The year is 2071. Humanity has been pushed to the brink of extinction following the emergence of man-eating monsters called "Aragami" that boast an immunity to conventional weaponry. They ravaged the land, consuming almost everything in their path and leaving nothing in their wake. To combat them, an organization named Fenrir was formed as a last-ditch effort to save humanity through the use of "God Eaters"—special humans infused with Oracle cells, allowing them to wield the God Arc, the only known weapon capable of killing an Aragami. One such God Eater is Lenka Utsugi, a New-Type whose God Arc takes the form of both blade and gun.
Now, as one of Fenrir's greatest weapons, Lenka must master his God Arc if he is to fulfill his desire of wiping out the Aragami once and for all. The monsters continue to be born en masse while the remnants of humanity struggle to survive the night. Only God Eaters stand between the Aragami and complete and total annihilation of the human race.
God Eater is one of those odd shows that starts out as kind of a slow burn for a few episodes at risk of losing you, but then goes from 0-100 real fast to grab you right back in. Let's take a look at the score breakdown quick to see where we end up.
Story (5/10) - The story honestly wasn't that special. It isn't anything we haven't seen before, just your standard monster apocalypse type fair. It didn't fail particularly at anything, but didn't do anything exceptional either; it just served as a familiar spring board for the viewer to get into
the action. I did really appreciate all the flashback scenes and explanations how how this all came about and the description of the monsters (Aragami?). It is something this show actually did really well that many other apocalypse shows either ignore or stumble on inelegantly. It almost makes me want to bump up the story score... almost. There is one minor quibble I have in the 2nd last episode about Alisa, but the action pulls you along quickly enough that I could ignore it and continue to enjoy the show.
Art (10/10) - Hoooooooolllyyyyy shit... is quite frankly the only way I can truly express how ridiculously beautiful the art and animation is for God Eater. Outside of a few hiccups that are fixed in the blu-rays, the visuals are just absolutely stunning, as is to be expected from Studio Ufotable. The lighting, the particle/water effects, the characters, the monsters, just absolutely top notch work. This is the kind of stuff you expect to see out of a movie budget. Everything was fluid and distinct, even in busy light-show scenes, and the animation really managed to bring things to life. It made horrifying scenes all the more horrifying and pleasant scenes absolutely delightful.
Sound (10/10) - Another stand-out category for this show. The OP is great and gets you super pumped, the ED is fantastic closure, and the insert songs in this show were just on a whole other level. "Human After All" might be one of my favourite all time insert songs, and I look forward to the OST release with great enthusiasm. The Foley in this show was also pretty top notch as well, with just fantastic sound effects permeating every scene without overbearing the voice work, which itself was also exceptional. Really, really top notch sound work. An absolute joy to listen to.
Characters (6/10) - Most of the characters, like the story, are kind of your standard archetypes. You have the strong-silent Soma, the impulsive and heroic Lenka, the psychologically traumatized girl that tries to hide her emotions, etc. Part of the problem this show had is that a lot of the character development came in the latter half of the show, with one notable exception. So you spent a good 1/2 of the show just thinking everyone is a stoic champion cut-out. By the time all the character complexity came up, you were nearly at the climax already. If it wasn't for this fact, I could have easily given it a higher score, as the characters themselves are quite interesting. That being said, there are a couple stand out character moments in the show. I won't spoil them here as they are important to the story, but they are moments where the character development is leagues above what you'd expect from it, moments that earnestly brought tears to my eyes, so that raises the score a bit.
Enjoyment (9/10) - This is a hard one because early on (the first 3-4 episodes) the show wasn't very engaging. It was just kind of laying the world-building ground work and introducing a large cast. Once it hit episodes 4/5 though, it really took off at a frantic pace that didn't stop right up until the end. Thankfully the gamble paid off and the latter 2/3 of the show became very, very enjoyable for me. Despite all the archetypal characters and standard storyline, the direction was solid enough that it was still very fun to watch, and obviously the top tier animation/music helped prop it up a little bit as well. Nonetheless, it was a quite fun bombastic action series with the occasional fantastic character scene. I also have to give credit to the show for going darker and grittier and punishing characters for their mistakes. Yeah, there was still plot armour, but the characters still suffered when they fucked up, and they suffered badly (I wish I could bold/italicize "badly" here, some of it it was frankly horrifying). It really gave a lot more weight to their actions and made such a standard apocalyptic story more easy to suspend disbelief for and pull you in.
