In a post-apocalyptic world overrun with mutated beasts called Limbeekoon or Filth Monsters, humanity is forced to live in large mobile cities called Regios and learn to use special weapons called Dite, by harnessing the power of Kei to defend themselves. In the Academy City of Zuellni, Layfon Alseif is hoping to start a new life and forget his past. However, his past has caught the attention of Karian Loss, the manipulative Student Council President and Nina Antalk, a Military Arts student and Captain of the 17th Military Arts Platoon, who instantly recognizes his abilities and decides he’s the perfect candidate to join her group. However, with a secret past that won’t leave him alone and unknown powers beyond normal, Layfon just might not take it.
Post apocalyptic worlds in anime are a bit of a strange area to visit as you're never quite sure what you'll find. It could be a world of amnesiacs, a princess who loves to fly, a lone warrior searching for his lost love, an outcast hunting his own kind, a boy from another world trying to stop a warmongering dictator, or something else entirely.
Imagine my surprise then, to find a high school.
That's right. Here at the end of the world the best that some bright spark could come up with was another high school. That said, Koukaku no Regios (Chrome Shelled Regios), does use
the setting rather well, and approaches the whole concept in a manner that is somewhat entertaining.
Originally, Chrome Shelled Regios began life as a series of light novels by Amagi Shusuke, with a manga adaptation by Miyu available around the same time. A second manga adaptation followed, this time by Kiyose Nodoka, then a third (by Watari), and finally a fourth, which is, unusually, a 4-koma version by Futaba Masumi.
Oh, and there's a prequel light novel series called Legend of Regios as well.
The story begins in the academy city of Zuellni, a domed mobile "fortress" that roams the post apocalyptic world, where Layfon Wolfstein Alsief is hoping to forget his turbulent past and begin a new life. Unfortunately, he quickly catches the attention of Karian Loss, the student council president, and Nina Antalk, the leader of the 17th Military Arts Platoon.
At first glance Chrome Shelled Regios seems like a pretty standard fantasy styled anime, and truth be told, this is a pretty accurate impression. The plot is fairly straight forward, with little in the way of true complexity. Unfortunately, the manner in which the story is delivered has all the hallmarks of an action melodrama, and while there are some comedic elements thrown into the mix in an effort to balance things out, the overall effect is rather lopsided.
Probably the biggest example of this is the main character's "turbulent past" and the reasons why he is attending Zuellni. There is a clear attempt to obtain sympathy from the audience, however the plot seems overly contrived, and rather than ensuring that this aspect of the story is part of the greater tale, it instead stands out as one of several occasions where the show has tried to elicit a reaction from the viewer.
The main problem with this is that the writers have adopted an approach that is more like a traditional fantasy, something which would normally be fine given that this is ultimately a light novel adaptation. It's unfortunate then, that the transposition from paper to screen doesn't quite work, however this may be because the writers literally had multiple versions of the story, so instead of creating their own version, they simply decided to pick the best bits from all the other versions and string them together.
The end result is a story that has its plus points, but doesn't really know what to do with them.
While the story may be a bit haphazard at times, the art and animation are of a good standard throughout the series. The characters are pretty standard fare in terms of design, but they are well animated and possess their own unique features. The backgrounds are a strange mixture of the familiar and the unusual, mainly because of the incongruousness of a post apocalyptic high school. That said, the level of detail is pretty good throughout, and while there are some genuinely absurd moments, they don't reall affect the overall look of the show.
As far as the music goes, the show uses a variety of pieces over the course of the series, but while the choregrpahy is often good, the music sometimes doesn't mesh with the on screen action. The OP is a typical "beats per minute" dance track called Brave Your Truth by Daisy x Daisy. Like many other shows, Chrome Shelled Regios has two EDs, Yasashii Uso and Ai no Zuellni, both of which are by Chrome Shelled. Both are bittersweet ballads that, unfortunately, don't work all the time given the context of the episode itself.
