OP Sequence

OP: 「stone cold」 by FictionJunction
Watch the OP!: Streaming ▼

ED: 「輝跡 -kiseki-」 by 南里侑香 (Nanri Yuuka)
Watch the ED!: Streaming ▼

「イシの目覚め」 (Ishi no Mezame)
“Awakening of the Stone”

It’s the battle of good versus evil using stones, and I don’t mean the rocks you pick up off the ground. In the premiere of Sunrise’s new original series, they didn’t deviate much from the story that was outlined, and depicted how 17-year-old Tandouji Aruma (Terashima Takuma) has been avoiding contact with people ever since his latent power went out of control and he was put on probation for injuring others. Everyone at school’s afraid of him, except the club leader of the Stone Club, Itou Wakana (Itou Kanae), who gives Aruma the benefit of the doubt and continually tries to recruit him into her club. All that went to show was that Aruma is a misunderstood individual who hates his accursed power, which seems to resonate when other evil rock monsters, a.k.a. “Ashi”, are nearby. Enter the CEO of the Aiba Foundation, Aiba Ruri (Nakajima Megumi), who’s intent on awakening Aruma’s true power to fight against the Ashi, and pays him a visit with her butler Kagami Makoto (Irino Miyu) to give him a new lease on life.

That’s pretty much what we were told to expect and very much what we got. What was surprisingly was how quickly we as the viewer were tossed into things. There was no introductory preamble or any inner dialogue build up the premise, and instead, just a lot of things happening one after another, from the deployment of the cute yet deadly Maid Unit under Makoto’s command to the Medusa monster that rose up from the passenger ship wreckage offshore. It almost felt like they were rushing through things just so that Aruma could realize his true powers with the help of Ruri’s jewel, all in the first episode, in hopes of grabbing the viewer’s interest immediately with a fast-paced start. For the most part I’d say it worked, showing both the out of control Aruma and this reborn Sacred Seven self, while dropping a few plot tidbits about how the Ashi are seeking the power of other stones. A proper explanation is probably in order when they dial things back a few notches in the next episode though, along with formal introductions for the Ashi that helps Ruri, Onigawara (Ookawa Tooru), and Wakana’s friends, Yamaguchi Ageha (Yamaguchi Rie) and Akasaki Nanami (Akasaki Chinatsu). (Notice the trend between the names of Aruma’s female classmates and their seiyuu.)

Production-wise, the character designs are somewhat reminiscent to those in CODE GEASS, which probably isn’t a coincidence seeing as designer Chiba Yuriko was the main animator in that Sunrise series. Along with the potential in the story, I like what I see so far, but by no means am I blown away by it either. I only had a lukewarm impression of the promo material after all, but was pretty set on covering this series because original anime have a certain appeal, particularly Sunrise ones. Hopefully my faith in the studio pays off, and things become more interesting once other Sacred Seven bearers come into the picture, such as the Kijima Night (Okamoto Nobuhiko) who’s seen flying about, though I suspect we’re going to delve into the high school aspect now that Aruma has joined the Stone Club. It’s still far too early to tell.

* Opening and ending themes by FictionJunction and Nanri Yuuka respectively are always big pluses in my book.

 

Preview

114 Comments

  1. This anime seems to be waaaaaaaaaaaaaay to cliche.

    And even though it might seem to be packed with actions, they don’t seem to be concerned with damages. They just go rampage like they are fighting on a desolated area.

    I liked the original red suit better than the upgraded one. Specially because his cliche lines makes his new suit become a total power ranger character. And the main character changed so much completely breaking his cool image.

    banzemanga
    1. I agree the first suit was much better. The whole red one eyed look was awesome. If that form is gone forever I might lose this show or start rooting for the bad guys as I did in Star Driver.

      treize
      1. haha, power ranger also ran through my mind, not about is look, but for some reason it gave me the impression that the monster was gonna explode in the background…though it didnt happen.

