「残存世界のグロリア」 (Zanzon Sekai no Guroria)
“Remnants of World Gloria”
With the creators of HenNeko (Sagara Sou), Date A Live (Tachibana Koushi), and Oregairu (Watari Wataru) at its helm, Qualidea Code came into this season as a series worth watching for its pedigree alone. Sadly, the series’ first episode ends up a miss more than anything—even if part of the reason lies within misplaced expectations (more on that later).
Content-wise, Qualidea Codestarts off as your generic alien invasion affair. A sudden Independence Day style attack leaves humanity on the brink of destruction, and to ensure their survival, the world’s children are put into a cold sleep. As the children awaken decades later, they discover that they’ve developed supernatural powers capable of defeating the “Unknown,” and the story shifts to the boys and girls responsible for the defense of Tokyo, Kanagawa, and Chiba.
Given the dark backdrop, you’d think there’d be a measure of seriousness to the entire affair, yet it ends up anything but. The vaunted “Unknown” are dispatched just as quickly as they arrive, the kids are so unstressed that they’re shooting each other by accident trying to claim points for kills, and one of them ends up demolishing a key piece of infrastructure going overboard on the enemies at hand. The fact that they rarely even mention the enemies by name shows just how little of threat they are, and the result is a far cry from the image I had in my mind coming into the series. It’s at this point where I admit that my misplaced expectations clearly affected my impressions in a negative way, but the fact remains that they effectively jumped from one fight to the other with little actual interaction/content, and there isn’t much explanation for anything aside from a bit where they basically say they don’t know much about the powers they wield.
Overall, it’s not an introduction you’d like to have from a developmental standpoint, even if it did serve as a showcase to what should be the series’ ultimate draw: it’s action scenes. Given the sheer amount of combat in this first episode, it’s a safe assumption that they won’t really hold anything back in this regard, and for all the issues one could have with aforementioned, this is one element that could make the series worth watching all by itself. The techno-pop BGM may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s undeniable that the fights were certainly a pleasure to watch, despite having a cliche cast of characters on the forefront and unremarkable enemies in the background.
I will say though, thatQualidea Code could be the one show that could get away without having a set of unique characters, if only because of the franchises that its creators have worked on previously. Fans of the HenNeko, Date A Live, and Oregairu franchises will likely notice off the bat that each city has characters reminiscent of those from one of the aforementioned, and while it’s not surprising given how each creator was responsible for a specific city, it means that there’s a higher likelihood you’ll end up liking the characters from at least one of the cities due to their origins and similarities. Of course, there’s always the flip side in wanting characters different than ones you’ve already seen, but it’ll be interesting to see how they interact when it’s all said and done (they’re essentially mirroring the potential interactions of characters from all three franchises), even if the three cities aren’t exactly the pinnacle of collaboration at the moment.
Looking forward, this is a series whose first episode will likely give you a glimpse into how the franchise will be. Whether or not that means adjusting your expectations accordingly will depend on your thoughts prior to the series, and given how things went here, Qualidea Code looks like it won’t be a show for everyone—much like the other series made by its respective creators—even though its action elements could make it worth a watch on a weekly basis regardless. The fact that it’s generally light on the seriousness (for now) and an easy watch certainly doesn’t hurt, and I for one will continue watching regardless, if not just to see how things work out. Just note that there’s no weekly coverage planned for Qualidea Code at this time.
ED: 「Gravity」 by ClariS