May 28, 2017
ikarishinji49 (All reviews)
Up to episode 7, the show keeps piling up evidence that the author is incredibly naive about political and economic issues, and is focusing the whole show in the idea the world is undergoing a "revolution" caused by Kado. In episode 7, they introduce the Samsa device that allows people to become aware of their multidimensional selves, thus eliminating the need for sleep. When the Japanese government representatives are discussing this, all they are thinking about is how this would improve human productivity, without a thought for the fact that it's precisely excess productivity caused by excess population that is leading the environment to a catastrophic failure in the relatively near future. Also, it's ignoring the psychological issues, the boredom factor and other problems. It seems that the show is just trying to say - like a good Japanese - that people would be able to work a lot more, and is not aware that it's precisely this overdedication to work that causes so many psychological and social problems to Japanese individuals, including the overly high suicide rate (not the only factor, but a major contributor), and entirely disregarding the idea that people in other cultures DO NOT live for their jobs. The only moment the show approaches this problem is when they question whether rapid development would lead to happiness, when actually survival is far more of a pressing issue here. The wam would already lead to disastrous disruptions in the economic structure of the world. Add that to billions of people having too much time in their hands and/or companies pushing them to work more, thus speeding up the exhaustion of natural resources, and the anisothropic's gifts look increasingly like a curse to me. The only one that seems to realize this is Saraka.
And then the show throws everything out the window in the last three episodes. After Sayaka became God (she even has a halo, for fuck's sake!) and Shindo falls in love with her for no reason at all, and poor Za Shunina becomes "the villain who wants to destroy the world for no reason", everything the series had of good simply vanished to be replaced by the most boring and predictable ending possible. I should have seen this a mile off. The childish scientist (portraying scientists like children who are unaware of the social world around them is one of the most appalling misconceptions I know, on part with portraying engineers as socially-retarded nerds and soldiers as sadistic murderers) and the tsundere negotiator (seriously, how did she get that job with a personality like that?!?) were already giving terrible warning signs that the authors behind the story were not taking their plot as serious sci-fi. Also, for reasons I mentioned above, the plot's whole outlook on the problems created by the contact with the anisothropic was naive at best, so it did not come as a surprise for me that the screwed up the series completely by creating that stupid, cliche ending.
Finally, at no point did the CGI animation become pleasant to me. I was always watching the series IN SPITE of the terrible animation. Compare this to something like The Incredibles and you'll understand what I mean. Yes, one is a feature film with a huge budget. But honestly, I don't care. If you're going to make it CGI, that's what you should go for. American CGI TV series are also terrible, for the same reasons: stiff character movement and constantly bland and unconvincing facial expressions. Kado was the only good thing on the animation side, and the only thing that should have been CGI.
Music: forgettable. I really can't recall a single song or theme from the anime after watching it.
Sound design: good, but nothing exceptional. The sound is not a truly integral part of the story, but merely "sound effects". For comparison, see how the sound design is incredibly meaningful and integral to the narrative in Serial Experiments Lain, where even the sudden moments of silence have a profound impact in a scene.
As a whole: very mediocre and totally forgettable series. Nothing to hate or make a fuss about. It had potential as an idea and wasted it because most writers of anime are not good at writing actual sci-fi (Shin Sekai Yori being the one notable exception of the past then years, as far as I know - after all, Gundam is not sci-fi, just as Star Wars is not sci-fi, but rather space opera).