"This is a prophecy for you, where five people will meet huge adversaries, and only you can protect everyone." Daisuke Toujima is a second-year high school student who was abducted when he was young. He was involved in a special phenomenon—Shibuya Drift—with his childhood friends Gai, Ru, Marimari, and Keisaku. They were transferred to the center of Shibuya over 300 years into the future. What's waiting for them is endless wilderness and forest, Interspersed ruin, future citizens, and "Revisions" which are huge mechanical monsters. Trampled by the monsters without understanding the situation, a girl who has the same name as the person who saved Daisuke when he was abducted, Miro, provided a mobile suit "String Puppet" and told them to save Shibuya. With separated paths, adversaries, destined prophecies, the boys, and girls are on their journey to return to their original time.
I will make this quick, this is either a series you will love or you will hate.
The primary reason to hate it is cause of the animation which is a heavy use of cgi animation and not of the best quality or because the main lead is annoying little brat with a hero complex and it makes you want to just drop it right there.
Well if u ignore those two i think you might actually like this series, the story is simple, It focuses on the entire town of Shibuya being teleport-ed along with the population within it to a different time in the future
and they struggle to survive in a different time period when the world is nothing but dystopia controlled by a group known as the revisions who seek to control the world and turn every last living being into like them a revison. The group focuses primarily on 5 students who have a connection to the events that occurred using mech suits knows as puppet strings to fight the enemy and try to get back to there own time.
That is pretty much the series, it is a sci-fi fantasy mech show with a simple plot but nevertheless intriguing story, nothing original but something to watch if u have nothing else to do. it has a bit of comedic moments, some serious moments and plenty of action to satisfy you.
Like i said if u can get past the animation quality and the annoying main lead you can have a fun watch. Give it a try and you decide.
How to describe Revisions?
The MC personality is can be described as the simple "Hero complex". The trope is done quite frequently, commonly displayed in an antagonist, that which impedes the protagonist's progress through their own journey for their own ambitions. The twist with making the main character having this personality instead is interesting, but it cannot be called quality. A change in writing norm does not mean all originality is well written, rather, it indicates that the writer strives for something different. Whether it is good or bad is always subjective. But this is not. Through reading the opinions of others, I can gather that
people legitimately enjoyed this anime, but their reviews were a basic defence against the universal panning it is receiving online and lacked depth in the explanations in coming to the defence of this anime. These reviews have generally been stating their view on the protagonist as "Good and original". While stating your opinion is always welcome and you shouldn't be discouraged to share your review, these interpretations I read felt as though they were "reaching" for some deeper meaning and got lost while binging this anime the first day it came out. But I digress, this review will cover the entirety of the anime and hopefully shed some light on the tragedy of writing that is "Revisions". If you want to know if you should watch it, just skip to the end.
*Note: Prior to some review sections, I like to quote the characters from the series I'm reviewing. No, these quotes aren't chosen arbitrarily and generally relate to my point. Just brace yourself for formal and informal writing forms.
"This doesn't feel real, I guess we just have to accept it now"
The story is atrocious. Simplicity is a trait generally frowned upon in writing, though there is nothing wrong with a simple story, the execution is ultimately the deciding factor in whether a story has a good "hook" and if it possesses the ability to keep the audience attached to this hook. The character of Milo implants the idea of pre-determined fate into Daisuke's mind, which in turn creates the dangerous "Hero complex" displayed in the present timeframe shown in the series. When a disaster comes, Daisuke takes this chance to prove that he is a hero. The problem with this is the occurrences that happen after. Everything just seems to fall into place for no real reason. An officer just believes that Milo is from the future and everyone agrees to the children piloting the mechs called
"String Puppets". At one point, I saw a glimmer of hope in the character of Mayor Muta. A character who I assumed was attempting to take advantage of the situation to increase his status and control in the area, which would explain why he would be so complicit with Milo's plans. This was quickly thrown out the window and he is shown to be spineless and doesn't contribute to the story, mainly because he gets taken out of the story completely until the near the end.
