OP Sequence

OP: 「Desutopia (デストピア)」 by (Glay)

「黒き骸は目覚めました」 (Kuroki Mukuro wa Mezamemashita)
“The Black Shell Awakens”

A fun and exciting sophomore installment whose reach exceeds its grasp

This week, Kuromukuro picks up right where it left off—following Yukina as she follows Kennosuke right into the heat of battle. The writers obviously intended to increase the stakes and excitement tenfold as we head into our very first epic mech battle, and for the most part, they succeeded. Grand, beautiful set pieces allow for a genuinely thrilling action sequence that allows Kennosuke to really display his fighting chops, as well as establish a chippy dynamic between his new co-pilot. However, the entire episode’s ceaseless action fails to pack any substantial emotional weight because of the series’ hitherto scarce level of character development and little explanation of the greater plot.

Unfollowable Leads

Aside from a few brief shots at the beginning of the episode, we know little to nothing about our man-out-of-time. We know he’s volatile, gifted in combat, and from the past—but that’s just about it. This is particularly a problem because we just met the guy, and he so clearly holds the reigns this week—shifting the focus away from Yukina. More needs to br provided about his motivations, his insecurities, his personality. The show lets us know of some former, powerful relationship and consideration he shared for a past princess, but this aspect of his character was just briskly touched upon.

So far, he’s certainly been fun to watch—more so than any other character yet. However, little to no time has been spent fleshing him out, which leaves the episode’s greater action sequences somewhat unengaging. When the two protagonists clash with the enemy, I can hardly find a reason to root—and I mean really root—for these characters. I’m not for lengthy monologues, but at least provide some level of general detail on what drives this guy, especially to slay demons. I was just introduced to Kennosuke, and Yukina wasn’t granted the greatest level of depth last episode. If this battle at least tied back emotionally to one (ideally both) of these character’s personal struggles, then that would’ve kept me engaged. However, I’m completely unaware of their internal motivations and demons. There just isn’t enough to work with to make this week’s battle emotionally investing.

Who’s That Robot?

This problem is also in part caused by a severe lack of exposition. The past two episodes have only dropped the slightest hints at the situation we have unfolding here, but a lot more was necessary in order to make sense of all that was going on. This doesn’t necessarily entail a lack of detailed exposition so much as just a vague understanding of what was going on. Nothing was said to even imply the nature, or even existence, of the enemy here. At least something—something—should have been said of what they are in order to incite some level of intrigue. All we got was the title of “demon,” which provides no information. And at least make them somewhat interesting. They’re nameless, faceless, CG robots that are destroying everything—there’s no personality. There’s nothing to keep me invested in asking questions about where they came from or who they are. Again, not asking for lengthy, detailed exposition—just some substantial morsels of information, maybe even how it all ties back to our leads. Just something to keep me interested and asking questions.

Closing Thoughts

My assessment thus far hasn’t been the brightest, but I assure you that there was a lot here I enjoyed. The episode spent at least a brief bit of time building the chemistry between our two leads—establishing the incendiary but surprisingly harmonious relationship the two share both with their personalities and in the cockpit. I was also genuinely interested in what connection Yukina has with Kennosuke’s prized princess, why she understood the graphs and gauges in the cockpit, as well as the general history and sequence of events which led to the ronin’s hibernation. Again, the greater jump in scale and action was fun to watch unfold thanks to spectacular music and animation (aside from that CG). However, it lacked a certain degree of oomph thanks to insufficient character development and plot exposition, that prevented a good episode from being great. The episode’s rushed pacing and refusal to let up on the action did no good to amend this problem. However, this early misstep is easily amenable in the coming episodes, which I hope slow down and take their time really fleshing out main cast so that subsequent battles can be all the more investing. This second episode just went a little too fast and a little too big.


ED Sequence

ED: 「Realistic (リアリ・スティック)」 by (MICHI)



    1. I’m giving her the “What the hell is happening around me?” pass for now. She does seem to be at least figuring things out fairly quickly with everything that’s going on (real-anime-world it’s been maybe 3-4 hours or so probably).

    2. ^Agreed and I don’t understand how she was a damsel in distress, I feel like this term is overused. She had a very strange and VERY strong man drag along (or took her hostage) after a series of events that would leave anyone a lil distressed.

      She was fine and acted like a normal PERSON given the circumstances…

      Princess Passa
    3. Actually this is a realistic response for civillian who suddenly thrown into a hostile situations. There’s a reason why soldiers have to gone trough severe training before deployed, handling hostility is not something so simple as people imagine. It’s stressful, frightening, extremely dangerous.

