Posted by psgels on 21 June 2009 with categories: Anime Reviews

I was pretty excited when I first saw Koukaku no Regios, or Chrome-Shelled Regios as it’s called in English. It promised a grand setting with many different sides to it, a large cast of different characters and a really interesting sense of mystery that all seemed to lie behind it. That’s why it’s such a shame to see what kind of an utterly mismanaged mess it turned into.

Take the following analogy: suppose you have a beautiful multi-layered birthday cake. Koukaku no Regios, instead of focusing on this entire cake just keeps staring at one of the candles, while hardly having any attention for the delicious rest of it. It presents a post-apocalyptic world, in which people can only live withing walking cities. It’s full of strange creatures like glowing goats, mutant bugs, who all have their own role and purpose, and behind the world seems a grand complot by people with dog-faces. And what does this series decide focus on? An inconsequential harem that never really gets anywhere! Talk about a let-down.

If the love polygon was good, it would have been able to excuse at least something, but unfortunately it even screws up there. Basically we have our lead character Layfon, and a bunch of girls who are in love with him. Layfon has a ton of girls swarming over him, but in the end none of these relationships get any substantial development, with perhaps the exception of Nina, who only gets blander as the show goes on.

This blandness syndrome by the way can be found in more characters in this series. Felli starts out as a nice wise-cracking and witty girl, but only gets more and more generic as the series goes on. Dalsiena turns from a past-driven character into a generic side-kick, Naruki gets turned from a headstrong policewoman in useless harem-bait, Salinvan turns from a skilled mercenary into an emo kid who can’t forget the past, Harley Sutton turns from an interesting side-character into an incredibly generic one devoid of any personality, and DO NOT get me started on Savaris.

So yeah, because the main storyline pops up so late in this series, the finale simply becomes a disaster. The creators start pulling random powers out of their asses, characters who were in one episode very badly wounded are completely fine in the next one, the plot twists really come from absolutely nowhere and because the main storyline received so little attention, none of it really makes an impact and therre are SO MAY questions that are left unresolved after that final episode.

The salvation for this series that I can see is if a second season got announced. Regios has potential, and I still remain convinced of that. If a second season would come, and make optimal use of the building up that this series has provided, then it’s going to rock beyond belief. The characters who didn’t turn into paper bags were interesting enough to watch and there were definitely good parts in this series. It’s just that there was too much crap that overshadowed it. The creators never knew how to properly pace and outline their series and in a way, the one behind the series composition seems to be the one to blame for this. Yes Mamiko Ikeda, shame on you.

Storytelling: 6/10
Characters: 7/10
Production-Values: 8/10
Setting: 7/10

19 Responses

  1. Avatar tj han says:

    Funny I’ve watched all bar the last ep and besids Nina and Reyfon, andposibly Felli, I don’t know the names of all the other characters. Also, I don’t get the actual story either, it’s just too convoluted with too many fancy fantasy words thrown in.

  2. Avatar ryvrdrgn14 says:

    I’d have to agree. Near the middle a plot was unfolding then it just got sideswiped into oblivion.

    The starting few episodes were the most interesting ones. I think it might’ve fallen into the same ditch as Nijuu Mensou no Musume.

    It’s quite sad since there was some interesting development with Felli’s character and some hints of a possibly decent plot/story which just vanished utterly somewhere past episode 20. o_O

  3. Avatar mds says:

    Looks like both this show and Kurokami got a promising first part then become utter crap in its second part…

  4. Avatar windy says:

    I loved your metaphore of the birthday cake! I think the same way!

  5. Avatar Kanao says:

    On another note, I can’t believe you’ve totally ignored Hatsukoi Limited this season… If you’re willing to watch generic shows like Kurokami what’s wrong with a short character driven series like HL? I’ve enjoyed it just as much as Ristorante Paradiso for the same reasons despite their differences.

  6. Avatar ZACK says:

    It’s true this show reeks of potential and even though they managed to screw it a hundred times over,the potential’s still there.So,I’ll be really dissapointed if there’s no second season.

    The whole first season was like an epic tease for the second season.Kinda mirror’s the romance in this show!

