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Anything but Weak Sauce (WIXOSS) »« Inugami-san to Nekoyama-san – 01

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane – 01

OP Sequence

M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   OP   01 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   OP   02 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   OP   03
M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   OP   04 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   OP   05 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   OP   06

OP: 「Re:REMEMBER」 by May’n

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M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   01   40 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   01   41 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   01   42

「降星ノ夜」 (Furiboshi no Yoru)
“Night of Falling Stars”

The last anime to premiere this season is a little late from the rest of the pack, but nonetheless, it still delivers a highly anticipated original anime. With strong staff members and cast behind it, M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane promises to be an action-packed, mecha centric anime about the world being plagued by darkness. There are pockets of civilization that’s set itself up to combat crystalized monsters known as “admonition” that reside in the dark. Students are trained to operate robots to fight off the admonition and help defend their cities. Our main cast consists of 8 students that are specially selected to go out into the darkness… and from the looks of it; they’ve all been connected in one way or another already.

This is not a straightforward story about children operating mecha robots that go around killing their enemies, but rather a story about how they go about changing that norm. For so long (or what I assume to be a long time), admonition have been seen as dark crystalized forms of people’s ghosts that need to be destroyed… but it’s evident in this premiere that that’s not necessarily the case all the time. Admonitions seem to have some form of spirit or soul attached to them, but I think the more interesting question is how and why they come to materialize. Are they a byproduct of human creations or is it a natural evolution of humans themselves after a period of time? Or do they manifest from strong feelings that linger on Earth after someone passes? So many possibilities and I love that right off the bat, the viewer is sucked into the world that isn’t what it appears to be. The anime has set itself up to be quite dark and mysterious with the flashes and scenes of the past, but leaving the audience completely out in the dark in the process (Ha! See what I did there? That was unintentional… =P).

The students aren’t innocent high-schoolers anymore either, with the exception of Hazaki Emiru (Hikasa Yoko) who is more genki than the rest of them. Saginuma Akashi (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu), Kasumi Raika (Yahagi Sayuri) and Yuzuki Maamu (Fukuen Misato) – who was our voiceover narrator, all come out determined and serious about the task at hand. With the exception of Minashi Maki (Kakihara Tetsuya), every character fits into a very stereotypical role type-casted by their seiyuus and even their character designs. Maki is sort of the outlier because he appears out of nowhere in the middle of the battle sequence, but seems unfazed by the series of events around him. I’m weary of the large cast at hand because this can either end up one of three ways: a) they all get an equal chance to shine and truly distinguish themselves while adding value to the overall story; b) most of them end up just playing off as side characters and Akashi (or someone else) emerges as the true protagonist; or c) none of the characters truly stand out because the creators forget about character development halfway through and they start to act sporadically for the sake of advancing plot… (I only add this last one because my experience with original anime lately hasn’t been the best). Of course, I’m hoping that even if the characters continue to act as archetypes, they all have a purpose in the story. I’ll be easily satisfied as long as they don’t start acting out of character or get lost and forgotten in the plot.

The biggest issue that I had with this anime so far – had to be the animation and lack of quality. Now, that does not deter me from watching, but it does make it hard to capture some great screenshot when most of them are blurred and not fluid. The anime is not only “dark”, but it’s physically black when the characters move to attack admonition. This makes it increasingly more difficult to grasp a good quality image of the events taking place. Luckily however, the anime is not all action-packed because there’s a fair bit of information given in voiceovers and conversations. There is also mecha involved and this makes me more worried that the quality of the artwork isn’t comparative to other anime these days. Once again, it doesn’t stop me from watching, but it does take away from the production value of this show and makes you wonder how much of a budget they’ve really spent on it. I’m not generally a mecha-viewer, but I’ve got to say, there’s not too much of it in the show so far and if they replaced the giant robots with lightsabers or magic, I would’ve been totally fine with the show as well. It adds flare and different dimensions to the show – but the plot is not revolved around it. In this regard, I’d have to say that these are all secondary aspects to the show that are a “nice to have” and it would be deeply beneficial if the animation was done better.