      Even I will whine and curse if when I’m still a highschooler on my way home suddenly a war broke out and I’m thrown into the middle of the battlefield with soldiers firing guns at me, I think I will piss my pants and sobbing in the corner hiding my ass, and I’m a guy. Yeah I will piss my pants off, I won’t pretend/act like I am a big shot out of action movies just because I’m behind the keyboard to show off I’m better than normal people.

    4. Yeah she went straight to the UN after school conference and it the sun just started to set, so this has only been a few hours, not the 2 week timeline you are expecting.

    5. Yukina is an retarded moeblob genki girl like most main mecha heroines in recent years.
      Yukina screaming “Ehhhhhh?!!” every 3 minutes is giving me a bad memory of Touko from Glasslip.
      Yukina screaming “desu wa!!” to each sentence to sound more stupid is giving me a bad memory of little sister from Charlotte.

  1. Kids these days have no patience. Just wait it out until the show will give its explanations (probably in the next two episodes) and enjoy the really great action until then. I was quite happy with the show not doing a huge exposition dump and instead dealing first with the situation at hand.

    So far, one of the best three shows of this season (with Macross Delta and Kabaneri being the other two, Macross Delta of course easily leading the pack).

    1. Seconded that, for an episode with so much action they managed to slip a lot of content actually. It may doesn’t TELL who exatly he is with infodumps, but it SHOW us about his character. It’s shown trough how he talks, how he interact with other people, his gestures, his expressions, his fights. We know right away that he’s strong willed, strong at fight, quite street smart (deliberately refuse to talk so Yukina’s mother leer closer to the cell), confused with the change of time. Moreover we don’t need to be babysitted by the author/writers with dialogues on exactly what heppenned in the past, a lot of information pieces is provided to audience to fit it ourself, it’s quite clear from the past that he’s a soldier with a duty to protect the princess from the demons and being suspended in his artifact for hundreds of years, he has determination to hunt the demons, and possibly he failed to protect the princess that resulted in his life suspension.

      A lot of anime in the past used this kind of pacing, they deliberately hide important facts until some point of time. Maybe it’s true that modern viewers have short attention habit, demanding everything to be resolved in short time.

  2. The action bits were wonderful; this is my first time seeing a PA works mecha show and I haven’t been disappointed by the action thus far.Thought that the battle between the alien mecha and mc’s mecha was really well put together. The ending was a bit of a wtf moment for me…so we’re going to have aliens? Reminds me a bit of the galactic space vampires that was Valvrave.

    Yukina seems like the excitable type, but I guess most teens would be quite overwhelmed by the chaos and whatnot. She did prove to be a helpful ally though, so she isn’t really helpless.

    I was also expecting the blonde girl to feature more prominently in the op, since she’s been appearing a lot in the promo art.

  3. I think you’re asking a bit much just from two episodes. We have been given a decent amount of info about our man out of time simply by how he acts. Also we don’t need to know so much about the enemy at this point. It’s literally the first battle still. No need to explain their existence so quickly.

  4. Interesting to see that Yukina really resembles the princess, not just with the looks, but with the desire to travel and see beyond her present world. I think the mc is slowly going to sense that both Yukina and the princess are really very similar.

  5. Yukina is more skilled at reading map/radar than 3/4 of net games population (World of tanks…)
    they make a nice team.
    I like also that while mostly “our weapons are useless” the SDF managed to brig downa t least one enemy mecha, and so did the cocky GAUS pilots at UN research center (can’t wait for them to play wingmen to our main pair… no, not in social/romance sense, but it can also happen :P)

  6. Holy shit, what a great fight, my screenshot folder is growing heavy. I’m not sure if simple swordfights wont’ get boring in the long run but right now they’re doing a great job with them. And the lack of exposition is not uncommon in mecha series, I trust the writers. Between this and Macross Delta, I’m really happy that the mecha genre is getting strong entries this season.

  7. Well, it’s starting to show promise after 2 episodes of world building (it looks like that since there’s not as much action sequences than I thought – ie. long fighting sequences, I got spoiled by Kotetsujo no Kabaneri already). It MIGHT be worth picking up for the rest of the season.

    BTW, is it just me or the “demons” that Kennosuke kept mentioning are some advanced invaders that just mimicked the Edo period tactics and general “weapons” and the defenders hijacked the mechs for their own uses?

    Also, history (as usual) repeats itself, seeing how modern Japan is now replicating the technology from the sole relic on hand. Just in time to greet the (same?) invaders once more.

