Posted by psgels on 23 August 2011 with categories: Anime Reviews




I’m a fan of the small and relatively unknown company APPP. Nowadays, they’re just busy doing (pretty excellent) inbetween animation for all sorts of series, but ten years ago they actually made their own array of series. Those series stood out because of their simple, yet very imaginative and original premises. Premises that include a runaway hospital bed, an angel and a devil caught in the same body, and yes. They were also the ones who went with the premise of a show focusing on a middle aged guy saving the universe with hard rock. They showed that you can create so many interesting stories without relay trying hard, if you’re just willing to just ignore conventions.

Kurogane Communication is the same: it’s premise is so deceptively simple: we have a girl who is the last living human on earth. There’s so much interesting stuff you can get out of that. The animation is simple, the budget is small, the story moves slowly and it doesn’t try to build up an overly complicated plot. We never really know exactly why humanity nearly died out beyond a few hints here and there. It’s really trying to be simple, yet engaging. And to me, it succeeded.

This series takes an in-depth look at loneliness. Haruka, the lead character, may live together with a bunch of robots, and while this is a series where robots can act just like humans, there still is something missing. The relationship she develops with them as she tries to live her daily life is the highlight of the series, especially with the robot who eventually takes up the position of a mother figure in her life. This show really takes a look at the nature of robots, even if they were to get enough artificial intelligence to become as smart as humans, and what it means to be alive. It’s definitely a unique little series (the episodes are also just 12 minutes long each).

Also helping are a top notch portrayal of the lead character, Haruka: she’s well acted and is a great lead character to follow. As for the rest of the cast, there is a bit of a catch here: they’re nearly all robots with various levels of artificial intelligence. The dumber ones can get on your nerves, but the creators did this intentionally, and over time their purpose in the series will become more than clear. The smart robots by the way are all great to follow.

It’s overall a heart-warming series that makes great use of its bleak themes. The storyline that pops up in the second half does come across as forced here and there, but it has good points that it wants to make, and it ends with a satisfying conclusion. The production values behind this one are low, so there are quite a number of distorted frames and the animation certainly does not look as good as APPP’s other series, but this is a series with its heart at the right place. If you want to watch a calming series that’s something different from usual, then this is an interesting recommendation.

Storytelling: 8/10 – At times it does get a bit forced, but it’s well paced, quiet, and interesting.
Characters: 9/10 – The strength of the characters lies in their simplicity, and how it still can create memorable relationships between them.
Production-Values: 8/10 – Simple and low-budget, but the great art and soundtrack are enough to not make this one a major flaw.
Setting: 8/10 – The premise of this show is pure gold. Simple, but so effective, and it shows that creativity is far from ran out. It’s deliberately vague on its details, and that gives it a very interesting effect.

Suggestions:
Uninhabited Planet Survive
Black Heaven
Omoshi Magical Theatre Risky Safety

4 Responses

  1. whoperson says:

    It’s been a few years since I made a list of my “top 10” anime series, but this series always made the cut. When I saw the grade you gave it, I was wondering what you didn’t like about the series. After reading the review, I can’t really argue with the way you graded it, but I think this shows a weakness of grading by the numbers. This show has its flaws, but it somehow really connected with me. That’s what really counts in my book.

  2. ultama121 says:

    Err, wait… so I’m a bit confused, whoperson. You disagree with psgels’ rating citing this review as an example of how grading by numbers is a flawed concept because it doesn’t take into account personal connection. Er, what? I’m pretty sure that’s one of the points of writing a review (numbered score or not) to begin with–to illustrate how a work connected with a person or not at all. Psgels certainly incorporates his own personal connection and so does everyone else I know who reviews things. Plus, its not like the rating psgels gave was a shocker or anything. Go ahead and look at this anime’s page on MAL. The three reviews present are either 7s or 8s. And then go ahead and look at the average which happens to be a 6.75. It may have really really personally resonated with you, but that doesn’t seem to be the case for most people. You can hardly call that a flaw in the number rating system. >_>

  3. gandalf8 says:

    When you stated Kurogane Communication as the next old series you were gonna watch, I decided to follow suit as I also haven’t seen it yet. The first thing that strikes me upon watching this series is how they took a different take on the whole post-apocalyptic world type of story. Instead of showing the ugly side of the surviving humans as they fight for supremacy amidst the limited resources, this series instead takes a slice-of-life approach on the life of the (supposedly) only surviving human in the whole world with her 5 robot friends. Although the plot is decidedly simple, yet I was somehow completely sucked in as I watch the unfolding events surrounding Haruka, as she starts to come to grips with her status as the (supposedly) sole human on earth, and her 5 robot friends cum guardians.

