Last Exile – Ginkyou no Fam
Short Synopsis: Our lead character is a young genius pilot.
Well, first things first: it’s awesome to see Gonzo back. It’s not just the series they make. It’s because of their balls: they like to take risks like no other studio out there, and that’s why I became a fan of them, even though they did release their fair share of crap. Now, as for this series: it looks just gorgeous. The CG is still up to Gonzo’s high standards and the creators didn’t just copy designs from the first season, but came up with a whole new set of eye candy that certainly does not stand out as inferior to its predecessor. As for the story of this episode: it’s definitely more childish than the first season, and shows a bunch of teenagers being able to disrupt an entire fleet. The first season had this too, but was a lot more subtle about it, especially with the enemy fleet having very stuck-up commanders and deploying no vanships whatsoever to intercept the main cast. There’s also fanservice, though thankfully not as much as was feared. The acting is overall very good, though it does have a number of weak points. The direction is also quite solid, despite the lighter tone. This is a typical example of a first episode with a lot of potential to become amazing, but also with quite a number of things that can hold it back and didn’t work out as well as you’d hope. Yup, that’s Gonzo alright.
OP: The OP of the first season was much better.
ED: A familiar voice. The song is a bit redundant after hearing it in other EDs, but the picture slideshow looks nice.
Short Synopsis: Our lead character meets a half-naked girl.
That was absolutely gorgeous. The first episode of Guilty crown is a visual feast, in the way that just about every frame is meticulously detailed and well drawn, in the way that only Production IG can do for a television series. If they keep this up, then this will very likely be the prettiest Noitamina series of the year. As for the rest of the episode though: there were a number of issues I had with it. The biggest is that outside of the visuals, I miss creativity: the scenario of this episode had a been there, done that”-feeling, and the main characters are a bunch of walking cliches. On one hand you have the really bland male main character, and on the other hand we have this female who has special powers, is his childhood friend, and gives the male lead a special weapon that he can use to kick ass. There have been way too many shows already with that premise, and the only thing that this show really added to that was its gorgeous visuals. This is a show that needs to grow significantly. But heck: at least the characters are far from as stupid or annoying as they were in Fractale.
OP: Good idea to combine it with the content of the episode.
ED: A bit of a dull ballad with nice art from the promo images.
Short Synopsis: Our lead character solves mysteries.
Here is a very interesting one, and I don’t mean that in the way you might expect. At first this episode started off like your average murder mystery series: the protagonists happened to be stuck in a room full of people where someone conveniently got murdered. It was well built up, but strangely mundane. Then however the second half came around and this episode just kept switching moods, themes and atmospheres. This series is attempting to breathe a new wind into the episodic murder mystery genre. This episode had science fiction, horror, and the post-apocalypse all stuffed together. This was the strange case of not the culprit getting some surprise added depth, but the setting itself became a lot more intriguing once this episode started putting the pieces of its puzzle together. On top of that, this episode was well produced and well directed with very natural camera work. The creators definitely took creative liberties on the original work it’s based on, and the episodic set-up really allows them to try a wide variety of different stuff. Oh, and as an added bonus this episode had the best use of music and sounds of the entire season so far. My only warning for when you plan to check it out: the characters. They are not on the list of priorities for this series.
OP: A bit of a dull song, but lots of neat eye candy.
ED: By far the best ED of the seasons. Heck, even the OPs get nowhere as close to the imaginative visuals and music that was displayed here.