  8. Oh my gosh, I just love, love, loved that episode!

    Just the beautiful fluidity of the battles, the pure dance of watching them sword fight, and that shield, of that shield was so awesome! The way it can stop basically anything that’s in it’s path and throw it back. That entire fight scene! It just stole my breath away!

    I’m loving our male lead. I like how he got out of the cell and then has all this command of his “steed” which becomes the cockpit of his “relic”. It’s also cool how that mech basically copies a human’s movements very agily, even tripping over objects and sliding on floors.

    As for Yukina, she was okay at first, though her whining became a little grating towards the end of the fight. However, it did all seem natural for her character.
    The soundtrack and sound design was awesome, there are consequences to these battles. And I’m wondering. Who are these aliens and what do they want? They are clearly enemies, but what is there end goal?
    Invasion? Resources? Why did they come back after having been gone for more than a century?

  9. I can’t be the only one feeling like this is sort of Inuyasha with mechs. And with the male traveling forward rather than the female traveling backward in time. She still seems to be the reincarnation of his lover though (because you know she was more than just his princess).

  10. For those who still have doubts about who’s the main protagonist (MC).

    >青馬 剣之介 時貞(おうま けんのすけ ときさだ)
    Kennosuke Tokisada Ouma
    >声 – 阿座上洋平
    Seiyuu: Youhei Azakami

    >本作の主人公。アーティファクトの「ザ・キューブ」から現れた謎の男。過去の人間で、キューブから解凍され現代に目覚める。雪姫(声 – 豊崎愛生)という女性を守るため、「鬼」と呼ばれる存在と戦っていた。
    The protagonist. A young man surrounded in mystery that appeared from the artifact “The Cube”. He is a human of the past, who came out of the Cube and awoke in the present day. In order to protect the girl named Yukihime (voice: Toyosaki Aki), he fought with the beings known as “oni (demons)”.

    >白羽 由希奈(しらはね ゆきな)
    Yukina Shirahane
    >声 – M・A・O
    Seiyuu: M.A.O

    The heroine. A 2nd-year high school student of Mt. Tate International High School. Her mother is the head of Kurobe Research Institute, and she has a younger sister. In the future, her dream course is to go to Mars. Because she looks similar to Yukihime, she is taken away by Kennosuke who was revived, and taken on board to the Kuromukuro.

    Sophie Noelle
    >声 – 上田麗奈
    Seiyuu: Reina Ueda

    Foreign student born in France. Obsessed with Nihon Samurai, is master of Judo, despite his small body. A genius pilot entrusted GAUS Unit 2, but also a brilliant researcher having own laboratory in facility.

    The male, Ouma, is the main protagonist. Yukina is stated to the main heroine and he is the first character on the site, not her. http://kuromukuro.com/chara.html

    Here’s the English translation of the Comments from Azakami Youhei who plays the role of the main protagonist, Kennosuke Tokisada Ouma. (G’s Magazine – Link:http://gs.dengeki.com/news/65145/).

    >主人公・青馬剣之介時貞(おうまけんのすけときさだ)役 阿座上洋平さんコメント
    Comments from Azakami Youhei who plays the role of the main main protagonist, Ouma Kennosuke Tokisada

    1.) What was your opinion in regards to the character you played?

    Kennosuke is quite violent, seems like he’s always angry, and at any rate, an awkward guy.
    Playing as Kennosuke who doesn’t know how to act around his surroundings is enjoyable, and sometimes it seems like I will lose track of his character. When that happens, I try to remember the foundations of his character — ‘he sticks to his own guns, and is man of honest principle’. When I get a little lost when playing as him, I remember these principles and am able to act as him again.

    1. 放送前にユーザーの皆様へコメントお願い致します。
      2.) Before the broadcast begins, please give a comment to all the viewers.

      I think that most likely everyone who is looking forward to the airing is thinking “What is going to happen with samurai and robots…!?”
      I’ll be happy if those feelings grow into anticipation while you wait. I’d really like if you watch the story about Yukina and the others who are influenced by Kennosuke who may be awkward, yet earnestly lives true to himself, and start to under go change little by little until the very end. Thanks in advance; please treat me well!

      (Official anime website – special_01.html or G’s Magazine – Link: http://gs.dengeki.com/news/65145/).

  11. Yukina is clearly the magical key girl that activate the robot in this one, which precludes her from having MC status and confirms his heroine status. Girl keys have been a standard trope in mecha cartoons at least since Nadia while I really can’t recall even a single instance of a boy being the key for a girl pilot on the fly.


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