In the near future, humans have discovered a fourth dimension, Dimension W, and a supposedly infinite source of energy within. In order to harness this profound new energy, mankind develops advanced "coils," devices that link to and use the power of Dimension W. However, by year 2071, the New Tesla Energy corporation has monopolized the energy industry with coils, soon leading to the illegal distribution of unofficial coils that begin flooding the markets.
Kyouma Mabuchi is an ex-soldier who is wary of all coil-based technology to the extent that he still drives a gas-powered car. Kyouma is a "Collector," individuals with the sole duty of hunting down illegal coils in exchange for money. What started out as just any other mission is turned on its head when he bumps in Mira Yurizaki, an android with a connection to the "father" of coils. When a series of strange events begin to take place, these two unlikely allies band together to uncover the mysteries of Dimension W.
Dimension W was first announced to be in production at Anime Expo 2015 in Los Angeles. Studio 3Hz is responsible for animation production, while the studio Orange is responsible for CG production. North American distributor FUNimation Entertainment is also a member of the production committee.
*Spoilers will exist to explain why this show is great*
Now some of you have heard that time is considered part of the fourth dimension, but what if you were told that there is a dimension that contains all of the possibilities in the world? This is basically what the story is based on.
The anime does not explain the mechanics of Dimension W too deeply, but it explores it enough to give us an understanding of what it's trying to convey, such as when coils go haywire and Dimension W manifests in the real world, or when the characters are able to enter Dimension W
and see all the possibilities. However, the actual use of Dimension W is a bit superficial outside of that. Everything just mainly revolves around coils and the 'possibilities' get shoved back as more of a nominal thing. So in the end the actual usage and exploration of 'possibilities' was a bit minimal, and may have become more of just a theme to a battle story with some cute moments.
And as good as the combat was, it seemed a little odd at times. Mabuchi seems to just freely throw out however many dart things as he likes, while being able to wire them so he can perform spiderman or AOT style swings and climbs as he wishes, along with the fact that they can also act as some sort of snare. There wasn't any moment where he ran out of darts or was in any particular danger due to his choice of weaponry which kind of made him a bit of an immortal god of sorts.
In regards to the art, it was very well done, especially the characters. They stood out well and were designed quite differently. Mira was consistently cute, Mabuchi maintained his gruffness, Loser maintained his enigma while Lasithi was designed quite sexily. The use of colour was appropriate to the moment, though backgrounds would occasionally look quite bland.
As for the characters, I did want to give it a 10, but the only thing that ruined it was the main antagonist, Haruka Seameyer. He was just a little too cliched with his insanity and cruelty. He just didn't feel unique enough as an antagonist for me to really be drawn to him and to actually hate him for his existence (like Joffrey in Game of Thrones).
However, setting aside the antagonist, Mabuchi Kyoma is quite the likeable character. He's strong and independent (not clinging to friendship nonsense), and has a cool attitude but with a sad history.
Whilst Mira is the lovable female MC who's a robot with a full human personality. She cries, blushes, and even expresses pain. She's funny, cute and most of all, has a consistent character.
The voice acting in this was also great. Mabuchi has a cool, deep and slightly apathetic voice that suits the character and helps set him apart from everyone else, while Mira has an appropriately feminine and cutesy voice which greatly complements the character.
Overall, I really liked this show. Maybe I'm biased towards shows that can have a consistently cute girl and who isn't annoying or out of place. Mira is not your damsel in distress, but an actual partner to Mabuchi, which I feel really helped with me giving this show such a high score. And I definitely hope to hear more of her voice in future titles.
*Some further spoilers and personal inputs on what could have made this show even greater*
There was a line in the last few episodes that really helped bring the logic of the world and the coils together, which was: "Possibilities can be predicted and explained but not observed, that is because once it is observed, it is no longer the possibility but the result. I.e. Schrodinger's cat." or something to that effect.
This line alone is what could have made this show all the more interesting. Somehow manipulating Dimension W to bring about a favoured possibility which results in the defeat of the final boss. Maybe the anime studio ran out of time, maybe the author just wasn't ready for such a complex story. They had the opportunity to utilise it through Genesis, but ultimately removed it by 'destroying' Genesis.
Without actually exploring the fundamental concept of possibilities which links the entire story together, the show was prevented from being unique and instead became another battle story with just a different theme, much like Bleach, Naruto or Fairy Tail.
