「ルーザー」 (Rūzā)

I was wondering whether Dimension W was going to be episodic in nature, like the original Darker than Black, or whether it would focus immediately on an overarching myth arc. There are advantages to both approaches. While the latter has always been a strength of anime—the idea that a series of anime is a complete story from start to finish (even if not every anime always works out how to finish well)—a more episodic format is useful for world building, since the show can then just tell whatever short tale about the world every episode and link the individual pieces at a later interval. For speculative fiction, as Dimension W, world building is arguably one of them ore important tasks for the narrative and, in my opinion, also one of the more interesting parts. In this vision of the future, I want to know how people live, what they enjoy, their changes in culture. That’s just me, of course, but if you’re the kind of nerd who finished reading The Lord of the Rings and then keep going on to the appendices, you’ll likely enjoy this kind of stuff too.

Dimension W attempts to do a bit of both episodic and series-wide story, and to this end immediately introduces a new character, Loser (Nakamura Yuuichi), who both does his phantom thief thing as well hint at an overarching conspiracy with his search for numbered coils. For the most part, I was impressed with how much Dimension W got done in a single episode. The heist itself was entertaining, with some good action sequences, but at the same time I’m guessing that the action wasn’t really the point, or else the killer robot twins would not have been dispatched with so little fanfare (that said, battle droids with glowing, red weak spots seem like a flawed design). Obviously the main takeaway was supposed to be New Tesla’s past transgressions and—WOAH, what was that? Nothing like a sudden art shift into something from Fullmetal Alchemist to wake one up. Well, if you didn’t think that these coils were seriously bad news before, you probably have no doubts now.

The problem with packing so much into one episode (remembering that Darker than Black was more comfortable with two per arc) is that the end result is somewhat heavy on the exposition, in particular the kind where people talk a lot. Loser tells Kyouma’s own backstory back to him. Mira narrates everything she does. In general there was a lot of telling and not a lot of time for showing. I understand that Dimension W is in a hurry to impart a lot of information, and they didn’t actually do things badly but perhaps there are things that we really don’t need to know right now? To demonstrate, I consider the climatic scene quite effective despite not really being told what the blazes happened to the poor wretch. I think we can infer that a Bad Thing went down, and in any case a bit of mystery is good. We’ll find out more about it later. And in the same way, they’ve already shown me that Kyouma is a badass, so I don’t really need to know right now that he was once the only human in an army of Contractors robots. Better yet, they can show flashbacks of his soldiering days when it becomes relevant later. I’m sure that will be a good watch too.

Overall, though, still quite a good episode. I’m just afraid that Dimension W will be pressed for time. Many shows would enjoy two cours instead of the now standard one, and I suspect that Dimension W is one of them. So while the pace of this episode was taut but not actually rushed, I look to the future in the hopes they can maintain it.

Looking ahead ~ why isn’t anybody dead yet?

I wonder if this Loser fellow is going to be a recurring character. He’s pretty fun, and did some relevant things, but now that he’s said his piece and got his whatever I wonder if we’ll see much of him until perhaps the very end when more of the conspiracy has come to light. If this were Darker than Black, which I reference far too much already, he’d already have been killed, and then I wouldn’t have to think about it. Well, even that Albert fellow is still alive, despite getting exploded last week, not to mention this episode’s nominal villain (though fates worse than death exist) so perhaps this just isn’t a high body-count show.

Fortunately or unfortunately, depending which side you stand on for this, Mira wasn’t called up as much for her cheesecake duties this week. Instead, she’s absolutely adorable which, while enjoyable in its own way, only makes me think that something horrible is going to happen to her down the road. At the very least, her quest to retrieve illegal coils does not seem safe in the slightest. The cryptic instructions of dead people are never to just pick up some milk on the way home. It’s always mortal danger. That’s just unreasonable, if you ask me.


    1. I’d kinda been waiting for something to happen, since there are two possiblities when taking energy from another dimension in fiction: either the other dimension is occupied and you’re killing the inhabitants, or the extraction process is dangerous as all hell and you could be killing yourselves. Guess we know which side this falls on now.

      1. Watching the grotesque art project reminds me heavily of how magic works in Warhammer Fantasy.
        To heavily summarise, to use magic, a sorceror draws in Chaos energies, which comes from the Realm of Chaos, and molds it into something usable to cast as spells. However, drawing Chaos energies always carries inherent risks and a careless sorceror is liable to get into accident, going from having a nosebleed and a headache to curdling every barrel of milk around himself to having his head explode to accidentally summoning a daemon of some kind and cause a total party wipe. Even if the Sorceror didn’t cause an accident for decades he will still pick up mutation upon mutation upon mutation along the way.

