In the near future, demons with the ability to fuse with machinery and infest corpses have begun terrorizing mankind. Dubbed 'Amalgams', no one knows how they are created, or where their abilities originate from. As the random outbreaks continue, the general population begins to panic, demanding protection from these vicious beasts; enter XAT, a military unit created solely to counter the Amalgam threat. Despite being a highly skilled unit, however, they find themselves hard pressed to contain the threat, let alone subdue it. To compound matters further, a new type of Amalgam surfaces that proves even more devious than the rest - one made from the human, not machine. Yet all is not lost, two of these new Amalgams - the feisty Gerd and the mysterious Blue - actively oppose the others. With the odds stacked against them, will they be able to protect mankind while simultaneously being shunned by it?
Prelude to Despair
The Cost of Glory
The Abyss of Hate
No Longer Powerless
The Meaning of Power
The Bowels of Conspiracy
An Overture to the Apocalypse
Reading comments and reviews about this anime, one will be really confused if it’s really worth it or not. It is true that it has all the win formula in it but the experienced eye (like moi) is able to see thing clearer and thus it wasn’t that hard to figure out the problems in execution. The reasons are actually quite easy for anyone to understand as long as they don’t have Pokemon as their average anime production. 1) Gonzo. That is enough for all who know this production team to get really negative vibes from the get go. Some may consider this a negative bias but come on, Gonzo didn’t flop because it did things right. These guys are full of good ideas and fancy 3D yet possess no real talent at storytelling or likable smooth animation. Exceptions exist all right (nobody I know of dislikes Kaleido Star) but this anime is surely not one of them. 2) Bad 3D. This is usually the thing that has most arguing about the quality of the animation. It is true that each model is very well detailed and has a look that can make it look scary or cool. It is true that the backgrounds are very well made and the characters look more realistic than the average huge-eyed blob character. But you see, all that have to do with “artwork” and not “animation” which it quite baaad. Looking at those vehicles or monsters moving around just doesn’t feel realistic or likable compared to traditional animation or live action in general. So ok, it looks a lot better since the time they made Vandread but it still far worse than other works of the same era. A fine example is the remake movies of Neon Genesis where the 3D models there feel a lot more realistic in the way they move or fight. 3) Bad aesthetics. Another thing most newcomers to anime can’t figure out is if something looks nice or it’s just laughable. Those who are into videogames or like Power Rangers a lot will most likely find the way machines and monsters look to be awesome; but for those more inclined towards more heavy hardcore sci-fi are bound to laugh at all that. I mean how hard is it for the mutated freaks and the flying motorcycles to be seen as ridiculous, especially when you are annoyed by the bad 3D above? They feel like plastic toys or some shooter videogame and not really a world in the brink of destruction. Would Resident Evil be a good game if the zombies and the characters moved like stiffed robots? It’s the same thing here; instead of being shown something that makes you feel anxiety about the state of the world or the characters, you are presented with nicely made Playmobil figures that completely ruin the mood. And no matter how cool they try to make it look, it still feels fake. I mean the characters transform in seconds to bio-booster-something suits of armor and even transform their motorbikes … which then fly in the air. It may sound cool but we are supposed to be in the real world and about a serious story. All that makes it feel stupid rather than awesome. 4) Bad directing. Most of the duration has a pace which is almost impossible for a casual viewer to follow without being confused or fed up with. It is slow, changes scenes and main characters at random intervals, it isn’t clear about the character motives, it treats mutated humans like cannon fodder, it resurrects many dead people like a superficial shounen show and finally ends in a way that has little to no relation to the rest of the story so far. The villains have imbalanced power levels, their plans are simplistic, most get defeated too soon to really care, most heroes come and go before you manage to like them. Having Itano Ichirou as the director doesn’t help either, since the guy has made several action anime and none of them were above average at best. Watching this show is like watching election polls. Everything is confusing and you end up forgetting most of it in a few days. 5) Bad start. If first impressions mean a lot than the first episode is just dreadful. You can spot all of what I said so far in just the first half of the episode, as if they are telling us what to expect instead of trying to hide their mistakes for a few hours. Most series make their initial episodes really great before showing their true colors, and that is a great way