A.D. 2115—the island nation once called Japan is now known as the "17th Far East Imperial City Management District."
The citizens were promised a life of peace in exchange for some of the comfort they were used to having. People believed their lives would never change and tomorrow will be the same as today. No one suspected the impending doom which their society was about to face.
"Degradation"—a rare disease which led to the total disintegration of the human body to a mere pile of sand was slowly but surely spreading throughout the world.
Tohru Kazasumi, an ordinary student becomes embroiled in a multi universal battle between his world and the parallel world of "Frontier S (Stratos)." This meant that Tohru must fight himself from an alternate world.
Let’s face it: There are a LOT of bad anime out there. Despite that fact, 99% of anime created over the course human history have at least some sort of redeeming quality. It doesn’t matter how incoherent the plot is, how god-awful the characters are, how piss poor the animation is, or how maddeningly awful the sound effects are; there is almost always SOMETHING that you can take away from a show. Maybe the art style is pleasant. Maybe that comedic relief character was actually funny occasionally. Or maybe the show just provided some mindless fun at times. However, once in a blue
moon, you may stumble across a special show that falls into that remaining 1%. A show that quite literally could not be worse than it already is. A show that lacks so much as a single redeeming quality. A show that is so awful, it feels like an accomplishment. Ladies and Gentleman; we have been gifted this season with one of those remarkable anomalies that defy all human comprehension. I present to you: Gunslinger Stratos. One of the worst anime of all time.
Synopsis: I have absolutely no idea. There are two parallel universes with completely arbitrary differences, the inhabitants fight each other for no reason whatsoever, and people turn into sand sometimes. I just don’t know.
So in case that synopsis didn’t clue you in, the biggest and most glaring problem that Gunslinger Stratos has is the fact that it makes NO sense. Usually anime that don’t make sense have a passable script that was poorly executed or an awful script that was executed averagely. Not good ole’ Gunslinger Stratos though! Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING about this show’s writing and directing is an absolute disgrace. The plot, setting, and characters are all an absolute muddle of incompetence that leave you awestruck out of sheer incomprehensibility. It’s actually hard to believe that people who clearly don’t have the foggiest sense of even the most basic elements of storytelling were getting paid to animate this trash. Clearly there was some sort of conceptual story in place, but they could not have gone about conveying it to the viewers in a worse fashion. This show will info-dump and info-dump and info-dump and info-dump, yet you never actually learn anything. Each and every plot device introduced raises questions that demand answers, are extremely confusing and need far more fleshing out, and/or connect to nothing at all in the rest of the story. From beginning to end, it is entirely unclear to the viewer what is going on. I won’t go on so this doesn’t start to sound too much like a rant, but for all of these reasons, Gunslinger Stratos’ plot is among the worst of the worst. You would have to put forth a conscious effort to make something worse than this show’s story.
Continuing on with this anime’s theme of incompetence, the cast of characters are as boring as they come. Even some of the worst anime ever made have at least one character that qualifies as two dimensional, but Gunslinger Stratos can’t even muster as much as that. You could replace any given character of this show with a cardboard cutout and I probably wouldn’t notice the difference. Seriously, I can’t even go over what archetypes the cast members fill because they aren’t even archetypes! They are NOTHING! I’m struggling to find so much as an ounce of personality in a single character to talk about here, and that should tell you all you need to know about the personas of Gunslinger Stratos.
That brings us to the presentation aspects of the show, which, while not quite as bad as the writing, are still not nearly up to scratch. Gunslinger Stratos will have one, maybe two well-composed scenes per episodes, and about five or six mind-bogglingly stupid shots that have no direction to them whatsoever. From beginning to end, the animation is incredibly inconsistent; the animation has so few frames that it looks like a flipbook at certain times, and those times far overshadow the very little good that this show has to offer. Overall, very poor animation. The music is equally as forgettable as the rest of the show. At least it fits the tone of the anime more often than not, but I counted one and only one song throughout the entirety of the show that I would consider to be good, and it only played during a single scene. It was hard to pay attention to the nuances of sound design when the rest of the show is so mind-numbingly awful, I suppose. Factoring in the below-average voice acting, I can say that the sound design is just plain bad.
There are only three possible explanations for the existence of a show like this: Incompetence, greed, or a combination of the two. I do not believe for a single, solitary second that anybody cared about the quality of this show. Not the animators, not the directors, not the writers. Strike that; I CANNOT believe that anybody cared about the quality of this show. There are simply too many glaring, immersion-breaking problems to be able to say that Gunslinger Stratos was put through even the slightest form of quality assurance. This anime is an advertisement. A 12 episode advertisement that even the most easily entertained of anime fans will be unable to follow. This is one of the worst anime of all time.
TL;DR : Really enjoyable show, but too much story into only 13 episodes. Characters not completely original with not a lot of character development. Fun fights and interesting story overall: involves time travelling and lots of guns.
I'll try to keep the spoilers to a minimum. The story is set in 2115, with our protagonist, a high school student, falling back into the past and witnessing a battle between some soldiers and their dopplegangers: he even meets himself from an alternate universe. Curiosity eventually makes him join in the battle to save the world and the story unfolds.
The story is really unique, but it might
feel like a bit too much to fit into only 13 episodes. This is why some people think it all makes zero sense, but in fact it's really delicate and everything fits in perfectly. It picks up nicely from the beginning, it's really exciting, it doesn't lose steam throughout the series and has a nice solid ending, which I found quite enjoyable. All in all, it's great and flows really well, if not slightly rushed as to compensate for a large story but only 13 episodes.
