Mars has been colonized and is a world where children have been replaced by robot servants known as "dolls." Layla is a skilled fighter with a tragic past who travels about the world. Her companions are Nei, a strange and unique doll with some unknown ties to Layla, and Speedy, who is a doll breeder. The founders of Mars see the trio as a threat to their world, and each time they attack Layla and Nei a bit more of their mysterious past and future is revealed.
The critically acclaimed movie, Children of Man, had the idea of the end of the human race due to the inability of humans being able to reproduce. Avenger, released a few years before that, had a similar plotline, but has little to no enjoyment that can be garnered from it.
Taking place on the planet Mars, humanity is at the end of its rope. Because Earth is no longer inhabitable, humans fled to the Moon and Mars. Resources are scarce and domed cities enlist delegate gladiators to fight in tournaments to decide who gets what, with the loser’s assets transferred to the winner. Furthermore, a decade
has passed without a single child being born. In order to compensate for this, the Martians created dolls, androids that resemble children. Our protagonist is Layla Ashley, who can best be described by this. If Sasuke Uchiha and Squall Leonhart had a man child, who was born prematurely and dropped on her head, that child would be Layla Ashley. She has no personality and little dialogue other than silence followed by “Volk…” or “Try and kill me”. Layla travels mars to eventually face Volk for, you guessed it, revenge. Volk is the gladiator delegate and the person who shot down the ship from the moon that carried Layla and numerous other people in order to keep them from taking up any more of Mars’ low resources. Joining Layla is Speedy, a “Jack-of-all-trades” doll breeder who travels with Layla out of curiosity; and Nei a human child who poses as a doll to avoid being taken and researched. Why the human society has lost the ability to reproduce and why Nei is an exception to this is never explained. This isn’t the only thing wrong with Avenger’s story, as plot holes pop up numerous times throughout.
As said before, Layla is not a good protagonist. She not only possesses no likable characteristics besides the ability to fight, she also performs several nonsensical actions. Take one scene where Layla beats up a man who has been using dolls as punching bags. That’s all fine and dandy, especially when this particular scene could almost be summed up as self defense, but for no reason she turns her weapon to the man’s girlfriend and an old lady, only stopping her assault moments before actually striking them. This is made even more ironic, as Layla herself beat up dolls for no reason in the very first episode. Inexplicable scenes such as this are present throughout the anime, but Layla seems to perform most of them. It’s not just Layla, but the cast overall seems to lack any personality or realism, with the exception of Speedy.
Avenger suffers not only from laughably bad writing, but a very noticeable lack of animation. Scenes seem to be drawn out through long drawn out silences in a desperate attempt to build drama. It should not have to be mentioned that these scenes fail completely in the attempt.
Well, if the story and characters are mediocre at best, then perhaps the fight scenes are good, right? Wrong. Here, the clarity of Avenger’s budget is pronounced. Speed lines are and random cuts are prevalent throughout the show. There are only a select few fights that are fairly enjoyable. As for the music, it’s the best part of the show. While the OST overall is fairly forgettable a number of songs, including the score and especially the opening are actually pretty catchy.
Combining one-dimensional characters, confusing writing, and numerous lines of dialogue that read “…” Avenger makes for a boring anime. Do yourself a favor and look up the opening on youtube, as it’s the only enjoyable part.
Being the BEE TRAIN fan I am I decided to buy Avenger in the complete collection form while at an Anime convention. I don't think it was a total waste of money but still it wasn't and won't ever be a personal favorite from them. It has their trademarked styles which I love, but the execution and ultimate conclusion left me dissatisfied. I wouldn't write Avenger entirely off like I would some other animes, if you are bored and looking for a short anime maybe you want to give this a try. If you are looking for a short or
moderate length anime with a deep story line, than this isn't for you. Overall Avenger is a series where you might want to turn your brain off and just watch it.