*This paragraph mainly just points out all the questions that come because of the terrible writing in the show. You can just skip it if you like.
The design of the story always brings up questions with terrible explanations. The main characters ask Milo why String Puppets can only be piloted by them, the children, to which Milo responds "That's how they were designed". This is never touched upon again. Also, when Lu and Gai, two of Daisuke's friends, obtain their own String Puppets, they seemingly master them and defeat a revision even though they just entered their mechs moments before. When Milo tells Lu to adjust the aim of her sniper 2.4 degrees to the right, Lu complies as though she isn't a high schooler who just entered a mech for the first time and is wielding a massive sniper, but some trained mech pilot. Mayor Muta agrees to work with the revisions stating that Milo is a person from the future with no evidence that they should believe her, but the representative from the revision also presents no evidence so they just jumped ship from one to the other with no real reason. In the start of a single episode, the people of Shibuya power the whole city, find an abundance of food and water and restore infrastructure to its previous state just because it's convenient to the plot. In an attempt to fix this in a single line, the police chief states that they are running out of food and water out of the blue when arguing with his subordinates. This wasn't a question, it's just bad writing.
Remember how I mentioned that there is nothing wrong with a simple story? Well, the writers then thought that they could create a complex story through the use of the "Time Travel" plot device. Time travel in fiction is always difficult, as its use in stories is always hard to nail. This is because the concept of time travel is complicated. If a character travels to the past to change the future, why would they need to predict that there is a possible outcome where the future is saved. That should be a given. If a character travels back in time to fulfil a created paradox, then should they not have needed to fulfil the paradox if their future is saved? Time travel from a writer's perspective can often create more questions and plot holes than serve to enhance the story's depth.
The comedy in the show is bad and feels forced. It feels as though the director asked a writer "Could you please write up some jokes, it doesn't have to pertain to the plot." There isn't much else I can say about it besides that it doesn't belong in this series.
"Wow, I am amazing! Now, I can protect everyone!"
The characters start by being relatable. The main characters are average people. Unfortunately, they are all very forgettable. Daisuke at the start of the series is somewhat relatable, in the sense that he strives for something more in his life. An inner turmoil or struggle with oneself that many in their teens or later adulthood experience. While this is an interesting concept, I mentioned that the execution of a story is a deciding factor in whether or not something can be called "good". This is the same when creating a character and their story. Daisuke's personality is shown to be dangerous, almost borderline psychopathic in nature. He is developed as a character who is mad with power. There was one scene where one of his friends questioned his assumed authority and Daisuke nearly attacked them with his mech. I realize that I'm repeating myself, but the way the characters are developed is executed poorly. Rather than developing a character, the writers intended to flesh out a personality trait. Is it interesting to have a protagonist with realistic flaws? Yes, but it's not sustainable in a storyline if the protagonist doesn't change in some way to reflect on their flaws and it isn't interesting is the protagonist is based on a personality type with only flaws. That is the main reason the desired "Hero complex" works with the antagonist, as their flaws are what lead them to work against the protagonist.
Daisuke's uncle Mikio was one of the only people that stood out to me and he only showed up briefly. It was because he was close to Daisuke and was shown to be a voice of reason. While most other characters would ridicule Daisuke for his ambitions and actions, Mikio tried to explain why his rash actions should be reflected upon. Later, Mikio, along with the rest of the Shibuya citizens, just give into Daisuke's delusions of being a hero. He continues to try and be a voice of reason but to a lesser effect later in the series.
There is a point where an AI in Daisuke's String Puppet calls him out for being a deluded coward, which I thought would be a turning point in his character development. He turns out to just forget about it in the next episode.