        That Dimension W is some Chaos shit.

      2. Or maybe energy from Dimension W works like Paradox in the old Mage: the Ascension RPG. If you force too much change against our reality paradigm… bad sh*t happens to you and to people around you.

  1. the one-cour treatment for dimension w is a fear of mine. I thought this ep was really good and while the exposition didnt bog the episode down too much, i would have done without it. Part of the reason why i liked darker than black so much was the fact that it said “hey, let’s have detective woman exposit how heaven and hell’s gate came to be in ep 1; it will only be a quick minute and after that, the viewer has to piece everything else together”. And that’s pretty much what happened: the viewer was left to figure out how certain things in this world worked, how certain concepts applied to already established world-building; it was great. The sci-fi noir aspect of DTB really lent itself to be something the viewer had to unbox along the way. Someone had commented how dimension w has better world building than DTB; and while i havent seen all of this series just yet, I think DTB had great world building; it just didnt feel the need to explain everything to you. Dimension W is more of a mix of both (which isnt a bad thing at all) but as DTB had 26 eps to do work with, im not sure how effectively dimension W will execute its narrative. Right now i think it’s doing a very good job and i would like to see it keep it that way.

    1. For DtB, I especially enjoyed how it just lets you work out what Hei’s power is. It was better than saying it out loud, and it made me feel smart. But ‘Passerby enjoys something about Darker than Black‘ is probably not news by now.

  2. this Body in the end is a construct of many Dimensions self of him and the robot. thats why he is still alive. somehow many of his dimension self are connected in this one point in a strange way

    2D = X and Y
    3D = X, Y and Z
    4D = X, Y, Z and time
    5D = X, Y, Z, Time and Dimension

    So, this is all about 5D

    1. One thing I’ve thought was kinda funny about this show is that in a six-axis coordinate system, the 4th axis is usually abbreviated as “W”(X,Y,Z,W,P,R). W is rotation about X. An electric current in X creates a magnetic field in W along itself, and a coil in W creates a magnetic field in X.

      TL;DR: Everyone is rolling.

  3. I get why you keep bringing up Darker than Black, Kyouma is more old fashioned and adult version of Hei, same weapon of choice too, apart from also sending electricity over the wired kunai.

    Honestly the whole illegal coils opening unstable micro portal to dimension W and corrupting things caught up in it reminded me of one of the X-files episodes where two people morphed into each other.

    It’s cool they made it clear why illegal coils should be collected, they are basically unstable wormholes in the hands of amateurs. If someone made a illegal coil let’s say 1/4 size of one of the world towers, and it happens to malfunction, that will literally reshape earth.

  4. Think we’ll see Loser again at his next heist, since I doubt anything will keep Kyoma from being there. Mysterious illegal coils and a guy with a grudge against NT in the same room? Sounds like his kind of party.

    Next week I hope they take the time for him and Mira to do some bonding, though I’m guessing she’s gonna have to break him out of jail first after what he just saw. NT doesn’t seem big on witnesses.

    1. As far as I understood do the collectors freelance work for NT. So Kyouma seems to peruse his work without fear of intervention from NT or the state (which seems to be run by NT).

  5. https://randomc.net/image/Dimension%20W/Dimension%20W%20-%2002%20-%20Large%2034.jpg
    You know mankind playing god can turn ugly in a minute when you see something like this. And the Sci-Fi story is good when it’s this ugly, because you’d know there is an all-controlling oversight that would always prevent you from spreading the word on this dirt, and would always keep you in check. Really reminded me a lot of FMA there, which is good because that means it’s thrilling. What that means is I’m anxious to know what kind of change Mira will attempt to effect on all this (her hidden agenda with the illegal coils), and even more so what part Kyouma will play in it all, given how apparently apathetic he is. I see a high probability of them cooperating with Loser, even if Kyouma would be reluctant about it.

    Admittedly, I am worried about the single cour. I’m just hoping they don’t rush the story, because it does have high potential, and I genuinely didn’t feel this episode was rushed, so hopefully they’ll at least keep this pace. I’m also hoping the producers will announce that this will be a split-cour show, so that at least it will technically be a 2-cour show, though that depends on how much material is available for adaptation. I’m frankly tired of all the sad reality that anime is mostly infomercial for whatever source material they’re adapted from. Hell, I even love the first season of Magi despite its lackluster execution simply because I don’t like to be forced to resort to the source material for the full enjoyment (yet even so I bought volumes 1-8 simply to support it. I’m a sucker for Magi :P). I want this anime to satisfy me on its own without having to resort to the manga to get the full experience, especially with all the beautiful art, animation and sound direction studio 3Hz is giving it (I’ll keep an eye out on all future anime from the studio and also check their past works). Please 3Hz make it happen.

