In the future, warfare has been revolutionized by the invention of mechanical weapons called “Objects.” These Objects are overwhelmingly powerful, rendering traditional weapons like guns, tanks and fighter jets completely useless. Qwenthur is an un-athletic, but smart soldier who aims to work as an Object mechanic. Stationed at an Alaskan Object base, he meets Milinda, a stoic but beautiful Elite Soldier who pilots her own Object. As they learn to support each other in battle, Qwenthur begins to uncover the grim secret behind the Heavy Objects.
This anime has a lot of features and ideas! The concept of how war was changed has not necessarily been explored in depth by other shows. While one might state that this is a mecha, it's more of a breed on it's own where in an alternate reality large objects were created. The facinating part of the show would be the revolution behind mechatronixs and how they are used throughout the show. The technical details of how one person can change the tide of battle just by knowing mechanical wisdom is also one of the better aspects of the show.Characters are real and fleshed out. I liked the fact that they split up characters into their technical specialities even bringing in characters that are realistic to job roles, and how the structure would breakdown. It's not like James Bond where one character can do it all. Gwenther is the mechanical aspiring engineering genius that so many other people would want to become. However personally I like Havia more, probably because he's like an opposite. There are aspects of the show where there are definitely spots that are 'filler material" and they are definitely downers. I can see why people would rate certain portions poorly like using cheap material. Some of these complaints are actually valid but do not warrent a 4. The show is extremely fast paced, but the story is fleshed out. They seem to be running for a third season. Which I am unsure how they can keep the story running without either introducing more characters, or enemies? Space seems to be a large portion of the show, and there's a lot of competition between the fictional empires.
WARNING! This review will contain spoilers, some of which might be considered game-breaking for people who have not seen this yet. I will be clearly marking where what I consider spoilers begins though, so you are safe to read up to that point.As with most my reviews, let's bring up the quick summary of why you might want to watch this or not.Watch if:- You generally like mecha anime (not limited to the Gundam series),- Your expectations on the military portion of this show are not too high,- You'd like to be introduced to a more in-depth view of battles using giant robots than your average mecha "transformers",- Mild fanservice is acceptable,- Realism is not a factor.Do not watch if:- Giant robots are stupid and not Kawaii enough,- Seeing flags makes you ship pairs in any anime and you get disappointed when romance is playing second fiddle,- You're expecting down-to-earth realistic application of military technology,- Your plot expectations are based on series like Gundam. Although this sums it up somewhat, it does pose some questions as well.I'd like to start by saying I enjoyed this anime, even through its often obvious shortcomings and shortcuts. That is not to say I would wholeheartedly reccomend it. Quite frankly there are several things that would have been easy to fix and would have made this show really good, if not great. Those will however be discussed in the section containing spoilers.Let's go with the usual breakdown, MINOR spoilers ahead (safe to read before watching the show).Story 5/10 (Plot: 2/10 Premise: 8/10) You might find this part of my review most confusing. The idea for the setting is pretty good. You have your giant robots and even the concept of making them look human is quickly dismissed with quite the logical explanation. You are being told how wars hav changed and are now decided betwen giant "hedgehogs" spiked with guns. There apparently is no more room for ordinary soldiers or weapons. Enter the MC, an (you guessed it) exchange high-school student somehow on-loan to the military, who might just change the world.... This is where things start to go downhill (although at a bearable pace). You will set your expectations high for the content just to be served another small team against the world scenario. The MC will be handed all possible flags on a silver-platter and between those he will Macgyver" his way through 200,000 tons of armor many many times in rapid succession. There is virtually no character development between "arcs" and you might not get that "continuity" feeling 24ep series gave back in the day. Somewhere alfway through the show you might also start to question how on earth is anyone living safely anywhere on that planet at any time.Animation 8/10 (CGI: 9/10 Characters: 7/10) I really liked the way CGI was immersed into the show, though as with all explosions there will be some sketchy scenes there and again. Characters are your standard out-of-the-box models, though look decently detailed when animated which makes them feel more realistic. There's no need for someone to have green hair here so that you remember who the f... he was. Vehicle animation seems decent enough as well. Overall one of the stronger points of this show.Sound 6/10 (BGM: 5/10 Sound effects: 6/10 VA: 6/10) I liked the OP, and although this usually does not affect my score I am human and my opinion is biased towards my tastes, like everyone else's, as such sound gets 6/10. Apart from that there really isn't much to say. It's not annoying. Luckily enough there are no long english phrases in this show.Characters 8/10 Another strong point which makes up for the fanservice and love flags popping up all over the place is the MC and his sidekick/friend. Refreshingly blunt, although as always absolutely beyond their physical age way of thinking makes for a good laugh sometimes. There is a ton of cliche and boring elements to the harem-esque part of the show, but somehow you feel like these guys can be forgiven.************************ SPOILER ALERT **************************ABSOLUTELY DO NOT READ BELOW BEFORE WATCHING************************ SPOILER ALERT ************************** You've been warned. After reading all of this you might feel like I disliked this show rather than liked it, especially confusing given the high overall rating. I did like the idea for it, and I was even going to forgive the barely-teenage MC, all in trade for exploring the idea of consequences to people vs giant robots. It started off ok enough, they broke some objects by pure luck and thinking on the spot... but then it's the same thing again, and again? It can't always be up to the same two people to handle impossible tasks it just has no plausibility to it at all. Now there was still hope here, to show the effects of war and that there is no justice to it like they initially wanted to believe. There were several times when this could have been easily exploited into some good messages. And just as soon as the miners were massacred I thought "this is the moment". Set up by the MC realizing there is only cruelty in war, that it's a tool for profit.. Of course by a completely implausible set of circumstances all the miners survive and the strong point goes out the window. And