The story is the usual post-technological apocalyptic world that we've seen in countless Mecha animes, so you may be surprised that there aren't any giant robots in the obvious setting. The idea is fairly unique having it on Mars instead of Earth was different from the usual ways of doing things, but not different enough. The story features again a mopey female character who has been long exploited and has a chip on her shoulder to work out. She also has this adorable little doll (spoiler spoiler spoiler******Who is actually human******spoiler) who travels by her side. And of course you have the macho can do mechanic. The characters are fairly typical and predictable there aren't any surprises there aren't any unique traits they're pretty strait forward and one-stringed.
The writing is pretty dull and unentertaining, the battles are few and far between for something that is suppose to be about gladiators but most of the time it's traveling and fleeing from little Minion Dolls that are out to capture them. Overall there aren't a lot of surprises or unique revelations that we already could have probably guessed by now.
Music was better than I was expecting though cliched at times. I can't say I'm much of a fan of Ali Project, I've had fun with their Noir Opening as well as their one composition for the My-Hime Video Game, but at the same time this is the same pair that couldn't pull of .hack//Roots. The pair has made some memorable compositions in this show and their themes are rather typical including the second ending theme which is a half-way rip of a classical piece of music (I'm thinking it's "In the Halls of the Mountain King" But I'm not certain). The music was more fitting in this atmosphere than their music for Roots but it wasn't anything breathtaking or groundbreaking and it wasn't entirely new for them.
Mashimo has a much more solid direction handle on this than say Blade of the Immortal but I think it could have been more. I wasn't going in expecting a whole lot, and I didn't come out with any surprises. This is a short and pretty typical straightforward Anime that is very much in BEE TRAIN's style. The color pallet by Makiko Kojima is fairly cosmic and expected for a show of this genre and the cinematography is dark and dreary and depressing.
Without further spoiling anything more the ending was probably the worst I've ever seen in any shows. I'm fairly forgiving of endings but this made absolutely no sense to me, and totally changed all the rules of the play at the last minute. Then again there really weren't any rules of the universe set up.
Avenger is mediocre at best. So okay it's just average and not worth putting much effort into.
That WAS weak.
Really. For the first time since... since loooong time, I've watched anime, which has absolutely no, literally no point.
The music was horrible. I really do like a j-music. But this opening can be heard on your biggerst nightmare. During episodes was just a little bit better. MIDI samples rox there...
Characters... Watashi wo... korossu shite imasu. Kill me for christ sake and leave it! Main character - Layla Ashley was a totally freak and psycho girl, who would like to get killed. Unfortunately, she had beat the crap out of your ass, before you could even touch her. So as far as u
can see, her dream just can not be done.
Her main enemy - Volk was a OverFitness ( xD ) big and strange looking (god damn this armor. It was funny and i can bet, that it is NOT comfortable...
World there simply... oh. No 1 even try to explain why the fuck it's so stupid.
So... If you don't care about a story, sound and characters in anime... You can watch this. Once.
There was couple moments, where the graphic was quite good, but mostly it's... mediocre
Overall its wrong. Why the f... they didn't animated such mangas as Eden - it's an endless world, but doing crap like this? I hope u didn't waste your time on this. The opening thame will chasing u weeks after you see this anime. And it's not a pleasing feeling.
The soundtrack was done by Ali Project, whom some listeners hate. Ali Project did the soundtrack to Noir, so if you like the opening to that show, you owe it to yourself to listen to the soundtrack.
Sadly, listening to the soundtrack and reading the lyrics is the best part of this show. Overall, I found that this show got my hopes sky-high and then crushed them down again.
The setting was incredibly promising. The story could have had excellent sci-fi and drama. The first few episodes hinted at amazing character interactions. However, by about the fifth episode of thirteen, the
story was flailing all over the place. The writers were trying to keep too many mysteries and not communicating any information. There were fight scenes, but the fighting was the least original part of this series. There is even an episode near the end that is told in a much different way than the other episodes, which is a nice touch, but it's nowhere near enough to rescue the plot or the lost opportunities for character development.
I still have the soundtrack on my MP3 player and I listen to it frequently. The show, however, is at the top of my list of how not to do an anime.