I absolutely love the art and animation. It's smooth, pretty, shiny, colorful at times but also gloomy if the need arises. The combat looks great and explosive, especially the melee party. The only thing I found repetitive were the standard shooting scenes found in almost every episode, they might look a bit too generic. That, and the fact that the girl characters' lips look weird in my opinion. It's still a beautiful anime with a pretty dang neat opening.
The opening theme is really good in my view, with the theme of the song fitting the entire show very well. The background music is enjoyable and it fits the occassions well, but it's not all that memorable. There's a great deal of variety and it's generally above average quality.
While it's true that you can't fit much character development in only 13 episodes, Gunslinger Stratos still seems to fall a little bit short. Apart from the main character and the main female character, as well as their doubles, we don't get too see alot about the cast. This is a shame, as some were quite interesting, but some were pretty blank and stereotypical. The protagonist starts off maybe a bit boring and average, but over time he grows some balls.
Personal enjoyment: 9/10
I must admit, I enjoyed this show quite a lot more than I expected to, especially about seeing so many negative reviews. Most of them are by people who don't even understand the plot, though. The characters are fresh, the fight scenes many and greatly animated, which is all backed by a really interesting story and decent music. It was really fun!
Even if the show was great and I enjoyed it alot, delving a little bit deeper into the characters apart from Tohru and Kyoka is what's missing, as well as some more memorable music or scenes. What would do the show more good than anything else, though, are more episodes: if the same story was spread over 24 episodes, things could have been explained better and there wouldn't be a feel of a constant rush.
I recommend the show to any SCI-FI and/or time-travel lovers, but to everyone else as well, since it was quite an enjoyable watch for me.
Watching Gunslinger Stratos is like waiting for a bucket with holes to be filled with water. No matter how long you wait, it is impossible to fill it. And, as we wait for it to be filled, you question yourself, why am I still doing this? That's Gunslinger Stratos in a nutshell. Why do I still go on watching this?
Most of us have high or above average expectations hearing this Square Enix game to be adapted. Judging from the previous cover picture and the trailer, this looks badass and promising. What I can say is that this anime is just good at making your
expectations high, and inside, it is just an ugly up gift box, waiting to be opened and surprise you how messed up it really is!
The concept is not bad. The story is not bad either. But the execution and manner of use is. It has a lot of potential which has gone to waste because of poor storytelling and messy plot elements, which I think, can be a bit useful if done better and with effort. The concept of time travel and its logic can't convince me that a decent staff made this, because it is just absolutely nonsense. Everything is jumbled, explanations are just being thrown to us one after the other, which makes the story really confusing messed up.
The art is below average tier or even pitiful at times, only good in a few scenes, but most of the time it lacks effort and really poor designs. The character designs are bad and ugly, backgrounds are poor, and their facial expressions are disgusting. Only thing decent about the art is the outfits and a few action scenes to show. The use of colors is lazy work, it makes the characters look bland and lifeless. Animation is decent and a little bad, but the action scenes are worthy of being called good.
For the sound, the soundtracks are mediocre and forgettable, I don't even feel or hear any music that can touch my heart. The opening is catchy and nice, it looks great, but the song just falls flat, so it is average. The best part of the anime is the ending song, "Mirai" by GARNiDELiA, is a great piece, but it does not fit and does not have any relation to the anime. Voice actors are bad and awful and the sound effects are average.
Simply, the characters are garbage. We've got the most lifeless main character of Spring 2015 and the cheesy pink heroine, which both have useless motivations and are one of the most boring characters in history. With the alternate world characters they just fight each other for their satisfaction and rivalry, which is nonsense. Characters are getting killed before you know them, characters are getting killed for no reason, and most of all, characters are just very boring forgettable I didn't even remember their names since the first and second episode.
My enjoyment has only satisfy me during the action scenes, which are really fast that I couldn't even say that the animation during those scenes are pretty lazy. There's nothing you can get around enjoyment because this can make you sleep, it is really boring they just talk here and there and you can't even understand what is going on. What heals me every episode is the ending song that makes me forget how awful the anime was.
Overall this series is straightly bad, it is not worth watching, and is a jumbled mess. The only thing you can get maybe in this is cancer or good action scenes. It is a waste though, for an awesome game to be compared to this shit, and I have high expectations in this adaptation. Do not watch this. Maybe just try listening to the ED. :3
Story - 5 (Interesting premise backfired, potential gone to waste.)
Art - 5 (Mediocre, nothing really worth mentioning and decent animation.)
Sound - 6 (Bad and below average. Nice OP and lovely ED)
Character - 2 (Paper characters that have no true motivations with zero development)
Enjoyment - 4 (Boring, only a few moments to be mentioned)
Overall - 4 (Very low adaptation and production values. Not worth watching)
The TLDR of my review is simply this The anime is a 22 episode anime that was condensed into 12 episodes.
The EP 1 to around 6-8 are very rushed, the storyline jumps all over the place, and since this is from a video game there tons of supporting characters (and each has a "twin" in the other universe so yea). That being said having just finished watching this last month (tail end of the anime) was Amazing and i really loved it. This might have happened because most anime have half the season for arcs but this anime really couldn't pull off that it
had alot going on and not enough time to do it.
What normally happens in most anime that i watch is its a clone from the manga and in this case it wasn't.
Story was a 2 for the first half and a 10 for the second half.
Art was meh normal, not hard on my eyes was ok with it.
Sound well its call Gunslinger Stratos and boy do i love the sound all the weapons make in this anime.
Characters IMO there are really 5 who i would call the main area people (2 being from the other universe), And i love their Character development and how they reflect seeing themselves different but the same.
Enjoyment THIS ANIME WAS FUN, enough said i really liked it wasnt too gimmick like most animes with the over shy or perverted stuff and had some times where it got real and you felt it (this is most a show about fighting so people die)
Overall It was a good show could have been done Alot better but it was still good.