times.
Hope this helps you make your decision! If it did, let me know by clicking helpful~ If it didn’t, let me know what you disagree with so I can learn from my mistakes!
3: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
English: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム 鉄血のオルフェンズ
MAL Score: 8.03
Over three hundred years have passed since the Calamity War, the great conflict between Earth and its outer space colonies. Now Earth is ruled over by four economic blocs, and the military organization Gjallarhorn is responsible for keeping the peace. Mars, on the other hand, depends heavily on Earth’s economy.
Horrified by the appalling living conditions that Mars’ inhabitants have to bear, Kudelia Aina Bernstein, a young aristocrat from the Chryse Autonomous Region, gets involved in the Red Planet’s independence movement. She hires the services of a local company, Chryse Guard Security (CGS), to escort her on the journey to Earth to negotiate economic conditions with the earthly bloc that controls the region. The Third Army Division—consisting of Mikazuki Augus, Orga Itsuka, and many other child soldiers—are chosen to protect her.
When Gjallarhorn attacks the CGS facilities to assassinate the young revolutionary threatening their interests, Orga and his comrades must not let the attackers accomplish their goal—in fact, Gjallarhorn’s actions might turn out to be the unintentional catalyst that leads the children to be the forgers of their own destiny.
For timeline purposes, the show takes place after the Calamity War, a war between Earth and Outer colonies. Actually, make that 300+ years. A major conflict involves Mars and its city Chryse. The people there seek independence from the government and make their own lives into something better. A young Martian woman named Kudelia Aina Bernstein hopes to secure independence. Her role in the story becomes more complicated as she gets involved with a group known as the Tekkadan, whom is entrusted to protect her life. So begins this story that leads politics, warfare, and a world of internal conflicts. As the show’s catch phrase, this is “the sustenance of life is on the battlefield.”
In context, the show is a war story but also deals with a variety of real life issues. From poverty to child soldiers and imperialism, the show really offers a lot of insightful concepts. There’s even themes of experimentation as certain characters are fit with the Alaya-Vijnana System (Whiskers) to enhance their fighting abilities. Still, the show constructs a story that expands beyond just fighting a war for independence but also takes a look at the interpersonal conflicts of people in its universe. At the heart of it, we have members of the Tekkadan. Led by Orga Itsuka, the show capitalizes on their role to protect Aina. Their ace pilot, Mikazuki Augus (also known as Mika) pilots the mysterious mobile suit known as Barbartos. Throughout the show, we see his piloting and combat skills including his role to fight off Gjallarhorn, an Earth Military organization set up to capture Aina. Tekkadan also consists of other members including Biscuit Griffin (a strategist), Eugene Stark (former leader of the third army’s division), Norba Shino, Akihiro Atland, Atra Mixta, among others. What’s interesting about this group is that although they all come from different backgrounds, they are all united with similar purposes and treats each other like family. The family theme extends to not just the group but also Aina as she gets to know more of its core members. With such a colorful cast of characters, the show really can be appreciated for its characterization.
A good part of the story involves the journey Aina and Tekkadan takes in order to reach their goals. Part of it feels like a cat-and-mouse story while other parts are calmer with even has a feel of slice of life. In addition, the show also introduces others factions, some who later become valuable ally of Tekkadan while others are against them. Now I have to admit though, the story itself may feel like it has some pacing problems. A few of the episodes are non-combat related and some lacks development with the overall presentation of the story. However, it also emphasizes on the characters because they really are something special. The director and producers are aiming high for with this TV show so everything constructed has a purpose. The main characters has an iron will with their goals so a few of the episodes examines at their personal lives. Throughout their on-screen roles and background storytelling, we learn more about them especially Mika. He is an orphan with poor social skills but learns throughout the show with help from Aina. There’s a change about his character through his acquaintance with her as he becomes more casual and more interested in his own future. Their relationship even has a taste of romance in it as time goes on and this doesn’t seem like a surprise. Aina’s a kind woman who cares about others’ well-being above her own. She is also a good role model for the children through her ways of teaching them how to write, in particular Mika. This opens up his interest to forging his own future someday. Similarly, Mika’s relationship with Orga is strong. Their friendship has already been established during their childhood and it’s evident that the two would risk their lives to protect each other and their goals. Now I don’t expect everyone to like Aina’s role in the story. Despite her aristocratic status and selfless nature, she is still a bit naïve at times. And furthermore, her insecurity to provide help during crucial moments of fighting can be a bit irritating. Because of the nature of the show, expect other characters to relive moments from the past that resurfaces in the present storyline. A prime example is Akihiro as he deals with a blast from the past. On the other hand, there are also lighthearted relationships such as Mika and Atra. Some may see her involvement with him to almost be part of a love triangle. However, don’t expect this show to be a love story. It’s still an iron-blooded war tale. In retrospect, the show really has an iron blood with its story and characters.
