In the distant future, because of an interplanetary war that had continued on for centuries, civilizations were ruined. Human beings have lost everything, and only 1/5th of the population survived. A strange breed of humans, ''The Third'' is said to have appeared just after the war. They possess a third eye, as their name suggests, that appear as oval-shaped red pupils called "space eyes'' over their conventional two eyes. Using them, they can control computer systems and so on, and as such, rule the world by their superior power over technology.
In this world, there is a young woman named Honoka; she is a "jack-of-all-trades" sellsword, and she accepts any job except murder. One day, she happens to find and rescue a young man named Ikus in the desert. Entering his world, and accepting a job from him, the adventure begins for Honoka and Ikus.
Story: In a world where a being known as The Third rule the land, we have our heroine, Hanoka. Hanoka, as a Jack-of-all-Trades travels the desert land with her tank doing various jobs. Somewhere along the way, she meets a mysterious man named Ikus. We then get to see their travels together and the interaction with the people they meet along with The Third. During the travels we start to learn more about Hanoka and many of the other people they meet and the mystery behind Ikus starts to unravel.
Fairly simple concept, but the story telling is well done. It is as if you were
reading a book. What I like about the story is the interaction between the characters. You get to learn much more about the world through the interaction between the characters. Furthermore, while some people might not like it, we have this narrator that narrates the thoughts of the characters and explains the situations at hand. The narration allows you to learn more about each character and how they fell and why they act like the way they do.
Animation: I had a lot of mix feeling when deciding whether to give animation a 7 or 8. Overall, the animation was solid and there was a lot of detail. However, there were a few episodes that took a huge nose dive in the animation. Apparently it was because some other group of people worked on the animation for those episodes, but it was too big of change. It really stopped the nice flow that the anime had and at times I felt really disgusted. Think Yoake Mae Yori Ruri Iro Na bad for those who have watched or heard about it. The reason I gave it an 8 however, was because of the awesome use of colors and fighting sequences. I was in awe watching some of the fights.
Sound: This is probably the weakest aspect of the anime with the exception of the few bad animation episodes. I really didn't get attached to any of the songs. After the first few episodes I would just skip the op and ed songs. While I wasn't to fond of the songs, I thought the BGM was well done. It really made the anime more exciting.
Character: Would it be enough if I said that Hanoka was also the most badass sword-wielding heroine of 2006 and that the tank talked? This anime has a really interesting cast of characters. Not one person seemed to be normal, but thats a good thing. I loved diving into each character and learn more about them. Each character is just very unique.
Overall: It was a very good anime. The interesting cast of characters and the great story-telling made it a very fun ride.
The Third, for me, is a very philosophical and poetic anime. And while I really don't want to say anything as corny as “It is a visual testament to the trials and endurance of the human spirit” It kinda really is just that. On the surface this may look like a regular shounen anime with swords, guns, and mecha granted the gift of speech by means of A.I., but really this show deals with some heavy hitting topics like: depression, rejection, abandonment and loneliness. That's what makes this anime so great, because it has layers like an onion, where you can enjoy the action, comedy,
the art and mecha or you can look for some deeper meanings like the shows underlying theme of overcoming negativity, sadness and times of self-doubt.
~ Art Style ~
The art for this show is phenomenal [for the most part]. I love the art style and theme very much! I'm a fan of artworks that depict a lot of nature and natural scenery and with this series you get to see a lot of desert. And I don't mean just boring static hills of grainy yellow sand,no...this art is very organic, it's very alive and in constant motion and there is a soft, flowing and again, poetic aesthetic to it. This is a show that offers a perfect example of what CGI should be used for in anime! Whenever they show a flock of birds in flight or a herd of “Sand Dragons” in motion it can't help but evoke some sort of emotion from you. It seems almost kind of spiritual to see such grace and fluidity in their motions....even the way the clouds are drawn and the way the grains of sand flutter as the wind blows touches you in some 'spiritual' way, at least for me it did. Also the mecha battle scenes were “OUTTA SIGHT” if nothing else you HAVE to see episode 22's battle scene between TANK VS AIRPLANE, that was probably the most memorable mecha battle I've seen to date. One piece of warning though is that the art styles seem to fluctuate a bit throughout the series.
