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X-Men – 01 »« Dragon Crisis! – 01

LEVEL E – 01

OP Sequence

OP: 「コールドフィンガーガール」 (Cold Finger Girl) by 栗山千明 (Kuriyama Chiaki)
Watch the OP!: Download, Streaming ▼

「An alien on the planet」

I had a feeling that Togashi Yoshihiro’s decade-old sci-fi comedy would be in the running for the funniest show of the new year, and after this first episode had me laughing just as much as the manga I skimmed through, I’m starting to think it may just come out on top. While Mitsudomoe Zouryouchuu and Kore wa Zombie Desu ka bring the slapstick laughs, LEVEL E focuses on humor of the deadpan variety, and I like it! In combination with the old school and more realistically proportioned character designs that I grew up watching, the high definition treatment that this thirteen-year-old series is getting from Studio Pierrot and David Production makes it come off as a renewal project of sorts. Quite frankly, I would’ve settled for much lesser production values since I enjoy the content that much, but I do appreciate getting to see first-year high school student Tsutsui Yukitaka (Hosoya Yoshimasa) on the verge of suffering an aneurysm in HD.

Much like I mentioned in the Winter 2011 Preview, the premise revolves around the peaceful coexistence of aliens species on Earth without the knowledge of humans, centering on one of the brightest minds in the universe, Prince Baka Ki El Dogra (Namikawa Daisuke), in his ongoing quest to make aspiring baseball player Yukitaka suffer from said aneurysm. Well, not really, but “Prince’s” problematic personality leads me to believe as much, after he crash lands on Earth, loses his memories, and decides to make himself at home at Yukitaka’s apartment. The end result is one smart-ass alien taking a lot of enjoyment from preying on a poor teenager who was hoping to start his lively high school days with the cute Edogawa Miho (Akesaka Satomi) next door, which the sarcastic jerk within me loved every minute of. From guilt-tripping Yukitaka to making a mockery of his conversation with Miho, this is my kind of humor. Yukitaka’s outbursts definitely help drive a lot of it, which was amusing in its own way since he sounded a lot like Yoshimasa’s portrayal of Shichika in Katanagatari when he was calm, yet spent the majority of the episode screaming his head off. I was really looking forward to hearing his reactions to Prince’s ridicule, and he really surprised me with a voice that’s really well-suited for comedies. All that reiterated to me is how I’d like to see him in more starring roles in the future. For a very different reason is Satomi, whose normal voice for Miho makes it difficult to picture her playing Futaba in Mitsudomoe.

Anyway, if dry humor is your thing like it is mine, then there’s more to look forward to next time when Prince’s bodyguard Captain Kraft (Koyasu Takehito) comes looking for him. The decision to leave off with a cliffhanger where Prince shows his supposed true form worked surprisingly well, given the serious tension that filled the room. Having read a bit further in the manga than what was shown, I’m already anticipating the fallout to that revelation and Yukitaka’s reaction. For whatever reason, I didn’t mark this series down as a guaranteed watch in the season preview, but I probably should have since I was pretty sold on the chapters I skimmed through. This first episode only reaffirmed that sentiment, as I was laughing more at stuff I already knew was coming. To me, everything’s just better animated and LEVEL E is quickly shaping up to be my favorite comedy of the season because of it. It looks like Mitsudomoe’s got competition.

* For those wondering why Nakagawa Shouko was featured in the PV, she’s slated to play Prince’s fiancee, Luna Mi Mad Magra.


ED Sequence

ED: 「「夢」〜ムゲンノカナタ〜」 (“Yume” ~Mugen no Kanata~) by ViViD
Watch the ED!: Download, Streaming ▼


January 11, 2011 at 9:25 pm
  • January 11, 2011 at 9:34 pmJustin2010

    that alien’s true form is so disgusting, i hate bugs.

    • January 11, 2011 at 9:58 pmDivine

      I suggest watching the second episode for more on that. Keep in mind this is Prince we’re dealing with.