I understand that CG is offputting to some, but I find that some animes that use CG often utilize it to the best of its ability. This series did not. You may find yourself confused at the fact that the studio animated the scenes of Daisuke and his friends as children normally, and then switched to CG animation in the present time. Some research was done into this and an animator explained the reasoning behind this was because they had no character models for the younger children. Since they were only shown in flashbacks in a couple of scenes, it was easier to animate a scene rather than create a new character model for all five of the main characters. In theory, it's a logical approach to an animator and I would agree with them if I wasn't the person watching the anime. I have to admit this as a reviewer, the 2-D animations for the scenes with Daisuke and his friends as children were fantastic. The art style, the environment design, the facial expressions elicited by these characters. I found myself enjoying these scenes greatly, as they showed the quality animation that can be achieved with a high budget and proper execution. And then the series takes that away to give you CG animation that is poorly done.
Let's start off with the lip-syncing done in the series. It is borderline abridged series level. If you've never seen an abridged series, they tend to flap a character's lips to match the dialogue. The problem with this is that, although you don't need to spend time emoting expression in the dialogue, there is a disconnect with what the person is saying at times. No, this isn't done in every scene, but it's done enough times to which it is noticeable to an average viewer. The combat is standard. When I say this, I mean this in the most literal way possible. It's not bad, but there is absolutely nothing that set's it apart from everything else. The planning for scenes was bad. It's evident even in the first episode. The camera pans away from Daisuke for one second and he magically manifests a knife in his hand.
I read in a review that the show didn't portray any sort of fanservice. This was obviously false. The antagonists shown are furries in skimpy or stupid outfits. A loli furry in a maid outfit and a big titted fox girl in the thinnest clothing you can allow on television. When I read about fanservice in a mech anime, I think generic mech action scenes that please mech anime patrons, I didn't expect actual full-blown fanservice from girls in the series. I'm not saying fanservice is bad, or that it even needs a purpose sometimes, I'm saying that it just came out of the blue. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just some big-titted girl flashing her boobs at the camera every other scene, but they threw in some animal girls with no real setup and just said it was the form the revisions chose to take. Ok then...
I found the score composition for the series to be like the characters. Forgettable. Nothing made me want to listen to the music outside of the episodes. The only music I really enjoyed was the Opening by "The Oral Cigarettes". I honestly can't write much about it, as the music didn't really evoke any emotions, it was just there. If you took out the music in some of the episodes and watched it, I doubt there would be much difference. Honestly, I think it might make the episode better in some cases.
Should you watch it? 3/10
God no. After watching this show through its entirety, twice may I add, I cannot in good conscience recommend anyone to watch this show for any reason. Not for the story, and not even for laughs. The only laugh I got out of it was the joy I felt after I finished the series, and this isn't a joke. If you're looking for a mech anime with meaningful story, just go watch Eureka Seven, or if you're looking for something similar to this but with slightly better writing, I would recommend Darling and the FranXX. The story is bad, with a confusing plot the main character could barely understand, twists that the writers thought were clever (But weren't), and characters as bland as cheerios. Usually, a story has a lesson to be taught in the end. This one was if you have a goal and put forth unwavering ambition, even at the cost of other people's safety, you should go forth and achieve it. The writers wanted it to be "Believe in yourself when others ridicule you" but it really just turned out wrong. After trying to hold myself back, I can finally say without a doubt that this is complete and utter trash.
P.S. I tried not to mention the Director, as I'm sure some reviewers have already done so, but he is most notable for Code Geass, another anime known for having mechs and a complex story. He just didn't do a great job this time around.
Here's a treat for SSSS.Gridman and Planet With fans. As for me, easily best of the 3.
Revisions is a story about this kid who was already during his childhood hinted he would be saving the world one day from 'something'. Just so happens to be, during the high school phase his life starts rolling towards his 'destiny' when bug-alien-robots come to his very school and start wrecking everything and killing students in brutal ways. Naturally, the original fortuneteller appears there, too, except she is not really 'she' because the story is mysterious this way. Her role is to show how the world can be
saved by piloting these mecha thingies which she brings with her so that the kid -- for unknown and unspecified reason -- needs to start piloting as of right now without any type of training or whatsoever. Why some trained elite soldier didn't do this or why he wasn't prepared for this job is a question that many similar mecha shows from million different Gundams to Xam'd's have made the audience ask. But Revisions has an answer.