        Kp
      1. Didn’t you notice he had an equipment select screen? Can’t have one of those without a sword. Also, the ending showed another guy get a sword (presumably an enemy). It wouldn’t be worth highlighting that if there was just a one-sided sword fight coming up.

        Mark
  2. The OP really reminds me of Star Driver, in terms of the big swaths of basic colors. While I liked the Star Driver OP, I quickly got bored of the actual show. I hope the similarity in OPs doesn’t mean a similarity in actual shows!

  3. When people blog unsubbed episodes its just as annoying as when they blog it a week after it was subbed.

    …*sigh* i wish they’d just animate Jojo or something.

    karry
    1. I’d normally say, “This site has always been known for covering raws”, but then I look at your all previous comments and realize how trollish you are, so I’m tempted to just say, “Go learn some Japanese then.” Better yet, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

      Looking at your track record, I’m hard-pressed to find a good reason why I shouldn’t just mark all your comments as spam.

  4. At first, I’m not quite interested in this show cause of the school theme (I prefer a war theme) but after I read your article then I will give it a try.

    black_cat1
  5. I do like that they don’t seem to be using too much cgi (from the looks of it) so prolly will check it out. Always ruins it for me when the concept is cool but the main character is piloting what appears to be a crappy cgi suit.

    1. Heh, Blassreiter was GONZO though. The CG that Sunrise is using in TIGER & BUNNY looks pretty seamless.

      Of course, I still prefer things to be fully animated if I had to choose, so you’re right, Sacred Seven does have that going for it.

  6. Nice animation, the char design and mecha design are ok, certainly looked a bit weird at first, something halfway between Xamdou and Star Driver, let’s hope the storyline evolves a bit more than just mythical creatures eating gems, getting bigger, making bigger craters when smashed. For a couple of seconds, I reminisced some ol’ fashioned franchised anime from the eighties …

    P.S. i had mixed feelings about that red middle fingered left hand gun-thing … 6 other odd “weapons” to come?

    EgoToMoko
  7. This first episode was half assed in every regard. The plot, the characters, the jokes and the design.

    The plot is lame and the pacing is already rushed in the very first episode, the characters come off as shallow and their development is inconsistent and completely unbelievable, the jokes fall flat, all of them, and the character design looks childish and clumsy.

    Well, perhaps it’ll get better since I’m sure I’ll end up watching another episode next week since it airs on sunday night for me, but I rather doubt it. It’s just too much like kamen ranger.

    bearzerger
      1. What’s got me being critical to do with whether I live alone or not? which I don’t by the way.
        To me this first episode was on the same level as one of those card trading game animes like Zoids or Digimon/YugiOh/Whatever, although in S7’s defense the animation was far better than in those shows.

        bearzerger
    1. Tiger & Bunny had a sub-par opening ep imo, but after watching a few more eps it turned out to be great fun to watch.

      Same thing applies, and coincidentally both series are Sunrise.

      Hrmmm
  8. This episode was good, but things are going too fast with this show. They could have easily divided the content of this first episode in two or three episodes.

    André
      1. I kinda disagree. The intro episode should set the pace for the show, especially since its action genre. Would be turned off if Tandoji finally got his true form in…say…the 3rd episode.

        Yyi
  9. Wow, really like what I just saw and I think it’ll get very much more interesting once the story starts to unfold.
    I find the old school character designs are very refreshing and the opening by FictionJunction is probably one of the best I’ve heard so far.
    I’m sold and Sacred Seven’s the first to make my summer list 🙂

    Seishun Otoko
  10. I liked Code Geass and Gundam 00 so I was pretty excited about this. Disappointed at the first episode though. Fighting random rock monsters just isn’t as interesting as various groups of people with different ideals clashing.

    It’s also 12 eps so not expecting much out of this series now.

    Fling
  11. I’m still not too impressed with this, though I have high expectations for an original story by Sunrise. I’ve just seen ep1 and, so far, it looks like Code Geass’ ugly brother.
    Also, like banzemanga said, I liked the red suit better c:
    We’ll see how it turns out.