When looking at the themes of the show, it’s easy to notice how much it has relations with the past, present, and future. The poverty of the past influences people to try and find a better future for themselves. The present has an emphasis on neo-colonism as we see advanced civilizations expand through funding and technology. For the future, Aina’s ambition to seek independence is a hopeful vision for her people. This is a bit contrast with Gjallarhorn. In essence, they are a military organization who seeks peace but pursuits them with violence means. Some of its core members such as McGillis Fareed, Gaelio Bauduin, Ein Dalton, and among others has their own ideologies. But one thing they seem to all share is strengthening their nation’s own relations and wealth. On the other hand, there’s also Teiwaz, a business conglomerate. Their relationship with Tekkadan also a similarity about family as their representative member forges a pact with Orga. The amount of relationships in this show is really special and something to take by heart. Whether you agree with their goals or ambitions, it’s important to understand why they fight. And this show is pretty damn good at making its point about that.
Produced by Sunrise, the show’s visual quality is a unique piece of work. Michinori Chiba is in charge of the character designs but visually looks a bit different compared to some of Gundam’s previous predecessors. I guess it feels like a fusion of Gundam 00 and Gundam AGE as the characters looks both childish and mature the same time. This is especially true with characters like Mika and Biscuit. Orga on the other hand has the look of a mature commander. Aina has more of the look of an aristocrat but can also look like a simple lady when she needs to be. Character visuals aren’t the only thing interesting about the artwork though. The universe of the show has colonies that shows wealth with its rich technology and weapons of war As such, it brings legitimacy to their statuses. From the mysterious Barbados to Teiwaz’s Saisei, everything looks crisp and establishes the studio’s effort to craft them as technological innovations. This is further enhanced by the solid action with a great amount of effort during fight scenes. Be amazed. This is a show that can be will leave strong memories even with its action.
At first, I wasn’t much of a fan of the music or soundtrack. But after watching a good amount of the show, it’s definitely something to take in by heart. Masaru Yokoyama clearly invested a good amount of effort into producing the music for various scenarios in the show. From melancholic moments to intense combat oriented moments waged in space, it has everything that a mecha fan can wish for. The OP song “Raise Your Flag” is also a way that symbolizes the fight for independence especially with its catchy tone and choreography. And finally, voice mannerism is impressive. Characters such as Orga shows their commanding presence while Mika is known for his cold personality.
Iron-Blooded Orphans is definitely a show to invest time in. Whether you’re a veteran or a causal viewer, the experience after watching this show will be memorable for its story, characters, themes, world-building, and powerful action. Characters’ actions all have purpose and the show offers a balanced way to showcase their motivations. I don’t expect everyone to like all the characters as some may find them less likeable than others. Still, this show is not to be underestimated and is a triumphant one at that. Watch it with an open mind and you’ll see why.
I just finished season 1 of Iron Blooded Orphans and I can safely say that if this didn’t have the Gundam branding on it, it wouldn’t have a season 2, and would likely be rated somewhere on MAL within the 5-6 range.
This is a terrible mecha show, and it’s quite clear how this was an original anime with no manga, light novel, game or even previous anime to base this off – it never would have been published. To say that the story is, uhhhh, confusing, is putting it mildly.
I won’t be using the characters’ names unless I can remember them. This is my first review on MAL, and I’m writing this because, well, this show sucks. Star Driver is better, and hoo boy, that show ain’t great. This makes Code Geass look like FMAB – that’s how low the bar for writing is.
Dialogue – I honestly had a hard time telling whether main character’s lines were poorly translated or just written strangely, but you find out that he’s a mid level functioning autist with almost certainly missing brain tissue/it’s not connected in the same way. However, the show doesn’t tell you this until episode 20, where main character says to leader guy “Who do we kill? How many do we kill?”, when leader guy should’ve been getting laid by the blonde short haired advisor lady at the time, but was instead sulking.
In typical Gundam fashion, whenever there’s a flashback or an old man talking or a new character being introduced, you get about 2-5 minutes of clumsy exposition, except unlike in Gundam Seed or 00, you just get told about “corruption” or “influence” or “politics”, which I will call “white people bullshit” from here on out.
Forgettable at best, nobody gets laid, apparently the creator hates women so you spend most of the time watching women get beat up/killed in battle, preparing food, fretting over things, hating other women, used as prostitutes, or wearing tank tops. Also you’re going to see kids get beat to the point where blood comes out of their mouths. A lot. Happens to malnourished main character crushing girl (who gets written into literally being in the kitchen) during a pointless filler sideplot, main leader guy, main character guy, every slave kid, etc.
I like quiet tomboys, and so when short white haired girl gets killed in episode 25 by bullshit big bad mech literally 1 shot bonking her mech on the head (when everyone else gets at least 4 hits+a stab wound), apparently someone else on the writers room must’ve revolted because it turns out she only fake died, and she was resting on a pillow later that episode and gets flirted with offscreen during episode 24ish..