  7. Avatar Tea says:

    So it seems that this light novel adaptation suffers from “Zero tsukaima syndrome” in all its glory .

  8. Avatar Howling-kun says:

    Glad I avoided this crap.

  9. Avatar ZeroAlpha says:

    I totally agree with your post. I’ve been keeping up with Regios hoping for something awesome to happen. It’s funny, the setting and characters have some mystery/quirk that makes want to keep watching but nothing happens. I mean, I liked the idea of a hero who holds back due to his past failures and there were hundreds of possibilities to flesh out Layfon’s character into something awesome. Sadly, as you have mentioned, Regios doesn’t pick any good direction to go down (rather it has no direction at all). The result is a senseless, incoherent, and convoluted show that leaves you asking, “what was the purpose of that story?”

    Anyways, another novel to anime failure, and utterly wasted potential. Hopefully a second season might be picked up by a different studio that knows how to direct. Or perhaps a remake 10 years down the road as there are actually two manga versions of this story.

    Well, just putting in my two cents.

  10. Avatar Sarah says:

    Completely agree. Thank you for voicing what I didn’t have the heart to.

  11. Avatar J Rey says:

    Birthday cake no, but twinkie yes. The first twinkie was good in fact a a sweet delicate chocolate covered twinkie. There was nice character interactions, good development decent fights and bunch awful engrish(which made the show awesome).

    The second part of Regios is what I expected the whole series to be, a plain boring generic, let me hurry up before they stop payment on the check twinkie. Not sure where the high expectations came from?

  12. Avatar Nomus says:

    Indeed, all characters seems to have some brain disease, wich makes them more and more dumb as the series goes on.) All in all – another addition to the list of failed expectations.

  13. Avatar ryvrdrgn14 says:

    “Not sure where the high expectations came from?”

    Well, I just read on another blog about Felli and how interesting and cute she was so I watched it for that.

    Unfortunately even that fell off near the end. o_O

  14. Avatar windy says:

    Well, this final episode isn’t so bad, much better than the 23rd one, but who is Saya the queen keeps talking about, it is this long black haired girl but who is she and what’s the purpose of introducing her chrter? I strongly believe there’s is going to be a second season, it’s almost obvious! Beside it, it was pretty good!

  15. Avatar soyahoney says:

    Not the best script, but not the worst. Mamiko Ikeda has the tendency to drag out some parts (Bokura ga Ita, anyone?), considering I have watched a quarter of all the anime she has worked on.

    I stuck through it to the end and felt incomplete/unsatisfied. It felt like, “yeah, let’s have all these random, new, or no info. about who they are characters pop out of nowhere and have Layfon go all out in less than 10 minutes with his katana.”

    Like you mentioned, it had and still has potential if a second season is confirmed. Get some questions answered, bring some character development, and try to avoid some generics, and you’ll get a good second season.

    I loved the bgm and animation. The storyline was decent with a range of different characters. At the end, the last kick from Felli summed up how I felt about the whole series.

    Pent up frustration with some added humor and moe moments.

  16. Avatar Silver says:

    That’s the problem with this series. They were following the novels pretty darn well but since it’s only one season, it just trails off leaving so many unanswered questions unless they continue on. Otherwise, if you were able to read the novels, it apparently was really good because everything just falls into place. I don’t know why but I think it would have been better if they just continue on with a second season of it instead of just stopping right in the dead middle of the novels just because 24 episodes was over.

  17. Avatar Erica says:

    haha yes some of these female characters are to my liking, they are so adorable thats probably the main reason I watch and don’t even realise it :S

  18. Avatar Cam says:

    i agree with alot of the review but for some reason i really enjoyed it. i think they did mess alot of it up and the only way to resolve it is with a second season.

  19. Avatar Zexus says:

    Yes it was not perfect, none are of course, or really even one of the most stellar productions, but it was better than most and nowadays those are hard to find here and there. I try to find light novel adaptations, considering that most I have seen are usually good because light novels just have much better stories it seems. Though since I have watched the end yet, I am concerned about the ending, if it is as people say it is going to be. Nonetheless, this was still pretty awesome(r than most).

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