Synonyms: MuvLuv Alternative Total Eclipse, MLA TE
Japanese: マブラヴ オルタネイティヴ トータル・イクリプス
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Jul 2, 2012 to Dec 24, 2012
24 min. per episode
R+ - Mild Nudity
L represents licensing company
Score: 7.171 (scored by 9996 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
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SynopsisSince 1973, an invasion of aliens known as BETA upon Earth is driving human civilization into nearly collapse. Facing an enormous mass of enemy force, mankind has developed large humanoid arms called as Tactical Surface Fighters and deployed them to its defense lines through out the world. However, all those efforts could slow down defeats but could not stop BETA, and mankind is forced to abandon major area of the Eurasian Continent. For 30 years, mankind is bogged down in an endless war against BETA without any hopes of victory.
In 2001, the Imperial Japan faces difficulties in the development of a next-generation main Tactical Surface Fighters (TSF) as it defends the front lines of the Far East. The UN has proposed a joint development program between the Imperial Japan and the United States as a part of its international mutual development project of TSF, the Prominence Project.
Yui Takamura, a surface pilot of the Imperial Royal Guards of Japan, is given responsibility for the project and sets off to Alaska. Meanwhile, Yuya Bridges, also a surface pilot of the US Army, was heading to the same destination.
Yet they never knew that their encounter would change their destiny drastically.
This story with exciting human dramas and robot actions takes place in the development of a new Tactical Surface Fighters, the most important and effective weapons against BETA, at a crisis of human extinction.
(Source: Muv-Luv Total Eclipse Official English Website)
Related AnimeAdaptation: MuvLuv Alternative: Total Eclipse
Summary: Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse Recap - Climax Chokuzen Special
Characters & Voice Actors
There's been a lot of strange series that debuted in 2012. If there was another to name, one would definitely be Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. No, it's not the end of the year (yet) for us but in the world of the Total Eclipse, it's walking down that path. The series is based off a LN (light novel) of the same name and takes place in a science fiction world where mecha, aliens, and hot women with suits of iron dominating the series. It's definitely not everyday that you get to see chicks fighting otherworldly beings and still getting the time to relax. Let's look and see for ourselves what Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse has to offer:
The series is set in an alternative timeline where our planet Earth has been invaded by aliens forces known as the BETA. This sort of genre can be traced into many science fiction series such as Strike Witches, Gunparade March, and even Neon Genesis. The BETA has caused the Earth resistance to develop jet/mecha hybrid called Tactical Surface Fighters or TSF to eradicate them. Mankind now is in a state of war, horror, and survival where the skies rains with blood and the ground leaves the scars of battles. Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse focuses on the exploration of these battles, characters' interactions, and the survival of mankind.
The first episode isn't what we might expect. When I watched it, there's seems to be a sort of “mindfuck” reaction. In fact, it's not what most of us expected but a rather dark flashback with Yui in her final days of high school. To be honest, high school is never too fun for most people but in Yui's case has gotten that much grimmer. In a tragic twist, she is forced into immediate combat with her classmates for the first time against the powerful BETA. And with that, blood is spilled with a brutality of violence is presented to the viewers. If you thought this was a show about hot girls doing hot things, then think again.
From there though, everything shifts to present time and we get to see the other characters of the series. It seems Yui has become that much more confident and with her status now as lieutenant. Starring opposite her though is the ever stubborn, short-tempered, confident Yuuya Bridges. He is of the Japanese American descent who follows his roles a strong soldier against the forces of the BETA. His short temper and characteristics forms a barrier between most of the other characters in the beginning with him presenting an attitude of “don't fuck with me” personality.
And speaking of personalities, this series mixes in different characters with different characteristics. Let's take for example:
The Scarlet Twins -
Cryska "Scarlet Twin" Barchenowa who is of the Soviet descent has a cold personality and is afraid to let people get close to her because the state of her mentality. She is the cold beauty of the series with an equally cold ability to fly the unfriendly skies of the series and doing what she does best. On the other hand, we got Inia "Scarlet Twin" Sestina. She is Cryska's most precious individual (and “sister”) in that twisted world . Unlike Cryska though, Inia is much more gentler and treats other people with kindness especially Yuuya who she adores like an older brother.