I literally do not know the names of any of the Earth related people, and it didn’t matter. I didn’t realize there was Gjjalarhonk Mars and Gagdererureirhonkhonk Earth until episode 4, because nobody tells you anything about there being a political difference, the uniforms are just different but EVERYONE’S uniforms are different, so clearly the character designers had _no_ idea what people should look like for the first 5 episodes.
To everyone else’s reviews mentioning character development, I don’t know what they’re smoking. Examples include, in no particular order:
1) Blonde earth dude that had an arc, and then disappears, comes back looking like the long haired ZAFT guy from Gundam Seed Destiny, and then once he kills some purple dude that turns out to be his half brother (episode 24ish, it’s clumsily exposited) because his red eye makeup half sister was killed (that had a crush on him or something – the stair exposition blushing scene around ep 23 is weird).
Note – crazy lady with red eye makeup and wing short hair should’ve died on the island after Biscuit dies, she doesn’t because the writers forgot to have the “Save me, [name]” thing make sense (he’s not there on the island because they forgot to put him there).
2) Blonde dude has a purple haired bodyguard(?), half brother(?, I forget) that main character straight up nearly chokes to death (and should’ve) in the Gundam “chance encounter between enemies” bingo card meme that Gundam Seed, Destiny and 00 all have. And then purple guy has a lackey that gets magically revived into a Gundam WH40k dreadnought thing and becomes the series ending big baddie, and main character essentially forces himself to have a LITERAL stroke to beat.
3) Blonde guy from #1 has a purple haired 9 year old fiance, and her age, along with her appearance as a small 9 year old girl, is brought up MULTIPLE times, complete with about 20 minutes total of screentime for her. There is a scene where she _literally_ says to him “the other women want to dance with you, and they have things that I don’t” – she’s referring to boobs and ass, and the anime literally shows you the bodies of the women that want to dance with him, in tight dresses. Why was this scene in there? I’m gonna guess the creator has some kind of pedophilia grooming fetish. It’s like 5 minutes of “content”. It’s disgusting.
4) Creators/character designers/somebody clearly noted that having a show full of dudes wasn’t ideal, so to pad out the female soldiers, there’s a dude with a literal harem of women that he’s effectively adopted, if he likes them enough or they find him. Note: all of the women on this guy’s ship are stereotypical anime pinup girls. No flat chests, no short girls, no fat girls, no glasses.
I mention the fat part because Biscuit is _clearly_ fat (his brother even calls him “big”), even though the show beats you over the head (like many of the children get visibly and repeatedly beaten in this show) that these orphans don’t have enough to eat. Apparently Biscuit’s magical power was large fat cells.
5) First and second episode feature a hamfisted attempt at exposition to explain that the main characters are slaves owned by a corporation. Around episode 3, there’s a rebellion that is caused to make the main characters have agency (which conveniently happens as the events of the show happen, and apparently have never happened before), and they end up killing only like 2 of the 20+ guys that beat the shit out of them for years as they get their freedom because otherwise it’d be 25 episodes of seeing children die in mobile suits and getting beaten when they’re not dying.
6) An asshole with a literal Hitler mustache is part of the opening slavery group (that runs away and leaves the kids to die in eps 1+2) that lives after the rebellion and becomes blonde guy’s “right hand man”. No, I’m not making that up. Main character literally has the 20 or so slave masters in a room, with a loaded gun, only kills two of them.
7) Show has a _nasty_ tendency of making characters do 180 degree changes in their personality. Examples include the blonde with the ridiculous ankle length hair (no, she never cuts it, silly viewer, helmets have a hair compartment),
her maid (who I swear was from Gundam 00 as that show’s princess’ attendant),
the blonde advisor lady grows a conscious about children fighting in wars (after 20+ years of seeing and LITERALLY being around them),
Biscuit after his brother dies (until the writers realized he was the smartest person, and the main characters are so stupid that they couldn’t deal with the island ambush around episode 23 without him),
Biscuit’s brother finally grows a spine and kills himself after he sees that Gadgerhernia kills people in the street through a smoke screen. When other reviewers are talking about “character development”, they’re either including this or forgetting completely about it.
Pink hair in front of his eyes leader guy gets somewhat developed (he feels loss over Biscuit), nobody else “develops”, they just change abruptly.
8) Show has another nasty tendency – there are at least three examples of people with Stockholm Syndrome/Uncle Tom tropes that hurt the main characters – Biscuit’s brother, the slave kids that panic during their freeing and shoot their liberators, and some random guy’s brother that was also a part of that gets smashed by a comically large hammer into an asteroid.
9) Considering the design of the slave boys and their abuser, who has probably the best designed suit in the show, with a Blastoise/underwater Gundam Seed mobile armor like design, the abuser blonde guy has piercings and all of the slave boys are malnourished, although there was NOT a scene where the blonde leader guy is raping the boys, but there are no women on board that ship, and the blonde guy’s boss has a literal pig face straight out of Spirited Away’s buffet scene.
