- Planned and animated by Sunrise, the studio which is famous for its good production values and super robot shows. Sadly this is hardly amongst their better works, plus it has no giant robots, so it’s bad.
- Directed by Taniguchi Gorpu, who has made several acclaimed titles over the years (Ryvius, Planetes, Code Geass), yet this ranks amogst his worse projects.
The best way to describe Scryed is to see it as X-Men meets Shaman King, which is not a flattering thing. While the X-Men are famous for their social messages of racial acceptance, Scryed ends up being seen as nothing but a mediocre shounen show with rather good action and bad directing.
The premise of the story is very interesting; it basically has to do with racism amongst people with superpowers and people without. There is a security team formed of these Alters in order to prevent vagrant Alters from abusing their power. The catch is, these are actually THE BAD GUYS while the heroes belong to the vagrants. Add to this a society separated into haves and not-haves and you have yourself an opening to very good show.
… and you don’t get it.
The story part of the show ends up being very simple and predictable, and even ends anti-climactically. Despite all the funky details of the setting, it remains as nothing more than a bunch of edgy teenagers kicking the crap out of each other. Like any other average shounen, it is mostly angst, excuses for stuff to blow up, and people to punch each other. Which is not a bad thing for the genre; those who only expect to see action in this show, will get lots of it. The variety of special powers is huge, and the battles are exciting as far as shounen go. Super nuclear punches, whipping robot summons, turbo cars, spiked watermelon attacks, and a lot other weirder stuff.
At the same time, this is not a memorable anime for anything other than its action. The setting goes to waste as it is not looked into it much, there are no actual strategies or politics to make it look a bit deeper than the obvious. It is basically the poor boy Kazuma trying to find and excuse to fight with the rich boy Ryuho, and all the others coming along just to see how much beating they can stand, as well as measuring this way their masculinity. As you can imagine all conflicts are resolved with violence, and all the outcomes of the battles are easy to predict if you are familiar with the formulas used in the genre. You know, plot armors, sudden power ups, careless villains, and so on. After awhile you don’t even pay notice to what the hell is going on with the background story. Or the backgrounds in general; they are there just to trash them in order to show how cool your power is. And who cares about HOLY’s real intentions and sinister plan? Get back to the action dammit!
Aged and rather hard to be appreciated today. For its time they were very good, especially in terms of battle choreography. The special effects in particular feel amateurish with their low fps and bulky non-filtered style, but the open-minded viewer can easily see past that and enjoy them for what they are. Personally I never liked that Gundam SEED style of the faces, and the characters wearing the same clothes most of the time was getting annoying fast. The soundtrack left me completely apathetic, as it didn’t feel dynamic and memorable enough. Voice acting… I guess it was ok.
The characters are great if all you are looking for are shounen archetypes. Very edgy and snobby, mentally disturbed, some are even sadistic with the use of their power. Their motivation is practically half a line long (UGH ME NO LIKE YOU, UGH WE FIGHT) which makes them easy to understand and even easier to get bored of. Meaning, there is a strong presence in the cast with very little inside to make the difference. And as usual, women exist just for fan service. The major characters develop along the way but it all happens in the usual way, since the whole series follows the main trail of the genre. Although it never trips along the way, it also never side tracks to flavor the journey with some sightseeing.
So did I like it? No, it was shallow. And that was its goal to begin with; some dudes punching each other at the drop of a hat. Some may like the way it never tries to be more than the absolute basics and find enjoyment in its simplicity. Don’t you hate it when your favorite shounen loses steam along the way and drags a lot while adding lots of fillers and useless characters? Well Scryed doesn’t do that because it never had anything too serious or complicating to screw up at. Which is good in a way. On the other hand, I would choose something like One Piece or FMA Brotherhood over this one. Even if they mess up with directing and pacing at points, they definitely have more interesting characters and a far more fleshed out setting. Not to mention the most recent From the New World, which actually offers a very similar setting in a most elaborate and tasty way.
Recommended as an enjoyable brain dead action show but not as something awesome or different.
And now for some excused scorings.
ART SECTION: 7/10
General Artwork 1/2 (generic)
Character Figures 1/2 (generic)
Backgrounds 2/2 (basic but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Animation 1/2 (basic)
Visual Effects 2/2 (lots of fancy explosions)
SOUND SECTION: 6/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (shallow but fitting with the feeling of the series)
Music Themes 2/4 (average)
Sound Effects 2/3 (ok I guess)
STORY SECTION: 3/10
Premise 2/2 (interesting)
Pacing 1/2 (erratic)
Complexity 0/2 (seems elaborate at first but it plays out in a very basic way)
Plausibility 0/2 (none)
Conclusion 0/2 (cheesy and sort of open)
CHARACTER SECTION: 6/10
Presence 2/2 (cool or sexy)
Personality 1/2 (typical)
Backdrop 1/2 (generic and simplistic but it’s there)
Development 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
Catharsis 1/2 (overblown but it’s there)
VALUE SECTION: 2/10
Historical Value 0/3 (none)
Rewatchability 1/3 (low because of too little plot)
Memorability 1/4 (has some nice ideas but does close to nothing with them)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 2/10
Art 0/1 (looks typical)
Sound 0/2 (sounds meh)
Story 1/3 (nice ideas but hardly looked into)
Characters 1/4 (typical and shallow)