Overall score: 8/10
God Eater is a really interesting show. It face a lot of hurdles throughout its run from the production delays attempting a whole new and beautiful animation style. This probably lost a lot of viewers and quite frankly hurt the show rather badly due to the fact that some of its best work was presented in the remaining 4 episodes a full season after the original run began. It also has some problems with its story/characters. It is an adaptation of a game with a self-insert protagonist you play with zero background story, so expecting miracles from the story and characters isn't going to serve you well. Honestly though, they did a fairly good job coming up with a proper background story for Lenka, one with meaning behind it. It is worth a watch, if for nothing else other than the breathtaking animation and spine-tingling music. The characters eventually do become interesting by the end, and it really lifts the show out of how mediocre it could have been and breathes life into the story. If you want a super deep story and unique, multifaceted characters, God Eater wont be your thing, but if you just want a dark and gritty action show romp with best-in-industry aesthetics and the occasional heartfelt moment, then God Eater will be right up your alley. If you do give it a shot, I really suggest sticking around until at least episode 5 before deciding on whether or not to keep going.
God Eater is like spoiled milk. It doesn't get any better with age. Now that this show is over, we can all breathe a sigh of relief when we clean that proverbial spot out of the refrigerator (our anime lists) that the fermenting cow squeezins are in the trash, and gone far far away from us.
At this point in time, I think most people have blissfully forgotten about God Eater, so I'm going to dig this rotting corpse up out of its shallow grave and run it over with a dumptruck again.
You tell me what's worse: a ripoff of an classic, or a
ripoff of an extremely successful ripoff of an old classic?
I'll tell you what's worst still: a terrible ripoff of a ripoff of an old classic that shamelessly TRIES to be something new, but sticks to the conventions of its hack fraud origins, to its own failure.
That's what we call God Eater.
Seriously, this show is so bad that they halted it halfway through its run due to internal issues and poor reception- the rest aired more than 6 months later to a quiet death. I doubt anyone watched it then, either. Maybe besides me.
Artwork and Animation: 7
I think most people (myself included) started this show because of interest in the company that produced it: ufotable. They're pretty well synonymous with "maximal animation budget", but Fate this is not.
I do have to hand it to them for being different though. The art style looks like oil on canvas, then on top of very stylized and crisp backgrounds. Kind of like David Production's Jojo, but less comic book-like. A lot of people were expecting a Fate UBW level/ultrarealism looking, and were disappointed, but I was impressed with their choice to do something different.
However... this is the only strength of the show.
Sound and Voice Acting: 1
These cast members should be straight ashamed of themselves. Talk about phoning it in... this is a Central Park Media level BAD performance. Ultra generic angsty teen yelling and the absolute most bored sounding adults permeate this trash. In fact, it would have been better as a silent series, because then I wouldn't feel like my ear drums were being put into a wood chipper. Either that, or just play the Benny Hill Theme throughout the entire show, to accentuate how stupid it is.
Anyone with two brain cells to rub together can tell you that God Eater is copying Attack On Titan. If I tell you "humanity lives inside a city with very tall walls, and are constantly under attack by monsters. They're defended by a group of people who aren't equipped to fight this massive threat. They suffer loss after loss, a lot of people die, and it seems hopeless, until a hero with new powers emerges and is able to fight back."
What do you immediately think of?
Now that the show is actually complete- here's what happens:
Nothing. It's nothing a but a mindless action vomit featuring overpowered, but conveniently weak at inopportune moments characters falling into the same traps every single episode. The "story" just serves as an excuse to put tits and teen angst on display with comically superpowered characters.This is undiluted, brainless schlock and nothing more.
Standard issue whiny, angst ridden, shonen protag and oversexualized Female companion who suffers mental breakdowns for half the show and turns into a sniveling pile of useless crap, and should have just died, but alas, twas not to be.
