The story takes place in a world where people continue their war against the "unknown"—the enemy of humanity. Children who have been evacuated to a cold sleep facility during the invasion by the "unknown" several decades ago wake up from their slumber and learn that their bodies developed some supernatural forces. In order to protect the country from the "unknown" emerging from the Tokyo bay gate, the boys and girls wage battles in the defense the cities of Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba.
Qualidea Code is part of an overall multimedia project by five publishers: Shueisha's Dash X Bunko imprint, Kadokawa's Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint, Kadokawa's MF Bunko J imprint, Shogakukan's Gagaga Bunko imprint, and Shueisha's Jump SQ magazine. Speakeasy, a trio of light novel authors consisting of Sou Sagara, Koushi Tachibana, and Wataru Watari, are in charge of the script, with each heading separate characters.
Imagine three popular light novel writers who just so happen to be good friends, one evening, drinking to their hearts' content and then, drunk, doing some brainstorming for a story, wondering whether or not something like that really could and should be done and then, someone, for some dubious reason, wills a comparatively large franchise that nobody saw coming and also nobody really wanted, spanning across several light novels and an anime production, tointo existence. Yeah, now wouldn't that be hilarious?
And while that may all sound like yet another cynical, third-rate MAL introduction rant, it's essentially how things actually played out. So follow the adventures
of Qualidea Code as it stumbles and stumbles and, once again, stumbles!
[Also, this review contains spoilers yet no individual scores as those are p. dumb.]
Qualidea Code is a special child and wants to be seen as such and yet, despite that or most likely much rather because of it, one of the biggest issues with Qualidea Code is that it's built around a single twist or two, namely "Our world is fake!" and "Our enemies are actually our allies!" with little else to it and quite frankly, it doesn't even do a lot with said premises.
What most certainly doesn't help matters is that the big reveal of QC's world being fake is a relatively predictable affair from episode 01 on. While it's admittedly not possible to figure the entire nature of their world out, with an enclosed area, enabling superpowers, attacked by enemies literally called "Unknown" and nobody quite ever mentioning the outside world, the thought of a fake world coming to mind is more or less a given very early on. And considering that finally, after nine entire episodes, that one gets confirmed, the content inbetween feels dragged out to no ends, not to mention everyone and their dog already managed to figure out that the students were alive all along, now fighting for the "enemy", the drama of characters dying lost all impact. So what's there in terms of raw plot certainly doesn't convince anyone.
The world building is equally lacklustre. World building is hardly a criterium I would usually bring up and one that gets way too often applied to anime that simply just do not concern themselves with those matters but it is an issue with Qualidea Code that certainly does need to be addressed: With a literally contained setting, secretly occupied by aliens, lead by students of three different schools, one would assume QC would flesh those aspects out and come up with interesting things to say and ideas to present but at the end of the day, the promising setting just ended up as a means serving completely different ends.
The ranking system, for instance, while ultimately arbitrary and counterproductive with students going after each other in life-threatening situations, could have been an interesting element to what QC has to offer. More points lead to a higher rank, giving out nicer living conditions to the hard-working, ambitious and talented. My main complaint with that is that we are told about these things but not even remotely shown. In fact, the entire premise loses what little meaning it had in the first place halfway throughout the show entirely. Theoretically speaking, the ranking system could have been used for engaging dynamics of competition between schools and students (think Harry Potter) but it wasn't and if there was any purpose to it to begin with, it only served as a drive for Suzaku to aspire to become #01. Yeah, that's it.
The alien angle is more or less nonexistent. How the Unknown got to coexist with humans, established their enclosed space, none of that is ever mentioned. Quite frankly, that would have been interesting. There admittedly are some laudable attempts with Asanagi and Airi to have a perspective from the other side but that one only amounted to "We have feelings too, now that really makes you think!" and that was all too little and too late. A compelling plot on how the Unknown just want to survive as well would have also made some sense and established some badly needed depth but considering how Asanagi and Airi just eliminated all of their comrades (see, only the Unknown that previously had some screentime actually matter!), that just wasn't a thing either. And don't even ask me about specifics about the Unknown themselves, cause, get it, they are _unkown_. That's all you need to know.
The arbitrariness doesn't stop there either. In total, there are three schools but they barely even matter apart from having different uniforms and separating the characters so character interactions end up as more or less set elements as well. Hime is with Hotaru as they both belong to Kanagawa and therefore, you won't, for instance, get to see a whole lot of interactions between Suzaku and Hotaru, something that is needlessly limiting. Not to mention that Chiba was more or less underrepresented as not only is it the only school without any side characters (Kanagawa got three, Tokyo one and apart from Aoi, those were just add-ons to the battles), we barely ever get to see Chiba. I'm not even sure whether or not it got attacked at all. Does it even matter?
