Posted by psgels on 21 March 2011 with categories: Level E




So, after the slight disappointment of last week, this episode hits back in full force with just a completely bizarre premise. And even there, the episode plays out completely unlike I expected. This episode was just… surreal.

This episode toyed with mystery like no other. It was both an excellent mystery story, but it also brilliantly poked fun at the genre with the way in which it suddenly put the local baseball team into the middle of Koushien. The balance between the silly and serious parts was excellent and I loved the original twists it gave to the whole premise. The characters all just calmly analyzed what was going on, with a few goofballs being entertaining (most notably, the Prince and the Captain of the team).

It related back to an event in the past that was surprisingly intense, and created a really great mystery atmosphere. Because of that I also loved the way this episode played out, because in the end we never really were told who exactly caused things, and things were just solved by having fun and playing baseball. It fitted perfectly and yet subverted a ton of mystery cliches.

And really, this is what I have been missing so dearly in Gosick: none of the characters were idiots. They all shared their own take on things, but aside from the obviously moronic captain (who really had his own charms and purpose), they all looked around and used common sense. That’s how you write good mystery. Not by relying on artificial stupidity.

Overall I think that 13 episodes (yes this series will be 13 episodes long) is the perfect length for this series. It’s short, but really sweet in this way, making no scene wasted whatsoever. Even the previous episode served its purpose of breaking up the pacing, and I love how the creators managed to do that in just one episodes. Compare that to so many other 13-episode series that put in intermezzo after intermezzo after intermezzo. So far, every episode has stood out. This is really what these short series should strive for.

There is just one reason why it’s a shame that this isn’t a long series: the characters. With that, I don’t mean that they should be more developed; they already have a ton of charms. Instead though, it’s a shame to see so much potential go away. The characterization in this series is absolutely amazing: none of the characters feels like a stereotype, aside from perhaps Ouji. The people that this series shows feel so fresh and interesting: even though we only see most of them for a few episodes, they feel and act like real people. Their acting is just wonderfully down to earth. If anything, I just hope that future series will take them as their inspiration because characters this fresh really don’t appear often. The best example of this is of course the couple from the first arc.
Rating: *** (Awesome)

7 Responses

  1. Mushyrulez says:

    Man, I completely agree with you. It’s really a shame that even the mangaka ended this series with only one volume – it had so much potential to be developed! But I guess he decided that something shorter could indeed be better – perhaps Level E is the best of his works.

    And how do you write posts so

  2. scotto says:

    I really loved how this one was animated, although I was sad to see one of my favourite scenes cut out!

    In the manga this episode is famous for actually functioning as a whodunnit that the reader can piece together the clues to find out the culprit (even though it’s never explicitly shown). I don’t know if that applies to the anime too – I’ll have to rewatch it and try!

  3. Kiarae says:

    Mushyrulez – Manga writers are usually forced to end manga rather than decide to end them.

    I do wish there was more to this series. That said, it’s better to be strong and end strong (which it will) than to get drug on so long that it falls out. Personally I’d rather have a series told solely from Kraft’s point of view, starting from when he first had to deal with Prince.

  4. K.K. says:

    Kraft was hilarious in this episode, crashing the car when he found out the Prince was trapped and planning ways to leave him there.

    Not exactly sure how they’re going to fit the last few chapters in two episodes. The next arc really feels like it should be the end of the show, but the final epilogue was actually pretty funny too.

  5. Evan says:

    Don’t get me wrong here, Level E has been possibly my favorite show of this season and regardless of its shortcomings I seem to enjoy the arcs regardless. My point here being that I think that you’re being a bit unfair.

    If this was a show that didn’t spark your interest initially or didn’t experiment as much as it does, I don’t think you would be so kind as to gloss over the faults within each of the arcs and read so deeply into the episode to prove its mastery of a certain genre/production style. I understand as someone who has seen a similar mass quantity of anime as you have that it is hard not to dismiss shows initially for being overly cliche/not breaking the mold/having many faults, but at the same time one should not try to place other shows on a pedestal.

    This show does have pacing issues and in a way I think that 13 is nowhere near enough to really make the characters iconic in the way that a show like Gintama did. Sorry if I am coming off as a bit rude, as I am a fan of this blog and have been following for a long time, but I don’t think that you need to give the show such special treatment in order to prove to the readers how great the show really is. Sometimes as fans of a media, we just like things simply because we like them.

  6. Duo says:

    It did give us a clue who’s the one in the end. When Captain mentioned about the dream before their real match, that’s a guy wearing CLEAN (everyone else is dirty) uniform replied with an “eh?”. The face is never shown, but from the uniform you can see “Aki” at one side and “Yama…” at another side. he is one random guy in the team who didn’t stand out during the whole event.

  7. CY says:

    I think it’s the Captain…
    And the clean guy is the guy that showed up at the Stadium by himself rather than going along on the bus.

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  • 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.

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