Posted by psgels on 20 July 2007 with categories: Anime Reviews

Okay, so I’m biased; I like Bee-Train, and their unique style. I’m not exactly sure how they did it, but they somehow caused me to really like this obviously flawed anime. I’ve seen lots of people give it bad reviews; it even turned into the “worst anime ever” for some. I’d like to say something positive about it, though.

A lot of things ‘clicked’ for me in Avenger. Its got a really interesting setting: Post-colonizational Mars, where no child has been born for ten years. The children have now been replaced with child-like robots called “dolls” (and finally we see androids who don’t look exactly like human beings. The dolls really look like machines in this series, which is really refreshing compared to the countless robotic harem maids that seem to be rather popular).

The soundtrack also is awesome. I seriously demand for the ALI-Project to do more of them for different anime, because their work in both Avenger as .Hack//Roots is really good. The OPs and EDs that they sometimes do for random shows might be good, they’re nothing when compared to the magic that they can do for the background music. The character-designs are also really appealing, but that’s to be expected from Bee-Train. I’ve never really been an animation-expert, but the three or four major fight scenes featured some great animation and coordination. The animation for the rest of the series was nothing special, though.

Then the characters. Unlike other reviewers, I really liked them. Some of them may lack background or reasons, but they’re well fleshed out through the course of thirteen episodes. Their character-development is very small and subtle (apart from Layla, perhaps), but it is there, just enough for such a short series. These factors, the music, animation, setting and characters, combined with Bee-Train’s direction provide a great atmosphere, which is despite all flaws, fun to watch.

Still, the flaws remain flaws, and this anime could have been so much better if Avenger took the time to answer all of its questions. This is another one of those series that suffers from the fact that its story was meant for 26 episodes, not thirteen of them. Because of this, things had to be sacrificed. In this case: the background information. How did people get on Mars? How can people breathe there? Where did Nei come from? These are just a small portion of the questions that this anime leaves behind. Even the ending continues to ask more questions. While it’s not as bad as in .Hack//Roots, the fact remains that this is a major thorn for this series.

About the question whether you will like this, you should ask yourself the following: do you like the so-called “Bee-Train Pacing”? If the answer is no, then stay far away from this series, because if you don’t like the whole atmosphere, you’ll be sure to hate it, especially with the relatively slow turns of events. I’ve also seen many people complain how the entire series is too confusing, though I didn’t run into the same problem (probably because I’ve been watching raws I don’t completely understand for a relative long time ^^;). In any case, I had a lot of fun watching this.

10 Responses

  1. raychel says:

    It’s bizzare to find someone who actually likes AVENGER “that” much. My issues with much of Bee Train’s titles are that I simply don’t understand them, from a narrative point of view. I just don’t get it, so I can’t say I hate them.

  2. Lenners says:

    I agree with raychel, I didn’t understand Avenger. Millions of questions, only a few of them answered. The animation and soundtrack were good, otherwise. XD

  3. Karura says:

    Avenger was an odd series for me; I watched it over the course of a weekend and got really into it at the time, but I ended up going off it in retrospect once I realised how much had been left unexplained. It was good to watch once, but I don’t know if I’d ever want to see it again.

    Love the music, though- apart from the track ‘MOTHER’, the CD is one of my favourite anime OSTs.

  4. Solaris says:

    Well awesome music, good graphics, fair animaion indeed. If it was only cause of the “packet” i’d rate this 10+. But if you open this packet and watch inside you find carbage.
    All the story is carbage. I mean… it indeed showed some good premises, like psgels staded, but in the end the story is all about this girl who wants her revenge and does random fights. There’s nothing more. The plot is really undeveloped at the end.
    But carachters are really the worst: Layla, Speedy and Nei seems to be te bad copy of the main char’s trio in Hokuto no ken. Layla is Ken with the boobs and she has also all of ken’s sex appeal if you notice it (that’s to say she’s sey and nice like an old boot).
    Speedy is the bart of the situation. He’s useless, doesn’t know how to fight and gets always beaten. Bart war much tougher indeed. This speedy seems a more a little girlie boy to me…
    And Nei? She/it should be the Lynn of the situation, a kind of key char with an hidden and very important role that you’ll see only at the end of the show. But at when the end comes, ther’s only the beautiful last duel and then? Spoiler: Nei has transformed herself in a real child in the averall indifference. Yes ok, she’s the real new hope for the future of mars and bla bla, but Layla steals the stage for her last duel and gets all the credits. Layla has fulffilled her revenge and hurray! Nei? Who cares?

  5. psgels psgels says:

    Sorry, but I have to disagree on that. I may not have seen Hokuto no Ken, but I do see that you’re overgeneralizing the characters. We don’t often see Speedy getting beaten up, and he is often the one who will protect Nei when Layla is fighting.

    Nei’s important role also doesn’t come out only at the end. Around the middle I already began to suspect that [spoiler] she was a human child.

    I agree that the ending duel could have used more work, but did you notice that Layla [more spoilers] had given up on her revenge in the end? The only reason she fought Volk was because he provoked her, and she wanted to save Nei, who had gone ill.

