Aug 26, 2017
TenshouYoku (All reviews)
This is one of those children Anime that, despite its "for children" tag, is actually pretty fascinating and can get surprisingly dark to some point of the story. Compared to the precentors, WARS clearly have its storyboard more well-written and is made more serious, and has a better grasp at its speed.

Story: 8 out of 10
Although the very usual school-life settings otherwise, the story is made such that apart from the daily schoolings, the students, which are professional LBX players or engineers, have to participate in a grand war where LBX are used instead of humans to conquer a "flag", which when successfully conquered, the area related will be given to the LBX's country from the flag's original owner. Should an LBX be knocked out (shown with the generic blue flash), the player is considered incapacitated but not dead,
however they will be considered as killed in action and will be kicked out from the school should the LBX be obliterated instead (outright exploding), hence the students must be aware of their condition and not get reckless.
Because it's a children Anime but the producers decided to make LBX more than just some dangerous toy, they successfully filled in the hole such that the LBX be used more seriously and their full power can be demonstrated safely, while creating a war-like atmosphere without having people actually dying and injured badly, AND making them more relatable to children.
Despite the childish nature of the Anime, the show does make the story settings plausible by describing the harshness of this virtual battle field, and how things will turn out should a player be KIA, as if it is a true war.
The storytelling doesn't feel rushed (except during the later chapters), things are logical and the cliffhangers are pretty well done, which is something lacked in the older Danball Senki series.
However things turned super serious when the main antagonists are introduced and showed their true intent - from this point on, the story feels nothing like a children Anime, but more like an adult Anime under the Inazuma 11 coat. Bodies appear, people WILL die, and children which are barely more than 12 is threatened and psychologically tortured. I mean, wow Level 5 what are you smoking? Not like this is bad (if it is even bad in the first place), but seriously? You introduced such hard crap into a children Anime where nobody saw it coming at all?

Art: 8 out of 10
Most people wondered that if the production group of Inazuma 11 has merged with Danball Senki, causing the massive changes in character art styles, due to their cartoon-ish hairstyles and faces. Arata is especially always joking referred as the protagonist from Inazuma 11 Go (which, interestingly, is introduced into the 3DS game as an additional character). This is probably the only downside of the anime as it is meant to be serious instead of being goofy and over-the-top like Inazuma.
The LBX designs are, however, very well-done, as they were designed with "actual war machines/soldiers" in mind, instead of being just for recreational use. such as the DC series (the GM equivalent) and the Russian soldiers (Gunthers, in technoabble). All LBX that have two eyes are given visible "eyes" in order to make them more intimidating and show they meant buisness.
Although arguably the successor of Dot Phasor, Dot Blastrizer and the big bad's LBX returned to the Super-Robot like state of Danball Senki W (even though they are nowhere nearly as broken as O-Legion - that thing literally ripped right through a navy fleet and suffered absolutely no damage from a ton of missiles), most of the cast maintained their status as a real-robot resembling machine, and all look as cool as hell.
The background is basically what you'd expect from a typical Japanese Anime that doesn't lack funding.

A large amount of the female cast has pretty large breasts, even students. I mean, they aren't even 15 years old, aren't they...?

Sound: 9 out of 10
The music blends in very well with the generally light-hearted school life, yet they also did work with the more serious, military-like atmosphere. Even during the later parts when the storyboard suddenly goes super dark the composers managed to get it real nice and in place.
The OPs made by Little Blue boX, Mugen Myself (My infinity) and Eternal, suits both atmospheres really well - during the light hearted stages of the story, the music is a happy, cheerful song describing the life in school, but when things get more serious, Eternal kicks in and sounds so tough and dank instead, signifying things from now on will no longer be simple and innocent as it originally seemed to be.

Characters: 6 out of 10
This is probably the weaker side of WARS. The characters are sorta cliche, but they still work well in a children's Anime.
Arata is a typical hot-headed leader who doesn't think before he does things or picks the (seemingly) less logical way to deal with trouble. However, he is actually smarter than he looked like, and later as he discovered a new ability hidden within himself, he faltered and is confused due to both the beneficial and harmful effects this ability can bring onto him, and yet he decided to tough it out in order to protect his team.
Hikaru and Haruki (these two's names are basically just a re-spell of their Romanji...) are both cooler and logical, with the former being afraid of being surpassed by the seemingly just-lucky Arata and suffered a PTSD midways, while the latter is the big daddy of the team and will fiercely protect his teammates in order not to lose them. Sadly, these characters are not described throughout enough, as most of the time is focused on Arata instead of their development, and Hikaru's development is pretty rushed.
Yuno, despite being the true female protagonist, suffered similar problems as the former two supporting cast, as she barely had any screen time, similar to Marina Ismail from Gundam 00 where she had nearly no importance in the story despite being the protagonist.
The bad guys, surprisingly are more well-described and sometimes can be outright terrifying, containing elements that shouldn't be in a kid's show.

Enjoyment: 10 out of 10
Who doesn't love a through-out war between robots and see how they bash against each other in a more realistic way (covering fire, melee battling), and see how the protagonists go NT-D and rip through a whole supposedly threateningly powerful fleet single-handily? Level 5 seemed to be more aware of the battling scenes and decided to make it more plausible and interesting to watch at, not only they received an animation bump, they also have better staging and screening.

Overall: 9 out of 10
Recommended? Yes
This show is one of the lost gems that sunk into the vast amount of Animes because of its "for children" tag. If you are a huge fan of robots, you'd gotta watch this, even though the art style might be too childish for you.