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…

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 05:18 AM)
    Oh, awesome, dark horse is releasing volume 10 of black lagoon in April, its been nearly five years since the last complete volume…
  • Emma
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:56 AM)
    @Aidan: I think theres something seriously wrong when theres the actually possibility of there being a good PA works anime but we all have our opinions =P
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 03:13 AM)
    @Raggers, I will go into detail when I review it. But I think something is seriously wrong when I get a far more satisfying ending out of shirobako than Death parade.
    Looking forward to writing a review of shirobako too.
  • Raggers
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:56 AM)
    @Aidan: it wasn’t bad though. I think it suffered from too high expectations and lack of focus (or overreaching).
  • AidanAK47
    (Sunday, Mar 29. 2015 02:29 AM)
    Well. Death parades ending was quite underwhelming.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:21 PM)
    Waiting between releases for this will be a good thing, its the sort of manga you pick up and put down, then go back to with breaks in between.
  • Emma
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 11:13 PM)
    13 volumes into dorohedero, I’ve found it good enough to buy now that I’ve caught up with the official English releases. While the plot meaders and is kind of messy, isn’t up to much, I love how crazy the gory action is, the gritty artstyle/world and the black comedy more than well make up for it. It works best when focused on those masked gangster magician guys and also the main character, the others are only alright.
  • Raggers
    (Saturday, Mar 28. 2015 02:19 AM)
    @Aidan: true, but I don’t think the level is anywhere close to a true shounen. And once the basic rules are established it’s strategising and straight out fighting.
    I’d be more inclined to call it seinen with shounen elements than actually shounen.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 09:59 PM)
    Good all action finale to cap off Garo there, went out with a bang, though thing is I have no idea where their going to go with this when the movie, second season comes along, this seems like a pretty good point to finish.
  • Emma
    (Friday, Mar 27. 2015 05:35 PM)
    I think that just about all the manga serialized in ultra jump feel less seinen than those serialized in other seinen magazines.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Parasyte The Maxim Review-82.5/100

Parasyte, along with Gugure Kokkuri-San, are the only two shows from the last season that I’ve actually finished, and that’s actually saying quite a lot–seeing as how I haven’t been watching (much less blogging) anime at all this past season. However, I figured I should at least write a final review for Parasyte, just because […]

Death Parade – 11

So we are reaching the final conclusion and things are coming to a head. Chiyuki’s memories are restored and we find that in life she was an ice skater. An odd choice but it did lead to a rather beautiful scene of Chiyuki skating on Ice as she recalled her past. Admittedly I did try […]

Death Parade – 10

So Onna name is finally revealed and newly christened Chiyuki plays a game of old maid with a storyteller. Death parade, you are doing it again. You are drifting from what should be the focus of the series and really pushing this ongoing plot thread. So we learn a number of things. One, that Chiyuki’s […]

Durarara!!X2 – 09

  In reflection I think Durarara may have been a poor choice to blog. The reason being that when I sat down to watch this episode I was fully intent on finding something I could comment on. Then as the end credits roll I find myself at a loss to what to write about. With […]

Death Parade – 09

Well the end of the episode did get over melodramatic but still, a very good episode. It is rather amusing to see two people bond over a shared goal of revenge. Their thinking slowly edged towards a dangerous outlook it became clear that one of these two is not on the same wavelength as the […]

Durarara!!X2 – 08

No animation issues this time around thankfully. Really like the touch of Irelands flag on the cup Shinra gave the girl at their apartment. Sometimes it’s easy to forget that Celty is indeed Irish. Probably one of the few Irish characters in anime. And here we learn that the one who told the little girl […]

Death Parade – 08

Why do you do this to me death parade? You dodge your true potential and instead focus on background exposition or, of all things, comedy. Then just as I was about to lose interest and give up, you present the best episode of the series so far. Now this, this is what I was talking […]

Durarara!!X2 – 07

I think the problem with this episode was evident right from the opening scene. I had to do a double take when seeing a very poorly drawn Simon. I even questioned whether it was a new character entirely. But no, the animation budget took a nosedive. Or the guy who was to do the inbetweens […]

Death Parade – 07

Why is the girl from the last episode still around? This episode brought up three rules about arbiters. The third rule, about arbiters not having emotions, Is odd to me. For the arbiters we have been introduced to are very emotional. They state that Decim was given human emotions yet he is the least emotional […]

Latest Reviews

Clipboard06

Nerawareta Gakuen Review – 84/100

Let me talk a bit about Ryousuke Nakamura. For a long time, this guy was my hero. He started off as an assistant director to Monster, in my opinion a big reason why that series got such a ridiculously solid adaptation, and then in 2008 he came with the groundbreaking Mouryou no Hako. No TV-series […]

Clipboard03

Kick Heart

Okay, so I didn’t want to exit 2013 without having seen Masaaki Yuasa’s Kick Heart. It’s only twelve minutes anyway, and I consider him to be one of the best anime directors out there. The story here is pretty silly and mostly serves as a backdrop, so I mostly want to talk about the nature […]

Clipboard01

Kyousogiga Review – 90/100

Everyone’s taste is different, and that’s a wonderful thing because that allows us to have so many different forms of media that all aim toward their own niche. My blog is obviously written from the perspective of my own taste, and even when a show doesn’t cater to it (which is nearly always), I love […]

Clipboard04

Ore no Nounai Sentakushi ga, Gakuen Lovecome o Zenryoku de Jama Shiteiru Review – 80/100

Noucome! You do not want to know how long I have been waiting for a series like this. More than half a decade, at the very least. Finally a series comes along and puts the incredibly overused harem genre in its place. And it actually does it well. Thank you! So to elaborate: the harem […]

Clipboard01

Pokemon: The Origin Review – 75/100

Normally I try to avoid spoilers with these reviews, but screw it, it’s Pokemon. Pokemon The Origin is a bomb of nostalgia. If you haven’t played Pokemon Red, Blue or Green, then you will not enjoy this one slight bit. This really is made as pure undilluted fanservice for the fans of the first games. […]

Clipboard08

Tamayura – More Aggressive Review – 75/100

I’m not going to dedicate a post for my impression for the final three episodes of this series. It was just too boring to write much about. I guess that that gives a pretty accurate indication of what I think about this series. Right at the start of Tamayura’s second season, I asked one question: […]

Clipboard04

Silver Spoon Review – 86/100

When Noitamina started airing two series per season, it was amazing. It’s a timeslot that on average tends to be aimed at a much older audience than usual, and having two series with the same mentality definitely helped to bring more diversity to anime overall. Unfortunately it’s a schedule that could not be kept up […]

Clipboard07

Yondemasuyo, Azazel-San Z Review – 82,5/100

Reviewing a comedy sequel usually is quite simple: in most cases it just drops the bomb and runs out of inspiration, and in rare cases it actually manages to stay hilarious. The tricky thing with these kinds of series is that you need to remain funny, and you need to have the inspiration for that. […]

Clipboard05

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet Review – 81/100

Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet tells the storyline of a planet that is completely submerged, with only giant ships residing on the surface, while one of those ships gets visited by this guy and his AI-mecha from this very technologically advanced civilization. Yes, this show is about world building. What this show managed to do […]