「空木レンカ」 (Utsugi Renka)
Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to Fenrir, humanity’s last bastion against the creatures known as the Aragami. Wielding weapons made from their cells, humans known as “God Eaters” fight back as our last hope, with the newest addition in Utsugi Renka (Kijima Ryuuichi) being one of the first to utilize the “new-type” version of such weapon.
Sound a bit familiar? It should. In many ways, God Eater’s general premise echos the typical end of the world story. There’s a nearly indestructible enemy threatening humanity, a fortress to make the last stand, and a main character present with new abilities that could ultimately turn the tide of the fight. A sudden change in circumstances thrusts the protagonist into the spotlight, and the rest is history—though in this case, that history is what we’ll end up seeing in regards to Utsugui Renka’s growth as a God Eater. The point is, you won’t find anything groundbreaking with God Eater based on its premiere, but that’s not to say it’s not worth watching, because it ultimately was—packing a unique style to complement a fast-paced episode.
For the most part, little time is wasted on exposition, and this first episode takes us through not only Renka’s escape from the Aragami, but his first arrival at Fenrir, his subsequent training, and also his first real fight. What little information we get about the Aragami and the Oracle Cells they possess are hinted at by the occasional (and exceptionally brief) flashback, and it’s just enough to whet the appetite by hinting at humanity’s potential hand in its own downfall. The show, don’t tell approach ends up being the right choice by far, and there’s much to be said about how enjoyable it was to see things rush headlong into what should be the series’ main draw: fights against the Aragami.
The fact that our anime-original protagonist (he’s not in the original games) doesn’t care much for orders and will seemingly deploy when he feels like it means we’ll see quite a lot of action as a result, and the fact that he’s surrounded by a cast of rather ridiculous God Eaters will only help in that respect. The use of vocal inserts (adrenaline rush inducing English ones no less) highlights another potential positive in the series’ soundtrack—if you don’t know Go Shiina by now, you should try some of his songs from the Tales series—and the almost gritty nature to the artistic style makes this an interesting series to watch.
It’s too early to tell whether or not God Eater develops into something worth watching for the entirety of the season, but for now it’s earned its chance as a series worth keeping an eye on. It’s miles better than the premiere of last season’s Gunslinger Stratos (another game adaptation based on a third person shooter) at the very least, and ultimately the key is keeping one’s expectations in check. For better and for worse, the series likely won’t stray from the formula this first episode uses, and although the style and cliche nature of the premise may be turn-offs for some, I can see this series ending up above average overall. Let’s just hope I’m not disappointed before it’s all said and done…
Author’s Note: God Eater is not scheduled for weekly coverage at this time.
OP: 「Feed A」 by OLDCODEX