OP Sequence


「回収屋」 (Kaishū-ya)

I have long since given up on seeing another season of Darker than BLACK, since the much maligned second season didn’t sell all that well. It was with a heavy heart that I did so, since DtB was one of my favourite shows of its decade, and it certainly seemed to want a sequel. But, no, a Darker than Black 3 was too much of a long shot to hold my breath for, so instead each anime season I browse around for suitable substitute—a DtB ‘fix’, if you will. Some gritty urban fantasy, or some stylish BONES show, was enough to keep me going in the short term, but nothing was going to compare to a hit of the pure stuff.

Yes, my relationship with anime is entirely healthy. Why do you ask?

My long flirtation with other, definitely non-addictive animated media may be over, though. Dimension W could well be the spiritual successor to Darker than Black. The connection is actually rather close. The author of the original Dimension W manga, Iwahara Yuji, was actually the character designer for Darker than Black, and also wrote the excellent DtB manga Shikkoku no Hana. So it should be no surprise if Dimension W draws influences from what is at least partially Iwahara’s earlier work. Just look at our male lead, one Mabuchi Kyouma (Ono Daisuke). He’s a Contractor Collector, a jerk with a heart, and likes perching on high places. He even has the blades and the wires. And now he’s going to be paired up, buddy cop style, with a Doll robot (Ueda Reina) who inexplicably has emotions (and is also, Three Laws non-compliant). Accuse me of reading too much into it if you wish, but I love it already. Ah, that’s the stuff.

DtB deja vu aside, I liked the rest of this episode, too. Sure, the setup is probably something you’ve seen before, but there’s nothing wrong with the tried and true of cyberpunk. Nikola Tesla is one of easiest scientists to integrate into science fiction (mainly because he invented all the coolest stuff), and an extension of his Wardenclyffe dream is an old fantasy, but isn’t sci-fi most plausible—and most interesting—when it builds on history? Isn’t that what separates speculative fiction with pulled-out-of-the-aether fiction? And doesn’t it just make it much easier to connect the dots? Don’t call it a bunch of old tropes, call it a very easy to understand setting. The world dominant energy corporation? The contrast between the high-tech city and the slums? The genius visionary who now repudiates his gifts to mankind? The recalcitrant who refuses to embrace the future? Those are greatest hits of sci-fi, and cyberpunk in particular, and I have no problem with short-handing some world building by giving the good stuff a new paint job. And, hey, even if you have less tolerance for that than I, or you aren’t as fond of cyberpunk, Dimension W still has all the good things an anime fan wants when looking for a blockbuster. There’s action, intrigue, and cheesecake—the anime Triforce. Come, it’s the first episode and they’ve already exploded a chunk of the city. What more can you want?

So, overall, this was a very solid pilot to an entertaining looking show. It’s even relatively easy to get into for hard science fiction, with only short bursts of technobabble, mostly when the resident techhead gets excited, or from gibberish that can be safely ignored. Otherwise, there are only a few things that may trip you up, depending on your personal tolerance for Exposition By Convenient News Items or a show taking bites out of its single piece of cheesecake a few too many times. This, plus the somewhat predictable flow of the plot for this episode, form some minor quibbles. As of the next episode we’ll probably learn more about the task that had been left for Mira, why she needs to collect illegal coils and, heck, more about everything in general. And then we can start discussing robot ethics and energy policy and supply-demand economics for gasoline and whatever. We’re well set up for it after a pilot that quite adeptly establishes both the world and a number of key characters. With everything looking so good to go, I would count Dimension W as another high potential show of the season.


ED Sequence

ED: 「Contrast」 by Fo’xTails



      1. Fan service didn’t add anything good to this anime so it’s not needed.

        By the way, if robot girl was a guy in tight drawers (cause while girl has skirt we don’t remember about it much part of time) I think you will get another way of thinking about fan service here. Add Op and ED and feel “how the series integrated it pretty well”.

    1. Honestly, there wasn’t that much unnecessary fan service. I felt the series integrated it pretty well. The only thing I can remember that would be fan servicey was pretty much when she was being scanned at the end, and they’re just analyzing her. Nothing really unnecessary. Don’t really get why people equate fan service to bad.

      1. Nah man it was the constant pandering of the camera towards the cat robot girls buttocks and chest during the episode. Duck likes tasteful fan service only and this was just to obvious and annoying for Duck.

      2. So someone doing an autopsy should keep the person clothed and not naked. Ok. Also, having near naked character in Op and Ed isn’t exactly new, and it’s used a lot. There’s nothing really bad about it unless you want to think it’s bad.