    Dream
  12. I thought Arma has a strange resemblance to Lelouch from Code Geass. Looks like lelouch is up to no good again. LOL, I love the over-the-top graphic quality and character designs. The actions are fast pace and attention-grabbing.

    I said the preview here and thought the quality as well as the storyline look interesting from those picture alone. I am glad I saw it. Look like I have something new and interesting to look forward to from now on.

    Hopefuly, it is a 24 episodes series with two seasons…those are usually the best.

    chaos
  13. So basically we have a maid army who fights evil forces with advanced weaponry, high-tech facilities and a HUGE amount of jurisdiction? Sound familiar? This is ****-ing Gravion! Except replace Sandman with a cute girl and the Giant Robot with Power Armor.

    I think I’m going to love this series.

    fragb85
  14. i think this is going to be an entertaining series for sure
    i wouldn’t expect much depth out of something that is only one cour long and opens so suddenly like this. but the animation of the action scenes are pretty decent. being sunrise i don’t think they will run out of budget and deviate the animation quality either.

    hopefully i have not just jinxed the series!

    ps. as divine has said, fictionjunction + yuuka already makes the show awesome lol

    sto
  15. Not sure about this. I was never really a fan of the Code Geass character designs and the episode itself didn’t grab me in the same way as the first episodes other Sunrise originals (Code Geass and Tiger & Bunny respectively) did.

    I found it marginally entertaining, definitely worth a few more episodes at least.

    Pepper
      1. u what is find funny is that the story is almost like Megaman Zero game the openning already gave me the wtf am i watching someone play MMZ feel to it LOL

        Cobalt Wargear
    1. mythology check, Rich girl with combat butler check, girl also gives him the power to transform into warrior check, ya id say there are some similarities between it and demonbane-i actually liked that series it was good. Oh i for got army of maids check.

      Ive found it odd that some organizations with women as the head would choose to have an army of maids that are everything from cleaning staff to special forces.

      Chaos
  16. Maybe it’s just me, but I think people are hating on the show way too quick. I’d say give this show 2 more episodes to determine whether or not it’s a show that’s another generic shounen.

    Also, is just me or does Kagami remind you of Sebastian Michaels from Kuroshitsuji?

  17. I thought it was a collection of annoying clichés and tropes that formed a a plot that was told terribly and everything else about the series was just a bit empty and stale. The introduction of characters, what the situation was like and how the action started, for me it all just seemed like a bundle of mess.

    The character designs are a bit uninteresting and nothing stands out or interests me in the powers or action. I thought I would atleast slightly enjoy this like I do with most Anime-Original series but this was just messy. I’ll watch the next few episodes with hope that it will improve. 🙂

  18. This show is great. At first I thought “aw crap this is gonna be another giant robot scenario.” Then I saw some good developments and a lot of good action. From the first impressions, I may keep watching this. I just hope it doesn’t turn into a monster of the week type thing.

    Odeus
  19. You know, I actually liked this show. I enjoyed it’s formulaic and cliche concepts/characters. Granted, I’m a sucker for these types of shows, so I have a tendency to just find them fun and nothing more. I liked the characters, I liked the setup, and I loved the action. I thought it was a blast of an episode, in my honest opinion.

    kazukifafner
  20. Facts original series is always a 11~13 episode anime.
    Originally Code Geass is a 13 episode anime, but since it has highest ratings for six straight episodes, they extended it, yet the ratings didn’t drop down, so a sequel is necessary. The same goes with Tiger and Bunny, it was intended as a 13 episode anime, but with the same approach with Code Geass, they extended it.

    Let’s see sunrise combined all famous concepts and merged it into one.
    – The transformation via Aiba Ruri is from pretty-cure, mahou shoujo series.
    – initial not yet pretty-cured version reminds me of Kamen Rider.
    – Mega Man ZX
    – Knightmare frames from Code Geass
    – Maids and a butler defending the earth……

    QB
    1. just dont believe this shit.