The supporting cast is a ragtag group of apathetic losers. One super cool dude who smokes in every scene, because he has to show you how little he cares by smoking all the time, as everyone knows smoker characters are apathetic edgemasters. One is a "dark mysterious edgy past" character, and the other is total yawner of a woman, not even interesting enough for me to make a description of how boring she is.
Enjoyment and Overall: 3
Since I gave the story a -10, the actual score is 0.6. Scoring it as low as possible with a 1 gives me a rating of 3.
This show was actively offensive on many levels. The one scene I can clearly recall from the show, as I've scrubbed the rest of them from my memory, went like this:
Protag and useless blubbering female go running around in circles trying to evade the monsters after they lose their weapons, since the chick decided to break down in the middle of a fight and refuse to keep living (should have left her to get eaten, tbh.). They are shown in a montage literally running up and down hills and around buildings, with this ultra dramatic music in the background. It was the most cringeworthy thing I have seen in a long time, and the only reason why anything about this show was memorable, just for how bad this was.
I would encourage everyone who knows what I'm talking about to go back and mute the episode at that point, then play the Benny Hill theme on top of it and tell me it doesn't match up perfectly.
For those who'd argue about my claim of Attack on Titan coming first:
It's debatable which actually came first, God Eater Burst, the video game on which this anime was based, or Attack on Titan, as both came out at around the same time. AOT premiered in September of 2009, and God Eater Burst appeared in February of 2010. Naturally, games have development periods of generally at least a year, but novels and series have to have time to be written as well.
But, we're going to call this anime a rip, because AOT came out 3 years ago, and this is 2016, Bob Saget!
As always, come rage at me, or leave nice comments. I don't care.
Ever wanted to go to an anime fantasy world and see what it’s like? Maybe that thought should be put on-hold for a show like God Eater. In this series, it’s a world that most people probably wouldn’t want to visit. Why? Because it takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where mysterious monsters known as the Aragami exists and they aren’t exactly there to make friends with humans.
Based on a video game, God Eater strikes to me as a peculiar series that really needed to hook the audience. The type of hook should be something that would keep the audience at the edge of
their seat. But what does it really accomplish? A rather messy start that doesn’t exactly leave strong impressions. In essence, God Eater (based on the game, God Eater Burst) is more about the action and less about constructive storytelling on most parts.
Consisting of 13 episodes, the series seemingly has promise in the beginning. Despite not being very original in its premise, it still has a way to be unique. In the beginning, we have Utsugi Lenka, a man who is part of the Fenrir, a group dedicated to fighting the Aragami. Among his group, there are also others with reasons to fight beyond just survival. Furthermore, the show makes it clear that in order to fight against Aragami, they would need special weapons. As such, God Arcs are created that are made from the cells of the Aragami. They are weapons, each unique in design and powers, to fight against them. Basically, this sets the story in motion with the war between humans and Aragami.
Now, God Eater’s characters are somewhat diverse. We got guys like Lindow who has leadership skills, Alisha with her repulsive yet secluded nature, the brains of the team like Sakuya, or powerhouse fighter Souma Schickal. Whatever the case, the main characters are all banded together with a common purpose – to destroy the Aragami. What some people may not realize is why they are fighting until the story unravels more about more about their past. And to be quite honest, it’s not really that special to look at. Or rather, it’s tragic with cases like Lenka and Alisha. So much so, the show often highlights their emotions on the battlefield when confronted with Aragami. Does this type of storytelling really work? In some ways yes, but other ways feels less welcoming. It also gives a very Attack on Titanish feel if you make a parallel comparison. But God Eater isn’t Attack on Titan. It’s more about surviving because the Aragami has already destroyed much of the world.
I have not played the original game before but the story to me feels flat. Yes, it does have some nice buildup but the pacing itself feels strange. The Aragami are also too one dimensional as antagonists with lack of characterization. The main characters and their relationships are hardly worth noteworthy either. Lenka is the type of guy that seems to do what he wants even if it puts himself or others at risk. The first few episodes establishes this when he nearly gets himself killed. Throughout the show, Lenka forges some relationships with others but most of them seems to go nowhere. His relationship with Alisha seems rocky while on a professional level, Sakuya and Lindow seems to see him more like a rookie. His relationship with others does improve a bit later though. In the meantime, the series also makes it clear that there’s no room for lighthearted episodes. It’s filled with utter despair and as such, expect more of emotional drama more than anything else. Romance isn’t something that will ever bloom either considering circumstances in their world. Instead, it feels like the main cast are more like an awkward family that slowly and slowly feels a connection with one another.