      • January 12, 2011 at 12:57 ambanzemanga

        And in addition to that, he has forgotten his memories. ^.^

    • January 12, 2011 at 1:10 amHagiri

      Agreed, you might laugh your head off on the next episode.

  • January 11, 2011 at 9:35 pmGuy

    watched the opening looks nice ill give it a shot!

  • January 11, 2011 at 9:41 pmUFO

    This seem interested. I dont know if it is correct, but the sense of humor in this anime feels similar to that of Natsume Yuujinchou. This one is definitely standout from the typical fanservice anime nowadays (not that I dislike fanservice). Will keep on following this.

  • January 11, 2011 at 9:42 pmZanibas

    I’m glad we are on the same page Divine :3. It’s just something about the whole comedic timing of this series that made me epicly lol. Although it’s a plus that this show is taking a throwback to what the norm for anime shows was, I like it, considering I entered the realm of anime when moe aesthetics were kicking into high gear.

    Puppets for the win btw ^^.

  • January 11, 2011 at 9:47 pmsin1505

    Too many good shows i don’t know which to follow :(

  • January 11, 2011 at 9:50 pmrunner

    some totally useless trivia….

    The director of this series also used to direct Code:E & Mission:E. Funny coincidence(or not?)

    BTW love this show, I’ve read the manga and think this seem to be a nice adaptation.

  • January 11, 2011 at 9:52 pmjrj

    I seriously thought Prince was a female… :(
    so now Shichika practice baseball instead of the art of katana? XD
    Can’t wait to see the next episode

    • January 12, 2011 at 8:51 pmNhelraios

      It’s a trap! seriously I fell for that too.

  • January 11, 2011 at 10:09 pmanna

    I was going to ignore this show, but I love deadpan humor, so I must watch this at some point soon… Thanks, Divine!!!

  • January 11, 2011 at 10:18 pmJohn Smith

    same mangaka of yuyu hakusho and hunterxhunter

  • January 11, 2011 at 10:31 pmN0216332

    high hopes for this >:D as hunter x hutner is my fav anime of all time, definitely watching this… wudnt have if u didnt mention Togashi Yoshihiro… ty for stating divine :D

  • January 11, 2011 at 11:00 pmxcswmboy

    Did we even learn his name this first episode? While watching the opening, I was hoping Prince was a hot chick, but alas it was not meant to be.

  • January 11, 2011 at 11:08 pmInstantNoodles

    I snickered and snickered.
    Wasn’t sure if I was going to watch this show until I saw your review. Thanks Divine!

  • January 11, 2011 at 11:09 pmAlec

    IMO, this episode is the best FIRST episode this season. I’ve high expectations for this anime

  • January 11, 2011 at 11:11 pmKaitune

    Glad to hear that you enjoy it too. After reading the manga, this is the show that I have looked forward to the most in this season, and I can’t be happier when I see that the production team manage to capture the humor of the manga so well. Can’t wait to see the next episode!

    By the way, since you didn’t mark it as a guarantee blog (and it doesn’t seem to have its own category), yet you said that you greatly enjoy it, is there a chance you might perhaps blog it some days? Seeing that this series is probably far down the list of what most people would be interested in, which is reasonable because the manga was quite obscure and the trailer seems fairly unusual, it would be nice if more people would have the chance to get some more glimpses of this series.

  • January 11, 2011 at 11:47 pmtakuya13

    I wasn’t sure what to think about this anime when it was announced but after watching this first ep i was hooked. Epic lulz was had

  • January 12, 2011 at 12:11 amNick87

    I LOVED this episode!! This is probably the best series so far this season (would have to check out Fractale too). The deadpan humor won me over. Great review Divine-san!

  • January 12, 2011 at 12:34 ampops

    this season turning out to be pretty good i got a few shows that i really like hope they dont let me down

  • January 12, 2011 at 12:38 amArmman

    Is there a bad show this season?