This "you're destined to save the world" setup is a bad excuse for the story at best, no doubt, but it can be forgiven to great extent for the series' good sides. However, it will be a time-consuming task since the content itself is rather dull and soulless for the entire first half of the show. Many viewers are bound to lose interest and the reward will only please a niche audience. Our main characters beat the aliens without there even being a learning curve because apparently that's not an important aspect of the show but the good part is that this really is the case and how it is all intended. Instead, politics and government as well as different parties from civilians to child-soldiers play a heavy role here to create certain type of multi-perspective concept where it is not fully clear who is who and who the "baddies" actually really are in this series if there even are any. Again, for the entire first half of the show, this aspect of the story mainly reminds me of The Walking Dead tv series except it doesn't make much sense in this world where it works this way by default and not as the outcome of 10 years of zombie apocalypse. However, things are explained and it all end up making making sense surprisingly well. The "mystery" elements and the reveal of the "truth" are somewhat impressive/well-planned and, even for me as a person who typically sees mystery elements as cheap excuses or plot-devices; the selling point of the show.
To put the story simply: Definitely not for casual viewing. Not a beginner-friendly anime. It's not the most solid thing from its setup and plot-advancement nor does its jumpiness and pacing make the experience better, but it offers a unique world, new take on its genre and mystery elements that aren't for once self-explanatory but not completely foreshadowing-lacking asspulls either. A mature anime containing gore, dealing with some highly questionable subjects and contains several brutal scenes that children definitely should not see. As a whole, the story is full of problems no doubt, but also contains a highly unique approach which I found to be a success.
In terms of characters, our main is portrayed a hero. His friends vary from extra shy girl with glasses to people who hate him because he is such an arrogant moral soldier who lives to protect. Fortune teller is basically the only capable adult in the series while the job of other adults consists of quite literally fucking shit up more than the 'aliens' did. Especially people from the government are made so one-dimensional it's almost as if their sole purpose is to make the audience hate their thoughts and actions. The "villain" side contains some epic characters such as animal ears and tails wearing furry whose costume consists of sexy swimsuit parts, talking raccoon thingie who explodes once in a while and loli maid because that's the best kind of maid. It's pretty safe to say finding a person who appreciates these characters for their low-effort personalities will be a hard task, but they come with genuinity and realism of the kind that is rarely seen in anime these days which alone is worth some praise.
From the production department, we are looking at a typical Netflix anime. CGI animation, terribly awkward character movements. Rough and the opposite of fluid/polished. Otherwise the art and color pallet are rather pretty to look at. The mecha design is lol-worthy and monster design most likely the outcome of speed drawing competition. Voice acting and OST are of respectable quality. Some bigger names are present and the BGM was surely fitting, offering decent action wobs and making some of the scenes much more entertaining to watch as they would have otherwise been. The dialogue was definitely more interesting to follow thanks to the decent seiyuu work.
Considering the recent Netflix shows, I would say this is a perfect place to lose all hope.. on good animation. Those who can grab onto the mystery elements and the "story unfolds" side of the narrative will most definitely end up enjoying Revisions, but it will never gather an army of fans praising it. There are plenty of reasons to hate this show, so be warned; it really is not for everyone to approve of.
Can delusional protagonists ever serve an interesting purpose?
How much does absolute originality determine the merits of fiction?
Or why, indeed, would you want to give Revisions a chance?
In essence, I believe this series can be reasonably entertaining as the more or less straightforward sci-fi tale of five teenagers suddenly being transported into a barren future, where the entire population of Shibuya also needs to survive and adapt to these new conditions. Likewise, the show focuses on a fairly interesting thematic exploration about the concept of destiny within a context where time travel is possible. All of this is portrayed in a rather succinct manner without
much room for filler or distractions. If you can manage to latch onto either of these main aspects, you might want to check out Revisions.
Having said that...there's a lot more to consider about the show in terms of its strengths and weaknesses in order to explain why, at least based on my experience, the series has enough value to compensate for any flaws.