I dunno who they hired as the art director, but he probably got work at Queen Bee after doing this, because this is probably right up there with Mobile Suit Gundam in terms of animation. When GoGoGargleHurk shoots people through the smoke screen on the colony during the uprising, there look to be at least 70 people in the crowd. After the shooting, maybe 15, and of course, main blonde character survives without a scratch.
Show has no CG. It should’ve had at least Gundam 00’s ship animations, and it certainly doesn’t have Unicorn’s fluidity or polish on the BD release.
Unlike Gundam Seed’s explanations of sand particle size and water combat and space, physics goes out the window. Thrusters have the same effect in space as they do in atmosphere, whether it’s Mars’ created air (never explained), or Earths’ normal air. When the people that are _literally_ born in space or on Mars go to Earth, they have no trouble walking on Earth’s higher gravity, and there’s no ill effects like imbalance, muscle distrophy or spinal collapse.
Main character literally uses another mech to do the Gundam dangerous reentry meme, except the other mech is fine.
Ahab generators make about as much sense as Mobile Suit Gundam’s magnitoskiski particles. Apparently they stop LCD screens from working, along with all radio signals, which is explained why big bad mech rampages through downtown Edmonton. No radiation, though. Somehow. Also the mobile armors and Gundams are unaffected and people can literally stand around and watch them fight with no ill effects. Somehow.
The gundam pilots have literally superhuman reaction speeds, but even for the show, and assuming that the show is done in real time, the main character is routinely reacting with maybe like 1-10 frames of delay. When big bad shows up, there’s literally no lag, so main character causes himself to have a seizure and slashes an arm off with a random samurai sword that was left on the island 3 episodes before. No, I’m not kidding. Note that main character was previously using basically a large bat/hammer thing on said island fight from three episodes previously. Where Biscuit dies and main character lets red eye makeup lady get away.
When main character is going against the blonde pierced slavedriver guy and his tough mech, he shoots a cannon straight at him, and then says “that armor is tough”. Note: we’ve seen these cannons shoot through ship hulls and cause explosions, this doesn’t even leave a scratch, and apparently the animators and sound designers didn’t animate it to be a glancing shot or even a ricochet. It’s a 300mm smoothbore gun, BTW, according to the wiki. That’s like a battleship cannon, twice the diameter as the standard 155mm field artillery used today.
Also blonde pierced slavedriver guy spins around with his comically large hammer and uses his thrusters, and somehow does a perfect ice skating spin, despite that _not_ being how physics works in space.
Why does Mars matter? Apparently because you can make money from farming. And exploiting labor. And half-metal. What labor? How many people are on Mars? What farming exports are there? You want answers? Like from episode 6 of Gundam Unicorn? Silly viewer, you can’t read, like most of the characters in this show, so you don’t get answers. Or something like that. But biofuel exists. That’s what the corn’s for. The martian corn. Also, apparently the writers had never heard of seaweed, anaerobic digestion, growing mushrooms or natural gas or wood engines.
Oh, and half-metal? Who knows what that stuff is.
Why don’t they use robots for stuff? Oh, because 300 years after the unexplained and unflashbacked “Calamity War”, robots or surgical implants were evil or something. Oh, and the Gundams work just fine after 300 years. And they have spare parts. A _lot_ of spare parts. And all of the Gundam parts from 300 years ago were interchangeable with each other.
Oh, but they have John Deere combines from 2010. And those don’t count as robots, apparently. Don’t look at me, I didn’t write this crap.
Surgery with putting in a nodule into the brain stem at the base of the neck and then 1-3 modules into the spine around the shoulder blades? Apparently that can be done by some illiterate people. With no knowledge of surgery, and no antiseptic mentioned.. And a needle, even though the spinal implants are like the size of a Bic lighter, each. And they’re implanted under the skin. Somehow.
The show ends with them moving an old man into Edmonton Canada from Anchorage Alaska (kinda wish the Cyclops system fried everyone), so that he can be voted on as prime minister. Apparently voting must be done in person, with all possible leaders in physical attendance in a particular room. To say that the plot point is white people bullshit is putting it mildly. Oh, and there’s a battle of the Volga river kinda thing going on literally 2 miles away, but they don’t cancel the vote. No, they’re in a normal judicial court building, not a bunker, in an active war zone, why do you ask?
3/10, the terrible writing, dialogue and characters reminds me of the later seasons of RWBY.
Story (7/10) Good
More Specifically (7.75/10) Good+
The story for Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans like majority of the gundam plots attempts to juggle two main plots at the same time. One being about the characters and their goals they want to achieve and the second being the political side of things and they intertwine with each other. One would say if you want to follow the Gundam story plot formula both of these story plots need to be present and as synced with each other as you can possibly get. Like majority of Gundam alternate universes this universe does indeed have a just a little bit more focused on the character side of things (which there’s nothing wrong with that). The political side of things (kind of like Gundam Wing’s and Gundam 00) can be a little be hard to follow if one is not paying full attention during the political scenes. I personally think it wasn’t too hard to follow but I can’t say I understand majority of what was going down during the political scenes and that’s kind of the thing that may turn off a lot of people because it did with previous Gundam series. Luckily in my personal opinion even with it’s political influence side of things Tekketsu no Orphans’ character is something that should keep most people a bay because the are good ones.