The other characters in the series has different personalities as well. Tarisa Manandal, whom Yuuya teasingly calls her Chobi acts as the more comedic side of the series despite some of the more serious violence tone going on around. Later on, we also meet Cui Yifei, a pilot of the Chinese descent that brings out the inner tsundere from Yui.
These lovely ladies all have their different personalities but the show occasionally tries to hard. For example, some of the filler episodes involving the beach and the onsen presents us nothing more than just pure fan-service that's irrelevant to the story. Furthermore, the women of the series are drawn in a way that reflects their figures directly to the viewers with those tight suits. Who can forget those suits honestly? I bet most people here watched the trailer and added it to their PTW just from that.
There is more than just beyond the fan-service though for this rather underrated series. As more episodes progressed, we can see a more political side of Total Eclipse involving the various genetic heritages of the main characters. The nickname “Japanese Doll” given by Yuuya Bridges to Yui serves as a comedic but also political reference to his personality towards the race. The other characters' heritages also strikes a distinguishing background for the series that makes it more realistic despite being a science fiction.
The series traces its roots with the survival of the fittest theme although it doesn't involve any game elements. Instead, it's a military type series that involves with one force and the other. There can only be one winner on each side: mankind or the BETA. As such, the battles in the series are often intense when they happen that draws the violence, brutality, and blood from the skies. The characters drawn are visually presented well and gets their points across. However, the mecha department lacks a bit of this quality. Although crisp, the mecha themselves seems to be trying too much to become..mecha. However, the emotions and drama mixed in is a surprisingly exciting watch. It shows the dangers mankind have been and will be facing.
Yet despite the serious tone of the series, there is a lot of interactions between the main characters later on. For later on, Yuuya becomes less aggressive and more caring towards his colleagues treating them as friends rather than comrades. His interaction with Yui is one of the more dynamic focuses in the series as he inspires her that she can create a path the way she wants. This opened up new doors of opportunities for a more caring relationship between the two. Hmm, maybe not because it seems that there are also other women interested in Yuuya. In some of the later episodes, Yuuya becomes the center of attention who attracts the attention of the many other female characters in the series. It's funny in a strange way to realize that in such a dark atmosphere that the BETA has already created, there can also be some space for fun and laughter.
As said before, the artwork of the series is presented in a way that reflects the more serious tone of the Muv Luv world in which survival of mankind depends on these new generation of trained pilots. The pilots themselves are drawn well and those tight suits the ladies wear are the eye candies. On the other hand, the mecha drawn are less than average and focuses too much on themselves. They are just there for the military purposes of battling the BETA with not too many special characters. The BETA themselves however gives off that alien invasion like feeling with their artwork designs of the horns, teeth, stingers, etc. Their behavior in the series shows that they are there to invade and expects nothing less than a fight to the death.
The overall music/soundtrack for the series is above par but sometimes tries to be too forceful. "Go to the top" by Kumi Koda shows a montage of all the main characters as well as a few glances of the vicious BETA. Some of the more emotional flashbacks gives off a soft melody that reflects the sadness of the Muv Luv world. A few of the characters went through a harsh past and it ultimately made them who they are today.
All in all, Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is one of those mecha series where it tries to balance out the grim reality of the war and the drama between the main characters. The reality of the war is there as we can see from Yui's past and what she has gone through. But at the same time, there is new hope as she finds new friends and allies to move on from that past. Yuuya's interactions with the other characters also shows that he is a caring person rather than just an obnoxious self-centered pilot as some of us believed him to originally be. There is also the blushing, the potential romance, as well as what is in hope for a better future.
Ultimately, Muv Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse is an underrated series that some of us may have looked past this year. Perhaps if we faced a more harsher reality in today's world, we might become more self aware. But it's worth giving it a shot especially if you're digging into some science fiction drama.
Trust is a beautiful word, it contains the melody of harmony and understanding. But even such word has a dark side. That is, trust can be misplaced and abused. And the more trust there is involved, the easier it will be to make that stab in the back or abandon the gullible fool to shoulder the entire burden alone. Therefore, wouldn't the most rational viewpoint be to view everyone with initial distrust? This is particularly true the more there's at stake; the fear of losing and temptation of gaining through betrayal is too much to handle without succumbing. And some have too much at stake to afford to trust; nations. Each of them carries the responsibility and mission to protect their own interests. Since there's more than one nation on earth and limited resources, the result is conflict. International relations are tainted with rivalry, suspicion and hate, and their history is one of warfare. Some envision humanity would form a common frontier to stand against an alien invasion, and that we would then target our "us and them" mentality at the outsider threat rather than each other.