        Also, what does having a male robot have anything to do with this? If you’re trying to say I would complain about male fan service, I won’t. If he’s half naked receiving an autopsy, once again, that’s just how it is. If he’s half naked in the Op or Ed, it makes no difference. Nothing new or bad there.

      3. shadow-youth
      4. Yes, I wouldn’t mind the manservice either. There’s nothing bad there. There are lots of shots of maleservice in series and I don’t complain about it. I just watch the series for the story and animation.

      5. https://randomc.net/image/GATE/GATE%20-%2013%20-%20Large%2007.jpg
        Do you really believe that this is manservice? This ugly stupid-looking guy?

        Examples from OnePunch wasn’t manservice either. It is part of jokes. Examples with upper half of the body isn’t what I mean either.

        What I can say. When anime starts to show underwear’s details wth not girls only but guys too you’ll understand what I talk about. When I watch something for plot and camera take some not occasion but special moments to show me girl’s genitals or ass it seems wrong for me.

  1. i can feel this one has a great potential. it’s up to the staff now to work it out and realizes it’s potential. i’m getting darker than black vibe from this, and that’s a good thing for me because i like darker than black.

      1. in the faint chance you’ll read this, I was referring to Solty Rei as Darker Than Black was already mentioned by Passerby. I didn’t check before writing, but Solty Rei aired a little more than ten years ago, and Darker than Black a little less than nine years ago, so effectively, those series are more “middle age” than old. Solty Rei felt older to me though.

        Some people here are around 15yo so those shows belong to their childhood 🙂

  2. This would’ve been generic a decade ago. By today’s low standards with an anime landscape infested with LN crap and gimmicky plots that serve as an excuse for the mediocre writers to glaze their navels, this shit’s bloody refreshing. You’ve got a dude who isn’t a squeeky voiced highschool brat, has facial hair, and prefers a proper internal combustion engine over EV crap. Sure, the fanservice kinda spoils it a tad and he needs to be smoking a cigarette for proper protagonist street-cred, but I’ll take what I can get. Kinda remind me of a cross between the stuff Gonzo used to do before they degenerated into pure girls-with-guns-and-panties-and-nothing-else mode, and possibly some of the old Adult Swim anime.

    1. I don’t really feel the fan service spoiled the series, although i guess it’s more subjective, but for me, as long as it doesn’t feel forced in or breaking immersion from a serious scene, it’s absolutely fine with me, and i felt Dimension W handled it rather well 😛 Of course, this is probably pretty subjective, but this is how i felt.

      Trap Master
  3. @Passerby
    I have to admit I’m kind of the same @looking for another DtB substitute, so this series have gotten my expectations up there. There’s a little bit of everything – genre wise which is pretty awesome. One of the best OP themes so far as well (imho), which is a big+

    Overall I think this season has one of the better offerings, which I’m sure a lot of others would agree. Excited to see how things unfold!

  4. So from the episode it seems this robot girl’s switch is located in her tail. How original, it usually is in the crotch area eheh.

    I’ll be following this if it stays this good, and, Passerby, I bet you are seriously thinking of covering this, ah ? (at least I hope so)

  5. I can pinpoint the exact moment I lost my heart to this anime: when the gruffy looking male lead made his first appearance.

    Every anime season I pray to the anime heavens to send us an anime in which the male lead doesn’t look like 12 or some other form of bishounen. So yeah… and then I totally lost it during the opening. Another catchy anime opening by STEREO DIVE FOUNDATION another win (I listened to gangsta’s opening for months).

    I think I’ve found the perfect anime to kick off 2016.

  6. Definitely one of the best ep 1 i’ve seen so far, and having read the manga, i am so excited to see it get animated. 🙂 definitely looking forward to it.

    the animation was really beautiful too with an awesome op and ed 🙂 hyped as fck!

    Trap master
  7. I totally forgot Dimension W even existed until like a week ago when I watched the trailer for it. I read some of the manga awhile back but it wasn’t being translated so I guess I gradually stopped following it. I don’t remember a ton about it, but I do recall really liking it. So I’m glad it’s getting good reception so far.

      1. From what I see, DtB seems to be pretty popular (Haven’t seen the show yet, but planning to ……. don’t bite me please, I’ll watch it soon! >.<). Did the sales really flop that much?

        Trap Master
  8. @Dimension W

    Guys, this Anime is the hidden pearl you are looking for

    What my Memory Vibes getting me:
    Gangster Vibes
    Initial D Vibes
    Ghost in the Shell (Do we see here the First Prototype?)
    Cowboy Bebop Vibes
    Riding Bean Vibes

    Hooked on the first Episode

    We have an Winner!!