to hook the viewer in watching further instead of giving up immediately. Not this show; it did its best to make us see all its weaknesses right away. I mean check out the pilot episode; it begins in a racing track were several motorcycles are … well, racing. I am no racing fan but I am definitely sure this race was terrible-looking with its fake motions and almost apathetic viewers. Then we see an ambulance where the patient transforms to a 3D monster, like we are watching Power Rangers. Then it kills the 2D medics in such a way you think they were mannequins. Then the special unit comes to kill it with their plamo machines and a fight scene follows like you are playing a videogame. All the above may seem like peanuts for all those who care about the mythos of a show rather than its implementation. I mean, ok, the story is actually very deep at moments and changes perspectives of characters all the time in order to flesh them all out. That is actually a very good element but it is simply done wrong. The characters remain so apathetic and distant most of the time that it becomes really hard to like them and then the story moves to somebody else before you manage to get used to it. And the setting is supposed to be a virus epidemic that can destroy the world (which sounds like a very serious matter) yet it plays out like a videogame (which isn’t). It’s just completely off in terms of building an atmosphere. I mean if this was a virtual reality world or some alien planet, then ok, I would buy the premise. But it ain’t; it’s supposed to be our world and thus I couldn’t get into liking it. About the music part, I have no problems. The soundtrack is very good and the voice actors are doing a fine job, while the dialogues don’t feel too retarded based on what is going on in the story. It is actually the best part in the whole series. Bottom line, it is a good idea with a bad implementation and as long as you don’t expect too much, you may like it.Blame my negative take of the anime on the Uncanny Valley effect. I like my shows believable to the eye.
So it looks like everyone else who has reviewed this anime thus far have been quite critical of it. However, I myself found it quite enjoyable. I thought it had a rich story and deep plot, filled with great themes, symbolism, and imagery (though, you probably need to know a bit about Christianity/Catholicism to catch that). Some notable themes include finding meaning in suffering, self-sacrifice, trust in divine providence, forgiveness, God's mercy, the corrupting nature of power, the wretchedness of man as balanced or outweighed by the essential goodness of man, etc., etc.The animation is okay. It certainly isn't stellar but it isn't so bad that you cringe when you watch it. The CGI was a bit jarring at first, but you do get used to it.I personally enjoyed the music the series chose to use and thought the characters were well-developed. I'd recommend this anime to anyone who is looking for a series that'll leave them thinking about the most important things in life. It is a nice break from the mundane, linear plots found in other anime.
There are two very different parts to this series. The first part is good, it checks alot of boxes. its got an interesting premise about some group of people fighting inhuman monsters, a very common plotline, but it becomes more zesty with the introduction of people who have become these monsters but retain some of their humanity. Sometimes the humans with work with a nonhuman, sometimes they will hunt others, the human group has a lot of opinions, and this is where most of the narrative tension and character drama comes from. the characters are well developed and fights will mean something to their development and relationships. its exciting to see characters from the different sides interact unknowingly, and your left wishing they could sit down and understand each other. The other 12 episodes throws all that away and what remains is a steaming pile of garbage. meetings between the two sides and character relationships the first 12 episodes built up to are drowned out in a sea of unnessecary backstory and new characters i struggled to give a damn about. theyll give a new major character 10 mintues of screen time, pull some thiry second tragic backstory out of their asses before some important event and call it character development. The new characters would be tolerable if they delivered on what the first section set up, but instead character conflicts are solved with 10 mintues or more of backstory and a speech that was out of character in the first place. I dont know the state of the manga or whatever this was based on, but this smells like the show got way ahead of it. Besides that: the animation could definitely use some work, lots of crap cgi and the character design of a Lego transformers instruction booklet Plot is driven by the characters pretty well in the first 12 eps, but falls apart with everything else A few Weird silent mintues that really could have used music The author is very willing to kill off big characters, sometimes for shock value so be warned Overall, if you like stories told from both sides, watch this, its good, but the rest of it isnt worth the time
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