~ Audio ~
I watched this dubbed and I am not familiar with anyone from this voice cast. However I still enjoyed this English dubbed version, I think everyone did a good job, everyone's voice fit their characters' appearance perfectly. So I would recommend watching this in the English dub version [unless of course you hate dubs all-together, then feel free to watch the subbed version] However I did watched the subbed version and I was more entertained by the English dub.
~ Story ~
This show doesn't seem to have that very definitive overall plot that you'd find in most shounen anime [i.e. the underdog/under-achiever who's only dream is to get stronger and kick everyone's ass and then proceeds to do so with each battle getting much grander and wilder and each opponent bragging about how much stronger he was than the last guy who got his ass beat up]. No, the Third is really not about that at all, even though there are some very awesome battle scenes, this is a bit deeper than that but you can still enjoy it on that basic level of Honoka [the main character] and her sidekick talking tank, Bogie, go on these odd-jobs like transporting or hunting for stuff, serving as an escort/protector, rescuing kidnapped people and such....and while on the job she shoots and blows up enemy soldier robots set up by the Third [which are humanoids with a 3rd eye in their foreheads]. You can watch the anime for this reason and still be entertained too.
~ Cast/Characters ~
If you have a defective brain like I do, then the smaller the cast the better for you to remember them. Plus also with a small cast you get to spend more time with them and get a better understanding as they develop. And with having a narrator present throughout the show, this was even further achieved. All of the characters were likable and if they were not likable then they were either misunderstood or you wind up having sympathy for them. But I definitely like the main characters like Honoka, The Tank/Bogie, Iks and The Teacher because I liked the way they all related and interacted with each other...actually I like all of the characters because of this reason. It was less about shooting and blowing each other up and more about relating and sharing and depending on each other, which makes me wonder if this could really be considered a shounen anime.
~ Verdict ~
You have to love a show that starts out with a poem. That let's you know right then and there you are in for some deep sh--. I would recommend this show to just about anyone unless they just rather not deal with emo-crap and would rather watch regular shoot-em-up, blow-em-up anime then you can STILL watch this anime, LOL. But really if you are in the mood to be enlightened or feel emotionally connected and find a deeper meaning then you should definitely watch this.
- - [ The Third - Aoi Hitomi no Shoujo :: Eps: 24 ] - -
The Third - Aoi Hitomi no Shoujo, or The Third - The Girl With The Blue Eye, revolves around Honoka who is a jack-of-all-trades. She will accept any job except human murder. The Third is a race of humans, with a third eye on their forehead, allowing them to interact with machines and turn into semi-computers with huge data-processing abilities. Honoka is accompanied by Bogie, a tank with a bio-brain, or an artificial personality if you want. This is the gist of the plot of The Third (Refered henceforth as
I started watching it, after seeing its cover which seems quite interesting. A katana-wielding girl, followed by a super-armed tank. Quite nice. However, it was quite a deception for me. Maybe I set my standards too high, but I didn't find it too interesting. Animation is kind of strange. Sound was ok. Plotline was quite inconsistent. Characters lacked development. And there was not much value. However, it does make a great watch because there are lots of action scenes. To maintain a balance, I will grant it a 7/10.
But a word of advice, keep off if you have got better things to watch...
- [ Animation = 7 ] -
To tell you the truth, I was going to give T3rd a 5/10 or a 6/10 for animation. But considering that it has a fair amount of CGI, i gave it 7/10. Mind you, the CGI is not that great, but it is satisfactory. It truly cannot compare to the likes of Appleseed, but it does give another touch to the animation.
Personally, I didn't find T3d's animation great. The characters are bizarre and not very life-like. Sometimes, they seem to have chibi-like expressions (eg. a simple curved line for a smile). Lower eye-lids are curved upwards and things like that. I could call it traditional animation style.. but here, it's more unnatural animation style.
However, the action scenes were well done. Fast paced with enough details to make it fun. Otherwise, there is not much scenery. Most of the time, you will see lots and lots of deserts. Yes, deserts, with sand and all. It becomes quite a boring scenery after a while. On the rare occasions you will see cities, they are quite well-done. Overall, there are not much scenes to look at. The CGI does make The Third (the race)'s vechicles quite good to look at. But even then, the vehicles are not very realistic, nor very pretty or cutting-edge. Even Bogie, the tank that follows Honoka everywhere is quite disproportionate if you ask me. It's so very big but we never saw why it was that big! Even The Third's vehicles, supposedly highly advanced, are quite undermined. We never get to see much, apart from the blank white interiors. The same applies for their buildings. What I mean to say, don't expect lots from the animation, drawings or CGI. It's there and it does its job. Nothing more.