Art and Animation (8.75/10) Very Good
The art and animation in Tekketsu no Orphans was for the most part very good. I couldn’t give this second a 9 because there were obviously some art style derps here and there when it came to characters only slightly in the background and the actually mech fights some Mech designs looked a teensy bit whanky at times but the scenes they were focused on and polished out are what is keeping it at a high 8 for me. Another thing I appreciate is that it is hand drawn, not a lot of mech anime comes out these days and when they do most of the time it is all CG. And I don’t mind CG mechs trust I’m not one of those people to complain about CG mech (I love CG in Gundam Unicorn and The Origin). And I think CG on Mechs is the only thing that looks acceptable to an extent when it comes to putting anything CG in an anime. BUT I do appreciate to a well hand drawn mech anime because that’s how it all started and what I’m used to. And I’m sure all the scenes that I felt could have looked better WILL look better in the retail blu-ray release… one would assume and hope.
Sound (10/10) Masterpiece
The sound does not disappoint in any category and that’s usually the case when it comes to Gundam. Voice acting (JP), BGM, both openings and endings are all outstanding.
Characters (8/10) Very Good
The characters like I said in the story category are very good and what will keep newcomers to Gundam staying and watching. Although there are not a TON of characters that this applies to the ones that it does like our MC Mikazuki Augus is definitely a character that I’ve heard nothing but positive things from. He’s not like your typical whiny pilot that we’ve seen in the past. He’s more in the category of Heero Yuy and Setsuna F. Seiei but calling him a clone of either of the two is definitely not what I’m saying either. Because honestly I think from a character standpoint Mikazuki is a better and more interesting character than both Heero and Setsuna combine. Yes he has traits from both of them but he also has his own flair of insanity which comes out in the heat of battle. I haven’t seen a main gundam pilot with such a personality trait yet the closest I can think of is Haptism Allelujah but he’s not an MC. They are either on the whiny, calm or dull for the most part so to see this definitely sparks things up. Majority of the other characters are very good and like Gundam tradition we have character deaths we didn’t want but expect. I knew a hand full of people where going to die not because of the countless death flags we’ve been given throughout the anime but because it’s basically tradition at this point.
Enjoyment (8/10) Very Good
I’m a Gundam fan if you couldn’t tell I love majority of the series and I’m not your average anime fan that despises all mech anime expect Code Geass and Gurren Laggan. Some might say I give Gundam a little bit too much credit but that’s all opinions and a discussion for another time. Going into Tekketsu no Orphans sadly I was already ready to like it because like I said it’s Gundam. You have to really fuck up on some Reconguista type shit for me not to like you and it’s definitely no where near as bad as that trash. Tekketsu no Orphans brings us a nice 8th MS Team vibe to the series. And I doubt a lot of people realize this but there was absolutely no beam sabers or laser guns in the series (as far as season 1 is concerned). Impressive because a lot of Gundam anime and other mech anime kind of have that as the requirement in their anime and it cool to see a series were as of season 1 is concern does not exist, it was enjoyable to watch the mech fights, characterization with the combination of outstanding BGM this series brought to the table.
Overall (8/10) Very Good
More Specifically (8.50/10) Very Good+
Tekketsu no Orphans in my opinion delivered what it was suppose to which was a good spin off adaptation to the Gundam series and can be recommended proudly when the franchise Gundam is brought up in conversation. Tekketsu no Orphans had people worried not only because the series before it Reconguista was trash but because the Main Director Episode Director, and Storyboard creator Nagai Tatsuyuki had his hands on it and people were extremely worried that this was going to flop because of his past works. It even had me a bit worried when I heard that. But that wasn’t the case as Tekketsu no Orphans in my opinion is a successful and very good alternate universe to the Gundam franchise. And with the announcement of the english dub a couple of months ago I hope Toonami grabs it and airs it on there so that the western toonami viewers can possibly get into the Gundam series like what happened back int the good ole Gundam Wing days.
2: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
English: Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans 2nd Season
Japanese: 機動戦士ガンダム 鉄血のオルフェンズ 第2期
MAL Score: 8.23
Tekkadan has now become a direct affiliate of Teiwaz after procuring a new trade agreement with Arbrau. With its newfound funds and prestige, Tekkadan finds both its list of allies and enemies growing. Meanwhile, the flames of the Gjallarhorn power struggle continue to rage in full force. As a part of her efforts to make Mars financially independent from Earth, Kudelia Aina Bernstein founds the Admoss Company and enlists Tekkadan as her business partner.
The stakes are getting higher as the Tekkadan family continues to grow. Will Orga, Mikazuki, and the rest of the Tekkadan faction be able to keep up, or will Kudelia’s dream of Martian independence die out?