Quite frankly, the setting is paper-thin and considering how much emphasis is placed on that, that sure is a shame and all sorts of amateurish actually.
A lot of the show's meat stems from the characters and those range from poor to somewhat decent, being a bit of a stronger front than the thingamajig of a setting. Suzaku has become a somewhat okay protagonist by episode 03, a point at which it's very obvious that he's a decently likable tsundude, at least if you're willing to ignore that he's not around for about half the series and comes across a bit as someone who's the plaything of a writer having the incredibly clever thought of "What if I create a character who is obsessed with being a hero... but fails at it?!". Canaria works as a slapstick machine but little else and is solely defined by her relationship with Suzaku. The same can be said for Hotaru and Hime whose arc endlessly dragged on, essentially being about their special bond of, uh, being ~really~ special überfriends and despite the heavy focus on their past, little did we actually learn about them that amounted more to flesh than flash. Asuha, too, is less of an individual character and more about having an attachment to another one, although, as far as onii-chan-obsessed imoutos come and go, she's one of the better ones, not that there's much of a high bar involved. Kasumi fares somewhat well comparatively as he even functions on his own, actually has opinions on things and temporarily serves as a quasi-protagonist actively trying to drive the plot forward and accomplishing just that.
Unfortunately, side characters happen to be way too passive to amount to anything really. Airi and Asanagi, apart from their subplot towards the end, essentially just serve as a purpose of exposition machines. What little can be said of Aoi is that she is less of an individual human being and more of a collection of assigned roles. She is "the one who went past the barrier and survived", "the love interest of Kasumi" (nothing ever happens with that might I add) and "the character who switched sides" (and the reason for that also applies to Hime). Also the character who just so happens to be around. Maybe they should have split up those roles between Kyousuke, Ginko and Zakuro to even out the screentime? They seemed like more interesting characters to me and would have left a bit of a bigger impression than essentially being cool character designs. They didn't even get a part in the non-epilogue. Now that's just sad.
One more thing worth mentioning is that there are also some themes that could have and should have been brought up but weren't. For instance, technically speaking, the good guys had been killing actual humans all along, so that could have resulted in an interesting moral dilemma, especially with straightforward characters such as Suzaku or Hime who just want to save their world but that aspect wasn't even brought up.
At the end of the day, it's obvious that Qualidea Code is a result of brainstorming without much thought put into it. There are ideas, interesting setpieces even but several of them just exist for the sake of it with little rhyme or reason and barely any of it ever gets fleshed out.
Over the recent years, for reason unbeknownst to me, there have been many pseudo-meaningful, overly generalizing statements on A-1 as a studio in particular, probably hailing from their involvement with popular titles such as SAO, Fairy Tail, KimiUso and simply plenty of anime in general. Most of them are blatant nonsense. I've heard things akin to "the typical A-1 look", something that doesn't even exist unless you're willing to tell me that, visually, Space Brothers, Shinsekai Yori, Grimgar and Silver Spoon have lots in common, so it's probably just the weak-minded drawing conclusions after having seen both Working and SAO. Truth to be told, whatever you'd like to attest to A-1 wouldn't hold up at all anyway as they are not bound to a fixed staff to begin with, leading to two generalizations that actually do hold water, namely that being something that allows them to tackle several projects at once and to get more often than what's usually the case into production problems.
And production problems are present. A lot. In fact, Qualidea Code is so unbearably ugly, it might as well be the worst-looking show of the year, CG and flash fiascos notwithstanding. While episode 01 still managed to feature plenty of action that was decently animated, everything from the second episode on is just so much of a mess, it's hard to describe. Characters are off-model all the time, and frequently really badly too. It's not just the occassional hiccup. It's also way worse than other productions that got messed up with poor scheduling. It's just exceptionally bad. Animation itself is also largely absent, even when it clearly should have been there during battles, sometimes leading to results with inbetweens left out or entire animation cuts to begin with, either replaced by two stills of supposed character movement or a shot at the backgrounds while noises indicate action taking place closeby. The outcome tends to be hideous, jarring, anti-climactic and additionally hard to follow at times.
Unfortunately, the visual side of things didn't even have anything to fall back on. Take Grimgar, for example, another one of A-1's production disasters. Grimgar had decent character designs, gorgeous backgrounds, its action was actually animated and the director was good enough to properly execute the show at all time. Qualidea Code has none of those qualities. At its best, Qualidea Code looks just okay.
The OST did have some nice, unorthodox tracks but little that I would go out of my way for to actually listen to.
At this point, it's not much of a surprise that Qualidea Code is bad, plain and simple. While there aren't numerous issues to count, the ones that exist are fundamental to the point of hurting the core of the entire concept and execution leaves much, very much in fact to be desired.