    Nevertheless, there are quite a few weaknesses that bogged down this series. My major sore point was the aforementioned vague details on the setting of the post-apocalyptic earth. To you it might have given an interesting effect, but it really annoyed me no end as each episode goes by with no explanation in sight. The number one plot point that I wanted the most to be given an explanation of was why the robots around Haruka were so convinced at first that Haruka was the only human alive in the world. I mean, how can they know that for certain? Its a big planet, its not like they had any means of confirming it. The other major unexplained plot point was concerning the Flyers. When the robots first stumbled on Flyer, they seemed to be afraid that if its AI woke up, it would kill Haruka just because she was human, but the cockpit showed that it is piloted by human beings. At first I thought it was some alien machine that was programmed to kill humans, but then the AI told Haruka that it didn’t trust humans anymore, because its former human masters were arrogant b***tards who treated machines as only tools for war. So, I’m just left scratching my head as the story shifts direction with no explanation forthcoming.

    My other sore point was during the action sequences. I understand that this show isn’t about action, so I can forgive the average and unexciting animation. The problem is that during the so called “action sequences”, the characters act so pedestrian, as if their not running or fighting for their lives. Numerous times the robots, especially two of them, act like idiots during the most dangerous situations. In one scene, while they were being chased by a troop of hostile robots, a particular robot had the time to look at something that piqued his interest, and actually slowed down to look at it. In another, when the villain was trying to kill Haruka, she ran away, and the villain gave chase by “walking” slowly after her. While in the final confrontation between the 2 Flyers, why the heck did the “good” Flyer just stood motionlessly while the “bad” Flyer who was controlled by the villain shot hit after hit at it? Can’t it do any evasive maneuvers?

    In the end though, even if it had a few problems, overall I’m glad that I watched this series.

  4. sywen says:

    for me asell, it was a little to simple. but i can understand it as this show was aimed for children i believe :)

Leave a Reply

Shoutbox

Name:
Email:
For:  
Mail will not be published
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:32 AM)
    If a series wants to be sophisticated about complex concepts like war and conflict, then it has to presuppose the fact that it is part of human nature. Resources are limited, and even aside from that, greed exists. There is no way to take out a few head figures to stop a war- there will be a vacuum that will almost immediately be filled by a similar, if not worse, individual. A world “where no one cries” or suffers, or dies, etc, cannot exist as long as we have free will.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:26 AM)
    F/SN delved into this deeply with the Shirou/Archer dichotomy, but then it pussied out at the decisive moment. Archer was right, his arguments made perfect sense, yet the arrogant naive Shirou had to pull thru by sheer will alone, and a vague hope and promise that he’ll find a way somehow. I swear, I’m not sure if Nasu gave in to pressure to make a so-called “good prevails” ending, or that he honestly believes in it. Looking at his material, I’ll bet on the former.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:22 AM)
    hehe … that’s why you don’t get me started on Eva or Berserk.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:20 AM)
    It also delved into the depth of what a desperate goodie-two-shoes people-pleaser protagonist would actually be like, and the reception he would get from his peers, specially the women. That alone right there was a deconstruction of the majority of shonen main characters.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 10:00 AM)
    There was no hype machine back then. The internet was still in its infancy. So when a show became this popular there was certainly some merit to it. The organic/machine hybrid mecha was relatively new, and the scene construction and cinematography was for the most part immaculate. There’s a reason why the mecha genre is divided to “pre-Eva” and “post-Eva”.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:53 AM)
    It also didn’t hurt that the character, costume and mecha designs were slick and attractive, done by the under-appreciated Yoshiyuki Sadamoto.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:31 AM)
    It came up with clever scenarios to common mecha tropes, and answered the questions that would arise from them:
    -Why do we use mechas with melee weapons against alien invaders instead of conventional weapons? AT fields on Angels.
    -Why use kids to pilot them? The Gehrin Project.
    -What happens when you put kids in sever combat situations? Extreme PTSD.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:27 AM)
    These types of deconstruction shows that are run-of-the-mill now didn’t really exist back then. Eva did afterall became the tropemaker for Gainax endings. To see the creator’s psyche twist in front of our eyes was incredible. The show went from a regular monster of the week mecha series to a deranged psycho-thriller by the end of it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:23 AM)
    Eva was fresh and quite unique for its time. Not that everything they did was original, but they certainly put their own twist on it. I also enjoyed the “fuck-you” ending of the tv series. Anno always defended it as intentional, but we all know it was really a budgetary constrain. well, at least we got the amazing End of Evangelion movie to supplement it.
  • Bam
    (Sunday, Jun 26. 2016 09:21 AM)
    @K-of: yup Eva geek here, guilty as charged. In my defense, I watched it week-to-week when it aired back in 96, and the landscape of anime was a lot different back then.

