5 of 13 episodes seen
God Eater is a post-apocalyptic anime set in 2071 where the eponymous God Eaters fight the violent monsters known as Aragami. From the onset, it seems as a generic doomsday 'monster-versus-human-fighting-for-survival' story, yet it was one of the most hyped anime of its season. So, the question is, is the hype justified?
Before anything else, I have played the PSP game Gods Eater Burst, as well as the PS Vita games God Eater 2 and God Eater 2 Rage Burst, of which the latter two does not cover the timeline of the anime, as of yet. Naturally, I was hyped that one of the games I have played got an anime adaptation, yet I had lingering fears in my mind that it would be a failure. I decided to watch the anime just to see if my experience of playing the game would translate into the same experience I get while watching the anime.
[Very long pseudo-review ahead. For those who find this part TL;DR, skip to near the end]
Story: 8 (my score thus far, some spoilers included)
The story is about Lenka Utsugi, a newly-recruit God Eater who joined the anti-Aragami organization Fenrir in its Far East Branch. He comes from outside the walled city where the population lives, and had to survive from being killed by the various Aragami just so he can enter Fenrir. His stated purpose was to kill Aragami, yet it is easier said than done once he realized the true scale of this problem. He is joined in the branch by his classmate Kota Fujiki, and the First Unit, the best unit of the branch led by Lindow Amamiya and joined by Sakuya Tachibana and Soma Schicksal, all of which have contrasting personalities yet unrivaled talent. Later on, he is joined by Alisa Amelia from the Russian branch.
The anime departs from the game in several ways. It still has the characters from the game, not to mention the weapon (called God Arc) and the basic premise of it; yet, it has gone several changes and some aspects of it have been enlarged and discussed further: the walled city as an example. Those who have watched it and have not played the game instantly compared it to the mega-anime Attack on Titan and immediately bashed God Eater for 'stealing the walled city idea'. Just for a fact, it was implied in the game (though not explicitly stated) that they are inside a walled city, and that units are sent on missions to protect those inside the walled city. Also, when is an idea original anyway?
Story-wise, this anime adaptation of the game has caught me by surprise with all the sudden changes, yet I find that this adaptation works. It may not have the best plot thus far (to be honest the basic premise of it is generic, you name it, you got it), yet this darker-toned version of the game has left a positive impression on me overall.
It is dialogue-heavy, as I expected it to be. While I was expecting more action, I find the dialogues okay and mostly relevant to the overall picture, though sometimes it tends out to over-dramatize some moments and there are times that it can feel just plain depressing.
My main problem, however, is its pacing. There are scenes that are unnecessarily prolonged, sacrificing the more relevant ones, especially those battles with Aragami, which in turn feels really rushed. Given that (spolier) each episode shows two different timelines, one for the 'present' time and one for the 'Aragami origin' timeline crammed into 20+ minutes per episode, it leaves me frustrated that they can't just get over with some scenes, they rush off some epic battles, and worse, the ever-present cliffhangers.
What can I say? If there is one thing that stands out the most in this anime is the art/animation. ufotable has done an amazing job, from the details of the characters and the Aragami, to the transformation sequence of a God Arc, to the variety of landscapes ranging from a walled city to a wasteland, and especially the battle scenes with the Aragami/s. In all honesty, you just have to watch the anime for yourself to see the beauty of it.
Sound : 8
The OST includes some from the game and overall it's solid. There are some OSTs that perfectly capture the emotion of the scene that it plays in, yet other sounds are generic game OST sounds. The OP fits the determined nature of the MC (Lenka) and the ED fits the overall dark and sad theme of the anime.
Character: 6 (thus far)
God Eater features a MC that vows to eliminate all of the Aragami, the bad-ass leader of the First Unit together with his subordinates: the sweet and caring young woman who is second-in-command, and the cocky anti-hero hooded member. He is joined by the hot (customary fan-service) Russian teenager who has a troubled psych. All of them share some troubles with their respective past.