Despite the generic storytelling, God Eater does a decent job to make sure crucial plot holes are filled. These include the essence of the Aragami, the experimental plans from behind the scenes, or character pasts that shapes who they are in the present. Furthermore, the show has some pretty neat action combined with a stellar soundtrack. It makes the show feel credible when we see how they fight the Aragami in this apocalyptic world, a place that seems to be almost extinct of life. The world fiction in God Eater may also not feel very intriguing but it stays true to the premise, being that it’s desolate and easily gives the feel of a moody story.
The technical art style of God Eater is very ufotable-like with their style. Most of the character designs and Aragami are crafted with CGI animation. In addition, the action is fused with a lot of violence to illustrate the dark horrors of their world. However, I do have to say that it’s easy to get used to. Furthermore, the God Arcs has a distinctive look that makes them look diverse. In essence, artwork for God Eater has an intense feel to it.
Soundtrack is even more intense once you get attached to the style of this God Eater adaptation. Theme song performances has a variety of style that blends between moody, charismatic, and intensified by the action. Furthermore, I think the character voice mannerism deserves some praise especially with how they adapt with such a tragic world. In retrospect, characters shows the desire of their fighting spirit through their voice mannerism in the face of danger. Or at times, there’s also fear that is expressed by the talent of the voices.
God Eater is really a hit or miss show. It starts off with the tragic feeling of a dark story, transits into the fight for survival, and then littered with emotions. The show capitalizes on creating a tragic feel by background storytelling and some characterization. But for all it’s worth, the show itself feels more like a game rather than anime. The action, while stellar, is mere popcorn entertainment. Furthermore, the series constructs its story with weird pacing. So in retrospect, take the show as a grain of salt for what it is. Because in the end, God Eater isn’t that special.
This review will contain minor spoilers since I can't fully discuss some characters without mentioning certain things about them.
As somebody who played the God Eater game, I was very excited when it got an anime adaption. I had always felt that the story would translate very well to an anime and that the Aragami fights would be really fun to watch animated. So, was this the masterpiece that I hoped for or was it the disaster that I feared? Well, it was somewhere in the middle. There was more good than bad actually, but because of my disappointment with the show compared to my
expectations, I'll start with the bad.
The biggest issue with God Eater is Lenka. Let's make it clear from the start that I feel Lenka single-handedly knocked a couple of points off of the show's rating. The original game did not have a true protagonist. The protagonist was simply a player-created avatar that served one purpose: give the player someone to play as alongside the rest of the characters. Ufotable's decision to create a true protagonist would not have been quite as bad had they not made Lenka so boring. He's bland. He's an Eren clone. He has no personality. His seiyuu is very uninteresting to listen to. He gets inexplicably stronger as the show goes on as well rises through the ranks for seemingly no reason. He was just a bad decision all around. Ufotable would have been much better served just rolling with a collective group of characters (Lindow, Soma, Kota, Alisa, and Sakuya) all being co-protagonists if Lenka was the best they could do for creating their own protagonist.
Speaking of those other characters, none of them were properly developed in the anime. Lenka steals way too much screen time (and largely boring screen time at that- though I did like his flashback episode quite a bit) from them.
Soma is one of the most complex characters in the game. He's unpleasant up front and doesn't like working with others, but he has a real soft side to him. The reason he doesn't working with others is that they so often die and he's tired of it. On top of that, the guy is part Aragami. The anime touches on his past only a little bit, and doesn't give him nearly the screen time he gets in the game. A lot of this is due to a certain character not being introduced in the anime much to the dismay of fans of the game as she is a very important character. She was essentially responsible for about 70% of Soma's character development, which explains why he feels like such an unfinished product in the anime. It was hinted at during the last couple of minutes though that this character may be introduced in season 2 if there ever is one, so maybe that will happen hopefully.