On the other hand, the acting is actually pretty decent. The seiyuu are talented and play their roles fairly well, although there are some occasions where the character can seem unnaturally emotional, something which is partly due to the script itself rather than the skills of the actors.
One of my biggest gripes with Chrome Shelled Regios was the lack of originality when it came to character types. Granted there are only so many to go around, however the writers seemed to have followed the cut and paste format to the letter. While the plot may be interesting in parts and the story engaging to a degree, in a series like this it's ultimately the characters that make the whole thing shine. The lead roles are interesting enough, but their development can often seem overly conrtived. In addition to this, the actual characterisation is fairly basic at best, and very little time is spent on ensuring that the characters have reasonable and valid justifications for their actions.
Again, this may be due to the writers attempting to incorporate all of the versions of the story into one narrative, but whatever the reason may be, the upshot is that this show really could have been so much more than it is. That's not to say that I didn't enjoy it, as Chrome Shelled Regios is entertaining in its own way. The problem is that the ideas and concepts behind the show could have been planned and executed better. The post apocalyptic high school, for example, is a novel idea, but instead of trying for more originality, the creators have gone in the other direction.
In simpler terms there are many thing in Chrome Shelled Regios that have been done before, and often done better. The series relies too much on stereotypes and plot devices, and too little on innovation, creativity and ingenuity. The sad part about all of this is that while the show is entertaining enough to be enjoyable to a degree, many of the elements that make up the series have only really been applied to maintain the viewer's interest (and hopefully sell some Chrome Shelled Regios goodies). This is the reason why the comedy doesn't mesh well with the rest of the plot, and the lack of cohesion at the most basic level is ultimately the reason for the poor characterisation as well.
It's unfortunate that, once again, a series with a great deal of potential has been let down by its creators. One can only hope that the future will bring improvements, and that more companies will stop making shows that are nothing more than glorified advertisements for related merchandise.
After all, who knows what I'll find on my next foray into a post apocalyptic world ...
*Disclaimer* This is my first anime review, so if I have done anything wrong please feel free to send me a message telling me. Also, even though my username is Sharnid, I have tried to write this article without taking sides or with bias. Lastly, please rate this anime review on how informative it was (helpful or not helpful) rather than your opinion about the anime. Thank you.
Story/Plot – 6.7
The Overall plot is about Layfon Alseif, a person who has potential for being in Military Arts, but is reluctant because of his past. However, he still becomes part of the military academy, and finds
himself in the 17th platoon fighting in Platoon matches, or against filth monsters and slowly revealing his past as he fights along.
Yes this deserves a low score of 6.7, why you ask? First of all Regios can get VERY VERY confusing. (almost as confusing as Lost) This is a show that demands you to either pay attention to almost everything they are showing you, or go back and rewatch a couple episodes. Even then, you still won’t understand some of the parts of the story, which suggests that this show is going to receive another season such as a prequel, but as of now, I have heard no news about it. Secondly, I have noticed the storyline follows a particular pattern, Fight Filth Monsters->Reveal a little bit of Layfon’s Past->Fight in Platoon Matches->Reveal a little more of Layfon’s Past->Fight someone Layfon knew before (Haia, Gorneo-> Reveal his past some more->Then, Bam, Fanservice episode. Then maybe, they would add an episode to show that Felli, Nina, Leerin, or Meishen likes Layfon. However, the show does make up for it with the twists in the plot, and still the story does proceed, although it may be slow. The show gets docked a few points though especially at the end where they absolutely rush the whole thing. Even rewatches of the last episode and of previous episodes will not explain everything in the end and viewers may feel unsatisfied, almost like watching the second season finale of Lost.
Characters – 7.4 (this will be done with overviews with characters that have high to medium importance)
The biggest flaw with the characters is that they never actually change their personalities or anything throughout the whole show.
