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English: DT Eightron
Status: Finished Airing
Aired: Apr 18, 1998 to Nov 6, 1998
Duration: 25 min. per episode
Rating: PG - ChildrenL represents licensing company
Score: 6.391 (scored by 227 users)
1 indicates a weighted score
2 based on the top anime page.
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Mar 28, 2011
DT Eightron is one of those shows that practically all anime fans turned their backs away from because it was full of things they hated and never wanted to see in anime. Ok, it is understood up to a point; but it is not a show that can’t entertain you if you look past the obvious.
The first thing I and probably most others thought of when we glimpsed at the pilot episode is how it looked a lot like a Neon Genesis Evangelion rip-off. I mean, the main character Shuu is identical to Shinji, May is exactly like Misato, and the list goes on. Plus, the world is dystopian, it has mechas fighting weird contraptions, and the finale has to do with the end of the world. Well, ok, I can see the similarities too but it’s not as if it is IDENTICAL to NGE. In fact, it is a blend of mostly western dystopian sci-fi stories rather than eastern. Under normal circumstances this show should be welcomed as a very good mix of various great ideas from here and there. Blaming it to be an imitation is not much of a reason to not like it.
There were other problems with the show though. Its budget is extremely low and thus it feels hard to enjoy it when there were shows around the same time with far better production values. I myself had to make several intermissions while marathoning it. I am usually able to watch a full season on one go if there is a good plot and interesting characters involved and this one had them in spades. But the visuals, man, they were painfully crude and tiresome most of the way. Plus, the high budget feeling of NGE and the thought it plagiarizes it, only increased the feeling of distrust. If I didn’t have anything else to watch at the moment, chances are I would have dropped it. But as you can guess I didn’t and thus I completed it in about three days of weary patience.
There are other problems too, aside from the poor production values. The action is really underwhelming and random, with mostly bad choreography. In fact, it felt as if there was action in it just to slow down the progress of the story; plus it was quite distasteful compared to the very interesting story elements it has. Meaning, the battles are crappy and only manage to further increase your frustration around the show. It has to do with really unappealing in appearance robots doing crude spars, and it is all resolved with cheap magic deus ex machina means all the time. If the show was being realistic in its battles, the heroes would all be dead in the pilot episode, yet the lead robot keeps being on the show just to save them with improbable ways every time.
Which is yet another thing that went wrong with the show. The lead robot, which the series is even named after, is uber lame to stare for more than a few seconds. What’s with that ridiculous hat it wears and the flowing scarf in the back? And it screams like a retard. Plus it has so many broken powers that no problem is impossible for it to solve, no mater how hard it seems. The opponents had simply no chance at winning, and that took away a lot of the scary feeling of the show, as the characters would otherwise have to fight on every step of the way and making this show a heavy action-survival adventure. Which would be cool if it wasn’t all trashed with magic conveniences all the way. For a grim sci-fi setting, that is quite unacceptable; the characters are supposed to have a hard time surviving with their own abilities.
As if that is not enough of a negative list, there are also several pacing issues. Some parts feel like they drag too much, some episodes are mostly filler, some parts feel too rushed and story exposition is usually done with long monologues. And the ending is such a mess with what is going on! What exactly is going on anyway? It was very confusing and felt as if they ran out of time. I think there was supposed to be a sequel movie to wrap up things but it was never made.
So you would think it is nothing but one big failure; right? Not entirely as I did get to enjoy other aspects of the show. The story in particular is extremely complicating and interesting, with the exposition occurring one step at a time, while there is a lot of time offered at fleshing out its main characters. You can see how the animators had really bright ideas on paper but simply lacked money and talent to show them properly on practice; which is a shame. If you can see past the action and the lame robot battles, you are actually offered a very intriguing world, full of death and misery, with characters that are more than what they appear to be. Also, the animators were kind enough to NOT turn the females into sluts by filling the show with retarded fan service. And the males are also not brutes on steroids posing like idiots while evading a hundred bullets and smashing walls with their fists. I must congratulate them for showing respect and love to the characters and not using them as superficial eye candy, despite the various problems they had in the story.
I understand how an average viewer would not like this show for being a poorly made NGE clone with bad pacing, awful action and confusing ending. And no poser males, horny sluts, huge robots blowing up planets, and the shitz. Ok, these are all entertaining elements and any show should have them just for the sake of enjoyment. But I also say that a show should be MORE about the characters and the story and LESS about superficial entertainment. If it has both then ok but in this case DT Eightron had a lot of the first and practically none of the later and that is the whole fuss of why it is so underwhelming for most. And if I am to talk in a more numerical way, here is the breakdown:
ART SECTION: 3/10
General Artwork 2/2 (very spooky and captivating setting, a world ruined by nuclear wars, people treated as worthless robots and the end of all life looming in the horizon)
Character Figures 0/2 (generic, poorly drawn, too reminiscent of those in NGE)
Backgrounds 1/2 (They lack nuance but the machinery and the mountains of rubble and ruined cities are great)
Animation 0/2 (Way too jerky, frozen characters with moving lips, lack of choreography)
Visual Effects 0/2 (Poor and simplistic)
SOUND SECTION: 5/10
Voice Acting 2/3 (Good; most characters talk without having joy or vividness but it fits the grim setting and the robotic behavior most have been raised to follow)
Music Themes 2/4 (Very elegiac opening and ending songs but terrible BGM that ruins the atmosphere during moments of tension)
Sound Effects 1/3 (Poor and simplistic)
STORY SECTION: 6/10
General Scenario 2/2 (Extremely interesting and complicating, concerning the value of life, authoritarian societies that treat their denizens as robots, a struggle for survival, a search of identity, a quest to find the courage to stand up for what you believe in)
Pacing 1/2 (Messy half the time but it moves at a normal pace if seen from afar)
Side Stories/Extra Spices 2/2 (Lots of those; the story is not focused only on a few of its characters)
Believability/Reasoning/Realism 1/2 (Too many improbable technologies on one hand, many simple to understand scientific explanations of various events on the other)
Conclusion 0/2 (Rushed and confusing)
CHARACTER SECTION: 5/10
Presence 1/2 (They look generic and many are strongly giving off the feeling they are NGE clones)
Personality 2/2 (Sure, each one has something different to show and represents different aspects of life)
Backdrop 1/2 (A bit generic but everybody has one)
Development 1/2 (It happens in a messy way and not for all of them but it’s there)
Catharsis 0/2 (It is very confusing in the end to be sure what exactly is going on)
VALUE SECTION: 4/10
Historical Value 0/3 (Completely forgotten)
Rewatchability 1/3 (Most of it feels too underwhelming to watch again)
Memorability 3/4 (I loved its themes)
ENJOYMENT SECTION: 5/10
I loved it in theory but I hated its execution.
VERDICT: 4.5 / 10
I would definitely recommend it if recent shows like those in the list bellow weren’t out. It has an otherwise special sad feeling, simple, messy and crude, but with lots of love for saying some really powerful things around the meaning of life and having your own identity.
Anime: Neon Genesis Evangelion, Ergo Proxy, Cashern Sins
Western movies: Logan's Run, THX 1138, Nineteen Eighty-Four read more