    Part 1 of 3

    Hoked!!! I Approve this Anime!!

  9. I am honestly still mystified that this is not a Bones show. The animation and the animation composition, setup, even the production values – everything reads exactly like Bones.

    Did not expect to like the premiere so much, but man what a treat. Nothing wrong with sticking with barest basics of cyberpunk; it hasn’t been en vogue for YEARS, since Ergo Proxy I suppose and that was what, a decade ago. We’re waaaay overdue for something meaty from that corner. I don’t expect it to hit Blade Runner levels, but hypertech ubermegapolis/fog covered slums at the bottom combo is never going to not make my heart clench in the sweetest of anticipations. And as noted above, we pretty much have the full deck – the corporation, the rogue hero, ridiculously human AI you name it. Now we only need some hackers up in here to get the full bingo, and I mean it in the best of ways.

    Also the characters give a nice surprise of not being complete 2D stereotypes – barring the legolas over there who so far looks more like a mandatory shipping option, although that’s subject to change. I didn’t like November 11 from the start either. Bonus brownie points for not making the science dude nor a ~flamboyant gay stereotype neither a sultry lady with giant tits one.

    I’m willing to bet anything, Passerby, that they will have to pry the coverage of this one from your cold, dead hands. And if that’s the case, pretty much looking forward to your writeups every week.

    1. I was really surprised by the animation of this show too. I didn’t see the PV, so i thought that this show might’ve had soso animation since it wasn’t from a big studio, but the animation in the ep and OP and ED just blew me away. Even more surprised to find that this was the Studio 3Hz’s second project 😛 I’ll definitely be keeping an eye out on this studio in their future releases 🙂

      Trap Master
    2. If by “Legolas” you mean the long haired blonde guy in the white uniform (whose name escapes me), what I’ve read of the manga does suggest he’s a more complex character than this episode would imply.

  10. Seriously can’t get enough of the OP song and Kyoma dancing in the first 6 seconds. That shit is really addictive. I have repeated the song like, what, 8 times already now.

  11. okei so i ddnt watch da episode yet .only the op . so heres wat i think .. the main pro. looks like from cow boy beepop.. .who moves like darker than black…and da girl looks like from Fight Ippatsu! Juuden-chan!! .

  12. Easter Eggs all over this show
    “Tesla” (Common name) What Elon is doing is similar to what the famed inventor of the coil did. Ultimate Power supply for the world. Though religion and the theory of Newton forbids anything like that.

    Currently, petrol is so cheap and with the way the middle east is going i think we may see a sharper decline before it reaches it is peak. Solar technology is already expanding.

    Musk has stated he wants to look at AI and Robotics so it may be when rather then if.

    Getting back to the anime, I loved the intro as it reminded me of Ghost in the Shell. You are made to look around as everything is a clue. The scene, the character, the news headline, the cut away shot etc.

    I can’t wait for the next episode as I feel some thing dark is yet to approach thanks to Ishida-san character.

    You know when you have good episode when so many questions pop up lol.

      1. That was what I was getting at.
        I seen more companies incorporate Tesla into the name and branding.
        I too own a technology company and numerous times just thought I should owner Tesla by adding his name too it.

  13. Darker than Black, huh? I got more of an Expelled from Paradise vibe from it, just less post-apocalyptic and more cyberpunk. I mean, we got another duo of a scruffy older dude with a like for the old stuff and a younger girl with advanced robot-like characteristics, for one. Then they also get roped up in what seems to be building up to a discovery of less-than-perfect elements of the seemingly perfect society they live in (only it’s the girl who’s the outsider here, with the dude part of the society). It’s not entirely the same, but it reminded me of it. And that’s a good thing, cause I liked that movie.

    Besides that, I like these types of stories anyway, and this opening had enough good points that this is a definite watch for now. The setup and the world speak to the imagination, the comedy hit its mark and the characters are appealing – I couldn’t ask for more. I’ll be looking forward to next week, in any case.

    1. There’s definitely a similar character dynamic going. That said, scruffy older guys often get a younger sidekick to ‘soften’ them or to act as a morality pet. A commenter above mentioned Solty Rei (a more overlooked show of its time, I felt), which had an old guy/robot girl pairing as well; except our robot girl in Dimension W has more spunk.

