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)
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「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
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Preview

46 Comments

  1. 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.

    UFO
  2. 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 ^^.

    Zanibas
  3. 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.

    runner
  4. 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 😀

    N0216332
  5. 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.

    Kaitune
  6. 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.

    Anot
  7. 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

    Shirt
  8. 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.

  9. 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…

    ahelo

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