Watching Dimension W makes me feel a bit like my childhood days. I’d watch some random anime on TV with my friends on Toonami and we’d make jokes about the story, characters, artwork, and every other funny thing going on. Dimension W isn’t a funny story but it does have the feel of a show that’s aimed at the Western audience. And furthermore, it takes place in a fictional world in the future so there’s tons of potential. Dimension W capitalizes on those potentials and makes this show not just fun but an insightful experience.
Calling Dimension W another stereotypical sci-fi action flick would be injustice
as the series explores quite a bit based on its premise. The show is directed by Kanta Kamei with Aketagawa Jin as the sound producer and produced by Studio 3Hz and Orange. It’s noticeable that Funimation is the co-committee of this series as well to bring their talent into the mix. For those who have seen Darker than Black, you may find the show has a familiar vibe in terms of character design. The interesting part is how Dimension W focuses on its own story and despite not being too refreshing for its ideas, it’s very a high dose of popcorn entertainment.
The story takes place in a fictional world in the future. By 2071, humanity began using a source of energy that can last forever for their planet. Through influence of the fourth dimension, they are able to harness energy in the form of objects known as “coils”. Coils are manufactured by New Tesla, an energy company that uses them for profit. However, they also private firms and groups that uses illegal coils for their own purposes. The show introduces Kyouma, a collector who has a hatred for coils. His adventures takes him to all sort of places including his meeting with a peculiar robot girl, Mira. Get the picture here? Any fan of sci-fi should feel intrigued because of the amount of world building with the show. Indeed, Dimension W does a good job by building up its fictional world and constructing it concepts with interesting details. The imaginary setting of Dimension W introduces many concepts including its rich history, society, and technological advancements. As such, getting into this show allows the viewers to appreciate the ideas of the creator.
In general, the plot is about Kyouma, a collector who despises coils. There’s actually a credible reason for this as explored in later episodes through background storytelling. His encounter with Mira is a bit odd however. Essentially and for most of the series, he is indifferent about her presence and often calls her names like “junk” and “useless robot”. Despite that, there’s a growing chemistry between the two. Mira is also a character that will spark interest because of her very human behavior. She is a robot but displays a lot of personality as if she is an ordinary girl. Throughout the show, we can see that she wants to help people and her partnership with Kyouma leads her to do selfless deeds. Kyouma is portrayed more as the guy who wants to get the job done and lives life like a simple man with a love for vintage cars but hate for coils. His fighting skills is fairly impressive and is able to fight on par with cyborgs, coil enhanced mechanisms, and even multiple enemies at once. Add a bit of his driving skills and it’s easy to see that Kyouma is the badass everyman.
When watching the show, I noticed some trends about the plot structure. It focuses on society and explores Kyouma’s daily adventures. At first, some of his cases really shows more than what he does in everyday life. However, subsequent episodes introduces other ways at how Dimension W’s world works. There’s also murder mystery, cyber-punk themes, and how events from the past connects with the story in the present. The show also introduce Numbers and their presence really exposes the dangers of coils. Background storytelling is also incorporated into the show that explores Kyouma and other characters’ pasts. Unfortunately, the series is only one cour of 12 episodes while the manga has at least 9 volumes. Get the idea? Expect a lot of cuts with certain side characters and certain rush of the story to get to specific arcs. Characters like Elizabeth, Albert, and other many of the minor villains get some spotlights but not much characterization. As one of the downsides, Dimension W’s adaptation content may be a disappointment for manga fans.
Despite that, I think the show is still very entertaining for its characters. Then, there’s a lot about the Dimension W universe that is intriguing. We get to see how androids interact, the world fiction of Dimension W’s technological aspects (coils, numbers, machinery, etc), and the show even has some pretty solid action. Kyouma’s a legitimate badass and he has little patience for evildoers. Similarly, the show has both a comedic and serious feel. The comedic moments are timed right especially through the interactions between Kyouma and Mira. In addition, the series rarely tries to exploit its shock values to entertain the fans but rather with its own merits.