      1. Honestly, I thought that the guy is always a softy who puts on a hard exterior. If he had wanted he could seriously just go ahead and scare the kids into never coming back with his impressive knife-work, but didn’t because secretly he does like the company. The younger sidekick is there to be nice to people so he doesn’t have to.

  14. I think the sound production deserves a mention as well, from the little touches like electric motors on boats to bone crunching slaps to Mira’s voice when her coil was burning out.

    1. I need to highlight this. I know that sound production never gets the same hype as, say, animation (and as a blogger I’m aware I skip over it more often than not) but it’s one of the things I really do look out for. At the same time, I think one of the hallmarks of good sound production is seamless integration.

  15. I can’t compare this to Darker Than Black since I barely saw any of it. But I can say that this looks like a promising hit of the season if they play their cards right! And Funimation is part of the committee!

    1. Let’s see, a dimension that defies all known laws of Physics, an apparent twit of a main character who wields blades with wires. Does this not sound similar to Heaven’s/Hell’s Gate and BK201?

  16. Mira reminded me of the female android in Solty Rei.

    And I really need to find some source for DtB and watch it already.

    And there we go again to the fanservice haters. I dunno… maybe it comes with maturity. I never really thought that all of Mira’s undressed shots were fanservice until I read about viewers lashing out on it on forums. Probably because I have this fixed mental image of her simply being a robot in a girl’s semblance.

  17. Its a lot more colorful than I thought. That manga was more gritty, and I expected the anime to carry the same look…or at least be a lot more saturated. The world in Dimension W was a lot more problematic than what appears on the surface, and most of them centered around the TRUE dangers of illegal coils.

    1. The manga’s also, y’know, black and white 😉

      I think when one’s been used to reading the monochromatic manga, if could get weird to see the same world transition to the colour of anime. I know it takes some time for me to adjust sometimes.

  18. dont give up on the potential of a DTB season 3 passerby; If you do that means that ill probably have to start facing facts too and i dont want to have to do that. My heart is not ready for it. Yada yada yada yada yada yadaaaaaa

  19. Ah, DTB… Damn I love that show and will have to rewatch sometime.
    They could easily make another one, adapt Jet Black Flower or just make a prequel of Heavens War. I need my Hei fix damnit !!!
    I’ll will definitely try this !

  20. In addition to the Nikolai Tesla trope, the producers also borrowed from Tony Stark / Iron Man with the “life-support mechanism in the center of the chest, aka a heart” trope.

    So let’s see – the new Tesla coils get wireless energy from “Dimension W”, but much like Giant Robo, the coils can be “disrupted”, perhaps worldwide, and that is what the inventor was working on before his death, as well as the “robot to replace daughter” trope. The coils do transmit information from themselves back to the NT Company, but only minimal information if the coils are used in a “legal” manner. And it seems the coils do have built-in governors and limits, hence ne’er-do-wells wanting “illegal” coils that are built without tattletales or limits. Like changing a water pistol into a particle-beam cannon with the right coil. Here we have the Japanese trope of “worldwide corporation that abuses its’ power over the population”.

    So many buttons to push, but most of them are the right ones, so far.

      1. https://randomc.net/image/Dimension%20W/Dimension%20W%20-%2001%20-%20Large%2031.jpg

        Imagine, this is an EMP Bomb in the middle of a City. The Power would be cut of for a time, as long the EMP effect hold

        Looks like he Overloaded the Energy gain from Dimension W with this Black Hole thing, the Dimension W Energy blow the System.

        So his invention was some kind of Overdrive Power Reactor? Lucky this Robot Girl fuse protected her

        this is my own conclusion

    1. I enjoyed S2 for what it was. Sure, it was a very different show to S1, it was woefully compressed, and the soundtrack was inferior pretty much by default, but as a deconstruction of the magical girl genre it was rather brilliant. Certainly done with more depth than what Madoka Magica did, and earlier.

  21. Gosh, what did I watched here….

    *puts it in the watch-list*
    And that’s 2 series that should’ve been on the 3-ep trials being pushed up the lists…
    (the other one being Bubuki Buranki, jumping up from my blog-watch list)

    I swear, this winter season is way more entertaining than last year…

  22. side note:

    I felled instant in love with this OP

    Let alone the Music (The same from GANGSTER!) has this “locomotive beat” to keep your going on forward, and put your Spirit in high octane. As if this Car in the OP and the Music are Siblings, born for each other

    and also the movement and action, has for me the Gangster Vibes. Perhaps that was the “instant Win!” feeling here.. (I am home, mina-san)…

    1. ep 02:

      Me like it!!

      Show Spoiler ▼


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