Coming into the season, I actually had high hopes for M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane because I can’t resist original anime and I love the dark themes that it hints at. Shin Sekai Yori did a great job in combining both a mystery aspect as well as these dark themes about children vs. society and I thought it was executed very well. I hope M3 does something similar along those lines in a different setting and environment – and with robots instead of telekinetic powers. There’s a strong sense of mystery and a deep richness to the setting and the idea of ghosts, and admonition that the audience isn’t fully exposed to yet. I find it interesting for the time being and I hope that this is only going to get enhanced later rather than derailed. I’ve had my fair share of bad anime originals lately and I’ve been jaded… but I can be convinced that there’s a few good gems out there.

Bottom Line – @RCCherrie: #M_sonokuro was quite interesting for a premiere… Animation could’ve been better but the dark/mecha theme is very prominent and I like it.

Note: There are currently no plans to blog this anime on an ongoing basis. This is subject to change so please keep an eye out on the Spring Schedule 2014 for updates on shows RC will be covering. Thanks!

 

ED Sequence

M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   ED   01 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   ED   02 M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane   ED   03

ED: 「ego-izm」 by la la larks

April 22, 2014 at 11:50 am
42 comments »
  • April 22, 2014 at 11:57 amalfredonm

    this anime has potential!

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:58 amduck

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 22, 2014 at 11:50 pmMincemaker

      Stop liking things I don’t like wah wah.

    • April 23, 2014 at 3:10 amKF

      I like robots but I can understand you. I don’t agree with you but I can understand you.

    • April 23, 2014 at 10:53 amDwarg

      says “robot” while talking about anime, can’t spell making properly, a true dimwit.

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:02 pmwat

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 22, 2014 at 2:18 pmCherrie

      No.

    • April 22, 2014 at 2:46 pmSDFGS

      ….seriously? (that’s just as much as a response as you’ll get to a dumb as F question as that) Come back during the summer season when that would be applicable.

    • April 22, 2014 at 3:02 pmduck

      Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

    • April 22, 2014 at 11:51 pmMincemaker

      Why don’t you just watch the damned thing and decide?

  • April 22, 2014 at 12:08 pmDvalinn

    This was interesting, at least world-wise. I quite liked the Lovecraftian landscape of the dark world, and the freaky beings that reside in it. Not to mention that the story starts when they’ve been around for a while and humanity has adapted around it, which hopefully should prevent monster-of-the-week antics in favour of a more mystery-driven narrative (as they don’t seem to know all that much about those beings).

    Character-wise it’s less impressive, as they seem to inhabit typical archetypes for now and the twintailed girl was rather annoying (though perhaps that was the point). Still, I don’t write them off just yet. Animation-wise it’s not the best either (it’s like a plague for all the good mecha shows this season, Sidonia ain’t impressive either in that regard) but I can look past that considering they manage to nail the atmosphere sometimes.

    So yeah, this has potential. Going to give this a chance. Let’s hope it ends up more like Bokurano (which the vibes reminded me of) and less like Coppelion.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:09 pmVsAllGaming

    I enjoyed the first episode a lot, it definitely has the potential to be great. I’ll keep watching to see where it goes as it certainly caught my interest.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:31 pmMgMaster

    Poor Cherrie,looks like you won’t be forgetting Samumenco anime soon :P

    My thoughts on this show are pretty much the same as yours,but I’m more wary of it and have lower expectations because of one thing: Okada Mari is working on it. She’s probably itching to go heavy on the melodrama later on. I’m gonna thread carefully with this one…

    • April 22, 2014 at 2:20 pmCherrie

      LOL! Doesn’t it make you want to watch it now to see what all the hype is about? =P

      I have lowered expectations after the first episode, but I have hopes that it’ll be better. I’ll give it the 3-episode rule of thumb to see if there’s more to the surface that meets the eye. I’m sure there is… =) like that ghostly girl who appeared at the end.

