Posted by psgels on 8 July 2012 with categories: Total Eclipse

I think that the four other shows that I’m going to blog this season are pretty obvious now, but as for why I chose Total Eclipse over the others:

– Tari Tari will only be 1 cour long. there is no way it’s going to live up to Hana-Saku Iroha with that.
– Moyashimon is just a series that you should watch, instead of talk about. Short blurbs each week are enough for that.
– In the same vein, I don’t really feel like blogging a comedy a la Binbou-gami ga.
– Kyoukai Senjo no Horizon is very creative, but it’s also completely forced and nonsensical.
– This episode was just that good.

I mean, I don’t care that this show is based on one of the best visual novels out there. It has the director of Rosario to Vampire assigned. After Persona 4 I really wasn’t looking forward to another butchered work, especially since Rosario to Vampire had absolutely terrible pacings and camera work, that were bad, far beyond their premises.

This episode however, was really intense. I did spot hints of this in the first episode in how uneventful it was by allowing the female lead to play out her character, but with this, they followed that up wonderfully with one heck of a horror episode, and even before that, this series took its characters seriously. this episode showed that this series can deliver good horror, even when censored and that in this series, people die when they’re killed.

Some criticisms though: why do all these monsters look the same? With that, it’s hard to keep track of whether you’re actually making progress or not. Also, there is supposed to be a real lead character? I like how he didn’t appear so far: screw those conventions. However, do expect me to drop this show when he turns out to be a generic harem lead…

Also, if this is supposed to be the cutting edge of mecha that are being deployed, then why are they used in hand to hand combat? Wouldn’t long range weapons make more sense, since these monsters can only fire along a limited distance? Overall, this show reminds me the most of Blue Gender, but where that series took place at the stage where the earth has been completely conquered, this series looks more into the conquering process. The question is, will the creators be able to make the plot as interesting?
Rating: ** (Excellent)

43 Responses

  1. Essence says:

    Yes there’s a lead character and he by all means should appear in the next episode. His name is Yuuya Bridges. Here’s the main cast.(He’s in the middle)

    http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/411/mainbgneffw.png/sr=1

    Also, to my knowledge he isn’t your typical harem lead. He’s suppose to be one of the best pilots in the world and he is not interested in starting relationships.

  2. anonymous says:

    >one of the bets pilots in the world
    >has never fought BETA before at the start of TE

    • Essence says:

      Sup anon? I only know the details from the first 4 chapters of the manga that have been translated and they were talking very highly of his piloting skills.

  3. xRichard says:

    >why are they used in hand to hand combat?
    Because ammunition and BETA Hive operations.

    >these monsters can only fire along a limited distance?
    Haha, no. Their range, power and accuracy rate are absurdly high (they were not specified, but their power was pretty clear in the retreat) and they have never EVER shoot friendlies.
    From wiki:
    “Lux” Lasser-class: effective against targets of up to 10 kilometres high and 30 kilometres from the where the Laser-class stands. Capability to track targets from 38 kilometres away, 12 seconds in-between each shot

  4. Loz says:

    Another show I wont be watching.

    Re-susing same scenes a few times in the same episode, which I suppose you could consider a little lazy. Gunfight, insert scene of insects advancing here, gunfight, insert same scene of advancing insect here(yawn). (also the OP is random scenes from the first ep, not that I care but just thought I’d point out)

    To be fair none of that bothers me, but this show seems to take itself so seriously, but i just couldn’t. I kept thinking through this whole episode whether I was actually supposed to care what was happening to any of these characters? Its just I had no sense of belief or suspense watching it.

    So if this things are falling short now I probably wont enjoy it going forward.

    • meow says:

      It’s a prologue flashback of Yui’s past. Even the OP is a remix of events from the 1st episode. The true OP should appear next week. Well, question mark to me how this story will work out though.

      • meow says:

        Another show I wont be watching.

        But you know what, I think I’m with you. I don’t have the balls for shows like this.

    • anonymous says:

      Holy shit, I don’t think I’ve ever read anything more retarded. How are you even mentally functioning? “Reused scenes”? Are you fucking serious? Did you even watch the fucking episode?

      • meow says:

        I think he might be talking about the OP, which is basically a repeat of stuff that happened in episode one, as well as how the Beta are depicted most of the time, kind of like how they were depicted in the VN, as moving shapes with little animation or fluidity. The laser type close-ups in particular seemed to repeatedly use the same angle and the same burst of white. The production values in this episode seem limited. I think things will start heating up once the action gets to the Alaska base and the new TSF prototypes start showing up.

      • Souther says:

        They did literally re-use at least one or two shots of the BETA and the TSFs fighting them. Not the worst problem I had with the episode though, just a small issue.

  5. meow says:

    this episode showed that this series can deliver good horror, even when censored and that in this series, people die when they’re killed.

