This show is a good example of how important good characters are. A.I.C.O.: Incarnation is visually fantastic with an intriguing story, but it falls flat when it comes to characters.
Not only does it fail to properly introduce them, but each and every one of them are so badly written it's pathetic.
For starters, we are given no reason to care about any of them. There are a few "emotional" scenes in this show that are clearly supposed to be tearjerkers, including a death and some drama. But, listen, nobody's going to cry over a character they don't care about!
"Oh no, this character that I forgot the name of and I can't describe to save my life is dead, so sad."
On top of that, there were a considerable amount of scientist side characters that they never introduced and I just... I honestly never knew who they were. Specifically this pink-haired scientist lady that ended up being semi-important.
You can't just.... throw in random characters and say "they're important now" without any introduction whatsoever.
As I sat watching the credits of the final episode, I came to the realization that I never found out who she was or why she was there.
Oh, but I'm getting ahead of myself.
Our main characters, the ones that I previously said give no reason for the audience to care about them, are horrible.
You see, they had to get to Primary Point, the end goal/location of their mission, quickly. They kept saying how they needed to hurry up, like there was some sense of urgency.
"Like there was some sense of urgency" ... well, there didn't seem to be for the characters themselves.
They kept saying how they needed to go faster, get to Primary Point sooner, and it was urgent...! And then they took breaks that lasted basically almost full episodes every episode.
YOU CAN'T DO THAT. YOU CAN'T KEEP REPEATING THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE TO HURRY UP AND THEN STAND AROUND NOT PROGRESSING AT ALL FOR SEVERAL HOURS.
They weren't even doing anything important! They were just bickering and joking around! What? Like, w h a t ? !
Because of this, the middle episodes ended up being incredibly repetitive. Some scenes of them fighting Matter, supposed character/plot/lore/I-don't-even-know development, then more scenes of them goofing around and not doing what they said they should be doing at all.
Yes, because I'm sure everyone wants to see a bunch of flat, generic characters talking to eachother instead of the actual plot progression.
And don't even get me started on the two MAIN main characters, Kanzaki and Aiko. If I elaborate on Kanzaki, I'll reach spoiler territory, so I'll just say this about Aiko...
I don't think anyone working on this anime knew what her personality is supposed to be like. She changed sides and opinions every 2 seconds, got super emotional and caused trouble for the sake of plot progression and only for the sake of plot progression, and just in general had no character whatsoever. Long story short, I really hate Aiko.
Moving on, I wish more things were explained in this show. Some things were painful like, "HERE LET ME TELL YOU MY ENTIRE BACKSTORY AND FEELINGS FOR THE SAKE OF THE AUDIENCE TO INTRODUCE MY CHARACTER, POINTLESS BEST FRIEND WHO IS COMPLETELY UNIMPORTANT" while others were left so unexplained I was very, very confused.
A.I.C.O.: Incarnation has such an interesting world. One wrapped in mystery and sci-fi that I wanted to know more about. But, no, no. Obviously focusing on the idiot characters and their adventure was more important, right?
It's not only the world. There were so many characters that I just. I don't know who they are. At all, actually. There's a bunch of different sides and organizations and groups and goals and I...! It was so very confusing.
And now for a brief list of the good things about this anime:
- Some neat plot twists.
- Quality BONES animation.
- Beautiful character art. I love the eyes.
- Amazing Opening theme.
- A legitimately interesting world.
- Very bingeable. Thanks, Netflix.
- I genuinely enjoyed it.
Yes, I enjoyed this show. I just ranted about it for 10 minutes, yet I enjoy it.
I guess trash can still be entertaining.