OP: 「enemy」by Blank Paper
Anime original mecha: not the most common of phrases you hear these days, especially since the time Gundam IBO happened to grace the quarterly season calendars. So what do we get this fall? Not one, not two, but three anime original mechas, and one by Sunrise to boot. Alright, it’s technically Sunrise Beyond – i.e. Xebec – and more 2.5 mecha originals (since Megaton-kyuu Musashi has no simulcast and Gyakuten Sekai is cute girls doing mecha things), but Kyoukai Senki at least makes up for the gap right? Well, mostly.
Building off the handy dandy RC Preview, Kyoukai Senki is effectively the latest Sunrise kick at the mecha franchise can. At a glance there’s a lot of familiar components buried under the hood, whether that be the always fun mecha designs of Ebikawa Tanekaki, the almost ubiquitous setup of eccentric dweeby lead in Shiiba Amou (Satou Gen) stumbling across and piloting an even more eccentric mech, the mecha support staff in chirpy AI mascot Gai (Fujiwara Natsumi), and even the premise of downtrodden Japan wholly at the whim of upstart foreigners – yes, I assure you those Code Geass references all but write themselves. It’s the old school mecha style you know and love, now adapted to the modern year.
Where Kyoukai Senki starts separating from the pack, however, is coincidentally in regards to that premise. While I already mentioned Code Geass as a choice comparison it will be good to reinforce that this one will not be Code Geass: for all of Amou’s apparent smarts he’s no Lelouche, for all that Gai tries to take the comedic route he will never be C.C. Indeed outside of Japan being reduced to an extraterritorial playground Kyoukai Senki’s M.O. trends far more towards kiddy friendly Gundam than any sort of pulpy over the top thriller, as the atmosphere, characters, and array of named mecha abilities are so far more sanitized and ‘upbeat’ compared to the usual larger than life personalities which everyone often looks for in mecha stories. Mind you, still early days and all – we haven’t even rounded out the main protagonist trio yet! – but Kyoukai Senki certainly has its work cut out if it intends on going gritty over playful. After all, always takes more than a few hotheaded not-UN merc stand-ins to break the monotony of well-trodden paths.
While Kyoukai Senki may be less than impressive right out the gate, there’s still quite a bit here worthy of giving a chance. No show ever truly kicks off until after the first few episodes, and considering Kyoukai Senki has only just touched on its various parts, I fully expect the same here once introductions are out of the way.
ED: 「You’re My Perfect Mirror」by Yu-Na Fukinbara
really liked this one :D!! Wonder if it’s going to take a sort of Back Arrow tone/approach to its story, or things will get more political with our main cast trying to downright overturn the legislative powers at hand. (25 episodes btw)
Back Arrow tone is probably what will happen here. The atmosphere screams Gundam Build Fighters, and I’m not sure I’m fully on board with it yet lol.
Aside from the collection of modern Japanese fears in the backstory, i think that the first episode plays safe to the point of being fairly uninteresting. It’s competent but, at least for now, it lacks something to distinguish itself from past mecha series. That said i am willing to give it a chance due to the pedigree of the staff.
Yeah I think the only thing encouraging me to stick around for a while yet is the staff. There’s a lot of potential here, but it needs to use it and not play safe. Remains to be seen if that happens or not.
That was…pretty darn generic. It feels like they are trying to lure in non-mecha fans with the bizarro cute mascots and explaining things, like standing when strapped into the cockpit and the special move being “voice activated”. Not to mention the bad guy doing clichés badly.
Taking a more comedic route wouldn’t be the worst thing ever as I can’t really see this going gritty.
Agreed, comedy wouldn’t necessarily be bad, but damn does the generic feel hurt for what the promotional material hinted towards. Might just be because the premise makes me think of Code Geass too much though 😛