Sometimes, the characters make the show stand out. This one, however, does not fit the bill so far. In fact, I feel that it has dragged the anime down. By today's standards, they are all generic, and you can name a similar character for some of them (case in point, Lenka compared to Eren). They have not lived to their full potential as of yet, and I hope that there will be major character developments happening in later episodes (which I bet there will be, based on how they developed game-wise), especially for the MC.
Seeing the game turned into an anime was great, and those thoughts of it being a failure have so far been unfounded. Even though its pacing feels off, it is still enjoyable and there are times, especially those battles with Aragami, that have left me on my edge of my seat. Seeing this with a quality animation style that fits the anime perfectly is a bonus. There are moments where you are awed, and some which can leave you thinking on how will you deal with the bleak situation yourself. It has been a roller-coaster thus far. I just hope it doesn't have a crash landing.
Breakdown of scores:
Story: 8 [post-apocalyptic, darker story than game, pacing is off, dialogue-heavy]
Art/Animation: 10 [awesome animation style by ufotable, best part of anime]
Sound: 8 [some outstanding OSTs, some generic]
Characters: 6 [needs more relevant character development, especially MC]
Enjoyment: 8 [enjoyable to watch, some epic moments]
Of course, as this is still airing, the scores would change depending on how the anime will go. So far, however, this anime has been great, and I look forward to future episodes.
This review is to be edited and updated once the anime finishes airing.
For those who took the time to read all of this pseudo-review, a huge thank you. I feel that my review isn't the most helpful, but I hope that this helps you to determine on how you will approach the anime. Any comments, suggestions and especially helpful tips are welcome. Thank you very much! read more
13 of 13 episodes seen
Joshiraku is not the typical moe anime due to the fact that it was created by Kohji Kumeta. For those who are not aware of Kohji Kumeta, he is the person behind Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei. This work is different from SZS because the girls of Joshiraku are just cute rakugo girls, unlike the students at SZS, where everyone has a certain disorder, if you can put it in that way.
There is this notion hanging above my head once I watch Joshiraku:
"This anime is full of ordinary dialogue so that the viewers can fully enjoy how cute the girls are."
In fact, that sentence can summarize how many people would view the anime, but the hidden genius of the anime lies in the dialogues. A hodge-podge of references, parodies, and comic reliefs have given Joshiraku the atmosphere of watching Lucky Star blended into SZS. Be warned though, many of the puns are Japanese references, so if you're watching a subbed episode, go for gg Fansubs, for they have translation notes (you can just google it).
What is the Story? A typical person may ask after taking a glimpse at Joshiraku. As I stated earlier, Joshiraku is about five rakugo girls discussing random topics, which typically drifts away until the original topic is buried. Though, this must not deter you from watching it, for it is hilarious nonetheless.
Art & Sound: 7/10
J.C. Staff has somewhat neglected it, though it should be noted that they're putting a lot of effort in Little Busters! ( three episodes of LB has been released as of the time of writing of this review), but the art used in the anime is quite similar to the manga.
As for the sound, I find it lacking in the way that it needs more than just dialogue and background noise. Overall, I have no major criticism of the Art and Sound.
The standout character for me is Kukuru. Even though the rest have those moments of brilliance, I feel that Kukuru's dark humor and paranoia has twisted the series in a way that it is genuinely enjoyable.
Some characters which appeared only as a part of parody can only be described as awesome. Case in point, in episode five, where there is a parody of Japan's former PM. Also, the way that the characters bash their own producers is brilliant, like how Marii made a pun about J.C. Staff and their rivals (KyoAni).
So, another work of Kohji Kumeta gave me the sense of humor not usually found in many comedy-themed anime. For those who enjoyed Sayonara Zetsubou Sensei, don't worry about the overall appearance, for it still has the great humor found in a work of Kohji Kumeta. Also, this is a must-watch for those who are looking for anime which reflects the dark and humorous side of life. read more