Second Season starts give or take a few years from when the first season ended. And it carries on the same problems the first season had.
Story itself largely follows McGillis’ machinations as he, and later on, Tekkadan, as they look to change the world and make a better one for themselves. In itself this plotline is not particularly bad. The show however, multiple times, takes too long to come to any point, and regularly writes itself into a corner, and uses completely bullshit methods to take itself out of this corners, sometimes with hilarity might I add. It spends episodes wasting it’s time on pointless plotlines that, in the end, add absolutely nothing to the story.
The main problem of IBO however is it’s characters and their development, or lack thereof. For a show that tries so hard to develop it’s characters, IBO fails to develop them to any meaningful point. Mika is the same person he was in Episode 1. Orga is only slightly altered from where he was in Episode 1. Rest of the cast is exactly the same people they were in Episode 1. McGillis, who was hyped up to be a cunning mastermind, constantly fails in hilarious fashion, making you wonder if he is actually retarded.
They also have the gall to add new characters like Hush, when they fail to develop the characters they had since Episode 1. Hush, and rest of the new cast, achieves nothing, and at the end of the story, you just sit there and wonder what the fuck was even the point of addind these characters. Some of these characters are there only to further the plot, like Rustal, who has no personality other than furthering the plot. That’s it.
There was also the ending, but I’m not even gonna mention it too much. The writers did not have any guts to end on a dark note so they made it so that everything works out in the end without Tekkadan or McGillis’ volition. I was honestly laughing and making fart noises with my mouth throughout the entire last 10 minutes of the last episodes. It was fucking nonsensical.
Art and animation is just okay. There is nothing special about it. It’s neither particularly bad nor really good. Generally mediocre character designs lack any kind of flair or vision.
Music is a disappointment from stellar soundtracks of Unicorn and Thunderbolt. It’s completely forgettable.
Overall, IBO is a show that, despite the hype it has on it’s back now, will join the ranks of SEED Destiny and AGE as worst Gundam shows to date, with it’s forgettable cast, meager plot, horrible pacing and overall mediocreness.
That being said, what IBO is full of is tear jerking moments, a few twists and turns which depending on your experience you may be able to predict, and lots and lots of deaths. As usual the ops, eds and osts are very good, and unlike clannad’s ones they actually fit in with the story, meaning you wan’t get a happy/dango song after someone’s death.
The characters are not bad, but as I’ve mentioned some people have pointed out that the female characters need a little bit more work put into them, which isn’t necessarily wrong, but it doesn’t in the grand scale of things affect your enjoyment.
All in all watching even if you aren’t a huge fan of mecha, but if this really isn’t your thing then you won’t be missing out on too much.
Season 2 felt like a downgrade in just about every area outside of production quality.
It continues some time after Tekkadan successfully escorting Kudelia and co. to the election. They’ve gained a ton of clout, and Orga decides its not enough; He wants complete dominance over Mars and wants to get there through the “shortest route possible” (foreshadowing that is recalled multiple times in this season). Multiple loosely-related subplots are introduced as well, but they’re so half-baked that the end result is a clustered, unfocused story. The pacing was fine until the last several episodes, where they decided it was time to start killing-off as many characters as possible. They also decided to just give certain antagonists an unreasonable amount of plot armor. It made the last half of the season pretty frustrating to sit through. The romance is more awkward, and more frequent than the first season, with the Mika-Atra-Kudelia triangle being the main issue. The ending was fitting in a way, but really emphasized just how ridiculous it was for everyone to follow Orga with no second thought or doubts.
Development among the main cast is still mostly non-existent. Even with the side characters, any development that happens is more like a sudden switch-flip than development. McGillis was one of the characters I had high hopes for coming into this season, but his motives stagnated and he ended up just as bad as Orga. Many of the antagonists introduced were poor as well. Iok was notably bad; he’s not particurly interstesting, underserving of his status in Gjallarhorn, and seemed to exist just mess up the plans of both Tekkadan and his own allies. He’s also a beneficiary of the unreasonable plot armor I mentioned before.
For the first season, I could at least say this show was enjoyable from an action standpoint. This season however, the other aspects are so poor and prominent that it was hard to find any of it enjoyable.
English: Gintama Season 4
MAL Score: 9.09
Gintoki, Shinpachi, and Kagura return as the fun-loving but broke members of the Yorozuya team! Living in an alternate-reality Edo, where swords are prohibited and alien overlords have conquered Japan, they try to thrive on doing whatever work they can get their hands on. However, Shinpachi and Kagura still haven’t been paid… Does Gin-chan really spend all that cash playing pachinko?
Meanwhile, when Gintoki drunkenly staggers home one night, an alien spaceship crashes nearby. A fatally injured crew member emerges from the ship and gives Gintoki a strange, clock-shaped device, warning him that it is incredibly powerful and must be safeguarded. Mistaking it for his alarm clock, Gintoki proceeds to smash the device the next morning and suddenly discovers that the world outside his apartment has come to a standstill. With Kagura and Shinpachi at his side, he sets off to get the device fixed; though, as usual, nothing is ever that simple for the Yorozuya team.
