How to describe Revisions?
The MC personality is can be described as the simple "Hero complex". The trope is done quite frequently, commonly displayed in an antagonist, that which impedes the protagonist's progress through their own journey for their own ambitions. The twist with making the main character having this personality instead is interesting, but it cannot be called quality. A change in writing norm does not mean all originality is well written, rather, it indicates that the writer strives for something different. Whether it is good or bad is always subjective. But this is not. Through reading the opinions of others, I can gather that people legitimately enjoyed this anime, but their reviews were a basic defence against the universal panning it is receiving online and lacked depth in the explanations in coming to the defence of this anime. These reviews have generally been stating their view on the protagonist as "Good and original". While stating your opinion is always welcome and you shouldn't be discouraged to share your review, these interpretations I read felt as though they were "reaching" for some deeper meaning and got lost while binging this anime the first day it came out. But I digress, this review will cover the entirety of the anime and hopefully shed some light on the tragedy of writing that is "Revisions". If you want to know if you should watch it, just skip to the end.
*Note: Prior to some review sections, I like to quote the characters from the series I'm reviewing. No, these quotes aren't chosen arbitrarily and generally relate to my point. Just brace yourself for formal and informal writing forms.
"This doesn't feel real, I guess we just have to accept it now"
The story is atrocious. Simplicity is a trait generally frowned upon in writing, though there is nothing wrong with a simple story, the execution is ultimately the deciding factor in whether a story has a good "hook" and if it possesses the ability to keep the audience attached to this hook. The character of Milo implants the idea of pre-determined fate into Daisuke's mind, which in turn creates the dangerous "Hero complex" displayed in the present timeframe shown in the series. When a disaster comes, Daisuke takes this chance to prove that he is a hero. The problem with this is the occurrences that happen after. Everything just seems to fall into place for no real reason. An officer just believes that Milo is from the future and everyone agrees to the children piloting the mechs called
"String Puppets". At one point, I saw a glimmer of hope in the character of Mayor Muta. A character who I assumed was attempting to take advantage of the situation to increase his status and control in the area, which would explain why he would be so complicit with Milo's plans. This was quickly thrown out the window and he is shown to be spineless and doesn't contribute to the story, mainly because he gets taken out of the story completely until the near the end.
*This paragraph mainly just points out all the questions that come because of the terrible writing in the show. You can just skip it if you like.
The design of the story always brings up questions with terrible explanations. The main characters ask Milo why String Puppets can only be piloted by them, the children, to which Milo responds "That's how they were designed". This is never touched upon again. Also, when Lu and Gai, two of Daisuke's friends, obtain their own String Puppets, they seemingly master them and defeat a revision even though they just entered their mechs moments before. When Milo tells Lu to adjust the aim of her sniper 2.4 degrees to the right, Lu complies as though she isn't a high schooler who just entered a mech for the first time and is wielding a massive sniper, but some trained mech pilot. Mayor Muta agrees to work with the revisions stating that Milo is a person from the future with no evidence that they should believe her, but the representative from the revision also presents no evidence so they just jumped ship from one to the other with no real reason. In the start of a single episode, the people of Shibuya power the whole city, find an abundance of food and water and restore infrastructure to its previous state just because it's convenient to the plot. In an attempt to fix this in a single line, the police chief states that they are running out of food and water out of the blue when arguing with his subordinates. This wasn't a question, it's just bad writing.
Remember how I mentioned that there is nothing wrong with a simple story? Well, the writers then thought that they could create a complex story through the use of the "Time Travel" plot device. Time travel in fiction is always difficult, as its use in stories is always hard to nail. This is because the concept of time travel is complicated. If a character travels to the past to change the future, why would they need to predict that there is a possible outcome where the future is saved. That should be a given. If a character travels back in time to fulfil a created paradox, then should they not have needed to fulfil the paradox if their future is saved? Time travel from a writer's perspective can often create more questions and plot holes than serve to enhance the story's depth.
The comedy in the show is bad and feels forced. It feels as though the director asked a writer "Could you please write up some jokes, it doesn't have to pertain to the plot." There isn't much else I can say about it besides that it doesn't belong in this series.
"Wow, I am amazing! Now, I can protect everyone!"
The characters start by being relatable. The main characters are average people. Unfortunately, they are all very forgettable. Daisuke at the start of the series is somewhat relatable, in the sense that he strives for something more in his life. An inner turmoil or struggle with oneself that many in their teens or later adulthood experience. While this is an interesting concept, I mentioned that the execution of a story is a deciding factor in whether or not something can be called "good". This is the same when creating a character and their story. Daisuke's personality is shown to be dangerous, almost borderline psychopathic in nature. He is developed as a character who is mad with power. There was one scene where one of his friends questioned his assumed authority and Daisuke nearly attacked them with his mech. I realize that I'm repeating myself, but the way the characters are developed is executed poorly. Rather than developing a character, the writers intended to flesh out a personality trait. Is it interesting to have a protagonist with realistic flaws? Yes, but it's not sustainable in a storyline if the protagonist doesn't change in some way to reflect on their flaws and it isn't interesting is the protagonist is based on a personality type with only flaws. That is the main reason the desired "Hero complex" works with the antagonist, as their flaws are what lead them to work against the protagonist.