Layfon: is always reluctant to fight, and wants to do something else than fighting, but doesn’t , Layfon also doesn’t notice that Felli, Leerin, Nina, or Meishen likes him, and does not notice this for the whole season. However, he does have a hidden past, which means he is different from the other characters and kind of makes the viewers want to know his past. I have also noticed that layfon had 2 personalities, 1 where he was super nice, and then a more serious one. He is basically could be in a platoon by himself and still win matches.
Felli: also wants to do something else besides being in the military academy, but doesn’t. However, Felli is one of the most likeable characters, and she herself adds a lot of comedy to the show, her kicks are more deadly than one by Chuck Norris or Bruce Lee (and also very funny), and when they draw Felli in an angry state, it is quite enjoyable. Felli also does change her personality a little to show that she likes Layfon.
Felli uses Psychokinesis to support the 17th platoon, which is basically large radius of sight and the ability to transfer speech and information to other members. If you need an example, think maphacks in RTS games basically, probably a very advanced form of them.
Nina: always wants to become stronger, but no matter what she does, she doesn’t really get much better, although she trains a lot of the time. She also gets mad at Layfon a lot, but she always forgives him later on anyways. She is also the leader of the 17th Platoon, but for a leader, she really isn't particularly strong and takes a backseat to Layfon. Truely speaking, she basically tried to go the warrior class and put all her stat points in INT and doesn't have a restat.
Sharnid: Carefree attitude, and like Layfon had a sort of mysterious hidden past. Although Sharnid acts carefree about almost everything, things are revealed about his past, and he actually takes it very seriously. However, many things are still not explained about him, such as his origin, and that can be good or bad, depending if there will be another season. He is currently the sniper for the 17th platoon, and if you need a reference, think of Kurz Weber from Full Metal Panic, except maybe 10 times cooler in my opinion. Sharnid is the sniper for the 17th Platoon and is also a playboy. :P
I mean I really can’t find big enough flaws for the music or the sound. During some extreme fight scenes, such as the one where Layfon fights with Haia to save Felli, the background music is amazing, and deserves high marks. The ending songs for the show are also very good in my opinion and they do change the ending song after the halfway point in the anime. Also if you listen carefully, each time they have different voice actors sing the ending theme song which is nice. For example, Felli sings a duet with Sharnid, along with other combinations. However, I just don’t like the beginning theme song, and they don’t change the song after the halfway point, which leaves me to skip the beginning theme song. They also repeat a generic BGM sometimes when layfon is fighting, and that becomes annoying after a couple episodes, and docks the anime some points.
There is really nothing special about the animation, except the fight scenes and the fan service scenes. However, when they draw Felli at times, and even Sharnid (when he is sprayed with water by Nina at the pool) it is quite comical, and brings up the score. Other times however, the animation is a bit off, if you can remember the time where Layfon is on the train alone with Meishen, and where we get a close up on Meishen's face, her nose just seems to be drawn weird in my opinion.
This anime was actually very enjoyable in my opinion, the mix between action, comedy, and fanservice kept me watching the anime to the end, and many of the characters are quite enjoyable to watch, particularly Felli. The fan service scenes also help with putting the anime in a more relaxed have fun state, instead of action and fighting all the time. Also this anime had better comedy scenes that some of the anime I have seen that were only about comedy.
Overall – 7.72 (6.7+7.4+8.7+7.6+8.2=38.6/5=7.72)
Only 7.72 on an anime I based my username off of? how come? Although I truly enjoyed this show especially the action and a little bit of the more relaxed episodes, the ending to the season really severely docked this show some points. After reading all the released manga that have been translated, I have noticed that they explain a lot more with the manga than with the anime, which means if you truly want to know everything you have to read the manga also. That shouldn’t be the case. They need to pace this anime a lot better than they did, have bigger changes with the characters, besides Felli, and explain the story more. I mean they had 24 episodes, which is a considerable amount of time to make the story work out.
Some people also tell me, don’t worry there is definitely a second season! But how can you be so sure? They haven’t announced it or anything which suggests they are just leaving the anime as is. Hopefully, they do release another season, and explain all the holes in the story, which will definitely lead to a better score in the next season.
