Posted by psgels on 12 March 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

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Okay, so I just finished watching the second season of FLAG (thanks to w for pointing out that it already was released). I have to say that it looked much more like an anime, with multiple climaxes, a small break, and a bit more focus at the different characters, but still retaining its original style and narrative. Even though I missed a few points here and there, I have to say that the second season was even better than the first. Mostly due to a few very strong episodes, a great climax and a charming aftermath.

For those who haven’t seen its first season, not only is FLAG a unique anime who knows no equal, it also is probably one of the most realistic mecha and war-based anime out there. It’s a war-based documentary-anime, featuring a civil war in a fictional country, somewhere in Asia. Its main character, Shirasu is a photographer, who managed to take a picture of a flag, which became the symbol of peace for the country. Peace is finally about to be formed when this flag gets stolen by rebels. Shirasu has now been asked to report and record the mission of a military team, which has been assigned to retrieve the flag.

Among others, this anime sets itself apart from all other anime through its narrative style. The entire anime is seen through camera lenses. It’s basically one huge collection of movies and pictures. Heck, we hardly ever see Shirasu, because she’s behind the camera. The camera-movements are extremely realistic. You can really see that the Shirasu’s camera is controlled by a human, instead of a machine.

But that’s not the only thing that’s realistic in this anime. We get treated to a nice dose of politics and we get to see a number of investigational reporters doing their job. Also, the military has possession of a few mechas, which finally make an attempt to deviate from the stereotype that each mecha can just be piloted by a bunch of kids. Especially the first season of Flag shows that you need an entire team behind these mechas to make them do their job properly.

The animation also is gorgeous, like mentioned before. The only small remark I have is that the creators didn’t synchronize mouth-movement with the voice-acting, but this is a minor detail. The character design also has been done in a style which bothers to differentiate from the usual, giving some very interesting effects, and the background art is just absolutely beautiful. It’s needless to say that the pictures we see flashing on the screen were very interesting to see. In terms of the musical department, this anime also delivers. Most of the anime doesn’t have a background sound, but when it does (mostly during the climax), it comes with a near-perfect soundtrack for an anime like this.

If you managed to sit through the first season, then I definitely recommend you to check out the second season once it gets subbed. I’m hoping for this to happen soon, as this anime definitely deserves some attentions because of all the new things it tried out. Still, one of the few downfalls in this anime is that at times, it spends a bit too much time preparing and building up. Especially the first three episode are just one big introduction.

4 Responses

  1. AG says:

    Wait a sec, I have looking for this anime on the internet and various sources say it is 13 episodes in length. But there’s no mention of a second series!

    Or is each series 6/7 episodes long?

    Am curious, from the description it seems like something I would enjoy watching..

  2. psgels psgels says:

    That’s indeed the annoying thing. There are indeed two seasons of 6/7 episode, but even a year after the release, there are still no signs of subs for the second season.

  3. Eonir says:

    The whole series has been subbed by G_P. The English dub is gorgeous.

    You can find it at Tokyo Toshokan.

  4. Eonir says:

    Oh, and by the way – the final episodes bring a shocking end. They bring emotions to the highest level. First we relax, then we’re anxious, curious, excited, happy, and then we sit in awe and ask “WTF?”.

    It was certainly worth watching. Especially with the English dubbing. It’d give it even more than 90/100.

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:54 AM)
    Same with action scenes: I might like realistic grounded sword fights, with the battle settling after a few swings and slashes. Others might enjoy over-the-top sequences, with aerial flips and ridiculous power moves.
    This concept can be expanded to the enjoyment of romance, slice-of-life, historic, and any other subject matter. If someone’s a grownup adult and doesn’t realize such a fundamental concept, than they seriously lack critical thinking and social understanding.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:51 AM)
    @Mike: this became very apparent to me after the initial Space Dandy reviews. Some people hated the juvenile humor and the T&A, while some others loved it for its sincerity and unpretentiousness. Who was right in this scenario? People clearly have different senses of humor, and neither is more correct than the other. People jumped on the positive reviewers’ throats, calling them ‘sellouts’ or ‘retards’, while the fact of the matter lied in different tastes.
  • Mike
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:39 AM)
    @K-Off @Bam I’d have to agree. One glance at any seasonal preview will show that, and psgels certainly didn’t hide his bias when he reviewed Galilei Donna for example. I enjoyed seeing him get upset that the Anime did not accurately portray the architecture in his native Netherlands.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:36 AM)
    It’s the same with review scores. It’s just a relative metric used for comparison. For example, if a reviewer gives a series an 8 and another a 9, it simply means that they thought the latter was slightly better than the former. It’s all subjective, since only hard-boiled facts could be assessed objectively. A person’s enjoyment of a work is purely based on their personal preference.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:32 AM)
    A number score doesn’t imply objectivity tho. When I worked as an EMT we would ask the patients to rate their level of pain from 1 to 10. This wasn’t done so we could compare their rating to some pain database, but rather so we could tell after a procedure if their pain has gone up or down.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @Vonter A conversational and opinionated format does not equal inconsistent and shoddy posts, I did not imply otherwise . Also, ratings. I’ve talked to Mario myself and the both of us don’t take it seriously. We’ll criticise and evaluate certain topics, yes. But that does not make us “critics” in the sense of the entertainment journalism industry, that emphasizes objectivism over personal opinion, which is what we specialize in as a blog. Which is the point I was making.
  • Badesh
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:18 AM)
    Guys with no life couldn’t write as eloquently. It’s a thing you learn from actual living. If you stand by your side, loving your self for your own opinion, you will learn that others stand by theirs.
  • Vonter
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 09:08 AM)
    @K-Off I think that’s cutting it short. There’s a consistency and I suppose effort in putting the posts together. As for conversational, I’ve find the shoutbox to be moreso. As for critic, is a person who judges, evaluates, or analyzes literary or artistic works, dramatic or musical performances. Given the blog gives scores, there’s evidently an evaluation involved.
  • K-Off
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 08:51 AM)
    @Bam @Kevin Funniest part about this is, that myself, psgels, Mario, Helghast, and Aidan are not even critics. We’re writers of a blog, a format in and of itself purely conversational and opinionated.
  • Kevin
    (Tuesday, Jul 26. 2016 08:46 AM)
    @Mike Who’s the one without a life now? You’ve been on this dump for 8 years. Go fuck yourself and go outside for once.
    I’m officially done at this point. Tired of psgels, tired of this bullshit ass circlejerk. As of right now I hope you realize how much of a no life cunt you lot are. Fucking fags.

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