What a joke. A species so accustomed to distrust as humanity couldn't suddenly trust a former rival or enemy to watch their back, or count on them to do their part. At least in the world of Muv-Luv Alternative, when the hostile first contact was finally made with BETA, hordes of ferocious and seemingly inexhaustible aliens, it wasn't the beginning of the era of humanity's harmonious unification. Alliances and united efforts were made, but the true agenda always extends beyond the official ones such as pooling resources and knowledge; how to take as much as possible but give next to nothing, and how to keep their true hand hidden until the last minute. All this in order to control a world beyond alien invasion that might never come to exist.
Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse takes place in the same universe as Muv-Luv Alternative, the popular and highly regarded final part of the Muv-Luv visual novel trilogy. Total Eclipse's events are centered around Project PROMINENCE, an international joint venture that gathers technology and ace pilots from around the world to come up with new weapons to fight BETA. The protagonist is Yuuya Bridges, a serious and arrogant but really talented young TSF (Tactical Surface Fighter) pilot. He's half-American, half-Japanese, but he loathes his Japanese heritage. Abandoned before his birth by his Japanese father and discriminated against for his Japanese roots as a child, he doesn't have any good will for Japan or the Japanese and can't stand getting associated with them in any way. Anyway, he is sent to Project PROMINENCE in Alaska be the main test pilot of team Argos Flight, a cross-national team of ace pilots formed to help with TSF and other weapons' development. His transfer is off to a rough start when the person in command of the team is Yui Takamura, one of those treacherous Japanese.
Actually, the anime starts before any of this has happened. The first two episodes are a flashback of a couple of years earlier, with Yui as the main character. They show minimal amounts of her pilot training and family background, and most importantly her first battle. These two episodes serve the purpose of being a plunge into the world situation of Muv-Luv Alternative and show the brutal reality of facing the BETA invasion. I wasn't familiar with Total Eclipse beforehand, but these episodes were pretty close to what I had in mind: survival horror military drama. But turns out from here on out it's more delicate, or put a bit more bluntly, boring.
Back to present. As one would expect, when Yui and Yuuya are on the same team things get pretty tense and they are on each other's throat all the time. Yuuya doesn't seem very impressed with the entire project or the rest of his squad to begin with, he consider his relocation a demotion and waste of time, and he categorizes his teammates by their home country and appearance which shows in the stupid nicknames he hands out based on those. But who can blame him when aside from himself and Yui, the entire team is nothing but a collection of flat national stereotypes. From here on, the story is pretty much about Yuuya growing up from his immaturely arrogant mentality. But there are nothing but issues with the way his change is handled.
The most acute early conflict and first part of development for Yuuya is his relationship with Yui and Japan. Yui and Yuuya don't get along at all at the beginning; Yuuya hates everything Japanese in general, and Yui who comes from a harsh background can't stand how he whines about nothing. What this difference in views boils down to, though, is simply a difference in TSF designs. The Japanese Shiranui is based on a philosophy almost opposite of the American Raptor, and Yuuya can't accept this at all. He acts so closed-minded about this it's just stupid, and Yui's senseless provocations don't make the situation any better. And, in the end, all it takes to get over it is get Yuuya used to piloting the thing with Yui's help. This somehow leads Yuuya to change his opinion on Japan a bit, but it's really hard to pinpoint which parts of this experience affacted him.
The second sign of Yuuya's immaturity is that he's too self-absorbed to see the problems of other people. This is really poorly handled, it's mostly about his teammates. And what makes it so terrible? Well, Yuuya's team is made up of terrible characters aside from himself and Yui. We learn next to nothing about them aside from their nationalities and that they are just a tomboy, a beauty and a womanizer. It's hard to say anything more about them because there simply isn't anything else shown. And yet, towards the end we learn that the influence of said bunch is an important part of helping him and new pilots in general get accustomed to the tension of that place. Despite their harsh background, they are supposedly very important for joking around to keep the morale up. However, these characters lack scenes of real familiarity and full personalities needed to make such role convincing.