- [ Sound = 7 ] -
As always, sound does not get my attention. In T3rd, it was satisfactory. The action scenes used fast-paced music, and the OP and ED were ok. However, the music variety is kind of limited, if you ask me. Most of the time, you get to hear the same music, over and over. And sometimes, I really believed that I was listening to a loop.
I found some solace in the voice actors' performance which was great. At least, they did their work well, and did well at relaying the various emotions. Even the robotic voices were good.
Nothing more to say here.. Except, don't expect to find much music here. The OST is not as diverse as Eureka Seven's or even Samurai Champloo's.
- [ Story = 5 ] -
Lemme say it here, fair and square: The Third's story was bad! I've never seen something so inconsistent and lacking details! The last episode was really really bad! It seems the producers wanted to compress a whole arc inside one episdode! It was really a poor job!
Now let me start the real ranting! The story really lacked details. We are not told anything about how The Third race came to Earth. Coming with another character, Iksu, we are not told how or why he came here. We are not told about any of the characters' pasts, except for Honoka. We do not know why Honoka came in possession of such a huge tank such as Bogie. Ok, we know that Zankan gave it to her. But how the hell did she pay for that? No answer. The other characters seriously lack depth. They are here like puppets, just doing what they want. And sometimes, they look real stupid.
But the thing that really got on my nerves is the voice that tells us the story. Or if you want, it elaborates on the scenes! Damn! I really hated that voice. I think I'm big enough to watch a movie, and understand what's happening without having somebody telling me everything. "Honoka did that, then that happened, then this, then that, then it became really annoying to hear me everytime!". I really really hated that. If they wanted to give more details about the series, they should have included in the characters' dialogues, or even the scenes. But using a voice to elaborate on the story is really poor.
Another annoying thing. The things that happen in T3rd are really insane. Sometimes, the powers of a character (yes, one) are really really godlike. You've seen Bleach. It's even worse! One example? Conquering an army of mechas, with more than 100,000 units, mechas, tanks and everything, with the single swipe of a katana! Now, this was insane! The other people are just there to see, and mind you, nobody is amazed! What kind of world is that! A single swipe! :s
Talking about exaggerations.. Things happen way too easily in T3rd! It's as if everything is doomed to go well and have a happy ending.. I can't say more without spoiling though. You will notice it by yourself. Most of the time, one of the characters (usually Honoka) wants something, and miraculously, it happens after some time and scenes! :D
To finish burying T3d's plotline completely, there is *no* plotline. The story is really really jumpy. At one time, the characters are doing that, then the next, they are doing this, with no logical link with the past arc. At episode 22, I really thought that T3rd's semblance of a plot was ending, and that we'll get to get a good finisher at the characters, polishing things afterwards in 2 episodes. That would be great. How much I was mistaken!!
The producers truly compressed the content of a whole arc in 1 episode! There was so much to see that you can easily get lost. Don't even try to understand what's happening. It's so Evangelion style! And what's really disgusting is that the arc seems really out of place. Really really badly done. That last episode really grossed me out. And mind you! Even in the credits, they were still trying to explain things! They even wanted to create a mini-episode out of the credits (involving romance)! Now, that's what I can call compression! :D
- [ Characters = 6 ] -
I think I don't have to say much here. The main character hogs all the action. The secondary characters just sit there and see. That's what you call monopolizing the scene. Honoka here, Honoka there, Honoka does this, Honoka does that. OMG! Is she omnipresent and omnipotent?
No character development. We are given very few details about the characters. Take for example, Paifu. We are not told much about her past. Just like her, every character is introduced quickly. Call it, introducing them just to get them up and running just to get on with the series. Really, there was no great elaborations. Just like we are not told why Honoka's grandfather was so great of a sword wielder.