      • April 22, 2014 at 3:49 pmMgMaster

        I already know that,I spoiled myself too much for that :)It was probably the only show that I read weekly reviews about yet I didn’t watch(I read both yours & Enzo’s posts on LiA) – don’t ask…I think a lot of the enjoyment from shows like that comes from taking part in the discussions at the right time,rather than just the show itself.

        But anyway,as for this one,I want to like it tbh. If it passes your 3-ep rule,you should probably be the one to blog it since you seem pretty interested in it.

      • April 23, 2014 at 6:40 amCherrie

        We’ll see how it goes… I do have the capacity to blog another show but the second/third episode will decide that.

        I’m glad you still read our posts despite uh… all the negativity around it ^^” It was more interesting to read what other people thought though so the opinions were so diverse.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:39 pmHelvetica Standard

    I never thought I’d say this but I miss Horrible Subs. The sole 720p release looks like a 480p upscale. My eyes bled.

  • April 22, 2014 at 1:45 pmStilts

    The episode didn’t really have me interested until the pendant bit at the end. Something seems a little off, it doesn’t have that “artist” flair that I love to see so much, but it earned itself a couple more episodes at least.

    • April 22, 2014 at 2:29 pmCherrie

      I thought the bit about dying 9 days after hearing “the song” was an interesting addition. It reminds me of “The Ring” which someone dies 7 days after getting a phone call and adds some haunting feelings to the show. Definitely lacks flair… but that might be due to the animation and character designs T_T

      • April 22, 2014 at 2:50 pmSDFGS

        Is there a specific reason why it seems like they all have bags under their eyes (with the darkness or whatever)? Or is it just an animation technique they have to make the outlines of the eyes really thick?

      • April 22, 2014 at 2:52 pmStilts

        True, true. I wonder if they’ll get the most out of that. It already feels like a few days since Akashi heard the first song, so not sure much more time there is until he “should” be dead, lol

  • April 22, 2014 at 2:35 pmham and brie

    “The students aren’t innocent high-schoolers anymore either, with the exception of Hazaki Emiru (Hikasa Yoko) who is more genki than the rest of them”

    Hmm? Emiru might have shown the darkest personality so far: she’s acting pretty much like a stalker, only putting on a cringeworthy cheerful facade out of a desperate desire to turn her life around. She was a temp worker, cleaning toilets at the school (the implication might be that her circumstance meant she didn’t get the chance to be a high schooler).

    • April 22, 2014 at 8:03 pmMgMaster

      Would be nice if the show would think the same about Emiru as you and use that to make her an interesting character. We’ll see – hopefully you’re right.

    • April 23, 2014 at 7:00 amCherrie

      I agree that being a janitor at the school means that she probably didn’t actually ATTEND the school >_> Not sure what her background is, but that would be interesting to see how she got selected then…

      That’s interesting that you would think she’s “faking” her outgoing personality. I do think SOME of it is fake (and it might be because she looks a bit like a b*tch too =S) but not entirely. I don’t think she was “stalking” anyone by looking out the window, she just happened to be in the washroom cleaning when something happened. She wasn’t eavesdropping on purpose. She just sounds like a girl – that under unfortunate circumstances – landed a job as a janitor at the high school and was never really given a break until now. So her personality to me, overall is pretty genuine.

  • April 22, 2014 at 3:53 pmSin1505

    I do enjoy a dark tone in my anime! This seems like its going to be bitter and sweet which is exactly how I like my Black Coffee

  • April 22, 2014 at 4:38 pmYou know, for kids!

  • April 22, 2014 at 4:52 pmnaridas

    I didn’t find this anime dark at all, mostly due to the “monster” not being scary or thought provoking. If anything didn’t really enjoy the background or the characters, the background wasn’t all too strong mostly due to bad explanation of it in general and the characters fell half-baked therefore I don’t even care about them *shrugs*. I really had my hopes up for it too, I’ll probably watch the next ep but don’t have great expectations, hoping they actually introduce a good character.