Daisuke's uncle Mikio was one of the only people that stood out to me and he only showed up briefly. It was because he was close to Daisuke and was shown to be a voice of reason. While most other characters would ridicule Daisuke for his ambitions and actions, Mikio tried to explain why his rash actions should be reflected upon. Later, Mikio, along with the rest of the Shibuya citizens, just give into Daisuke's delusions of being a hero. He continues to try and be a voice of reason but to a lesser effect later in the series.
There is a point where an AI in Daisuke's String Puppet calls him out for being a deluded coward, which I thought would be a turning point in his character development. He turns out to just forget about it in the next episode.
I understand that CG is offputting to some, but I find that some animes that use CG often utilize it to the best of its ability. This series did not. You may find yourself confused at the fact that the studio animated the scenes of Daisuke and his friends as children normally, and then switched to CG animation in the present time. Some research was done into this and an animator explained the reasoning behind this was because they had no character models for the younger children. Since they were only shown in flashbacks in a couple of scenes, it was easier to animate a scene rather than create a new character model for all five of the main characters. In theory, it's a logical approach to an animator and I would agree with them if I wasn't the person watching the anime. I have to admit this as a reviewer, the 2-D animations for the scenes with Daisuke and his friends as children were fantastic. The art style, the environment design, the facial expressions elicited by these characters. I found myself enjoying these scenes greatly, as they showed the quality animation that can be achieved with a high budget and proper execution. And then the series takes that away to give you CG animation that is poorly done.
Let's start off with the lip-syncing done in the series. It is borderline abridged series level. If you've never seen an abridged series, they tend to flap a character's lips to match the dialogue. The problem with this is that, although you don't need to spend time emoting expression in the dialogue, there is a disconnect with what the person is saying at times. No, this isn't done in every scene, but it's done enough times to which it is noticeable to an average viewer. The combat is standard. When I say this, I mean this in the most literal way possible. It's not bad, but there is absolutely nothing that set's it apart from everything else. The planning for scenes was bad. It's evident even in the first episode. The camera pans away from Daisuke for one second and he magically manifests a knife in his hand.
I read in a review that the show didn't portray any sort of fanservice. This was obviously false. The antagonists shown are furries in skimpy or stupid outfits. A loli furry in a maid outfit and a big titted fox girl in the thinnest clothing you can allow on television. When I read about fanservice in a mech anime, I think generic mech action scenes that please mech anime patrons, I didn't expect actual full-blown fanservice from girls in the series. I'm not saying fanservice is bad, or that it even needs a purpose sometimes, I'm saying that it just came out of the blue. I wouldn't be surprised if it was just some big-titted girl flashing her boobs at the camera every other scene, but they threw in some animal girls with no real setup and just said it was the form the revisions chose to take. Ok then...
I found the score composition for the series to be like the characters. Forgettable. Nothing made me want to listen to the music outside of the episodes. The only music I really enjoyed was the Opening by "The Oral Cigarettes". I honestly can't write much about it, as the music didn't really evoke any emotions, it was just there. If you took out the music in some of the episodes and watched it, I doubt there would be much difference. Honestly, I think it might make the episode better in some cases.
Should you watch it? 3/10
God no. After watching this show through its entirety, twice may I add, I cannot in good conscience recommend anyone to watch this show for any reason. Not for the story, and not even for laughs. The only laugh I got out of it was the joy I felt after I finished the series, and this isn't a joke. If you're looking for a mech anime with meaningful story, just go watch Eureka Seven, or if you're looking for something similar to this but with slightly better writing, I would recommend Darling and the FranXX. The story is bad, with a confusing plot the main character could barely understand, twists that the writers thought were clever (But weren't), and characters as bland as cheerios. Usually, a story has a lesson to be taught in the end. This one was if you have a goal and put forth unwavering ambition, even at the cost of other people's safety, you should go forth and achieve it. The writers wanted it to be "Believe in yourself when others ridicule you" but it really just turned out wrong. After trying to hold myself back, I can finally say without a doubt that this is complete and utter trash.
P.S. I tried not to mention the Director, as I'm sure some reviewers have already done so, but he is most notable for Code Geass, another anime known for having mechs and a complex story. He just didn't do a great job this time around.