This is a world where humanity is always at war with the Unknown. The kids who were evacuated to a cold sleep facility during the initial invasion decades ago wake up from their slumber to find that they'd manifested superpowers called the "World." To protect Japan from the Unknowns appearing from the Tokyo Bay, these kids would start their own battles at the defensive strongholds of Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba.
[NO Spoiler review] For a series that closes up with a final ending in 12 episodes, the plot and character development was pretty razor sharp. This anime falls closer to a hybrid that has mystery and horror than the normal genre elements it would normally be placed under, which is high school battles. (Gargantia would be another hybrid, where you think you're watching Legend of the Galactic Heroes from episode 1, but you are not) It has everything a high school battle series would have, including a different world/timeline, weapons and powers which aren't conventional or are superior to military tech that we know of, and fighters who come from a Japanese high school hierarchy. This familiar landscape serves only to draw the user in and make the user let down their guard, to make the plot twist more interesting and impactful. Many school battle themed anime are light novels or adapted from manga. So often times it becomes hard to adapt the character progression, since much of the progression and development is in little side comments that is never spoken as dialogue. Manga is easier to adopt since dialogue is all it can have, plus sound effects. In a light novel or manga, the perspective is usually on one main protagonist too. Many high school battle anime I've seen tends to have spurts of action and then episodes of sheer boredome, as if they are having problems connecting the different light novel volumes together. And the backstory and character insights of the main characters generally get shown at the beginning episodes, but then stop later on, thus they are frozen. Normally light novels can switch the perspective to an entirely different character to change things up, but an anime uses a kind of omnipresent third party narration. This series doesn't operate like the other ones I've seen. Once you get done with the first or two characters, in terms of their motivations and backstory, you get hit with either a plot twist or a plot twist as you switch focus to a new set of characters. It feels closer to reading first perspective narrative in a short story, that switches around, than anime's normal story board progression. What makes this story different is that the six people you see on the cover? They're all main characters and share about equal episode time in terms of backstory, plot involvement, and giving the viewer a unique character view into the world and its events. Much like Chaos;Head or that high school zombie anime (the one without fan service), the mystery is part of the plot. It's not something you see in one episode and they do a good job of sprinkling hints, even starting from the first episode. They did a very subtle and good job of carrying out the mystery and unveiling the logic and clues, and the ending episode has a sufficient impact as a result. This series is better watched in a marathon. Because the hints are subtle, people can easily forget about them in a few weeks, if they don't rewatch the early episodes. So I give the overall 10/10, because I don't see any flaws with the execution, it has a solid story, with no plot inconsistencies or story holes. They were able to execute the series by developing the characters in parallel with the plot. I also gave this 10/10 for characters, because there's a large variety of characters in this anime. Some are support, but for the majority, they're the main characters. They rotate through depending on which one is important, so the first one you see in the opening will sometimes "drop" off, which almost never happens to main characters in a manga. They're going into reserve or inactive status, and then are brought back later on, as if they were support characters now. Every single one of the six main characters in this anime is just a little bit different. Watching their interactions with each other, was half the fun of this anime for me. Lastly, I only give anime 10/10 ratings if I like rewatching them.
It starts out in the middle of the invasion (which reminded me of War of the Worlds). Red tones add to the sense of fear and death. Scenes of explosions, some giant thing, a broken city, and fire take up much of the first two minutes. Sounds of evacuation orders, pilots speaking on their radios, falling rubble, explosions, and a young child crying and his sisters comforting words to him fill the speakers. The day the world ended for the first time. Wait, how many times can a world end......? Does it have nine lives? uhhh...anyway...all that boom and doom stuff ends after two minutes and we see a guy in front of a beautiful blue sky and a vast ocean with seagulls chirping. There are three cities with schools where children fight the "unknown." One school, the one the main character is from, wears red and black or red and dark blue and appears like witches. Another school wears black and seems to specialize in fire arms. I'm not really sure what the white school is. Maybe it is specialized weapons or something. None of it has really been explained. So what? It sounds similar to Kuusen Madoushi, World Break, Infinate Stratos, Chrome Shelled Regios, etc etc. High school students fighting otherworldly creatures is nothing new. After the first episode, I waited a while to watch the second episode till I was really bored. Then I waited again till the third episode. In other words, it wasn't so interesting that I had to catch the new episode each week or really cared about it at all. The introduction to the story and characters is weak or rather lacking. The story sort of jumps in with out much explanation. It does build the characters up decently well, but you