On an introductory level, what will probably make or break the story of Revisions in the eyes of many viewers is the protagonist: Daisuke Dojima. Logically enough, the prospect of following a main character with a delusional and overbearing personality can often be a drag. I do not blame any individual viewers for finding this to be an issue, particularly early on.
Be that as it may, the story quickly establishes a very specific reason why Daisuke holds such questionable beliefs about heroism: a childhood prediction about his destiny. It's not an entirely senseless ideal. And yet, right from the start, the show also signals to the audience that Daisuke's behavior is a problem in reality. Adults and teenagers alike hold him in greater or lesser degrees of contempt. Revisions is not interested in merely patting this young man on the back and giving him a free pass.
To put it another way, instead of portraying the protagonist's so-called "hero syndrome" in isolation, much of the story deals with how his delusional behavior affects other people and the world around him. In other words, there is plenty of skepticism built into the narrative regarding the true worth and meaning of the "destiny" that motivates Daisuke. Which, from my point of view, helped keep me invested in continuing to watch even when the protagonist was not behaving in a respectful or gentle manner.
In fact, I'd estimate over half of the storyline reflects an implicitly or explicitly cynical perspective towards his heroic ambitions and, more to the point, a harsh view of the original predictions behind it. What's ultimately more important for the writers of the show, in the long run, is not exactly what Daisuke thinks about himself as opposed to the reasons why he believed such a thing and their implications. This might seem like a subtle distinction, at a glance, but I'd argue it is a relevant one.
Without going into any detailed spoilers, the time-related angle ends up becoming increasingly relevant in order to illustrate this theme as the story develops. By the end of the narrative, the prediction that fueled Daisuke's destiny doesn't have quite the same meaning anymore. Furthermore, it also plays a role in determining the character development of certain additional individuals. Thus, while Revisions has been described as yet another work about heroism, which is an entirely understandable reaction, I do believe that emphasizing this too much would be a case of missing the forest for the trees.
On that note, this brings me to the setting of Revisions. Most of the series takes place within the limits of Shibuya, in addition to occasional trips to the surrounding future wasteland. Inside this unfamiliar environment, the narrative briefly addresses both the changing reactions of the general population as well as the internal power struggles between the remaining government officials.
In retrospect, I would argue the show was more interested in portraying the tensions between the youth and the ensuing leadership conflicts instead of fully exploring the former aspect, which was reflected in the allocation of running time. The direct ideological contrast between Chief Kuroiwa and Mayor Muta as rival authority figures might be essentially by the book, so to speak, but it was sufficient as a secondary framing device without replacing the core of the narrative. Once that element was no longer necessary, it faded into the background in an appropriate manner.
Naturally, we did get to see various scenes depicting a mix of chaos, impatience, improvisation, mood swings and tensions among the common people. Mind you, I do get the impression that this sort of process could have been handled more smoothly with additional episodes. As things stand, it's more lean and to the point rather than truly comprehensive. At times, it might feel like certain factions among the citizens are behaving in an irrational manner, but I would argue that is an ugly yet inevitable side of humanity. Contrary to what some of us might hope for, communities living in desperate times are susceptible to disorganization, gullibility and selfishness. You can find plenty of reasons for such responses. Therefore, those scenes are unfortunately brief yet still qualify as realistically written.
Moving on to the role played by the String Puppets, a term referring to the power suits that provide the mecha action content of Revisions...they're primarily a means to an end. Decent enough for the purposes of entertainment. As is common in the vast majority of mecha anime, this implies we will see teenagers piloting robots in order to fight, but I would argue this show did at least mention why that would be possible. One part of the explanation is purely technological in nature (their interface and the assistance provided by artificial intelligence) and, as confirmed a few episodes later, the other is connected to the time travel factor.
To be sure, I will readily admit that, on a structural level, Revisions is not aiming for raw originality. Of course, tales of teens fighting monsters or surviving during a crisis are not exactly new premises. Time travel has been a sci-fi storytelling staple for decades too. It would also be quite easy to make a list of seemingly major revelations around the halfway mark that may legitimately surprise the cast of characters but, at the same time, will surely seem commonplace in the eyes of any sufficiently experienced science fiction fan.