    This is the Muv-luv Alternative universe for you. It’s brutal and merciless, although there’s also good war drama, strategy and tactics, character development and several glorious moments. No character is safe. I would not be too surprised if everyone is wiped out in the end. The original Alternative VN had moments that actually traumatized me. You should give it a try. I think it’s your cup of tea. But yes, there will be some fanservice. The Muv-Luv series was originally an adult visual novel, like Fate Stay Night, although Total Eclipse is a normal novel and I haven’t read it, like Fate Zero. I wouldn’t be too concerned about it though. Any harem-tropes and fanservice will probably be drowned out.

    Also, there is supposed to be a real lead character? I like how he didn’t appear so far: screw those conventions.

    There’s supposed to be two leads. Yui is one of them.

    Wouldn’t long range weapons make more sense, since these monsters can only fire along a limited distance?

    You mean like beam weapons? Yeah. Think of the year. Did/do we have beam weapons around that time? The technology of the age is apparently supposed to be comparable to ours, modified for the fact that many parts of the Earth like Europe, Africa, etc have already been overrun/wiped out by the Beta. Humanity is stuck with machine guns and missiles but they apparently have realistic (aka pathetic) ammo limitations and, in actual battle, units are usually overrun and wiped out before they have a chance to go back to base and reload. Swords are actually the best weapons IMHO against Beta cos they don’t need ammo but the pilots need to be good enough to avoid getting chomped to bits. These girls are…half-trained cadets? One of the biggest advantage the Beta have are their Laser-type forms which quickly wipe out anything flying over a certain altitude. Rules out bombers and hit-and-run fighters and possibly ballistic missiles?

    • mezzoguitar says:

      Africa is safe from the BETA at the time of Alternative. Why would that be? Because the author says so.

      • meow says:

        I thought Africa was the landing point of the first Beta Hive from the moon? I don’t really remember. I only played Alternative once many years ago.

      • anonymoose says:

        Africa is safe because BETA never landed there and somehow everyone in the area has formed a strong enough coalition to keep them from crossing into Africa. But it’s still a shithole with no resources so BETA aren’t likely to really focus their attention all that much over there to begin with.

        • meow says:

          I see. So around this time, which areas had already been wiped out? I seem to remember Europe in particular. Where was the primary Hive located? The one in Alternative’s final battle?

  6. anonymous says:

    Squad terminology and formations (http://imgur.com/SGQKJ)
    Laser BETA ranges (http://imgur.com/u3oDt)

  7. Longhaul says:

    “if this is supposed to be the cutting edge of mecha that are being deployed”

    The mech’s that they are in are actually older models, compare theirs to the one you see at the end of the episode doing the gun/blade dance.

  8. Andmeuths says:

    It really amuses me when you gloomily predict that the male protagonist is a generic harem lead.

    Let’s put it this way. Someone once asked what happened if you threw a generic harem protagonists into the world of Muv Luv. The generally agreed answer was that the vast majority would die. Within weeks.

    If you really hate “Generic Harem Protagonists” so much, then Muv Luv is the perfect hell for such Protagonists, a chance to redeem themselves an shed themselves of being labeled pathetic excuses of humanity. Or die.

  9. AidanAK47 says:

    I don’t think all Beta look the same. This episode did show different types of BETA. Just that there are many of the same type.
    The reason TSFs use hand to hand combat is because eventually ammo runs out. BETA have massive numbers. That’s the only reason humanity is losing. BETA have shown themselves to be pretty much incomprehensible. Nobody knows why Laser class only fire on airborne targets. They just do. The fact of the matter is that the only reason humanity is still alive is because a)BETA are too stupid to use there forces effectively or b)The don’t regard humanity as a threat. That’s one thing I thought Muv Luv did that no other apocalypse anime ever managed. It really showed that Humanity was well and truly f*cked.

  10. kazid33 says:

    At least, An anime that really show a great treat to the humanity. That battle was really good, show what a real war is and not the typical harem – war do nothing happen that we ultimatly see.

  11. wicked says:

    Muv-luv Alternative is some depressing stuff even though the end is “happy.” I guess ATE is the same tone

  12. mezzoguitar says:

    I’d like to caution the others here from revealing too much information about the VNs, especially the ending of Alternative. Muv-Luv is not something you want to be spoiled about.

    • tktym says:

      Bringing attention to the info dumping just makes it worse, as I didnt know there was info dumping in the first place, now that I know, I recognized I have been spoiled instead of not paying attention and forgetting about it. Thanks fucker.

      • meow says:

        There has been some but only in terms of setting and maybe story style/mood. I’d like to hope I haven’t actually spoiled anything. I know I didn’t spoil anything for TE since I don’t know much more about it than promotional material.