1 · 2 · 3 · 4 · 5 · »

Featured Posts

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

3

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress – 10

After the Horobi’s laser light show and having Biba-sama completely dominate the narrative with his super cool looking henchmen, Koutetsujou no Kabaneri is back on track although it’s on different rails for here on out. Imprisoned by the Hunters and being caught in the middle of the impending final conflict between the Shogun and Biba, […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game – 12

Upon finishing yet another rather uneventful episode of Joker Game, I began to wonder just what this series had planned for its finale. “How best to top off a rather mediocre series such as this?” I thought to myself. However when looking over general consensus over the episode I found out that I seen the […]

Re Zero kara Hajimeru Isekai Seikatsu - 12 4

Re:Zero -Starting Life in Another World – 12

This looks to be the weakest episode of Re:Zero to date which does seem to be a trend when it comes to the arcs of the series. When looking over these twelve episodes I have come to find that the weakest episodes of the series are the first episode of an arc which does make […]

Mayoiga 12d

Mayoiga – 12 (end)

Mayoiga pretty much wraps up its story this week and for the series that focus much about anti-climaxes and inconsistency, this ending neatly conclude all of its main loose end. In the final twist of Mayoiga, it turns out that Koharun is God’s daughter (now I understand the inclusion of him in Mayoiga) and all […]

Kiznaiver - 11 3

Kiznaiver – 11

I believe I finally figured out something much like Agata of this episode did. Over the course of watching Kiznaiver something in the back of my mind bugged me about it. It was something I couldn’t quite put my finger on but after watching this episode I believe it’s finally hit me. I now know […]

Bungou Stray Dogs 11d

Bungou Stray Dogs – 11

Bungou Stray Dogs strays to another side stories this week, it’s pretty much set up for the second cour, and in that aspect this week is a success one, both gives us a new light to existing characters and makes quite a bit of impression on our new characters. I kind of appreciate how the […]

Joker Game - 11 2

Joker Game – 11

Sometimes I wonder if Joker Game is intentionally trying to kill my sense of disbelief as it really does pull out some mind numbingly dumb things from time to time. Today’s “What!” moment comes right at the start of the episode when a young Yuuki escapes imprisonment by blowing up a live grenade in his […]

Latest Reviews

Joker Game - 12 2

Joker Game Review – 50/100

When experiencing the wave of new anime each season it can get rather tiresome to notice all the teenagers fighting supernatural forces while gathering a harem through seer luck or similarly tired concepts. So when something like Joker game comes along and takes a road less traveled with it’s story, naturally I am well on […]

mayoiga 07b

Mayoiga Review – 78/100

Mayoiga has to be one of the most misunderstood shows in recent years. On a surface, the premise alone has a lot of potential. The idea behind putting 30 people, each of them has very different set of personalities, together in a bus to a mysterious lost village, in order to start over new life […]

akTwkhF

Stella Glow Game Review-60/100

I really should be getting Grand Kingdom or waiting for Mirage Sessions. My review of Stella Glow is way past relevancy being nearly 8 months late, but I finally completed this and it wouldn’t hurt to briefly wrap up my thoughts about the game created by the now-defunct Imageepoch. I somehow managed to get through Lord of […]

rs33

Odin Sphere Leifthrasir Game Review – 87/100

Oh my. This game was just utterly, utterly incredible when it came out, so despite disliking the usual remasters (ahem, Valkyria Chronicles), I was pretty stoked when I learned I’d be able to play this again on better hardware. It came out really late into the PS2’s lifetime in 2007, so at the time, I […]

romance of 3 kingdoms

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 4: Chinese Traditional Animated shows

Welcome to the last part of our Chinese animated guide. This part will cover Chinese traditional art style, for me personally this is the most enjoyable group. The first thing you might notice in these shows are they were in different format ratio, lean more towards the Academy ratio format. I always find their traditional art […]

20160513001913_1

Lucid9: Inciting Incident Video Game Review – 85/100

It’s not often I pick a game up without prior knowledge. I abhor the act of pre-ordering and at least do a google search on the title to get a general idea of it’s overall quality. Gone are the day you walk into a game store and buy something purely on a whim or the […]

The Totem Warrior

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 3: Haoliners inputs

This part we explore one Chinese animation studio’s works. I choose Haoliners partly because they are independent studio, and their works are not hard to find. Just established in 2013, Haoliners is an indie studio but gathered more reputation in the last few years in their homeland. My experience with them through those titles below […]

Cover

Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress OST Review

This will be the first time in my anime blogging career that I have ever done one of these anime OST review. It should be known that I have a complete bias for Hiroyuki Sawano as he has become one of the biggest composer for anime in recent years in some of my favorite anime […]

Nüwa’s Growth Diary

Chinese Animation Guide – Part 2: Chinese Anime shows

As much as I hated the term Chinese Anime (Anime stands for Japanese animation, strictly speaking), this is the exact term for those shows. Their influence from the Anime was so heavy that apart from the voice cast and some scene settings, you can’t tell those apart from the original anime. With that said, judge from […]