My own stance is that science fiction premises can only aspire to create the illusion, as opposed to the reality, of originality at this point in history. For example, think about some of your favorite sci-fi anime or television series from recent years. There's a very big chance that such works are either part of a pre-existing property or, failing that, effectively based on adapting or re-interpreting a story that has already been told before.
Even so...I would say the last couple of episodes of Revisions did employ one or two creative twists, thus arguably containing a more or less unexpected combination of elements when compared to the rest of the show. Mind you, I will acknowledge that these final events will not necessarily be to everyone's taste either. It seems easy enough to lose track of certain details, particularly if you have forgotten (or skipped) some tidbits of information that were only briefly referenced before.
Was there enough foreshadowing in order to properly connect the dots? I would say so, strictly speaking, but perhaps just barely in certain areas. Suffice to say that, while I do not give the narrative the highest possible marks and the writing could be more blatant than necessary during certain dramatic beats, I feel the story generally wrapped up the main themes in a satisfactory manner and left the principal characters in an alright state.
There is enough room left at the end for a sequel or spin-off, which I wouldn't be opposed to watching, but until that happens...the epilogue appears to be a purely symbolic gesture. For that matter, it might also be used as a plot point in the upcoming mobile game tie-in. Who can say?
As a final note....following in the footsteps of most fictional stories involving time travel, a series like Revisions cannot escape the emergence of potential paradoxes, especially when curious viewers attempt to reconstruct the entire temporal landscape. We do receive useful explanations about quantum brains and time manipulation mechanics, which are arbitrary by definition but should cover the main questions. However, they are not totally comprehensive. In retrospect, we didn't get to witness everything firsthand and so would need to make various extrapolations based on indirect data. Frankly, I do not believe this is the most important part of the experience, but those who are usually troubled by such concerns might want to relax.
While the cast of Revisions was suitable for the purposes of telling its storyline, there is a valid line of criticism regarding their moderate to limited depth. In short, much of the characterization remains within standard anime parameters and only a few members of the ensemble crew were significantly developed.
That said, I would also say they were usually properly written. Just not in the most granular or decompressed manner. Therefore, as far as anime teenagers are concerned, I would say these are not particularly offending examples.
We have already discussed "our hero" before, the annoying Daisuke Dojima. It is fair to say that many will find him absolutely intolerable but, as explained above, I believe his annoying personality feeds into a valid storytelling purpose. Truthfully, the reactions he generates among the rest of the cast also provide entertaining dynamics over time. Despite the expected expressions of dislike...I feel there is also the potential for a certain amount of relatability, especially among viewers who may have been at least slightly delusional during their childhood and thus recognize parts of Daisuke's overly intense personality. While he shrugs off most critics at first, certain key challenges do have a cumulative impact on Daisuke. Rather than becoming another person...one could argue that, by the end of the story, his worldview was successfully refocused.
Milo, the attractive young woman who set the original prediction in motion, remains calm and professional during the majority of the narrative. She's in the awkward role of needing to provide assistance to the Shibuya defenders against the Revisions yet still lacks enough power and is restricted by her duties. As much as she is connected to the time travel plotline, she may not be fully aware of the consequences of her actions or omissions. Milo tends to be more of an observer and a mentor, in practice, but she gradually starts to show a more genuine interest in the fate of these teenagers and her personality does shift as a result. Generally, this all works out. Having said this, I think she's the one character who would get the most out of any potential sequel to Revisions. What little we learned of Milo's past was interesting enough, but I had expected to see more interactions with her peers.
The Steiner twins, Gai and Lu, were close enough to a state of normalcy. They were usually skeptical of Daisuke's impulsive behavior and were generally dependable members of the Shibuya Defense team. Not especially colorful, either way, but they are effective as representatives of how rational people would (ideally) think and act under the circumstances. They do show a wider emotional range than initially expected, rather than simply copying each other, but they are not at the center of any great drama.