wouldn't guess it from the first episode. Once I watched episode three, I got a bit more interested in the story and now, at episode eight, I'm hooked. Why? Because it looks like there is more than meets the eye. I mean that in more than one way, but you wouldn't get that until you actually watch and if you already watched then you probably wouldn't read this so it's a useless pun/joke/something ahhhh whatever! Lets move on past my rambling please. The story has all sorts of fighting from swords to magic, to guns, to the power of singing which almost makes it feel like it's spread too thin. Many of the characters have strong personalities too which almost makes it feel like there are too many main characters. Focus tends to shift a lot which cause it to feel like it doesn't have a focus sometimes. So why is it worth watching? If it was just another story about high school kids fighting otherworldly creatures, I probably wouldn't give two hoots about it. So why? Well first off, I used almost and sometimes which means it didn't, it just came close to. What appears to be a lack of focus and lack of explanation and story development might actually be working in it's favor (depending on whether my prediction of what will happen next is right or not). The multiple styles of fighting mean you get a little bit of everything, all of which ends in nice colorful explosions. The strong characters don't really matter since they seem to be disposable, although who knows, they might not be in the end. However, making them at least seem disposable makes it more exciting for me. The storys' concept of high school students fighting seems to be more of a coverup concept for the truth which seperates it from other similar anime I listed earlier. While I wouldn't say it's the best of this season, I think it's worth watching. Of course, who knows what will happen with the rest of the episodes. There is still time for it to throw itself in the trash or finish with a win.
Positive *What I liked in QC was mostly the animation in the earlier episodes. There A-1 showed how good they are at animating. But unfortunately the further the anime progressed, the more the quality of the animation began to decline. In the latter episodes it was clear that or the budget was getting low or they had to rush the production to have the episodes ready on time. Unfortunately my video review was removed due to copyright. Negative *And unfortunately, just like with my Taboo Tattoo review, I already have to switch to negative because QC was quite the failure. Continuing on the animation: not only did the quality decline but at certain times there was censoring. Now as one of my viewers pointed out to me, censoring is mostly the fault of the broadcasters in stead of the animation studio. But it just isn’t good for the reputation of the anime and in QC, an anime where there was blood at times, the censoring was such a moodkiller. The slightly darker side of war and blood and death was one of the few positive points of this anime and censoring killed them. *The next negative point is something that I talked about in my ReLIFE review last week. If you’re going to make arcs around side characters than you have to be careful that you don’t neglect your main character in them. It happened in ReLIFE and it also happened in QC. In the first few episodes we get loads of build up for Ichiya who is than supposed to be the main character. Everything in those first episodes was to build his character and to give him a purpose for the rest of the anime. But then after a certain event, he gets shoved aside and we start a completely new arc around Hotaru and Maihime. And when that arc was finished it was the other side characters’s turn: Asuha and Kasumi. Ichiya only returns in the final episodes where he plays some kind of role together with Canaria. If it was the meaning to give each of these duos their time to shine than they should have introduced and build them from the start. Now the cuts between Ichiya being the MC and the other arcs were way too sudden. *If I continue about the story I have something else that I have to mention. A-1 tried to pull its master card a few times during this anime being drama. A-1 is one of my favorite studios when it comes to drama but here in QC it failed. The drama was really weak in QC mostly because it was very predictable. When certain dramatic events happened, you could clearly see that that wasn’t going to be end of that event. So when other things than get revealed later on, I wasn’t surprised, I was more like “I told you”. *And as a final negative point I have to say how confused I was in this anime and not only by the sudden jumps between arcs. I had a lot of questions during and after seeing this anime. Like one of my major questions was the plan of putting the children into cold sleep. I fail to see why the children were put in cold sleep. Was it protect them during the war but leaving all your children at one location makes them quite vulnerable. Because how I see this is that it was more the plan that the children would fight the Unknown. I don’t think the adults ever believed that they could win. But as you can see it still such a mess in my head, I can’t put a straight line onto that. And another big question that I had was at the end of the anime. My clear thought was “Why do they still love that character?”. I can’t say which character or what happened because of obvious spoiler reasons but also that was unclear and to me it didn’t make sense and it just added to the confusion that I felt when I watched QC. Conclusion So as a conclusion, even A-1 sometimes screws up. This was way below the standards that I am used to from them. The animation, the story, the drama, the character development was far away from the normal, good A-1 anime’s. And that’s why I’m going to rate Qualidea Code at 2 stars. I expected way more from this anime and I hope that A-1 will pick themselves up again this season because this was a let down.
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