Alisa is also very complex but her development is rushed way too fast. She has pretty bad PTSD, and they do a good job covering that intially, but how the PTSD affects episodes 9 and onward was not handled correctly at all. She deserved to be fleshed out more but it just didn't happen. It felt like they focused too much on the PTSD itself instead of the consequences of it. Sure, they hammered home the point that she's basically crazy, but nothing too bad really happens because of it. It pretty much got swept under the rug in the last few episodes when it should not have.
Sakuya and Kota are nothing special, and they weren't handled too improperly. I feel they did the best job with Kota out of all the characters. He got a lot of screen time and they did a good job with his character overall. Sakuya could have been more developed (they barely touched on her past with Lindow), but she is a pretty bland character to begin with so no big complaints.
Lindow was actually handled very well, so I won't write a lot about him. He got the most screen time next to Lenka so it was hard to mess him up.
The story for the God Eater game is also very good, with 2 main "halves" to it. The anime only covers about 25% of the game in total- or half of the first half if that redundancy doesn't bother you. I'm not going to bitch about them not adapting the entire story because I understand that wasn't possible in 13 episodes. Still, I would have liked for them to handle what they did adapt better. It seemed like the major plot points were either rushed or dragged out- there was no middle ground really. I was very happy with the way that episode 13 ended though as there were multiple hints at the rest of the game's story. Who knows whether it will eventually be adapted, but it was satisfying to see them acknowledge the later events and lay the groundwork for a possible second season.
For all my bitching about Lenka and how he took so much important screen time away from the rest of the show, it overall was not bad. The story was still solid overall even though they could have done a better job. The flashbacks featuring Johannes and Paylor were a welcome addition that the game did not feature. They were overused, but they served the purpose of providing background for the creation of the Aragami. They didn't do a very good job of explaining exactly what God Eaters are and what their powers are, but they made up for it by giving an excellent backstory for the Aragami apocalypse.
The animation is also extremely fluid and makes the fights more entertaining. Overall, the fights were disappointing simply because they weren't quite as action-packed as expected. Maybe it's just my personal bias as someone who played the game but the Aragami just went down way too easily most of the time. But even though the fights were underwhelming, they were nicely animated at least. The art is also not bad, although I feel it is unnecessary. Ufotable did the prologue OVA for the game as well as all cinematic cutscenes in the game, and they looked just fine. There was no reason to use such a unique and somewhat lazy art style when they had animated the title before with a much cleaner-looking art style. The character designs suffered the most from this. It looks good overall (especially the environments which look great) but it had its problems. Also, I didn't think the CGI Aragami looked too great either but they weren't terrible. People who are not fans of CGI will likely be put off by the Aragami though.
Great soundtrack overall. It was very nice to hear songs from the game like "Of God and Man" during flashbacks and "No Way Back" during the final episode. It's a shame that "Over the Clouds" couldn't be used as that is the iconic song of the game, but the rest of the soundtrack was good enough to make up for it. The voice-acting cast is also stellar with the exception of Lenka. Lindow especially stood above the rest with Soma a close second despite his lack of screen time.
Even though I was disappointed overall with the anime adaption, it was still an enjoyable watch. Though a lot of the game is still left not adapted and the characters were underdeveloped compared to in the game, it was still a solid 7. It would have been an 8 without Lenka, but he simply stole too much screen time from the rest of the characters as well as the overall plot. I'll say it again; the game had no "true" protagonist outside of a player-created avatar. Ufotable messed up trying to create a protagonist for the anime series. Other than that it was solid and I'm honestly just happy that it did indeed get an anime adaptation.
Character: 5. The roster is actually pretty good but too many of the characters were left underdeveloped and thus hurt the score.
Enjoyment: 8. I still enjoyed it despite the fact it did not live up to my expectations. Fun to watch for anyone who is an action or post-apocalyptic fan.
If a second season ever occurs, I feel it will be much better. I doubt it will happen though after they had so much trouble with the first season.
God Eater is an extremely popular video game, known world-wide. Its fans are dedicated to the core and thrilled about the new God Eater anime series, airing now. Join the producer of the show Yusuke Tomizawa as he talks about the journey from game to anime!