Nonetheless, I'd have to lie if I were to say that it didn't have its moments and with all that said and done, there were some entertaining episodes. Episode 01 is an action-packed adventure with fun and cool people being fun and cool. Despite being an aspect introduced at the end of the penultimate episode, a human cooperating with the Unknown out of love did end up as sort of touching. Some goodwill is on QC's side and the appeal of mixing up superpowered teenagers with a somewhat original setting is very much understandable and I certainly couldn't fault it for being generic. There isn't anything about Qualidea Code that makes me point at it, sigh and say "Good grief, I hate this so much, it annoys me to no ends." and that's a rare thing these days. Canaria's pseudo-death had some impact (shame all that blood didn't really mesh well with the twist that the students were just abducted). The character interactions can be genuinely hilarious, especially between Suzaku and Kasumi - there is lots of goodness to be found in banter that leads to lines such as "Didn't you know? It's the simple ones that are truly deep. Why don't you take up a bonsai or something?". Canaria occasionally provided some hilarious comedic value as well. Johannes is easily the best character of the entire show and, even in the context of the entire season, stands out memorably for being such a huge contrast to everyone else involved and breaking all norms.
At the end of the day, however, it's the light-hearted elements that shine the most - or at all - and sadly, the ratio is hardly in favor of aforementioned.
Conclusively, without its visual meltdown but a few tweaks here and there content-wise, Qualidea Code might have even been an okay experience. Not a memorable one, quickly forgotten about two weeks after its respective season but that would still be preferable to "It's a thing that came to exist for some reason but really, it probably shouldn't have.".
Qualidea Code is pretty standard, but not unbearably standard. While the character designs may look generic even if it wasn't produced by A-1 picture and the clothing imply a school setting for a sake of simplicity in not giving them unique clothing...
The anime isn't actually a school setting anime and instead focuses on six characters divide into three groups which run and defend their respective districts.
After an attack by a species known as "unknowns" humanity is able to organize itself and create a stronghold which is under constant attack by these "unknowns". This time however they've gained a power known as "Their
World" which allows them to combat these unknown. Thanks to these powers they actually make light work of their attackers. Or so they think.
So those who have "World" are limited to teens, but per usual in anime it does a nice job of covering its track. "World" is a manifestation of the dreams of the individual when they were put in a cryptic sleep after the unknown invasion. It has a nice message of while adults don't have powers it was adults who paved the way for the future generations. In terms of details to the story it does a pretty good job. Like the crow which was killed at the end of episode 1 was revealed in episode 11. Or the true nature of Hotaru's ability which was never explicitly explained, but hinted at for the moment it would be needed.
Something I enjoyed about this series was that it was anime original(kind of anime original) and used that to its advantage. It plays to a mystery element and the more you learned about the setting the more you questioned it. Alongside that it drops hint here and there even in the opening which it actually has two of despite being a 12 episode anime. It also has three endings which are lovely to listen to, but are aesthetics. It's however fitting how each ending changes when the "baton is passed". Like mentioned the story places focus on three groups of characters which the focus switches around on either because one was killed, incapacitated, etc. However as far as the revelation angle it plays, don't expect much.
Like mentioned the anime is pretty standard, but I don't find much fault in it other that. Especially considering how it's a 12 episode anime. As a 12 episode anime the pacing is nice having a quick chain of events while also having an episode to slow itself down when it needs to.
Even the second episode which second half was a poor choice of idea with how they went with a form of swimsuit episode felt like important set up to the next chain of events.
While the anime does have after credits scenes they're not necessary to watch, but add a cliffhanger effect leaving you waiting for the next.
The characters there's not much to them in terms of personality, but their interactions amongst each other can be amusing. At the same time the anime seems to be self aware poking fun at Suzaku and his A-1 Pictures predecessors with bad social skills. (Seen in Episode 1)
One thing I didn't like about Suzaku was his character development. For one; the direction of his character development can be seen a mile away. Egotistical guy grows to trust his comrades. K.
But it's when he first goes into this "emo" phase which I found cringy partly due to how sudden it was, but aside from that scene his phase is handled nicely.
Getting to Canaria she is the only person Suzaku cares, but still gets chided by him for what comes off as her fakeness with her peppyness.
In terms of Canaria's character her gimmick is having a gimmick. Alongside that her World is of interest painting a nice picture of the maiden who sings during battle literally setting a soundtrack. (I've never seen Guilty Crown btw.)
With that Suzaku and Canaria make an interesting pair with how you'd think the two wouldn't get along since Suzaku's an ego maniac, but you have to note he became that way because he hated his own weakness and want to protect Canaria.
I'm a sucker for characters of his type. I found it funny when he felt so superior he couldn't remember the name of a blue haired girl named Aoi before finding out she had a useful ability. Or his policy for answering phone calls.
