OP: 「Dash&Daaash!!」 by Fudanjuku
「拾人者(アングラー)」 (Jitsu Hito-sha (Anguraa))
Gunjou no Magmell is the story of adventurers going to win their fortunes—and mostly, die—upon the titular continent of Magmell, which arose out of the Pacific Ocean one day. But really, it’s the story of Inyou (Kawanishi Kengo), a young man who rescues explorers, and the girl Zero (Ichimichi Mao) who assists him.
Having previewed this series, I did read a bit of the source comic (a Chinese manhua—wait, don’t run away!), and I was surprised and interested to find out that this first episode does not adapt the first chapter of the source. I don’t know if it’s anime original or not, though I suspect it is. The second episode will adapt that, whereas the only part pulled from that first chapter here was the intro and the false protagonists … the latter of which wasn’t done particularly well, to be honest. I wish the Studio Pierrot team had taken advantage of the strengths of the medium to weave in a bigger fake out and then employ a smash cut for the “Lawl, they’re not actually the protagonists they’re all dead!!” moment, but given that we’re working with Studio Pierrot and the Tokyo Ghoul writer, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised.
What did surprise me is how they changed the complexion of the series by focusing less on adventure, and more on horror. This wasn’t a fantasy-adventure premiere, as all the goofy action has been pulled out in favor of a meditation on the darkness in humanity’s soul which Magmell pulls out. Which, on one level, was done well, because despite off-kilter introductory segments, once the tragedy flashbacks got rolling up through the ending, the emotion the anime team was trying to instill within the watcher came through loud and clear: exhausted pessimism coupled with unbroken morality. I felt tired by the end, but not like there was no hope. So that was done well, even if that may not have been right? I only got so far into the source material, and I don’t know what the anime studio plans to do. But at least what they did was coherent within a single episode.
They also did a better job of making it clear that Inyou is special, without his magic powers seeming to come out of left field as they did in the comic. That’s an unequivocal improvement over the manhua premiere, where Inyou seemed dumbly overpowered. He’s still that, but at least there are whisperings of him being more than just some kid.
In the end though, I personally wasn’t too familiar with the pessimistic horror angle this episode went for (dude stabbing his little brother in a fit of madness just made me groan), having preferred the adventurous tone of the source material (and hopefully next week’s episode) … though maybe this is what the story evolves into. Couldn’t tell you, I merely state my preference. I won’t be blogging this, but I’ll probably watch it until episode three or so, to see where it ends up. Hopefully it’ll end up as something good.
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ED: 「The Key」 by a flood of circle