    I guess partially the reason why I find this meh is because I’ve been reading Tokyo Ghoul which is an awesssssssome dark manga and a couple other mangas that are quite dark like Abnormal-kei Joshi (read at your own risk since this one gets kinda weird…) and Ajin so I might be spoiled cause of them haha. Tokyo Ghoul is coming out next season though, hopefully it will be done well *crosses fingers* but yeah if you have time you should read Tokyo Ghoul. Also TBH I prefer manga over anime due to the variety in general and art style so I am biased to manga so might be another reason

    • April 23, 2014 at 6:46 amCherrie

      I haven’t read Tokyo Ghoul >_> but I know it’s coming out next season… the difference is, I think that’s definitely more in the “Horror” genre than M3 is. When I think “dark”, I don’t necessarily think horror but perhaps more psychologically thrilling and thought-provoking? Something that the audience may like or hate because it’s out of the box in a different way… does that make sense?

  • April 22, 2014 at 4:59 pmMonks

    Seems extremely generic so far, and with uninspiring presentation to boot. If the next episode doesn’t improve things, this will be an easy drop.

  • April 22, 2014 at 6:16 pmmagoiichi

    Keep romance out is all I ask. Okada is writing the story so I guess that’d be dumb to think there won’t be any romance. I don’t want it because when Okada writes it only the side characters get good romance relationships or the main character gets forced to be with someone they never really wanted in the first place (I’m looking at you Shin Sekai Yori, I still don’t like Saki’s annoying ass though).

    • April 22, 2014 at 7:11 pms_w

      You should be prepared for a love-n-sided-polygon, just in case.

      It’s interesting, so I’m still watching.

    • April 22, 2014 at 8:08 pmMgMaster

      ^Yes he should,and probably everyone else too – I know I am. Still,I REALLY wouldn’t wanna see another character treated like Zessica was in Aquarion Evol…unless he/she’s really annoying or something.

  • April 22, 2014 at 7:05 pmMocha

    The biggest issue that I had with this anime so far – had to be the animation and lack of quality. Now, that does not deter me from watching, but it does make it hard to capture some great screenshot when most of them are blurred and not fluid.

    This could just be due to the low quality Daisuki stream. On the topic of quality, it’s a bit depressing how the fanservice scene was one of the best-animated sequences of the episode.

  • April 22, 2014 at 9:12 pmhaseo0408

    For some reason the Lightles Realm reminds of Hell´s Gate from Darker than Black, it has the same sinister atmosphere, like it´s no longer the world you knew but only a distorted reflexion on a broken mirror.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:23 pmanon

    This is one of the shows I skimmed over since it didn’t seem interesting at face value, but after reading this post, I think I might give it a try.

  • April 22, 2014 at 10:59 pmTheMoondoggie

    Hmm… Feels like Gargantia. Maybe this will entertain me more than Garnantia, LOL.

  • April 22, 2014 at 11:29 pmewok40k

    I just hope this won’t end as another “Coppelion”. Because not much hurts more than great expectations that crash and burn…

  • April 23, 2014 at 1:49 amAnon

    The poor quality is more of Horriblesubs ripping it straight from Daisuki’s stream.

    I personally is gonna give it some episodes, they did the mystery aspect really well, I’m really curious in what the Admonitions are and whatnot. Of course, the backstories of the characters as well.

  • April 23, 2014 at 5:08 amYourMother

    Reminds me of the Hollows from Bleach, with Mechs to fight them not Shinigami.

  • April 23, 2014 at 9:36 amAozora

    What about Akashi’s Family? Did his elder brother is responsible for his parents’ death or did I get this wrong?

  • April 23, 2014 at 2:33 pmLaLackey

    Gravity Rush anyone?

  • April 24, 2014 at 11:40 pmrandomstroller

    Here’s to hope all the interaction between those 8 pilots will be as entertaining as the intecations of the pilots of Majestic Prince.

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