The art style of Dimension W tends to have a very scientific feel. Character designs are also neat and will remind anyone of Darker than Black. Kyouma reminds me of a lone wolf detective and bounty hunter that came out of a classic movie. Meanwhile, Mira has the appearance of a young girl with robotic characteristics. (see that cute little mechanical tail?) The sci-fi backgrounds and technology also looks credible and advanced enough to be set in its timeline. The gadgets of the show and other robotic designs have a fair amount of details to further make its world building look believable. There’s even a bit of artistic enhancement with creative shade coloring at many noticeable scenes. Fan service is fairly minimal although there are a few times when the camera likes to shine on Mira. The real fan service is the action delivered right to your face.
Soundtrack is solid especially when Kyouma is on a mission involving him collecting illegal coils. It’s eerie, energetic, and portrays science fiction with theatrics. In addition, I appreciate how Kyouma’s voice sounds as a mature adult rather than some kid out of high school. On the other hand, Mira’s voice can sound a bit bratty so fans will have to get used to that. Luckily, you will be rewarded with the very creative OP song. Performed by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION, it’s very colorful with the dancing, full throttle action, and creative coloring. OST and music is just as impressive and shows that the creators cares a lot about their work.
Dimension W is a show that I think anyone can watch with something to talk about towards the end. Whether it’s the world building, storytelling, characterization, or technical art/music/soundtrack style, the show is a lot of fun. It lives up to what it tries to do despite cutting content from the original manga. As most series in modern years, it’s not very original and still borrows a lot of ideas from other sci-fi works. However, Dimension W still embraces the sci-fi genre and shows that it can be unique in its own way.
If there's one anime this season that went unnoticed, unhyped, and maybe even unfairly underrated, it's Dimension W. While not the flashiest, and certainly not the most outstanding anime- DimW has one thing going for it: it's original. Sidestepping the trappings and tropes that seem to permeate modern anime, and instead embracing a groovy sci-fi near future with androids, flying cars, giant robots, and more- this one was a definite breath of fresh air.
Produced by Studio 3Hz, apparently a very new studio, with literally one credit to their name, the animation and art aren't anything special, but neither are they completely uninspired. It's a
bit on the low budget side compared to some modern shows, but fluid and frenetic action coupled with some stylized CG made it very watchable. Similarly, voice acting is handled competently, and the music fits well, adding accents or enhancement to the mood when necessary.
The nearly infinite, but unstable energy source that the show is named for takes a front and center position in the plot- weaving a narrative around the creation of "coils", which as essentially batteries that can access the 4th dimension, a plane of existence where possibility is endless, and is tapped into as a source of energy. Everything takes coils: the robots, cars, computers, and nearly the entire world run on this limitless supply of energy.
Kyouma Mabuchi, our main character, is essentially a luddite in this techno world of Dimension W. He works essentially as a mercenary, collecting special types of highly unstable coils which can create massive rifts in space/time, and generally screw up everything, including sucking people into the energy black hole it forms. In return, he gets paid in things like gasoline (a scarce commodity in this future-world) and parts for his "antique" cars.
Kyouma's dislike for coils, robots, and essentially anything technological puts him at odds with the technologically obsessed world he lives in- in a sort of "born in the wrong generation" way. His rugged, tough guy, and often rude demeanor are offputting to most people he meets, but he's dependable to get stuff done when it needs doing.
The premise of the show is a fairly basic revenge tale, but this isn't immediately apparent, even through the first half of the show. The first section with Kyouma taking various jobs from his boss serves mostly as a semi-episodic adventure, introducing all the myriad characters, and then neatly segues into a long term plot. Without saying too much- there's a very collectible coil situated in a very dangerous area out in the Pacific ocean- one that is worth a lot of money, and none of the "collectors" (people like Kyouma who hunt coils for a living) can pass up. In a sort of "Mewtwo Strikes Back" kind of way- this alluring prize on an island in an old lab turns out to be more dangerous than any of the collectors can handle. They gather, each with their own goals and reasons for doing so- whether to use the money to help a decimated country, for personal greed, revenge, or just to satisfy bloodthirst, and this sets the stage for a battle royale of wits and wills. At times though, the show seems to lose sight of what it was going for- getting sidetracked on what are seemingly one off adventures that mostly end in Kyouma questioning something about himself, but not actually creating any new development.
The show has quite a large cast to be as short as it is, but this isn't all great, as many characters are relegated to first string bench warmer status, and play little to no role, especially later on. It does, however, do a fair job of returning to important moments from previous scenes, and wrapping things that seemed like dead ends up.