Keisaku mostly serves a supporting role as the protagonist's best friend with a slightly self-deprecating attitude and occasional mediator between Daisuke and other individuals, but they did find ways to connect him to the larger story. One was fairly dramatic yet relatively predictable and the other was actually more interesting. I'd consider it as slightly surprising or even amusing.
Mari, the shy would-be love interest, gets a couple of brief emotional sequences and deals with a certain ethical dilemma that viewers will either sympathize with or find to be too stereotypical. At the very least, I was content with the resolution of that issue. I wish they had figured out how to provide her with a more elaborate sub-plot, but I imagine it wasn't easy to do so with only 12 episodes.
Chief Kuroiwa and Mikio Dojima, Daisuke's uncle, were both decently useful as adults with a comparatively solid amount of logic and common sense. As you can imagine, they also happen to confront Daisuke in the process and are skeptical of his actions. While their total amount of screen time was limited, albeit for different reasons in each case, they were still necessary as sources of balance and directly intervened in a few of the major sequences. Overall, I wanted to see more of them.
On the antagonist side, Nicholas was arguably the single best character and had the most distinct personality among the Revisions organization. It sounds very strange to say that about someone who looks like a stuffed dog mascot, but it's true! Honestly, the 3D animation worked pretty well with his cartoony design and expressions. His use of English (or, to be accurate, Engrish) made for good amusement value too. Besides his whimsical attitude, Nicholas brought complications and complexity to the story. Which will likely be either liked or disliked by the audience, but I was clearly in favor of the results.
Chiharu and Mukyu, the other two named members of the Revisions faction, were more memorable (or infamous) due to their over-the-top designs than for anything else. Out of everyone else in this show, they looked the most like utterly stereotypical anime characters: a bunny girl and a maid. Yes, that all sounds weird and dissonant in this context.
On the one hand, those are openly stated to be digital devices for remote communication and not physical bodies. I guess it might even be partially meant as a blatant in-joke: in the far future, someone could have reached the odd conclusion that anime cosplay would be better received than formal wear during negotiation attempts with 20th century Japanese people. On the other hand, it is still an arbitrary decision that, at least in Chiharu's case, also appears to be little more than an excuse to have a small number of fanservice shots. Thankfully, that doesn't last too long.
Mayor Muta, ostensibly the top authority figure of Shibuya, is a spineless individual that exists to show the darker sides of government during a crisis. In a few words, he prefers to work in his own interest and will take the easy way out. Without input from an external structure and subjected to public pressure, Muta can be either foolish or dangerous. Which makes for a viable form of contrast with Chief Kuroiwa's more inclusive leadership style. I enjoyed seeing their discussions but, in the end, that doesn't really manage to make Muta a strong character.
For the record, I am not an expert on musical criticism and prefer to avoid the use of any complicated terminology.
As far as I can tell, the soundtrack of Revisions was neither exceptional nor an obstacle to my enjoyment. It seemed to supplement the action without any particular misfires. In short, standard stuff. I can also point out, however, that the opening theme was quite catchy and wasn't clashing with the animated sequence.
Not much of a surprise, but the voice performances were all professional and fitting for the respective characters.
ART AND ANIMATION: 7/10
At long last, we have come upon the real elephant left in the room!
Revisions was primarily animated through the use of 3D computer graphics. This single decision, I'd strongly suspect, will remain a handicap for the series even based on principle alone. While there have been rare exceptions that avoid the rule, it's unusual for 3D anime to find much of an audience among the most outspoken fans of traditional animation techniques. Truth be told, I can understand this. I prefer 2D animation myself and, yes, it's also the case that 3D movement can be either disorienting or just plain confusing to watch.
Keeping that in mind...I think the staff of Revisions has made a good attempt to implement 3D animation in a technically superior manner, compared to similar contemporary anime, but it also slips up from time to time. In other words, I'd label the results as above average 3DCG, rather than setting a high water mark. Sadly, this is not equal to Land of the Lustrous. How could it be? Then again, I don't think that was a strict obligation.