In the end, If you are looking for an anime that has good fighting scenes, relaxed scenes with the 4 girls that like Layfon (fanservice), and some comedy, then you should definitely take a look at Chrome Shelled Regios or atleast just try a few episodes. This show offers a nice balance of action/seriousness to comedy/fanservice, so many viewers might like this particular anime.
Chrome Shelled Regios is one of those animes that I watched without real interest. The art is good, animation is fluid, this point is ok.
The main thing I disliked about it, was that it was too centered around the main character. Layfon is strong, Layfon appears when others are in danger, Layfon beats everyone. Close to every women character are blushing when seeing him, even if there is no romance. Even the cold one ends up being all over the hero. The other characters feel like they were added just to have some kind of background but there's no real work on them.
During 24 episodes
the story isn't fantastic, nothing that surprises us suddenly, well they played the safe card. In the end, many questions are unanswered. It seems that no second season will be released so they will stay as it is. Sad because a lot of ideas were present. For example, all those Heaven's Blade Wielders, we get to see them in the two or three last episodes, some of them for just a sec, disapointing.
To sum up, the anime is classic, I didn't really enjoy it but still, it was watchable enough so I went till the end to see if it gets better. Don't expect incredible storyline, just a common anime in the overall sea of animes.
This show could have been really good , but suffered from severe pacing problems and one dimensional characters. The overall action in the show wasn't very good because Layfon never showed his true abilities so you never felt that feeling of excitement in a battle. The comedy was pretty good and mostly revolved around Feli kicking Layfon. I wish they had straightened out the pacing problems and made the filth monsters or people stronger so Layfon would show what he could really do.
Story ~ 6
The story for Chrome Shelled Regios is nothing out of the ordinary. People live in traveling domes and
fight filth monsters, you have a summary. There are some major problems with how everything unfolds in the pacing department. (No spoilers don't worry). The beginning of the story was done pretty well and the middle is fun to watch, but in the end it's disapointment after disapointment. They get you excited about something that is about to happen for a couple of episodes, then something happens causing the exciting event to suck or not even happen. Then in the ending arc, Chrome Shelled Regios suffers from major pacing problems.
The last arc was handled awfully. They speed through important information and then take forever to accomplish something. The last episode should have be done in two or three episodes, but is crammed into one leaving a lot of "What? How/ why did that happen moments." and a dissatisfying episode. And a lot of information just isn;t relevent to the plot at all. But maybe a second season will fix that.
There were some positives though. The inter platoon matches were fun to watch and Feli kicking Layfon was funny.
Art ~ 7
The scenery was done pretty good and the CG'ing wasn't bad (not great, but average). The overall art gets better as the series goes on especially the filth monsters. This is just my preference, but I didn't like the character designs. Mostly how they put solid lines for the edge of shadows on the characters faces and I didn't really like the type of eyes they used. Just my opinion though, you might like it.
Sound ~ 8
The openings and endings were good and the background music was very good. All the characters' voices matched too, no complaints there. I didn't give this a 9 or a 10 because it lacked something that made me go "wow".
Characters ~ 6
The characters in Chrome Shelled Regios were ok. At the end of the series, I looked back on how the characters changed, and I realized........ that they didn't. Layfon still won't show his true abilities and tries to protect everyone on his own, Nina was still trying to stop depending on Layfon, but can't and Feli still likes Layfon, but kicks him after everything.
I thought the characters were one dimensional and predictable. And they didn't develop at all throughout the series. But, Feli kicking Layfon and Layfon protecting everyone does keep you interested for the whole series.
I would recommend you give this show a try to see if you like it, and if you have any doughts, don't expect it to get any better. I mostly pointed out the negitive parts of the series but don't worry, there was some good stuff to keep you watching.
Mecha, squid aliens, and pasty-faced soldiers. These highlight the universe of Gargantia! While Suisei no Gargantia could easily get lost in the annals of anime history, it is certainly one that any anime fan should devote some time to watching.