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[In which I review] New anime, Spring 2013

Quasar

Feeling kinda smurfy
Validated User
#92
Gargantia on the Verdurous Planet (Suisei no Gargantia)
(12 episodes)

Overall Impression

Well, it's going to be hard to top this as best show of the season. It's a smooth, perfectly executed on every level production, with dialogue that's not without a sense of humour. ("They appear to be talking about reproduction with one's mother." "Barbarians !") The culture shock is bound to be fun, and I'm curious about what the plan is with the GHA's obvious problems as a civilization.

Definitely a keeper.
I really liked this. Its the first straight SF show in a while thats got me interested (I gave up on Majestic Prince part way through episode one for instance and the other SF shows this season don't even seem interesting enough for me to even try).

So frustrated that I have to wait a week for the next episode though.

Yeah. At this point its my #1 show of the season.

I did actually wonder if our hero had been thrown into the past.
 
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Rabbit

Registered User
Validated User
#93
I did actually wonder if our hero had been thrown into the past.
I'm thinking that's unlikely since it will make it hard to have either his civilisation or the aliens show up. It looks to be borrowing from three places.

1) Waterworld: because it seems from the marketing spiel that the humans live on ships now. You can posit a situation where environmental disaster melts the icecaps and the remaining human survivors live on ships.

2) Firefly: The eco disaster forces most of the humans to evacuate the planet and form a new civilisation in space. They now view Earth as a distant legend.

3) The film version of Starship Troopers. Humans fight aliens with biological based tech, the need to serve in the military to earn "citizenship" and rights in your society.

I did the math and he's been serving for about 16 years, which seems the typical age of an anime protagonist. Was he signed up from birth? Do the reproductive rights he just won have to be earned by everyone or just the military caste? Makes you wonder if the warriors aren't genetically engineered to fight (like "Tanks" in "Space:Above and beyond?") Maybe it's even darker and returning warriors are expected to breed their replacements?
 
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Rainfall

Registered User
Validated User
#94
I did the math and he's been serving for about 16 years, which seems the typical age of an anime protagonist. Was he signed up from birth? Do the reproductive rights he just won have to be earned by everyone or just the military caste? Makes you wonder if the warriors aren't genetically engineered to fight (like "Tanks" in "Space:Above and beyond?") Maybe it's even darker and returning warriors are expected to breed their replacements?
That's the feeling I've got from this as well. When you watch them fight as large formations they move more like an ant colony than people. We also saw they have the technology for sleep teaching. I wouldn't be surprised if Red was a force grown clone who's entire life has been dedicated to war, and this being why natural sleep cycles and normal sexual reproduction seem so alien to him.

I'd be astounded if every single one of the 480 millions Avalon citizens were veterans.
 

0Megabyte

Stardust Princeling
Validated User
#95
Okay, I finally watched Gargantia.

Wow, looks like Urobuchi's done it again, writing-wise. And this actually looks... really good.
 
#96
I did the math and he's been serving for about 16 years, which seems the typical age of an anime protagonist. Was he signed up from birth? Do the reproductive rights he just won have to be earned by everyone or just the military caste? Makes you wonder if the warriors aren't genetically engineered to fight (like "Tanks" in "Space:Above and beyond?") Maybe it's even darker and returning warriors are expected to breed their replacements?
I'd guess that he's probably a genegineered soldier. Once you start modifying baseline humans to survive in space, it's only a small step to mass-producing soldiers. Especially when you're fighting a war of total annihilation against a existential threat.
 

Jhiday

Unrepentant Froggie
RPGnet Member
Validated User
#97
Insect Magistrate (Mushibugyou)
(25ish episodes)

What's it about ?

Shounen heroic-fantasy show, set in a vaguely Edo-ish Japan.

Characters

Jinbee, our protagonist. His father, a renowned samurai, was summoned to work for the Insect Magistrate's office ; but since he got disgraced and maimed in an infamous incident, the son has come in his place. He's eager to prove himself, although he's not exactly too competent.

A pair of boobs, who may be attached to an inn waitress called Oharu who helps Jinbee out before becoming a damsel in distress.

The Insect Magistrate's office is made of a stern-looking guy who's in charge, and a variety of elite fighters with various specialties (the bomb expert, the berserker...). Their job : fight the giant monstrous bugs that are randomly attacking and eating people all over the place. The implication is that a good chunk of the population died before the authorities set this squad up. (Apparently at the people's suggestion, because there was no obvious need for it... /facepalm)

Production Values

Bright and shiny, which stands in sharp contrast to the grittiness of the scenes involving the bugs. I'm not really sure the juxtaposition works, though. It just looks like a bit of a mess.

Overall Impression

A textbook example of how you can make elite samurai warriors fighting bugs utterly boring. The complete lack of depth of the characters makes this a very shallow watch indeed, and it's really hard to care when they get caught up in danger. It's a parade of annoying clichés, and it just doesn't work.

Don't bother with this one.

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Arata Kangatari
(12 episodes)

What's it about ?

Fantasy show with a protagonist displaced from our world.

Characters

Arata is the last heir of his clan, which is a bit of a problem since they were supposed to produce a female heir to replace the current Queen, who's been reigning for 60 years (the clan already missed the original deadline 30 years ago). Their zany plan is to send him in drag to buy time for a few days while they find a suitable replacement. The problem is that the Queen's 12 super-bodyguards murder her right in front of him as they stage a coup. He barely escapes alive, but he's now a wanted "murderer", as the bodyguards use him as a fall guy.

Arata is a random high-schooler who suffers from a particularly bad case of bullying. His middle school nemesis is carrying on as always, the one friend he thought he'd made is quick to deny any actual friendship, and he just wants to be gone from this world.

He gets his wish, as the two Aratas get switched up somehow. (It seems this kind of thing routinely happens in the cursed forest fantasy!Arata had taken refuge in.) Despite modern!Arata still being depicted in his school uniform, everyone seems to see him as fantasy!Arata, and just think he's gone mad and/or lost his memory. While he's not particularly thrilled about this development, he clearly sees the bodyguards attacking the clan for the bullies they are, and stands up against them. Fortunately for what would otherwise be a very short story, he can use the ancestral clan weapon that's lying around...

Production Values

Sharp contrast between the colourful fantasy world (even the Queen's blood looks shiny !) and the brown-ish modern world. Which works very well. It helps that the animation's quite nice and does some good work on the details and facial expressions.

Overall Impression

This is actually quite fun. There are some gaping holes in the plot (what were the clan hoping to accomplish in three days that they couldn't do in the last 30 years ?), and the transitions between the two worlds are far from smooth ; but once the switch happens it all makes sense : the potentially annoying bullied Arata is actually quite more interesting when his issues get imported into the (much more fun) fantasy setting.

I'm actually interested in watching a second episode of this to see where it's going, which is more than what I thought at the start of the episode. Mission accomplished ?
 

Scholar and a Brutalman

Registered User
Validated User
#99
I'd be astounded if every single one of the 480 millions Avalon citizens were veterans.
I wouldn't be surprised if the "Avalon" Red was shown didn't exist except as a dream structure. Or if the "Galactic Human Alliance" was the equivalent of North Korea making a suprise attack on the peaceful bugs and then getting the shit kicked out of them anyway.
 
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