In 1983, the East German Army 666th TSF Squadron, “Schwarzes marken,” is a special-response force tasked with assaulting BETA forces. They specifically target Laser and Heavy Laser class BETA to disable their enemy’s immense firepower. This merciless team’s orders are given the highest priority, and they follow them so exactly that the 666th is known to ignore allied distress calls that would interfere with an ongoing mission, even if only for a moment.
This is one of the most underrated anime series I've ever seen. Based in East Germany in 1983 during the eatly years of the BETA invasion it shows a bunch of sub-plots that are fairly interesting. The main storry follows the 666º TFS Squadron, also known as "The Number Of The Beast· (Shwarzesmarken), leaded by Captain Irisdina Benrhard. The main character is Theodor Eberbach, a pilot that got caught by the Stasi while he was trying to escape with his family through the Berlin Wall, since then he was tortured and forced to work for them. Almost all of the characters are interesting, having to live and fight against their inner fears, like being afraid of losing a teammate or a family member. The character development is well done and you can see episode by episode how they are evolving, getting closer, trusting (and untristing, sometimes) each other. Animation is good in general, I haven't noticed a low point in this one. Action scenes are the best part, although I've never liked the way the BETAs looks, th TSF moves are really good and the effects in their attacks are also well exectuded, CGI isn't annoying and you can enjoy it a lot. The lowest point, I've got to admit, are the anachronism, like "how did they get to have TSF in the 80's and stuff like that. But since it's in an alternative universe I think that's acceptable.
When I picked this one out out of all the winter anime. I did so because I tend to enjoy war anime. I also tend to like supernatural anime so monsters are fine with me. So I thought I would enjoy it. However, I almost stopped watching it early on and there are major questions any viewer with half a brain is left with. The characters took me a while to warm up to and some of the character development felt forced and it was introduced in the entirely wrong way. The monsters were disgraceful and had no real logic to them. The fights were all somehow planned... like mosters would do as predicted which added to it all feeling like they were not giving good explinations. That being said after a few episodes the characters became more likable and the story picked up allowing me to give it a close to average score. Though many times the anime had a forced or generic feel to it, it also had some truly heartfelt scenes and genuinely good action scenes. For me a 7 is average and this anime earned itself a 6 in the story catagory. It could have become average with some tweeks or if they did as good of a job in the beginning as they did after the first few episodes. The animation was okay. I mean. I've seen much worse and It was pretty unremarkable. There were a few times when dramatic scenes played out where they made the animation very poor. However, other times they did pretty well. The Sound was okay. The voice actors for the most part did a decent job especially the lead. I did not like the opening or ending songs. They felt really generic to me. However, that is partially influenced by my own tastes. Most of the sound affects were decent. The beast army unit (666) which included the main characters were for the most part decently explained and understood. Many were pretty generic mecha anime characters. However, weather that is a good thing because you enjoy seeing that type of character or a bad thing would depend on the person. For me. The main characters definately had heartfelt stories. Some of the things about them seemed off such as the main character sleeping with his sister... but it didn't bother me enough to drop the anime. Overall, I'd say It was good enough. I probably won't watch it again though. If your a fan of the Mecha genre you could end up liking this title but give it more than 1 or 2 episodes. Cause it takes a while to get good. -Monthly Marathon April
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