  • January 12, 2011 at 1:36 amponpon22@yahoo.com

    disappointed. the jokes might have been funny if they were executed differently, I mean, I thought this was based on a gag manga.

  • January 12, 2011 at 2:10 amhellishdude

    something about this show makes happy. I really liked the first episode. I will stick with it.

  • January 12, 2011 at 2:12 amrazi

    didnt see anything funny about this, but story looks interesting so ill give it a try

  • January 12, 2011 at 2:53 amCorn

    This anime look really REALLY interesting :D I think I’ll see how things will turn out

  • January 12, 2011 at 3:46 amkaz

    wow, Chiaki Kuriyama sang the OP! ^^,

  • January 12, 2011 at 4:07 amAnot

    I laughed so hard when he played the puppeteer.

    Level E was the only Anime that I was looking forward to.
    After seeing the character designs, I hoped that it wasn’t the same cliché ridden, moe/ecchi filled crap as nearly everything else – in this regard the first episode didn’t disappoint.

  • January 12, 2011 at 5:43 amShirt

    I definitely found this show entertaining. I was excited from very start of the episode. The opening theme is pretty cool too. And Edogawa is very sweet. I can get down with this! 8D

  • January 12, 2011 at 6:08 amMasaki

    Damn I thought the blonde alien was female xD
    Though I’m glad he turned out to be a guy anyways.

  • January 12, 2011 at 6:21 amMisty17

    Is that guy with the long blonde hair a guy? And Hot!

  • January 12, 2011 at 11:41 amHenDarou

    Wow, this is far better than I expected, and pretty funny, as well.

  • January 12, 2011 at 1:02 pmWingZeroZXT

    Initial Reaction: PWA-Aahahahahahahaha

  • January 12, 2011 at 1:44 pmSoo

    just watched the first episode, loved it~!!!. lookin forward to the rest

  • January 12, 2011 at 1:45 pmLitho

    Hmm.. no fat samurai chicks, no panty-clad 10yr olds, no wussie protagonists….

    Guess I’ll give this a go!!


  • January 12, 2011 at 2:51 pmfairx

    I can’t seem to relate comedy wif the older (than it should) character design, no matter how much I tried. They’re rather awkward.

    However differences adds to variety. My fren don’t like the design but I myself can live with it.

    • January 12, 2011 at 2:54 pmDivine

      Out of curiosity, how old are you and your friend?

      • January 13, 2011 at 12:16 amfairx

        I’m 35 and my fren is 20

  • January 12, 2011 at 8:54 pmpong

    Hey it’s the dude from Shenmue

  • January 12, 2011 at 9:09 pmNhelraios

    I had a good laugh at the puppet scene.

    Thanks for covering the 1st ep of this Divine, I get indulged quickly in this type of anime settings. (ie.Seikimatsu Occult Gakuin)

  • January 13, 2011 at 2:20 amKirino

    Prince has the same humour as Okita in Gintama; they’re both incredibly funny.

  • January 13, 2011 at 3:57 amAlcohol

    I’m glad that you’ll cover this one. Funny, I thought this one’s similar to AUB (blonde, blue-eyed alien guy, even the narrator is from arakawa) LOL

  • January 14, 2011 at 4:32 amahelo

    Surprisingly funny. Its better than I really expected and lol at deadpan humor. Comparing this to the other shounen comedy this season, Beelzebub, this does come out on top in terms of laughter. I searched it in wikipedia and found out the manga is alamost 15 years ago which is quite shocking for me. I can’t believe this was made before HUNTER X HUNTER whose anime adaptation came almost 10 years ago. Interesting facts…

  • January 14, 2011 at 5:52 am7

    Wow it was surprisingly good. Will watch.

  • January 14, 2011 at 7:46 pmN

    You’ve convinced me to check out this series.

  • January 19, 2011 at 10:29 pmcshin9

    Level E’s my favorite show this season.