Kyouma's motivation for his job and raison d'etre are both explored at length. Finally, a show with a non-insert main character who actually has both tangible goals and reasons for why they do what they do. In his own angry-at-the-world way, Kyouma struggles against his inner demons, for love lost, his survivor's guilt, and the purpose of his continued existence in a world he no longer cares about. Cynical, hardened, and rather rage-filled, he makes for an interesting character who doesn't need anyone but himself, and honestly doesn't really care if people around him get hurt or killed. While not entirely heartless, he's a pretty cold and stoic character focused almost solely on his revenge. This isn't revealed immediately, but as we learn more about the character, we slowly begin to understand the obsession that eats at him.
In finishing, Dimension W was a nice change of pace this season- with a very action oriented show that wasn't preachy or pretentious in presentation, satisfying, and most importantly: unique. It's not a mystery, and it's not a pure shonen battle- it's got just the right amount of spice to keep things interesting, moving, and fresh. I don't think there are too many anime that couldn't benefit from longer to flesh out their ideas and really explore characters and plots, but Dimension W is just about right at 12 episodes. Any less would have felt extremely rushed, and any more would have unnecessarily dragged it out. A shallow anime that's enjoyable enough? Sleeper anime of the season? That's for you to decide.
As always, come rage at me, or say something nice. I don't care.
Dimension W, definitely the best thing Studio 3Hz has made so far.
Dimension W is a very episodic road trip-ish anime about a dude who is essentially a
bounty hunter and a robot girl who gets stuck with him.
Pretty standard setup for an action show with some fancy visuals.
It's not without its flaws but if that sounded interesting to you it might be worth a watch.
--Full review: minor spoilers ahead
-Presentation(visuals & sound)
Dimension W has some well used CGI, though sometimes it can still stand out a bit too much.
The backgrounds are well made, the CGI never felt choppy, and I like the character designs.
I've heard from
some people that this is their favorite OP of the season, but it just sounded like pretty generic electro to me.
Same thing with the ED, not saying they're bad but I've heard better.
Overall the animation is just very fluid, colorful and nice to look at.
Dimension W is very arch based and starts with what I would call a very bad first episode, it's essentially just a setup for the next episode.
If you plan on giving Dimension W a go, then make sure you watch two episodes before deciding if you're going to complete it.
The second episode is much stronger, and introduces one of the recurring characters, Loser (yes they actually call him that).
There's one more episode that just felt like mostly boring info dumping, but that doesn't come until later on.
And even with the info dumping by the characters this is how I understand the coils: wibbly wobbly timey wimey, realities inside of coils.
Based on the premise I thought this show would comment on fossil fuel usage, but I didn't really hear much of that at all, for the better or worse.
For the sake of explanation I'm going to mention that the coils can essentially provide infinite energy, meaning they can do pretty much anything.
The author clearly had fun with this, maybe a bit too much since sometimes it feels like whatever happens the author basically pulled out of his ass.
Not that it matters too much since it's excused and explained and the story isn't super important here.
One more gripe I have with the story is how the characters backstories are explained almost entirely in flashbacks, come on can't you figure out something more creative?
Otherwise the story is interesting enough.
The ending is conclusive enough, definitely not just a read the manga ending.
Probably the best or the second best thing about the show, depending on how much you appreciate the animation.
For once we don't have a completely bland main character, Mabuchi Kyouma is a person who dresses in traditional clothes and hates coils.
Minor note that I don't particularly like the fact that Kyoma does his fighting with throwing knives, it tends to make for poor battle choreography.
Though the choreography is still better than average.
He has a fairly extensive backstory that I won't spoil.
Yurizaki Mira is Kyoma's robot partner who is extremely strong and can detect coils.
Their dynamic was quite fun to watch, and mira is also given an okay backstory.
Other than that due to the Nature of the show there aren't that many interesting recurring characters aside from Loser
But what is there is pretty good.
It might sound a bit harsh to only give Dimension W a 6/10 but there are many shows just like it, and outside of the premise
dimension W doesn't have much to distinguish itself with.
And on top of that it wasn't really my type of a show to begin with.
The narrative can feel a bit choppy at times.
Characters didn't get much development because the show was busy just establishing them in 12 episodes.
The visuals aren't without a few hiccups and the music used wasn't really my thing either.
I could still recommend Dimension W to someone who likes futuristic action shows.