      Code geass was originally planned for 25 eps – same goes with Gundam 00.

      that being said, it’s all depends on the popularity of the anime itself

      Alanter
  21. This looks like an interesting series that i think i might watch. side note: is it me, or does that character whose in the black and looks like a robot, looks like a character from pokemon

    MM
  22. Aw crap, is this gonna be another Code Geass where everyone starts dying and/or going insane at random points in the show? That was really distracting… and really sucked >.<

    Aex
    1. sorry im very sorry i begged to differ code geass was and still is a show of epic proportions. U want massive random deaths plz watch GSD now those are random deaths.

      Cobalt Wargear
  23. Sorry I’m not riding this wreck.
    I still haven’t finished Infinite Stratos or started Star Driver.
    Additionally I’ve dropped Gosick in favor of Tegami Bachi.

    jingoi
  24. From the 1st episode, I thought it was solid. It wasn’t amazing, but there was still enough for it to pique my interest. I’ll see how it goes in the next couple of episodes though.

    argus88
  25. Hmm, cliches everywhere, but it is a lot more interesting then what I original thought.
    -insert lame pun about the shows potential to ‘rock’-

    I’m a bit disappoint there isn’t an image of his desu eyes.

    Avalanche
  26. Solid start. It’s already been said that this show is cliche, and I agree, but at least its executed well. The action was a blast to watch. This show seems to be playing straight a lot of ridiculous stuff (tiny moped, action maids) and that doesn’t bother me one bit for some reason..

    I, too, liked the red-eye berserker armor more than his Mega Man ZX-style light armor, but it doesn’t look bad. If it had more of a mask to it like his first form, I think I’d like it more.

    Discoman
    1. Well, he does seem tall but that’s comparing him to the students so can’t really say when compared to adults. IDK, Sunrise do have a habit of making their main characters tall. Look at Lelouch from CG and Kira Yamato from Gundam Seed. They really looked tall although besides the adults, they looked normal.

      I do hope that there’s a character that might be similar to Suzaku from CG. It might be a perfect foil to Aruma. And yeah, make him tall too!

      Zer0Styl3
  27. Agree completely with this post. It’s satisfactory for me as well. While the reference to Code Geass was a pleasant surprise, I would have really liked if Tandouji didn’t go from bad guy to good guy almost immediately. I would have preferred if there was some character development for him to grow. But, then again it’s first episode so can’t really jump to conclusions though.

    I, too, hated the second costume which many of you guys said: It’s Megaman ZX/Power Rangers costume! But I did loved the reference to Knightmare Frames especially the mecha which the butler rode(on a side note: the butler looks like Uryuu from Bleach). It’s interesting to note that Sunrise labelled this anime as a battle school action project. The tagline was “People’s memories change the world!” So, what Ruri did was to take away memories that caused Tandouji pain? Or was it something else?

    After watching the episode, I actually secretly wished that S7’s plot go the way of Code Geass. CG’s plot was brilliant and the twist at the end really capped it off. I do hope Sunrise can go that route but of course, not blatantly copying CG all the way. (But somehow it’s similar IMO: Lelouch started out as a good guy, who became an evil villain, who then became the unseen hero who sacrificed everything. Maybe Tandouji might be: Start out as bad guy, become good guy later, become bad guy again due to circumstances and the red berserker suit appears again! LOL, just speculating)

    Anyway, it’s still a first episode and we can’t just based the entire the season on just one episode. Maybe we can make a better judgement after 2-3 episodes. But I’ll give it at least a 7/10 rating for at least capturing my attention.

    Zer0Styl3
  28. Aside from Aruma looking a lot like Lelouch..(it’s like I am really seeing a dead person come back to life), isn’t it also that the Butler looks like Sebastian of Kuroshitsuji?? Or was it just me?

    xtine06

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