Urobuchi strikes again and as usual the suckers bite it right away. This guy manages to present the dumbest of pretentious ideas as grilled steak. With some assistance from a hentai character designer he has all he needs for an auto-win, no matter how bad the show actually is. And trust me when I say, it is.
The setting is very interesting, as it is in all the stories he writes and never manages to develop in any way past shock effect and superficial philosophy. In my mind it is Xenogears meets Waterworld, populated by hentai people. You get mankind in the far future being in war with space squids. A spaceman takes a wrong turn and is teleported to Earth, which by now is covered with water and the people there are sailors with primitive (to him) technology. The plot is basically him trying to fit in and find a way to return to his fleet.
Here is where the notorious antithesis Urobucher throws in all his works, as he loves to place cute fuzzy girls next to amoral and emotionless monstrosities. On one side you have these silly happy-go-lucky girls who dress and act as if this is a hentai, trying to befriend (and obviously bang) the spaceman who is emotionless and has no clue about morals or the value of human life. Their interaction creates all the conflict in the story, which is basically OMG THAT IS MAKING ME THINK SOOOO MUCH ABOUT WHAT MAKES US HUMAN. And that is all you get since in his typical glory Urobucher only mentions the very basics of the philosophy in the setting, never elaborates or bothers to show more, and then contradicts everything in order to confuse you and make you think it’s all 2deep4u. Examples of the above include:
- The society of mankind in space. You get this infodump in the first 5 minutes of how they breed, fight, and aim to populate the galaxy but don’t really see anything about them.
- The morals of the Earth people. They claim to have respect for life but all you see them doing is killing each other and refusing the spaceman to defeat their enemies before they are all killed by them.
- The intelligence of the Earth people. They all act like they are retards, and not because they are at a lower technological level than the space people. Despite the numerous times the spaceman effortlessly wiped out their enemies, they still think they can overpower him, throw him to the sea, give him to their enemies as an apology, or believe there is anything on the planet that can overpower him.
- The abilities of the spaceman’s mecha. They are completely different in each episode; especially when it comes to radars.
• On episode 1 it requires from the pilot to walk around so the robot can map the area.
• On episode 2 it can map a huge area around it with perfect precision and no help from the pilot.
• On episode 3 it again has a problem to scan a few meters away from it.
• On episode 4 it can easily see what lies behind thick steel walls but not what swims a few meters in the sea.
• On episode 7 it magically can scan underwater just fine.
• It accepts to reveal top secret information to the spaceman just because there is nobody with a higher rank than him around. If it was so damn easy to fool computers, we would have added all classified information of any agency in the world to Wikipedia decades ago.
• Also, the robot seems to not even follow commands anymore as it kills aliens even when the pilot tells it to stop and shovels at your face philosophical revelations that are so obviously inserted poorly by the author just because there is no bloody way for a human to realize all that. We need an emotionless machine to do it for us.
Of course if all you want is fancy visuals, good ideas, and softporn then the show definitely works. There is a lot of shallow entertainment in it, sprinkled with shallow philosophy and fancy action scenes to interest the casuals. The budget is very high, the artwork is very lively, and we get stuff like a masochistic lesbian pirate harem, a beach episode, and a belly dance episode for no bloody reason other than fan service. They pretend those are there so the spaceman can integrade into the world but they are so goofy and full of fan service you just don’t care about all that. I mean as far as humor goes, the interaction between dumb barbarians and super advanced spacemen creates lots of humorous moments. The main objective of the show is not the space war but how a Space Marine tries to fit in Barbieland. You may wish for a lot more than that to happen but sadly nothing of importance really happens.
And yes, not even the revelation of what the aliens really are or the appearance of another spaceman and his own mecha manage to change that since the show has by then wasted a lot of time in belly dancing and just runs through a poorly thrown in final conflict that is resolved in a rushed and anticlimactic way. Instead of offering a couple of episodes for the spaceman to come to terms with the horrible (to him only of course; I find nothing tragic about it) revelation, Uobutcher just throws in his evil counterpart out of literally nowhere, just for the sake of offering a cheap resolve to whatever moral dilemmas the themes may have suggested up until that point.
Jeez, I wonder if my life was wrong up until now. Oh, my evil counterpart has formed a cult full of retards and is killing innocent people in a sea covered in creepy mist. Well, no reason to ponder about the meaning of life anymore; the answer is clear.
If that is not lazy writing, I don’t know what is. If you are fans of heavy titles such as Haibane Renmei or Ghost in the Shell, then this will seem to be nothing more than an ephemeral parody of science fiction. Plus belly dancing.
Just like all Urobucher shows, characterization is paper thin. Just to imagine how uninsteresting the characters were and how unexisting their presense is, think of this. The only one everybody got to like in the end is THE ROBOT which is not even alive and talks without any emotion. Yet pretty much does EVERYTHING in the show, from winning in all the battles with plain firepower, to offering moral monologues and self sacrificing because it was programmed to do so (aka the author said so). The spaceman inside the robot didn’t really do anything during the whole show aside from gasping and asking questions. Every other Earth character is like that too, only they are ten times dumber and the females amongst them are there just for fan service. The only one who gets actual development is the female pirate leader, and even her became a completely different character out of screen and with no real explanation.
In all, it is just another pop corn show you will like for its presentation but will forget soon after it is over.
"OMG I killed people!"
So what, you killed dozens of pirates in the first episodes.
"That doesn't count, I wasn't feeling like a human back then."
And now that you do, do you care?
"To hell with real humans, I only feel compassion for these evolved monsters which have no emotions or individuality."
They are technically not even people you know. They are now a different species, like we are to apes.
"We are still cousins!"
I am not sure if it means anything at this point but do you know Hideause look like fish?
"Yes I do."
What have you been eating all this time on Earth?
*TROLLFACE* UROBUCHI *TROLLFACE*
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 9/10
General Artwork 2/2 (looks very nice)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic hentai bimbos)
Backgrounds 2/2 (detailed)
Animation 2/2 (smooth for the most part)
Visual Effects 2/2 (flashy and cool)
SOUND SECTION: 7/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (corny but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 3/4 (not great but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 5/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 1/2 (seems complicating but plays out quite light)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 1/2 (cheesy)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 1/2 (generic)
Personality 1/2 (cheesy)
Backdrop 2/2 (simplistic but it presents all there is to them)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 3/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too loose plot)
Memorability 2/4 (very interesting setting but the rest are mediocre)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 4/10
Art 1/1 (looks great)
Sound 1/2 (sounds ok)
Story 1/3 (good ideas but handled poorly)
Characters 1/4 (they are archetypes without free will)