As for Yuuya's overall growth, the way he becomes less arrogant and entitled is the most significant and naturally occussing change, and it's the result of all his lessons. But there's only one specific instance of words and actions that has a noticeable impact to Yuuya, that coming from a Soviet pilot named Fikatsia. The short bit of dialogue from her is then constantly used in short flashbacks whenever Yuuya faces some kind of a tough decision. So this character, someone who had less than 10 minutes of total screen-time, becomes Yuuya's mentor who lives on in his heart or something. Even using it more than once is questionable, here it's the only scene that is used this way and it's done all the time.
What sums up all issues with Yuuya's character is that he's pretty much an inferior remake of Takeru, the main character of the original Muv-Luv visual novels. While they are seemingly entirely different since Takeru is from another world entirely, their character growth and the way it's done is very similar, growing to be less entitled and self-absorbed and seeing that others have their own issues as well. There are so many similarities in specific lessons Yuuya and Takeru learn and in the way they reflect on said lessons from other people, this is barely anything but lazy recycling. There aren't even any instances of Yuuya's immaturity getting in the way of accomplishing a mission aside from his bickering at the beginning about Japanese TSFs at the beginning. He's always the most competent one and his issues actually make him more dutiful, so there isn't much tension in his development, it's a really typical and boring character study without anything interesting that would make it stand out.
The story itself is awful. There's a lot in the premise to write a story about, the international project is a place of scheming and betrayals, and the war against BETA is something terrible and unpredictable. There's actually a lot going on all the time involving these. But for a story about a world that's the opposite of uneventful, Total Eclipse really manages to feel uneventful.
That's because the anime's direction of action drama is terribly handled. When a danger arises, the anime fails to show the weak points and last lines of defense and what happens in case of failure. When something unexpected happens, this anime fails to show how that changes the situation. I'm not even familiar enough with most of the characters to really bring myself to care about what happens to them, not that most of them are ever even shown to be in real danger. The first two episodes were actually a highlight in this regard. They were perhaps the worst written part, they had terrible characterization and sense of time, poorly integrated worldbuilding and the military tactics shown were laughable. But they managed to concretely show what there is to lose and fight for before the actual fight began, something that is very rare in the rest of the anime and happened only twice afterwards, once in the middle and then in the final arc.
It's not just flaws of pacing of action and content of dialogue that made Total Eclipse boring, art and sound did their part and more to accomplish this. The animation and art are ugly as sin, everyone looks off and the proportions and depth of art are pretty much always bad, but that doesn't stop Total Eclipse from paying extra careful attention in using strategic angles, close-ups and bouncy animations for its blatant, often out-of-place fan service. CG is poorly integrated, particularly the BETA. In fact, Total Eclipse's BETA invasion looks entirely underwhelming. The animation fails at showing the scale of battle or their strength in numbers. It was outright terrible at first, but it got better with change of directors and the series started using close-ups of instances of the destructive power of the enemy combined with radar views of the advance of their masses. This was a huge improvement over using high angle shots that made the advance BETA hordes look lazy and unthreatening, but doesn't do anything about art quality which remains terrible.
The sound of battle sucks as well, unimpressive and lacking cohesion. Gunfire and other effects are weak, only the sirens feel appropriate. As for the soundtrack, insert songs are mistimed, overused and boring, and most of the soundtrack is just jarring. The cellos are sometimes okay timed and there are one or two cases where a octane track is used up to its potential, but can't really find anything else good about it.
Together, all these issues result in general lack of ability to set up the tensions of the battlefield, so even really major issues involving things like a BETA attack and the fate of a secretive super weapon lack impact because direction is all over the place. The finale was a bit better. The transition to this arc was less awkward than the jumpy transitions between arcs had been earlier in the series. The final arc did a better job going over its threats and the tactics to counter them, and it involved interesting team-ups and better sense of drama than the rest. However, this arc also had the most disappointing ending where the final episode had a lot of stupid twists and left many important things without proper wrap-up, and plot armor prevailed. The final arc touches some interesting issue of Muv-Luv's world situation, but that loses value when represented as a fanatic idea of borderline-cultists. The villains have no history or presence to make them formidable either.
