Mar 25, 2016
Dangst4r (All reviews)
What happens when you bundle up all your favorite anime ideas and tropes and dump them into one anime? While I would say this anime, it is really hard to discern what even happened in this anime to find out, but dissecting it anyways!

Story: All in all, the story is well a mess. Constantly shifting focus from episodes to episode, there really is no clear main character nor main goal in the anime except for the idolized Divine Gate. But a lot of the time, the Divine Gate really just feels like its there and then everyone else is just sobbing about how they want it. There were a lot of cool concepts from technological sci-fi world with robots and elemental drivers that gave you cool weapons but besides that, the story is too confusing and underdeveloped

Art: The art for this anime is gorgeous! While it isn't mystifying or particularly memorable or even matching really a certain mood of the anime, the art is clear and polished, and a lot of the character designs and environments appear dazzling. Honestly, the designs of the main characters are great, but they lacked something about them that just would have made it all clicked. Oh right, their actual personalities.

Character: No character was thoroughly fleshed out. The anime starts off focusing on the woeful life of depressed water boy. Seems ok, but then the anime switches to the two government worker kids, earth girl and fire boy, without much transition and tries to detail us on all the reasons why we should empathize with their sorrow and need of the Divine Gate. Except its all terribly done for such a convincing synopsis idea, there lies little emotion nor compulsion for character actions in both their pasts or the present, so even when we get explanations, they don't make sense or fail to evoke any feelings of compassion.
Furthermore, practically every other character isn't explained at all but the anime tries to make you pity them or understand their warped ideas. The other 3 kids that the anime tries to show off as a contrasting trio? They add NOTHING. They randomly appear, and while they look cool and their contrast is cool, they literally follow the group around, disappear, come back but with opposing mentalities, only to be dragged off the show for an arbitrary reason (like really dumb and random reason). The anime will add a ton of government workers as characters and all of them will have backstories, and unfortunately, none of them are detailed and they all are basically minions until their deaths(?). (so imagine the Angel Beats cast except the useless half is twice as useless). Overall, poor character development.

Sound: You won't notice the sounds of the anime sadly, because there will be an obnoxious omniscient kid narrator constantly reading you ALL THE CHARACTER AND PLOT DEVELOPMENT, leaving nothing to be characterized by characters' actions, emotions, or backstory. Nope, a dude walking down the street? Suddenly, "the man felt regret as he walked down the street, alone as he had always been." Indirect characterization exists for a reason folks. It makes characters more human and creates an empathy link, but when I'm told that someone hates themselves, it's like k. cool.
But the opening song is rather catchy and probably the most promising thing of the show. if you only watched the opening music video then you would probably think this anime is really good.

Etc: So a lot of what I just complained about revolves around the fact that the anime tries to be something it is not. It acts like a vague mystery anime, reaching for some salvation and human futility undermined by the Gods (imagine the obscurity of Mekaku City Actors, the confusion of Steins; Gate, and some cool elemental concept of powers. Mush them together with Gorilla Glue and that's what you get), and this causes a lot of characters to be left out because the anime is indecisive. It wants to tug at your heart strings but it also wants you to try to warp your mind around it. It has a cool plot concept which would earn it a solid 7 if it went the typical shounen route or something, but it reached too far and ended up being incomplete. Lots of potential, but it's just a Jack of all trades and a master of none.

Enjoyment: You'll find yourself liking the first 3 or so episodes. They're not too bad. But then after that you'll start not comprehending things and things become loose and silly. Character behavior becomes inexplicable and trifle. But you really liked the idea of teens with element-charged weapons fighting similar counterpart adults for a all saving deus ex machina goal, so you keep going. But you won't find anything, just like this anime did, and that is why I give it a 6/10. Most people will find this anime, overall, unenjoyable, regardless of tastes.