In the post-apocalyptic aftermath of a war between machines and their creators, machines rule while humans exist in a state of servitude. Titular character Karen leads Resistance Group 11, an eclectic group of humans who find themselves fighting for their lives as they are hunted by the robots in each episode. Is this the end of humanity? Are they fighting a losing battle?
Through Karen, we delve into a struggle between right and wrong, between indifference and love that explores some of the deepest questions about humanity. What is the difference between a thinking machine and a human being? What is a soul?
If The Terminator and The Matrix had a baby, that baby would be Karen Senki. But of course The Terminator and The Matrix are horrible parents so Karen Senki grows up to be a problem child. It decided to steal all of its parents material and burn it to the ground. With its never-ending use of action movie cliches (bullet time action sequences, explosions in the background with the hero walking away in slow-motion) Karen Senki is the epitome of ill-inspired action rip-offs. The story is totally unoriginal and the characters all seem like they were picked out of some other franchise. This show is
so mind-numbingly dumb I can't understand how it managed to become anything more than a script.
The creators seem to work hard to load the show up with metaphors, symbolism, and philosophy, but then make the story unbearably stupid, not seeming to realize their own mistake. The show takes itself too seriously, and doesn't seem to recognize how bad it really is. The story is a pretty average dystopian fiction; robots take over the world, kill people, and this one young beautiful girl decides to take a stand. It's predictable and boring.
The characters are nothing special, at all. We have Karen, our leading femme fatale. She's the typical female Clint Eastwood, able to shoot down hordes of robot minions without so much as scratching her skimpy little China doll dress. It helps though, that the robots, with their skills, couldn't shoot the fucking ground. I'm serious. These robots are so inept that any scene with them seems like it's supposed to be for comic relief. We also have an large array of other characters, way too many for a 12 episode ONA if you ask me. None of them have a speck of originality. We see an enigmatic renegade commander who can turn into a gelatinous super human, a tech savvy asshole who seems to have a thing for robot prostitutes, a pretty singer who has cloning technology, a dwarf who walks around in mechs, a robot commander who falls in love with a human, the philosophical robot army leader who doesn't seem to understand what he's doing, and Karen's little sister Touka. Yes, yes, this is still the same show. None of these characters are really looked into, none develop, and most things about them are left unexplained.
The only good thing I have to say about this show is the animation. The entire show is in CG. Though I personally thought the art style and animation was well done not all seem to share my opinion. I've heard people say that the animation looks like a painting and others say that it's total crap. So it really depends on personal preference.
This show shoots itself in the head with each episode. Nothing makes any damn sense and so many things are left unsaid by the end of it, it seems as though they're planning on making a second part. Join me in praying this never happens.
This anime is both under-rated, and ove-rated. Under-rated for the story and characters, and over-rated for the superficial things, like being all 3-D CG.
My take on it, after watching all 11 episodes and waiting more than a month to let my emotions settle down, is that the characters and story are strong. Each episode reveals more and more about the story, and since they are only 11 minutes or so long, you can watch all of them "marathon style", but I would advise you not to do so.
Even though they are only 11 minutes long, each episode changes our assumptions and fills in more of
the story. Unless you are very alert, you might not process all of the information which is revealed, and thus, think that you were never told important things.
Whilst not going into the details of the plot or story, it was both tragic and comedic, and if you watch carefully, everything important is revealed.
So, overall, this series looks great, has great characters, a great story, and is well presented. It compacts a lot into the short episodes, and the glamor can easily distract you from the substance, but the substance is there, as well.
In addition, there is nothing quite like it... when you actually watch it with an open mind, I am sure you will come to appreciate it as more than the sum of its parts. Highly recommended.
Do you like action packed, explosive, shoot'em ups with characters trying to survive the world their in and destroy those who would do them harm? Then Karen Senki may be the anime for you. It's not a deep story, and there isn't a lot of character development. It is however, visualy appealing and features a band of unlikely heros doing their part for the common good. I wish it had more content, and I can see why many others dislike this anime. It's a fun story that in the end, left me wanting a little more. I enjoyed it for what it was, and I
would consider watching it again in the future.
I could be giving it to much praise but the unique aspects of the show I think it is deserving more then it gets on that alone.
Story and Setting:
It is Set in a future where machines have taken control of the world. Humans live in pocket societies with the machines but it is clear the machines are in charge.
The Story is told in a unique way that it tell two stories at the same time a past and present this is all in ten minute episodes so it can give you a lot of information in
a short time. In the present story our protagonist Karen is fighting for ageist the Machines a lone while they in turn are hunt her. Some mysterious force has given Karen and most of are other supporting characters superpowers marking them with a symbol on their body. Past story is before the Machines took over and is about of Protagonist and other supporting characters pasts. It gives us great depth into are characters motivations and feelings.
There are like no characters in this show.
It most just follows Karen. And one machine in the past.
But even with just short stories on the supporting character they are all interesting.
Karen is a badass that fights for what was lost.
But the robot of the past might be the most interest story and character as you go through his life living for humans.
Art/Animation and Sound
The Art is so beautiful it is like watching a moving painting. With solid animations that work. But the sound is the biggest surprise the got some amazing voice work on this there is an English part with the most natural sounding English I heard in an anime.
So yes I did like this show a lot. Good action, interesting story and characters, beautiful art, and lots of mystery.