Further about the characters. Yuuya is the protagonist and his personality and development are clearly given more serious consideration than others, that doesn't save him from the flaws mentioned earlier though. Yui acts pretty childish with her provocations at first, but she's capable as warrior and is serious about her own mission and responsibilities. But after she falls for Yuuya there are a lot of times when all this gets overshadowed by making her essentially a tsundere or fidgety maiden around Yuuya, or making her a pathetic doormat in a weird love polygon. The most notable other member of the polygon is Cryska, a TSF pilot from a Soviet team in Project PROMINENCE, and maybe her twin Inia to some extent as well. These girls' own subplot is a really clichéd "love gives doll human heart" thingy, and their involvement with the main plot becomes a mess at the end. The other notable love rival is Chinese Cui Yifei, something of a rival pilot in addition to being an addition to the harem. Her forcefulness shakes things up amongst the love rivals, but she doesn't really have any important purpose and her personality is really simple and straightforward. Some minor characters backgrounds are linked with the final arc's theme, even if they aren't much of characters otherwise. Other characters that weren't mentioned in this paragraph or somewhere earlier aren't even worth talking about, there's so little to say about them.
I was mistaken to expect Total Eclipse to be a spin-off that focuses more on the war itself than the visual novels did, but even disregarding my expectations it was terrible. It turned out to be an unfocused mess that showcases TSFs, nudity and gore and recycles its themes from the visual novels blatantly. But I still got out of this ordeal pretty easily. It breaks my heart to imagine all those Muv-Luv fans buying Blu-rays of this garbage to signal their support for an anime adaption of the actual visual novel trilogy. read more
Both shows revolve around mecha fighting bug like monsters that are invading earth. Muv-Luv focuses less on the bug killing and more on the politics and relationships behind the mecha that nations make to protect themselves from the bugs. Blue Gender is pretty much all bug killing goer with some romance tossed in. Both are worth watching if your into mecha battles and alien invasions.
- Earth under attack by giant insect like creatures
- Mechs are the weapons of choice
- Characters faced with grim realities
muv luv gives me that feeling that its the prequel to blue gender so if you like one you will like the other
they both share how they fight to keep alive, Blue Gender is more about what happens to incecs after mutation and Total Eclipse is from when they invated earth. They are both worth watching
Both have a similar story, with a war between humans and aliens. Aliens already destroyed some places in the world, with the rest trying to survive, fighting against they. Protagonists are moe girls.
While Strike Witches does lack the usage of mecha, both series still has quite a lot of similarities.
Both series has strong and independent female characters who has their own goals/ambitions but the skills expected from the military. Speaking of which, both series involves a lot of military and their dealings against "aliens" or otherworldly beings throughout the series.
Both series' main female protagonist has a strong will and often does her best for her friends and comrades placing their safeties above her own.
Both series has science fiction themes that has advanced technology beyond our modern times.
Both series has a lot of action, drama, some comedy, but also emotional moments.
It's similar in a way because in both, they are being invaded by extra-terrestrials and use machines to fight them, Even though Strike Witches uses partial-body machines instead of the full-body ones. Another thing is in both, the main characters' father is the person that invented those machines.
Both have girls recruited in somekind of military
Both have aerial combat
Both are trying to defend their country
Both are dealing with an opposing force such as Neurois/BETAS
Both have fanservice
Both are very fun and amazing to watch as well, if you don't mind a bit of fanservice.
Opening Theme#1: "Go to the top" by Kumi Koda (eps 2-19)
#2: "Doubt the World" by Minami Kuribayashi (eps 20-24)
Ending Theme#1: "Go to the top" by Kumi Koda (ep 1)
#2: "signs ~Sakutsuki Hitoyo~ (signs ～朔月一夜～)" by Minami Kuribayashi (eps 2-16, 18, 19, 24)
#3: "Snow Maiden (スノウメヰデン)" by Aki Misato (ep 17)
#4: "Revise the World" by ayami (eps 20-23)
Which fansubbers do you like the best? Click + to approve of their subs for this show. Click - if you don't think they did such a great job.
OppaiSub [OppaiSub] (Brazilian Portuguese)
AnimeQ [AnimeQ] (Brazilian Portuguese)
Related ClubsNakahara Mai Fanclub, /m/ - MIKU FEI-YEN, Tomokazu Sugita Fanclub, Visual Novel Petition Club, The Waiting-For-Uncensored Club, Muv Luv, Animesters, Active Military, Prior Service and Veteran's Anime Club, Polski FanKlub Mecha, Who Is Imouto?, Daisuke Ono Fan Club!, Muv-Luv Fanclub, Best of Muv-Luv Alternative, ∞ End Ωf Infinity ∞ (HIATUS)
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