This show is gorgeous, it’s directed by Tetsurou Araki (the director of Death Note and Kurozuka) and animated by Production IG. It’s bound to be action packed, and for those reasons I’m going to blog it. I don’t have any expectations for this beyond mere eye candy, though.
Here’s the thing: we’re in the middle of a very creative season, with continuations of shows with incredibly rich and imaginative settings (Last Exile, Hunter X Hunter, Fate/Zero), new series with really creative premises and purposes (Ben-To, Un-Go, Chihayafuru, Mirai Nikki and even Phi Brain). And here this show comes with its superpowered teenagers, bland boy meets mysterious girl, stereotypically sadistic villains… and that’s pretty much it. Beyond the fact that it can shoot a good action scene and that this show looks amazing when it wants to, it just doesn’t have anything that sets it apart.
What I’m really afraid of is that this never really gets fixed. My big problem here is that this thing is written by the same guy who wrote Mai Otome and Macross Frontier (ignoring for a moment that he also came up with Seiko no Qwaser). Thankfully these first two episodes were not as bad as Mai Otome: this show is unremarkable, not bad, obnoxious and stupid. However, I’m more and more beginning to see this as the spiritual successor of Macross Frontier, but without the idols. It too looked pretty, but had a very weak story and bland characters, who never really seemed to know where they were going.
I was hoping for this episode to prove me wrong, but instead this was even more generic, due to the lack of quiet moments. First of all there are the usual questions: why do both the military and the rebels, despite having plenty of adults, depend on teenagers to pilot their mechas? If you have a reason for it: then that’s fine, but don’t just put some cute girls in mecha suits just for the sake of fanservice.
Also, the blond kid. Whose idea was that; seriously? This guy is the only actually bad character in this series so far. In every single scene, he’s portrayed as a psycho with a temper, even when there’s no reason for him to be so. I mean, the bomb girl in Mirai Nikki was psycho for a reason: she was risking her life in the middle of a truckload of explosives that she set up herself. This guy instead is like “muhahaha, I’m evil; bump into me and I’ll kill you!”
What’s more is that this show is too busy portraying its bad guys as assholes, rather than actually make compelling villains. The point where they killed those random civilians (who strangely were never mentioned again after their death; not even people mourning about them). What’s also bugging me is the existence of the female lead: why is she in this show, really? All she’s done so far is give powers to the male lead (which, according to what people are saying, can be done by everyone else as well). Oh, and appear in his school. Why was there a need to show that in the most cliched way possible?
However, what has also really bugged me so far: I’m seeing very little of Tetsurou Araki’s distinctive style here. I’m a fan of Death Note, Kurozuka and also that one story he did for Aoi Bungaku: the atmosphere and direction there were rock-solid, but they were nothing like what was shown here. This show needs to grow. Get rid of that psycho blonde and focus more on the characters without wasting time on pointless side stories or making the action too repetitive.
Rating: – (Disappointing)