Overall in terms of comedy it does a nice job not trying to be in your face. The jokes are more quirky than funny which gives it charm.
Next I'll bring up the sibling from the Chiba District.
Kasumi is made to be the rival of Suzaku and is an opposite to him. Where else Suzaku is always serious, Kasumi doesn't care or so he appears. Again in contrast to Suzaku he doesn't look for recognition and acknowledges how he has his position due to his sister's influence. His sister claims that it is actually beneficial that the two butt heads due to Kasumi's way of interaction. Being Kasumi's sister Asuha knows how to get under his skin and teases him a lot. Naturally the two care about each other, but Asuha rather confused on a romantic level, but Kasumi on the other hand purely see her as a sister. And in that sense it may be fair to say that Asuha's affection is natural with her brother beng the only one she has at her side.
Finally it comes to Kanagawa district. Similar to Canaria, Maihime has this gimmick character of the hyper leader who's overpowered. And Hotaru who has this disciplined gimmick, but who is doting of Maihime and admires her. These two really don't seem like they should go together, but as friends they are convincing. When the story focuses on them it plays well to the suspense that Hotaru isn't going to make it only for it change up the meaning of Hotaru arriving or not.
Despite their base Maihime in particular recieves good characterization.
Animation and Sound
If someone told me they blew all their money on the artist they hired I'd believe them. At the same time. The OST wasn't anything godly. And for some reason they only gave Canaria one song. The animation can be be sloppy at times the most notable being when Maihime and Suzaku combine their attacks and it end up being a slideshow. The still images were sloppily drawn as well. If there's anytime animation shouldn't drop, it there.
But episode 12, the last one was horrendous. And I'm not talking about badly drawn. I'm talking about how they made you look at a wall while the characters fought. The movement was so slow as well.
Slideshow the animation is what it was. As the final fight episode that it was it was a failure, but in terms of ending the series it was well done.
So as mentioned, it's second episode and poor animation give people an easy reason to drop it.
As a time waster it was worth my time and something to look forward to each week. So I'll leave it with a 7/10.
I'll try to keep this review short and simple, with dot jot notes helping out
NOTE: I like to watch anime more casually and if I just simply liked it I give it an 8, so think of 8 as an average ok good sort of thing
. definitely not amazing, but better than people thought via the first few episodes, if you're going to watch it, watch it all
. I recommend giving it a try for sure, but I feel like when it was airing weekly it had a better feeling watching it
Story: Super simple, don't except anything too complicated with this
Art: average anime
art for 2016, so goo i suppose
Sound: ?? idk how to rate sound tbh so whatever
Character: lots of generic tropes, but nothing wrong with it honestly.
My first review here in the MAL after more than 2 years, let's see what will come out, sorry for my bad english sometimes, its not my primary language.
And sorry for not a lot of content, I did not see reason to talk much of this anime, it was just too mean to speak for me.
What to say about this anime? I certainly had hype for him, A-1 pictures maybe its not the best studio, but some of his works are excellent, atleast in animation, like SAO and shigatsu....but this had one of the worst I've ever seen, but this don't make this the worse
anime i will explain why.
I can not deny that the principle as so much cliche, but i can say that as some interesting plots, and a courageous author at first to your charachters, but only this don't make all, we can not ignore the many holes in the plot that this anime have, so I rate this anime as an interesting premise, but poorly executed, but at least tried to intrigue with some mysteries, so for me is something ok
Man as I explained in the introduction, the animation of this show are the worse that i've attended this year, so much inconsistency in all, mainly in the character designs, which ridiculously deformed, out that the action scenes were cut to save frames ...why you do this A-1...usually you save good scenes for important scenes, but this show in animation are bad in everything.
Characters : 7/10
Well atleast we have some good characters in the show they nevertheless have some development, the anime it seems has been divided into steps to introduce the characters, this i liked, because we have some episodes just to develop them, atleast the anime hit it, not to mention that we had a good diversity of personalities that help us to at least get sympathy for someone. So for me we have some good characters with an with an average ~ good development.
The better thing in the entire anime, here there is nothing to complain,since they hired Claris, Garnidélia and Lisa that are great singers, the only thing I could complain its the use of the osts not always hit the right time, and repair times, but nothing that stands out very.
I can say that I enjoyed the anime, he had some tense moments that I really thought interesting despite all the bad liveliest and holes in the script is something that is hard to explain, but at least I can say that passed my time, of course I will not even remember this anime a year from now probably, but i will not say that I regretted to see, was an anime slightly below the average that out throughout season.
Qualidea code not bad as many speak, and not too good with some can defend, but I think your current note and just really a shame the anime was not an good animation/better adaptation, because in my eyes this anime had a potential and he certainly was not well used, a waste ...