My three personal favourite series are the following: 1) Mahou Shoujotai, 2) Noein, 3) Visions of Escaflowne. Because Mahou Shoujotai wasn’t directed by just one guy, but a whole bunch of directors and the latter two were directed by the guy called Kazuki Akane, it’s pretty safe to say that he’s my favourite director. So, when he comes with a new series that plans to revive an old OVA from the nineties, then I obviously had to watch it. Overall, it doesn’t live up to his other work, but it’s an impressive series nonetheless.
Although it doesn’t always show this, this series knows how to build up. The first half of the series might goof off at first sight, but once the second half kicks in, everything slowly starts coming together, and the tension is very smoothly built up until the actual climax, and it becomes apparent that the first few episodes were definitely necessary, to flesh out the different characters and settings, and make them believable.
What impressed me the most, though, is the way that this series uses its production-values. There’s time enough for the story and characters to develop, with the second season and all, but both the graphics and music are very well done. The budget of this series is obviously limited, but the creators managed to save most of it in order to treat the viewer to a very small amount of beautifully animated fight scenes, which I’d classify as the best 2D-fight scenes of the past half year. When a character sprains his ankle, or gets his or her arm twisted, you see exactly the bones and muscles that move out of place, which is something most other anime tend to neglect.
There’s just one minor point about this series: it doesn’t have the most exciting main character to work with. Senkawa really is your typical fourteen year old brat, which love issues and impulsive tendencies thankfully the creators do manage to develop his character sufficiently, but he does whine a lot in the process.
Apart from that, I can’t really say much more about this series. It’s a typical series that’s meant to really take off in its second season, and for that it built up really well. There are some clichéd characters here and there, but the director has an excellent sense of timing, and knows what to say when, where and how to make the best out of them.