Now, another thing to hate is the way characters seem to come and vanish. One example is the sporadic appearance of Blue Breaker. It seems the producers tend to forget the characters existed. Again, coming to that 100,000 mecha army, Blue Breaker was nowhere to be seen! And he (it) was supposed to be really really powerful. Where the hell was it? Don't know. Perhaps drinking tea somewhere. Oh yeah, it's worth noting that Blue Breaker reminds me of the mechas of Gundam Seed Destiny. At least his way of fighting does! :D
Similarly, Joey appeared in the previous-to-last episode, ranting about Technos Taboo. Then, Honoka went single-handedly to challenge the Third for Joey's sake. Then? Joey vanished! We are not told what happened! Perhaps an after-effect of compressing a whole arc in one episode!
- [ Value and Enjoyment = 7 ] -
Frankly, I was annoyed at T3rd's defects. So I was not really enjoying it. I really enjoyed the first 10 or so episodes, afterwards, it got really bad. Perhaps a lack of budget?
But it does contain some things that are worth a watch. The action scenes are an example. The sword actions, and teamwork were good and deserve a watch. The CGI too deserved a watch.
I'd say it has a rewatch value if you want to understand things better (or at least try to understand). But even then, I think I would skip that last episode!
Personally, this much is all I've got to say. If you want to give it a try, go ahead. I don't know, maybe you might enjoy it better than I did.
- [ Conclusion ] -
The truth is, I didn't enjoy T3rd on my first watch. I may give it a rewatch, just to see if it's worth it. If so, I might consider amending my review. The first 10-15 episodes were fully worth my time. The action were good. And the power of the main character was not that insane. It was pretty well balanced, and characters didn't disappear for nothing. That's up till the series went off-track.
Overall, it's not that good. You can watch it if you don't have anything better to watch. Or if you are really curious. Or if you've got lots of time and a great internet connection or a good supply of finance.
In my opinion, it was not that great. There are better things out there to watch.
Sadly, I really had high hopes for the series after seeing the first 10 to 15 episodes. I still have. Maybe it was me. So I'll have to go for a rewatch just to see. If anything changes, amend this review... specially after reading that Faust721 found the story fun and interesting...
When first viewing The Third, I believe I was going into the anime with the wrong attitude. I was thinking that this anime was going to mediocre and bland. I was wrong; what we have here is a anime with great development of characters and a story that ties together throughout the series.
The synopsis is given at the top of the page for this anime but I'll give a version for you.
Earth; years after a war that nearly destroyed all of the humans is now a barren desert. In this desert, Honoka can be found reciting poems by her favorite Poet, "Dana Myfree." Honoka is
the "jack-of-all-trades" known throughout the land as "Sword Dancer." She does jobs for people of cities. Whether it's moving stock around town or taking out Stigma Ants in the desert. During one of those jobs, she finds a man in the desert named Iks. After being saved by Honoka, he wishes to accompany her on all of her travels to begin an observation of the The Third controlled Earth.
The series is accompanied by a narrator. Which to me, was a welcomed idea. The narration helped explain parts of the story and the emotions of the characters. With the emotions, the narrator goes even deeper into the minds of the characters making you feel "one" with the character. This made for some great character development in the story, I felt as if I knew what the characters would do in any situation.
The art of the series is great, but nothing that really jumped out at me. Great animation for fights and any other kind of scene. Some episodes we're disappointing due to a change of animation and art. It was done by another group as far as I know and it's extremely noticeable. Despite the lack of art and animation in about two or three episodes, the rest is superb. The lighting and colors during some scenes really set a mood in some of the story making it some great eye candy.
The OP is pretty tasteless. I usually enjoy watching the OPs of all animes because it's there to set a tone. The OP does a good job setting the tone but was just seemed long and boring. The EDs I did enjoy, I'll throw that in. The BGM was nothing memorable or remarkable; it helps to set a mood for the scenes and does a good job fitting any situation. The OP is played as BGM during some episodes, which is welcomed then.
The characters in this show almost make everything. The narration helps you get more in depth with each character. Honoka is a fierce yet humble swordsman but is a spriteful young girl around characters she's comfortable with. Not to mention that Honoka is probably one of the most powerful swordsman I have seen in a while. With Honoka there are plenty of other well-developed characters in the story.
In conclusion, this anime seems bumpy at first with four different story arcs in the range of 24 episodes. But if you feel down, you have to keep watching until the end where everything is tied up and leaves a brilliant smile on your face.