Multiple anime studios have worked on improving their 3D processes over the years. Outcomes vary and so do audience preferences on the subject. As someone who has been watching anime for many years, this is still a big step forward compared to what was happening less than a decade ago. I've had some issues with jarring 3D animation in the past that were either solved or at least minimized this time around. Thanks to the relatively simple character designs for most of the cast in Revisions, the facial expressions and body language are often easier to accept than what you'd expect from a 3DCG anime made for TV broadcasting and/or Netflix streaming.
During certain episodes, or long portions of them, I forgot that this was supposed to be a 3D anime and completely bought into the illusion. In fact, the 2D background art seemed to mesh rather well with the models too. That's a clear victory in my book. Unfortunately, not every single scene was successful at this. I can only imagine that certain sequences would have required extra manual modifications and they simply weren't done. Similarly, the framerate seemed to vary and it stood out as inconsistent at times.
On the bright side, I think Nicholas looked impressive in almost every scene. Furthermore, the action sequences with the String Puppets benefit from the use of 3D animation in order to arrange some good choreography. It probably wouldn't be too easy to animate these unorthodox power suits with 2D either. This isn't exactly a show with a high dose of mecha action, but what was there seemed to be competently handled on the technical front.
How about the lip-syncing then? By and large, even purely traditionally animated TV productions aren't really paying much attention to that in Japan. In other words, the anime industry is bad at this and many studios don't care. Compare the English language dubs to the original Japanese voice acting. Most of the time, you'll notice the dub directors and actors probably made more of a real effort to match the lip flaps than the VA crew in Japan. Given that underlying reality, I didn't notice anything out of the ordinary here.
Curiously enough, not every single character was a 3D model. It's worth addressing that there are a few flashback sequences featuring children in 2D animation. Odd, in retrospect, but I feel the transitions worked in the moment.
Personally speaking, I had a reasonably fun and enjoyable time watching Revisions.
In all honestly, I can tell several readers are probably taking a quick glance at this review right after looking at the lukewarm reception this anime has received thus far. Some will be confused by this contrast. In theory, roughly 3 out of every 10 viewers seem to be unhappy with the show. That's quite understandable. It is not my task to convince everyone to like the series, but simply to present a case for further consideration.
Our media experiences will always be subjective. You've probably heard that before. Suffice to say that the distribution of different tastes, interests and pet-peeves will never stop coloring how we react to a story and its characters. Any analysis, positive or negative, is affected by this. Especially when, as in the case of Revisions, we are presented with a protagonist who isn't easy to like. As matter of fact, Daisuke Dojima is much easier to hate. Or, perhaps worse, he might be plain boring.
If nothing else, I have made an effort to expand on why that wasn't the case for me.
Speaking to my own tastes, I've found this series especially interesting as a fan of Infinite Ryvius, another sci-fi show made by the same director (Goro Taniguchi). Specifics aside, they are both shows that feature a group of annoying teenagers making bad choices in the middle of a crisis. I tend to find a certain fascination in the act of witnessing that sort of social conflictivity. Note that Revisions has a smaller-scale, feels relatively fast paced and doesn't have a lot of room to meander or dig deep inside certain topics, which is both a blessing and a curse, while Ryvius had the opportunity to explore a slower and more gradual progression.
Overall, it is fair to say Revisions is not brimming with great narrative freshness. Science fiction stories have used one or more of these ideas before. Nevertheless, I think this show is acceptable in terms of general technical execution and did present a slightly more unusual mix of factors than what I had originally expected. There is also something to be said about appealing to fans of a certain theme and making a show focusing on that, even if it happens to be less popular than the alternative.
Rather than expecting a truly novel masterpiece that will suddenly open my eyes to a new reality of storytelling, I believe this is good enough as an effective distraction. If this particular mix of elements appeals to you, then the experience might be worthwhile after all. If not, then you can and probably should move on to a more exceptional work. Take your time and think about it.