Posted by psgels on 21 December 2006 with categories: Anime Reviews

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Ah, how refreshing. Finally we have a modern-day series which doesn’t focus on a teenager, or even a person in his or her twenties or thirties. What we have here is a man in his forties in the middle of his mid-life crisis. A nice twist when compared to all the geeky schoolboys and the busty schoolgirls who seem to run after them. Though that’s not all. This is not an ordinary salary-man, he’s an ex-rock-star, longing back to his days of glory. Add in a love-affair, a bunch of quirky side-characters and a number of space-ships, and you’ve got yourself a great concept for an anime.

Yes, you read that last part right. This anime has a rather peculiar premise. Evil aliens are on a mission to conquer the section of outer space in which the earth resides, and the only thing which can stop them is “The Ultimate Weapon”, which can only be triggered by the main character’s “groove” when he’s playing the guitar. For a seven-year-old anime, it really had some fresh ideas. And, of course, seeing a bunch of middle-aged guys in business-suits play in a rockband was just extremely cool to see. Who said that all salarymen were boring? ^^

This anime gets accompanied by a really good combination of comedy, action and drama-scenes. The drama is very heavy at times, though the comedy-parts make sure that the show doesn’t drown in its own mood. This makes sure that you can really feel along with the characters during the climaxes, and get cracked up during the funny parts.

Still, despite these good points there are three major bad points in this anime. The first and most obvious one is the ED. Black Heaven comes with a great soundtrack. Seeing as our main character used to play in a heavy-metal band, the anime goes accompanied by several heavy-metal-songs, each of them lays a huge focus on the electric guitar, making this the perfect soundtrack for this show. The OP also consists of a rocking tune, combined with interesting video-material which makes you wonder whether the guys who did the OP for Sci-Fi Harry had any say in it. But then the ED comes, and somehow, the creators managed to slip a cheesy j-pop song in. God… the horror. Even for j-pop, it was an abomination, which made me rush to the stop-button as soon as every episode finished. Naturally this rather ruined the cliff-hangers.

The second bad point is the romance. Good romances, and especially love-triangles are very hard to do right, and unsurprisingly, Black Heaven isn’t one of these anime which provided a nice twist to this. It starts out good, however, with a rather comical note. See, the case is this. The main character has been married with his wife for a nice couple of years now, when he meets up with his newly transferred busty blonde secretary who actually happens to be one of the commanding aliens on the space-fleet which was assigned to defend earth, and the two fall in love with each other. His relationship with his wife is interesting. His relationship with his “secretary” isn’t. It’s just stale, poorly developed, boring and full of clichés.

The third bad point is a small one, though it did annoy me at times. I’ve watched a fair amount of anime up till now, but never, and I mean NEVER have I ran into one who realizes that there isn’t any SOUND in space.

Overall, this is an anime with its good points and bad points. though I really have to say that the good points majorly overweight the bad points. Especially if you’re a fan of heavy-metal it’s worth to check this out, simply because you’ll get to see how a ex-rockstar spends his life, what he thinks, and how he longs back. Though even if you’re not really into that genre of music, it’s worth to check this out. It’s got a great set of characters, it’s fun to watch, there’s a nice pacing so you won’t get bored and there’s a rather creepy final antagonist.

2 Responses

  1. tj han says:

    I saw this four to five years ago. The OP, Cautionary Warning, seems to b e an old rock song they used. Nt sure about this though. But it’s a great song.

    Yeah there isn’t sound in space but aren’t they using the energy to fire laser cannons IIRC?

    Btw if you’re looking for older men in anime, try Ayakashi Ayashi. The lead is a 40 tear old Edo period NEET.

  2. psgels psgels says:

    Yeah, with the sound I was referring to the final episodes, in which the amplificators somehow managed to blast sound into the space-ship.

    And I’m indeed watching Ayakashi Ayashi, I’ve reached till episode 6 now. It’s turning out very good, mostly thanks to the age of the main character. :)

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  • SuperMario
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 10:38 PM)
    @Bam: I just glanced over the lightning in a Bottle 2016 and it’s quite impressive. Grimes, Chet Faker, Hundred Waters, Jamie xx? Yay. Yoga & meditation class? Count me in!!
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 09:40 PM)
    @afgm, positive. DS2 relies too much on mobbing your character and the bosses are terribly unimaginative. DS3 has faster combat that DS1 but I still think DS1 one bosses are better and DS3 had less interesting level design than DS1. Plus DS3 also focuses a bit too much on Mobbing and referencing DS1 instead of making it’s own lore.
  • afgm
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 07:49 PM)
    @Aidan are you sure you aren’t looking back on DS1 with rose-tinted glasses?
  • Wicked
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:39 PM)
    Other wise I’d have recommended Life and Limit by Keiko Suenobu or maybe something like Mars. Although I don’t think Mars ages very well
  • Wicked
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 05:33 PM)
    @kaiser Shoujo don’t tend to be as twilight zone-y as Partner, plus it’s only 3 volumes. There are shoujo that deals with heavy subject matters like bullying or forbidden love, but i don’t know if that’s what the person is asking for
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:27 PM)
    @Wicked: That was a decent enough manga, that Partner series, I like a good dark shojo and it was well enough in that regard within what its genre/demographic could get away with and its story fit comfortably its three volume run.
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:14 PM)
    @K-Off, DSII was a disappointment somewhat salvaged by the DLC. DSIII is much better but still doesn’t top DSI.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 03:05 PM)
    @K-off: sorry I’m actually in your (former) neck of the woods about 50 miles north of Orange, working at a music festival called lightning in a Bottle. You’ll love Dark Souls III if you’re patient enough. So much of it is a direct homage/copy of the original that it feels like a shelved fanfic at times, but there is polish and some ingenuity behind some of the deeper nuances of the game.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:24 AM)
    @Bam Finally going to start DSIII this monday, I’ll have to see what’s so special about this one since I wasn’t the biggest fan of DSII.
  • K-Off
    (Sunday, May 29. 2016 06:17 AM)
    Pretty pleased with my Vita so far, finished Danganronpa 2 and completed 100% of Ray Gigant this week. June looks like a pretty good month for the Vita, currently deciding whether or not I should purchase Odin Sphere or Grand Kingdom when they release. Of course I really should repair my WiiU gamepad before Mirage Sessions comes out.

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