  13. Souther says:

    @mezzoguitar:
    Too late, there’s already been enough “info dumping” from impatient Muv-Luv fans. I respect their desire to respond, on a certain level, but can’t agree with their trigger-happy attitude.

    As for the episode itself…yeah, I don’t think it was anywhere close to being “excellent” or even “very good” in terms of what actually happened. It came across as a bit too rushed and sloppy.

    Did I have any reason to care about any of these characters, including Yui? Nope. That’s not taking the characters “seriously” when I basically just saw a bunch of extras die and even Yui herself doesn’t really have a personality worth mentioning.

    Were the action sequences good enough to make up for that? No.

    They did a decent job with a couple of brief scenes in terms of horror, I’ll give you that, but even the trained pilots came across as either stupid or incompetent given how they ignored tactics that they or someone else had already mentioned a few scenes before.

    Seeing soldiers stand still and/or charge the enemy directly instead of trying to flee before being surrounded gets old fast.

    Honestly, just because a series kills off characters “for real” doesn’t mean I will automatically find it particularly good at…everything else, to be quite honest. This came across as very lukewarm and half-hearted in terms of direction and production values.

    And, considered what I’ve unfortunately heard about the ending of the Muv-Luv Alternative VN, it’s a bit pointless to praise the series for its darkness.

    • troy says:

      -And, considered what I’ve unfortunately heard about the ending of the Muv-Luv Alternative VN, it’s a bit pointless to praise the series for its darkness.

      If you mean by it that it being dark is a given then yeah kind of
      – if you mean that you read it was not dark you wre trolled

      • Souther says:

        I don’t feel like spoiling it here. Most of the game is apparently dark, yes, but I’m talking about what happens at the very end. Which doesn’t sound like a good idea, period.

        • meow says:

          Um…well I agree it doesn’t fit well with the bulk of the VN but IMHO it’s an appropriate ending if you take into account Extra and Unlimited and the unique nature of Alternative’s protagonist and the whole setting itself. Personally, I thought that, while Alternative was epic, it was pushed into that state due to extenuating circumstances during production. If you’ve played Extra/Unlimited, you might notice that Unlimited wasn’t nearly as intense as Alternative. It feels like between Extra/Unlimited and Alternative, things just ballooned out of control beyond the original intentions of the project into the epic that it was. I mean, come on, there are K*** characters in it!!! And stuff like Altered Fable, the Chronicles series and Total Eclipse feel like add-ons/follow-ups that pander to the series’s fans. I’m not even sure where TE fits in the Unlimited/Alternative timeline.

          • troy says:

            Ugh that was exactly what I thought you might mean but without spoiling like hell I can’t explain why you got it wrong. So let just put it like this try to say it after read the whole game, I dare you.

          • meow says:

            I’m pretty sure I did finish reading it, although my japanese isn’t great. I spent quite a bit of time discussing it on certain forums. I’m assuming you’re talking about how Alternative goes on into Altered Fable……right? Otherwise, link me to a forum entry or something that addresses the issue you want to raise – marking it with a SPOILER warning of course. XD I’m pretty curious about what you want to say.

          • troy says:

            Um my mistake I meant it as a reply to the guy above sorry for the confusion. Yes I was refering to what you thought I was. I didn’t mean anything ground breaking here for the novel reader, just precisly how “dark” the whole thing is which can be uderstood after expiriencing the whole thing first hand, not by reading a summary .
            Plus well let just say that as for what is written under spoiler tags in the first entry on this page I side with the pesimists: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/YMMV/MuvLuv

          • meow says:

            Awesome link. Truth be told, I’ve been suffering from the aftereffects of TE nightmare fuel. A bit surprised I was affected at all. I thought Alternative h***c***p exposure would have immunized me. I’m trying to kill it with an overdose of school festival Chitanda moeness right now.

  14. starry says:

    I’m glad you liked it to even devote its own entry, this week’s episode showcased just how fucking brutal this series can get. I love the war drama and the worldbuild.

    I’m not sure if I can rec the VN anyway. Alternative is my favorite visual novels and some of the highest production values to ever grace the VN industry, but you have to read two visual novels first – Muv Luv Extra and Unlimited. Extra is crap and Unlimited is okayish.

    I don’t really think the aliens look all that the same, there’s eight different classes. It’s easier to keep up the insane numbers advantage they have with just eight types I guess.

  15. Commenter says:

    The mechs don’t have unlimited ammo, they only started to melee when they ran out of the good stuff.
    I kinda felt this episode coming, but it was done a lot better than expected.

    Also, on why the aliens are the same model…. Perhaps they’re manufactured or grown clones or so? Like the synths(strider, gunship) from half-life 2? Or just because it would be too expensive to model all of them differently.