  6. This has got a great Giant Robo vibe going on!!!
    Show Spoiler ▼

    – The robot it much smaller (and cuter).
    – The protagonist is a much cooler anti-hero (with a very nice car, instead of a dorky wrist watch).

  7. I was kind of worried about the anime getting 1-cour but after seeing this episode, I think it’s safe to say that there shouldn’t be too much to worry about. The pacing was pretty good, even if it could’ve used a bit more time to drag it out, and animation still looks pretty good. Definitely looking forward to Dimension W this season! 🙂

    PS. Mira is just too damn cute. Damn it, we need to give her more screen time! Only issue Dimension W has.

    Trap Master
  8. Good points about the LOTR appendices. I found it difficult to even read the Silmarilion. Always been more a fan of central plots strung throughout the production, although some world building can never go wrong (so long as it doesn’t take too long, but again, that’s my taste).

    Personally, I prefer seeing that stuff done in OVA’s, as opposed to the main arc. But I understand why it often isn’t done that way, from a production POV.

    1. problem here, this is Men and Machine combined, and we had an visual proof that the men are alive, but the Machine also?

      This Picture could have more secrets what we could see at the first sight

  9. There was an Isaac Asimov novel with a similar concept of recklessly extracting energy from a poorly understood alternate dimension. What seemed like unlimited free energy actually threatened to destroy the fabric of reality haha.

      1. That story was my first thought when I started watching this series. It was a rather funny moment when I read your comment about what happens when humans draw on another dimension for energy, because The Gods Themselves was an interesting mix of the two:

        Show Spoiler ▼

        Incest Emblem
  10. If something is too good to be true, it always is.

    I think we learned from enough stories that everything always comes with a price, and this anime series demonstrates that greatly, however generic the storyline it may be. I recently picked up this series and I don’t regret watching it, in fact, it’s been a while since I enjoyed something this greatly.

    So far this series has managed to avoid deaths like you said, but seeing blood spill in the OP, I highly doubt this will continue on for long.

  11. ISTR a documentary a few years back discussing M theory, where one theoretical physicist suggested that maybe we were stealing the gravitational force from another universe, but damn if I can remember the name of it. If it’s true, then we’re all screwed when that other universe finds out and comes to kick our asses. Or maybe they can’t, because they never had the gravitational force to form stars and planets, let alone angry guys with spiky hair who yell at you.

    Still enjoying the show, but I can feel the rushing. A lot of the finer points of the manga’s storytelling are being lost due to time constraints, and that’s too bad. But animated Mira is awesome.

  12. Excellent episode, this is some top tier anime, it’s production values and execution reminds me of anime’s good old days, i’m getting the same feeling when i first watched Trigun or Cowboy Bebop, that’s a good sign.

    Really liked the design of Loser and his entire presentation (and the fact he even has a fan-club), he is a very interesting character that is clearly going to be a reoccurring character (hinted from the OP), i also liked the fact they didn’t shy from showing his horribly disfigured face (he makes Red Skull and Dead Pool look like beauty queens), it did add a bit of a sympathetic touch to the character, this guy has seen some serious shit but unlike the professor from the first episode he didn’t lose his mind, in fact while he seems hellbent on taking revenge he seems quite calm and sane, wish we see more of him soon.

    And damn, that scene when the W dimension got wacky is one of those “can’t be unseen” scenes, HOLY SHIT!!! (pardon the language), that was creepy as hell, even more so when i went i watched half a dozen videos about the 4th spatial dimension, gaining a slight bit more of an understanding of what happened back there in the art museum made it even more creepy (physics isn’t my strong suite mind you. i mean watching those 4th dimension videos really gave me a headache XD).

    All in all i think the way they did how the W dimension went haywire and the different 4th dimension versions of the androids overlapping each other in a portrait of pure madness was super effective not just visually to shock viewers and appear edgy but also to give us a sign that messing with this W dimension energy is very dangerous (hence give as bit of an understanding why the main character hates the coils so much, i mean so far they seemed perfect, who would hate an infinite energy source so clean and .. well .. infinite … now we know why, he probably saw a lot of that crazy shit before, that’s also why he told the museum guy not to touch the faulty coil).

    I also thought i will hate the few hints of fan-service here and there but in fact i didn’t mind them at all, all the other elements are so good that i’m willing to let it slip.


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