Filled with tongue-in-cheek humor and moments of heartfelt emotion, Gintama’s fourth season finds Gintoki and his friends facing both their most hilarious misadventures and most dangerous crises yet.
Besides starting out with heavy action, comedy is one of the best ways to make people continue watching a show. To hook the viewers into the first few episodes is what the producers try to do each season. If you don’t start off with something funny in a show that is so well-known for its way of doing parodies and comedy, then there’s no way the viewers are going to continue watching. I mean, who doesn’t like a good ol’ DBZ parody to start itself off? I know I do.
If there’s one thing I didn’t like about how the season went is the skipping of some of the smaller arcs. Gintama has always been faithful at adapting all its arcs, but this season was quite different. This may be due to pushing it for OVAs to sell, or maybe they just didn’t have the time slots available. That or something came up within the studio to make them adapt the bigger arcs earlier.
With that, I guess we should talk about the highly anticipated arcs that a lot of people have been waiting for since the announcement of the season. Without trying to spoil, these arcs provide a lot to the watchers as to what’s happening to some of the most known groups/people in the Gintama franchise. The first arc is the Shogun arc which obviously focuses on the Shogun himself but also his enemies. Compared to the other big arcs, I’d say this was a pretty good arc and rivaled some of the other ones from the past seasons. If you thought that was all for the big arcs, then think again! Not only do we get one major roller coaster arc this season, but two. The other being the Shinsengumi arc which focuses on the Police force of Edo and two other “prominent” groups—the Joui rebels and the Mimawarigumi. Unlike the previous arc, this arc is more about emotion than it is about action. While this arc does have action, I wouldn’t put it ahead of the arc before it in that sense. I still enjoyed this arc though because it shows us some backstory of some of the Shinsengumi, the Mimawarigumi, and even Gintoki. These two arcs go hand-in-hand as the former leads into the latter. Just what is in store for our beloved characters?
Visually speaking, it has been up and down here and there. Mostly a hit though. Like most shows, or at least ones that want to stand out in scenes, the visuals will go above and beyond then the usual to look when it needs to. The comedy arcs were also pretty good in terms of its animation, but there were times when the animation took a turn down and looked pretty bad. Expect the animation budget to be really good during the action arcs, especially for the final two arcs. Thankfully it wasn’t bad when it needed to be so there’s nothing major I would note down.
As for the soundtrack, it has been really good. The OST was done pretty well and matches the overall mood of what the scene is trying to portray to the viewer—whether its during comedy or action. The OP/ED songs I have mixed feelings for because I’m mainly a fan of catchy songs, but they sounded good and is no different from past season. I’ve been mainly a fan of Gintama’s OP, but this season there was a few EDs I quite enjoyed more so than its OP counterpart, so props to the singers for that.
And just like that another season of Gintama ends. The waiting once again begins as per regular tradition. If you haven’t enjoyed this season, then the season to come, which will most likely be the finale, is definitely not for you.
Gintama hasn’t changed one bit; it will continue being its same old self until it finally brings a closure to all the characters we love and find so hilarious.
Now to the review of this season!
Well, Gintama had never been an anime with high budget so please don’t expect ufotable’s godlike level of animation. For a long-running anime though, I think Gintama has the better animation out there, and especially during the last arc, the animation was pretty top notch. The characters design and the setting has always been distinct (I’ve always been a fan of their portrayal of ‘modern’ Edo) and I always thought that Gintama has good art anyway so in this season it still deserves a high score.
This is one of my personal favourite aspects of Gintama. I like how they could make a recurring theme to give off different feelings according to the scene they’re accompanying. The new OSTs for this season are very good too, especially for the last two arcs (there is one theme song for a new character that I really like in this season, it gives me literal chill everytime I hear it haha).
This season started with a very controversial comedic episode which reminded us that Gintama won’t ever be afraid to make jokes on pretty much everything. The episodes which followed are great too (the lottery one is still my fav though) and the comedic arcs in this season are among my favorites (soul switch arc, dekoboko arc, afro arc, feigned illness arc, confessional arc…). They are very well written and always left us with an afterthought in a classic Gintama way.
The serious arcs, particularly the last two, are among the best in the entire series. The strength of the serious arcs in Gintama is that the pacing of the story is quite fast that our hype was always being kept at high. Also, as an anime-only watcher, a lot of the twist really caught me off-guard, and all I can say is despite some of the twists being typical shounen tropes, the way Gintama handled them are very tasteful. I guess it’s because Gintama isn’t your typical shounen with teenagers as MCs, which bring us to its endearing characters.
Characters : 10/10
The characters are the reason why I finished all the previous seasons in only two months. If you asked me when I started to love a particular character I would never be able to answer that; they were all slowly creeping on me.