  6. Amanda says:

    My big question is: why, if Nei was Layla’s prime motivation, did Layla leave her in the end? Was it because she become “sexually mature” and could no longer fill the “child” or protectoree role in Layla’s life? I found this anime title listed in teh wikipedia Yuri list and was curious about the dynamic here… if in destroying Volk Layla lays the ground for a connection between the moon and mars that could equate to Mars’ salvation then can the true meaning of her journey be interpreted as one of love and not revenge? And if so, does that suggest that she would have unrequitted maternal or otherwise feelings for Nei that she is too thick-headed to realize? Or is bee-train simply leaving it open for a sequel? *blink blink* I mean obviously she cares about the girl a great deal, I’m not understanding the sudden arbitraryness of the ending, which I am sure must be deliberate.

  7. Genis says:

    I agree with Amanda, the only distaste i had to this series, other than the slow pace (which had a charm in itself) was the ending, i was expecting to see nei run off into the wastes with layla. The only reason I can think of that layla would leave her is that Nei was now “responsible” for the fate of mars, and had to start producing children. Personally I found that the ending was flawed, not because of the questions, but the fact after Layla had gone through all the effort of defeating Volk that she would just leave Nei.

  8. windy says:

    We don’t have to understand everything to like it, I also grew to love that series throughout the episodes, at first, I thought, what is “this” but then it became more and more entertaining, philosophical and awesome, I just loved it!!!, the atmosphere had some similar points with ” Noir” , a series I fell in love with at first sight, well can’t say it was as good but it’s really something that goes beyond ordinary series, it’s true that questions remains while you watch series like that, and whereas ” Noir” didn’t have any visible flaws (for me, anyway) and hasn’t left any question unanswered , this one had but I don’t care ,it’s a good anime no matter what, well, I just love Bee Train productions, exept the Hack franchise, it deserves your good rating , I totally agree !!! The soundrack and all was amazing, totally!!! I was really impressed! And the music all along this show fit the sad /tragic mood.

  9. ancalyme says:

    I’m at episode 8 of this and I’m loving it. The music, the pacing, the atmosphere, the characters! I’m loving Bee-Train more and more with each new anime I see of theirs.

    The dolls sit perfectly just on the creepy edge of the creepy/cute line, and everything’s so mysterious. This is one of those series I just can’t look away from because there’s character development in every gesture.

    I can’t understand how some viewers could label this as ‘worst’ anything.

  10. cyp says:

    I liked the series a lot and thought it was pretty great. Of course it had flaws and was pretty simplistic , but overall it was pretty good. What I thought it was awful was the ending. Made no sense to me. Hoe come a child could become mature at 10 and why the %$^& did Layla just leave . And on top of that she left alone. I mean if she took Nei at least i would have understood, but to leave alone it does not compute. She just went crazy when he realised she finally got her revenge? And why did the stupid guy did not try to stop her? Why didn’t anyone? They just stood there… maybe a manga series would clear things up if it exists… do not know, just confused…

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  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:27 AM)
    @Kaiser: the original Evil Dead was playing the horror genre straight, but it had a strata of slap-stick that was partially unintended. With Evil Dead 2 he doubled down on the strange horror/comedy dynamic and it became fantastic. Army of Darkness was very entertaining, but it strayed very far from the series’ roots. The remake was only produced by Raimi, while he got back on the writer/director chair for the pilot of the new series, and proved that he still got it sharp as ever.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:19 AM)
    Then again I believe Raimi was fairly involved with the remake.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:18 AM)
    The remake as far as remakes go should have been worse but it worked much better than I would have thought and I say this as someone who hates reboots/remakes.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 04:16 AM)
    @Bam: I’ve only partially seen the first evil dead but I don’t think its aged well, the second one I’ve seen and its hugely entertaining later on but its army of darkness that was the most enjoyable of the three for me.
  • Bam
    (Tuesday, Dec 1. 2015 03:47 AM)
    Wow Ash Vs the Evil Dead 01 was a blast; I really should’ve gotten into this sooner. I was smiling thru most of it, either because it was funny or slap-stick gory, or because it was a blast to see that Sam Raimi still got it. I guess the only time that Evil Dead works is when he’s involved. Seeing Bruce Campbell again with the chainsaw was a treat which I didn’t know I needed in my life.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:31 PM)
    I’m trying not to get my hopes up however, given that it wouldn’t be surprising if he gave us another filler chapter like he did with that pointless flashback.
  • Kaiser Eoghan
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:26 PM)
    I enjoyed this chapter of berserk and it made me immediately think “Finally now we’re getting somewhere”. I have been flicking through older chapters of the manga and wow, this really has turned into something fairly different. Bam is right about Gut’s reason to go to elfland. I think its impossible now to get a satisfactory ending out of berserk though we’ve been waiting too long.
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:14 PM)
    The alternative is that Miura wants to bank on this till he dies; can’t blame him cuz you can always bet on black (swordsman).
  • Bam
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 10:13 PM)
    @Aidan: I think the point was originally to heal Caska (hence Farnese showing hesitation in fear of losing Guts when Caska is back) but then so many people tagged along that I don’t think the party knows anymore why they’re going there, just that they were supposed to. I have said before but I’m sure that either Miura doesn’t know what to do or has serious doubts about the ending.
  • AidanAK47
    (Monday, Nov 30. 2015 09:52 PM)
    Fairy dust, stargate, riding dragons, ruby slippers…anything to get Gut’s back on track to taking revenge. Miura needs to end this. He’s sick of making it and we are sick of waiting yet he drags the thing to high heaven.

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