  16. RABUJOI says:

    At the end of the first episode, we weren’t feeling all that confident that a small pack of green teenagers in cumbersome mecha would be able to hold off a SEA of merciless aliens. The sense of hopelessness is really well-portrayed, and even though we knew it would be a massive defeat and Kyoto would fall (no eleventh-hour deus ex machina), we were STILL unprepared for just how brutal and intense the carnage would be. We’re talking ultra-traumatic ordeals here. Forget living up to her honorable family name; Yui has to try to just maintain her SANITY after watching her friends get EATEN. It’s powerful stuff, but we hope a ray of light shines through all the darkness soon. Yui and humanity need a victory…any victory.

  17. IHaveAWang says:

    Psgels why are you comparing Tari Tari to Hanasaku Iroha? Tari Tari is not HanaSaku Iroha. Why so quick to judge?

    • psgels psgels says:

      Hana-Saku Iroha is not the main issue, this show is just the first thing that PA works did after Hana-Saku Iroha, and there are a few resemblances here and there. My main issue with Tari Tari is that I don’t believe that it can get any memorable with only 12 or 13 episodes. It doesn’t seem like the type of series that can get the most out of that time-frame.

      • IHaveAWang says:

        I see.

      • IHaveAWang says:

        Tari Tari has a lot of potential. You won’t know if it can get any memorable things until you watch it yourself.

        • psgels psgels says:

          That’s true. Unfortunately you can also say the same for Total Eclipse, Binbou-Gami ga, Uta Koi, Natsuyuki Rendezvous, Sword Art Online, Horizon, Moyashimon and a bunch of other series this season. If only my time was unlimited, but I have to draw a line somewhere.

      • ender650 says:

        PA Works did Another earlier this year

  18. RABUJOI says:

    Comparisons to Tari Tari are inevitable, and it will be tough to live up to Hanasaku with only 12-13 episodes to work with, but we’re going to watch it and see how close they get. We were impressed with just how much happened in just the second episode, which was encouraging, because it indicates they know they have to make each episode count.

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  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:58 PM)
    Yeah, you could even easily do a spin of series in the berserk universe, it’s that well thought out unique and huge. I dreamt myself continously into that world – mostly because of it’s bright, shimmering side, which aren’t mentioned that often because of it’s ultra dark counterpart.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:47 PM)
    I never understood how a franchise like Berserk with huge sales and avid fan base struggles so much to get anything made. The PS2 videogame was never released outside of Japan, and it took 20 years for the anime to get a follow-up. And after all of that we get a slim-budgeted series from an unknown studio, all the while D.Grey Man gets a full-blown slick looking second series that nobody asked for. Quite baffling.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:42 PM)
    @Badesh: well the creator of the Souls series Hidetaka Miyazaki is an outspoken Berserk fan. The games are replete with Berserk references.
    Cheers to you too m8.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:38 PM)
    @Aidan: for some reason I thought you were talking about the iOS game Berserk: Raging Wave of Mercenaries. Looks like the Musou game is getting a North American release, which is good news. But the weird part is that it’s a Sony exclusive, for whatever reason.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:37 PM)
    Dear God, a DarkSouls/Berserk mashup would be too god to be true. It stikes me just now, how similar these franchises are in tone. Somehow the never ending suffering doesn’t affect me that much. Could be because of my slow paced, depressive livestyle for most of my past life – no pun intended.
    Nice to hear some well thought thoughts on that topic, cheers ;)
  • AidanAK47
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 01:29 PM)
    @Bam, you know I mentioned that game in the berserk episode 2 review.
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:45 AM)
    WHAT?! This is tremendous news. Many thanks @Badesh for sharing.
    But Koei Tecmo out of all people? I guess we’re getting the Dynasty/Hyrule Warriors treatment. Where is the FromSoftware developed Hidetaka Miyazaki directed Berserk that was rumored? I guess better than nothing- which has been the mantra of us Berserk fans for a while now. Being a Berserk fan, is being Guts -> which is suffering.
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:34 AM)
    https://youtu.be/9TPBx5Dq-Jk
    new one. the first teaser didn’t contain any gameplay just the first bit with cascar being snuggled by tentacles. it was how they introduced the new game to me. maybe i should feel raped as well…
  • Bam
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 11:04 AM)
    @Badesh: which one? Cuz I played thru both the Dreamcast and the PS2 version. The Dreamcast one was a stand-alone story, but it was both a good one written by Miura, and it was set between Vol22 and Vol23, so it didn’t interfere with the manga’s story. The PS2 one was almost a chapter-by-chapter adaptation of the Holy Demon War section, and it featured the de-facto Berserk theme ‘Sign’ by Hirasawa himself:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TdpqV7RPnTE
  • Badesh
    (Saturday, Jul 23. 2016 10:50 AM)
    They did the same thing to promote the video game! Srsly?
    Besides, i really enjoy the new series as a long time fan.. can’t exactly point out why. I like the action and for every shitty shot, we get an awesome one.

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