Gintama’s character are well-rounded. Nobody is perfect; in fact some of the characters are really gross that it may seemed impossible to love them at first, but given the time, they are all endearing in their own ways. I mean, I can sympathize with a gorilla stalker that sometimes walk around naked and a gross homeless old man who seemed to have no ambition in life. My other favourites includes the clumsy leader of a rebellious faction nicknamed “nobleman of fury” who keeps an alien (duck?) as a pet, an inhumanely strong little girl with a weird accent who always eats like there’s no tomorrow, and a police officer who should have been arrested for exposing everyone with secondhand smoke and for ruining all the good foods in this world with his disgusting mayonnaise addiction.
The new characters this season are also memorable, but what hits me the most is the development of all the supporting characters. We’ve known them for 250+ episodes and we’re very much already knew their personality traits. However, Sorachi gradually exposed bits by bits of those characters so what I feel that watching Gintama is not about the characters growing, but me knowing them better. I don’t know if this makes sense or not, but watching Gintama feels like knowing your friends better in life instead of rooting for a celebrity you’ve only seen on TVs. So when they’re hurt or something bad happened to them, the feels hit me as if something happened to someone I hold dear (okay this is getting out of hand because my inner otaku coming out but whatever).
So yeah, the supporting characters in Gintama are too good that they can probably lead their own series. That being said, the MC is by no means being overshadowed by them. Gintoki is deservedly the leader of the bunch, and this season just cemented the fact. There are many instances where Gintoki shines as the best shounen MC I’ve ever seen, both because his persona and how he deals with his relationship with other characters. He handled all the cliche shounen tropes in a surprising manner that keeps me rooting for him (there’s one moment in this season when it’s shown that he’s really emotionally strong and mature and that was something I rarely saw in shounen jump’s heroes).
Gintoki though, has always been a contradiction; he had always been annoyingly talkative but actually he rarely said anything important, he always seemed greedy but when we think about it, he is actually very selfless. In this season, I feel that Gintoki had opened up and showing his true self more (he’s talking about his past more, and he’s also openly expressing his wishes). All in all, his relationship with all the characters, especially with his Yorozuya family and the Shinsengumi, is the highlight for me in this season.
Hell yeah the fast pacing keeps the enjoyment and the hype real and high. If you still don’t get it from my ramblings above I really enjoy this season. Wednesday had been the day I waited the most for these past year (even more than the weekends!)
Oh, and the seiyuus is another highlight (especially Sugita and Nakai!) because without them masterfully voicing these weird characters, it won’t feel the same. I believe I will listen if Gintama was made into radio series, their voices are already the heart of Gintama.
Watching Gintama actually makes me very picky in watching other anime. It has a complete package that is hard to beat; I bet you it’s not easy to make a series where you can laugh a little in between tears because they decided to put a slight comedy in an otherwise very emotional scene. Or makes you laugh like a madman because sometimes it’s too funny that you need to stop watching to collect yourself first. And this season just has that perfect mix of comedy and action (and drama too) that I cemented it as one of the best series ever made.
Ladies and gentlemen, feast your eyes upon the most overhyped anime of all time! Watch as our main protagonist uses his wooden sword of sentimentality, cutting into the bleeding hearts of all you emotional thinkers, corrupting your rotten brains with the stench of intellectual destitution!
In this particular season of Gintama, the author’s masterplan finally takes shape. Every episode of comedy filler, every laugh, and every smile it has pulled from your innocent lips, it was all a ploy to steal your souls. He can now freely attach your emotions to these characters of absurd fiction. With emotional manipulation the anime makes you care for a bunch of clowns, and then takes a darker turn as you become complacent.
With superior animation it uses thrilling action-scenes and atmospheric direction, blinding you with pretty colors. The show’s visuals are fast-food for the soul, delicious upon tasting it, but ultimately detrimental to your IQ, making you more creative and in touch with your emotions rather than with your cold and logical side.
Allow me to wreak havoc on your lowly opinions, by pointing out Gintama’s greatest flaw of all, the horrendous writing and characters. The show has a tendency to make characters relatable and fascinating, only to retcon events so that you can retain those emotional connections, while the story just goes wherever it wants. It is one thing to play with expectations, but another to betray them by doing plot-twists that don’t live up to my personal golden standard. Some characters will receive tragic backstories, only for it to be revealed that none of it mattered, because some current event undid it all or it was all a lie to begin with. Worst of all, on several occasions we see death-flags get raised, only to be ignored in the name of dramatic convenience, just so the few who DO die have more impactful farewells.
I would call the author spineless, but that’d be an insult to invertebrates. I would ask you all to make a drinking-game out of every time you notice plot-armor at play, or a character making an inspirational speech. When you all die of alcohol-poisoning I’ll be left in a more agreeable world, one where only I rule over the anime-hegemony.
To summarize, Gintama has reached a level of worship among anime-fans like no other. To think that the social nature of humanity would override their ability to think logically, it makes me want to give up on everything.
Oh and happy April Fools. This show is awesome.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
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