Okay, so for this one you'll need heaps and heaps of suspension of disbelief. Though you're bombarded with crazy pseudoscience, the setting of an apocalypse is explored along the background of a city's hardship, which tries to anchor the setting in a sense of realism. The story is right in between episodic and heavy on the plot, which is used expertly for world building and fleshing out the main cast of characters. I have to say, they did nail the pacing of the episodes. But. The story is not that impressive. All in all, it leads up to a mildly satisfying ending that doesn't totally come out of the blue.
I'll speed up the review from here. Animation is beautifully solid and stays that way for 90% of the time. I noticed some recycled shots. I did not mind. Bump of Chicken always delivers a palatable soundtrack. In this case, I think the opening and ending songs are very well chosen. In between, meh, sound design choices are nothing too erratic. Characters don't feel very convincing as far as their personalities go. They do have their compelling emotional struggles and arcs of growth.
I found the anime comforting in all of its uncomfort. It paints your typical charming rag tag bunch of lone wolves, struggling between wholesome undertones in a dying world. There's better anime out there, but if you happen to give this one a try, I would suggest to stick with it.
Here are some further incoherent ramblings. You have to look past a lot of pseudo scientific bull shit, but they have some cool name drops and references. I also like how they tie all sorts of supernatural into one incomprehensible, but coherent theory. Plus I'm a simple man and I'm very into dying world scenarios. Certain characters and their sappy tropes are annoying, but they grow on you like mold on a forgotten sandwich. Enjoyable anime at best and at least.
Title: Last Hope (Juushinki Pandora) - A Sci-Fi Thriller with Potential
Story (7/10): "Last Hope" ventures into the realm of post-apocalyptic science fiction, exploring a world devastated by the consequences of advanced technology gone awry. The series presents an intriguing premise that touches on themes of ecological disaster, human survival, and the ethical implications of scientific innovation. While the story's foundation is solid, it occasionally stumbles in pacing and exposition, making some plot developments feel rushed. However, the unfolding mystery and the moral dilemmas faced by the characters add depth to the narrative, keeping viewers engaged.
Animation (7/10): The animation quality in "Last Hope" is generally well-executed, with detailed character designs and mecha battles that showcase fluid movement and impressive visual effects. The post-apocalyptic landscapes and the designs of the mutated creatures contribute to the series' distinctive atmosphere. However, there are moments where the animation appears inconsistent, especially during action sequences, which can be a bit distracting. Overall, the animation succeeds in conveying the bleak and technological world in which the story is set.
Sound (6/10): The sound design in "Last Hope" is serviceable but doesn't particularly stand out. The background music effectively complements the series' tense and action-packed moments, enhancing the overall atmosphere. While the voice acting is competent, it may not leave a lasting impression, as some characters lack distinctive vocal traits. Nevertheless, the sound contributes to the overall experience without detracting from it.
Characters (6/10): The characters in "Last Hope" are a mixed bag. Protagonist Leon Lau is a complex figure whose motivations and moral dilemmas drive the story forward. The series explores his relationships with other key characters, such as Chloe and Queenie, which add depth to his character arc. However, some secondary characters feel underdeveloped and lack the depth necessary to fully engage the audience. The dynamics between the characters, particularly within the Pandora organization, provide moments of intrigue and conflict.
Overall (6/10): "Last Hope" (Juushinki Pandora) offers a thought-provoking and visually appealing foray into the world of post-apocalyptic science fiction. While it has its moments of brilliance, especially in exploring ethical dilemmas and the consequences of human actions, the series also grapples with pacing issues and character development inconsistencies. Viewers who appreciate sci-fi thrillers with a focus on technological and ecological themes may find "Last Hope" worth exploring. My overall score for the series is 6/10, reflecting its potential and ambition but acknowledging the room for improvement in execution.