it's not like the show is against showing dead bodies or even the idea of casualties - it's not. It will show bodies in abundance, but mostly "enemies" and always with the "Villager B" or below relation to the story. If we consider this is a show about war it just makes no sense to not exploit that angle. Nobody's ever made a rom-com about a boy and a girl that never meet, and this feels similar in execution. If you're expecting drama or a story that's involved and twists morals right and left you will find nothing of it here. Not a drop. Two guys surviving insane explosions gets old fast, saving grace being how refreshing the characters are. Even though the fanservice scenes and all the super-preplanned-exactly-the-right-moment-situations MC gets with every girl in a 500mile radius he still comes out ahead. He does end up bland in the end though as the show keeps demanding less war more "hero of justice" action, but I still expect the fanservice will get the show a second season. This was most likely adapted from several almost-separate volumes as it feels the continuity factor is not there as much. It is pretty in terms of visuals, but then all mecha anime are nowdays. What stands out is the fact they're not human-shaped robots which was what tempted me into it. Once it was explained in the show (and somehow I had hoped it would be) how human-shaped robots would just fall over I set my expectations higher than I should have. I was expecting a better insight into how ordinary soldiers might fight battles against/alongside giant robots, how war casualties and war zones would look like and what the consequences of large-scale resource expenditure would have on the world. Not to mention the angle of damage to the planet all the fighting using giant robots as those would do, and seeing how they fought every second weekday that planet must have been close to an extinction level event. I got none of that and less for my trouble, but I still can't say it was a bad show. It could have been great, and it had all the cards in hand, just decided to fold.
Positive *Let’s start with a word about the animation. Now the animation is something that I will discuss in both the positive and negative section of this review. The positive side can be found in the animation of the landscapes and the Objects themselves. I must say that that was decently done, especially for an animation studio that, for as far as I know, has little experience with mech anime’s. JC Staff usually does rom-com anime’s or at least something that can be classified as slice of life. But here the animation of the Objects was definitely not of a level that made me cringe in contrast to some other things which I will get back to later on. For a video review, check out my Youtube channel. Link on my profile page. *Then after the animation I usually switch over to the music. The opening and ending songs of HO were definitely to my liking. The two opening songs One More Chance and Never Give Up always hyped me up for the episode that was to come. These two songs emphasized the action part of this anime which lay in the war theme. This was in contrast with the two ending songs Dear Brave and Kawaranai Tsuyosa which focused more on the softer side of this anime. *And with that softer side I can get to my next point which was the romance. As I just said the two ending songs concentrated on the romance in this anime being the relationship between Qwentur and Milinda, a relationship that I definitely ship. The softness of their romance was a welcome diversion from all the war violence and complicated politics that we got in HO. Not that it was the main point of this anime but it being in the background made that this anime could exploit another facet of anime and a facet that JC Staff’s very good at. I was then also pleased with the conclusion of this romance in the final episode because anime’s like this dare to leave us with a kind of an open ending when it comes to romance. But HO gave me a satisfying ending to the relationship between Qwentur and Milinda. *This romance was also the source of many of Qwentur’s actions and of his determination. And that made me like him as a character, he was a pusher. Every time he and Havia were faced with a problem his determination and coupled with that his love for Milinda made Qwentur push further to find a solution. Especially in the final episodes where we get to the romantic climax of HO you could see that Qwentur would go through rocks in order to save Milinda. *Now by everything that I told her it almost seams that HO is a pinky, flowery anime but don’t be misguided. This is still an anime that centers around war and HO did not idolize the war concept. No, it took it very seriously and people actually die in this anime. Not something that you would expect when you first watch it but HO has it all: death, lies, betrayal. HO did not take the war concept and put a big, pink ribbon around it. It kept it very realistically and that contrast between violent war, sweet romantic moments and silly comedy made it a very balanced anime. Negative *Now my first positive point was the animation of the landscapes and Objects. Unfortunately there were also some other things that animated way less sharp. Where this striked me the most was in the animation of the water. Oh, that water was so poorly animated that it was hard to look at. Especially in the second arc which takes place completely on water, it was just such a pain to watch. Maybe this is where we can see that HO probably wasn’t a high budget anime because that water animation was plain atrocious. *Next negative point is that this anime sometimes was very difficult to follow. Not when it came to the fights between the different Objects, those were usually pretty straightforward. But when it came to the politics that lied beneath the battles, that was really difficult to follow. Until today I still don’t fully understand who is affiliated with who in this anime. I know that there are 4 factions but which Objects belongs to which faction and on what the diplomatic relationships between the factions are I’m left completely clueless. The politics in this anime could definitely have been explained better. *And my last negative point is the comedy, in particular the comedy in the first part of the anime. Such lame, fan service based comedy is really not my favorite kind of comedy. In an anime that resolves around warfare you really don’t have to put fan service comedy into it to improve it, it just doesn’t work and it was a real bother to me in the first part of HO. However I must say that the comedy improved the further we went into the anime. There were still some moments that made me ask “Why?” but overall the level of lame comedy definitely dropped in the latter part of HO which I can only appreciate. Conclusion So as a conclusion HO was one of those anime’s that started out very mediocre with a mildly interesting storyline and lame comedy but improved along the way. It developed into an anime that did the mech genre right and that didn’t idolize the concept of war. And that’s why I’m going to rate Heavy Object at 3,5 stars. It’s not the greatest anime I’ve seen over the past 6 months but it was something fun to follow so if you’re a fan of the mech genre you can really give HO a try.
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