Hello one and all. Scott, you and I have collaborated on numerous projects but I think this is the first time we do seasonal episode reviews together. I’m very excited!
Hi Irina! I know, I’m excited about this too. I remember writing that you wanted to cover a mecha series with me at some point and I am not the biggest person when it comes to writing episodic reviews, but I really want to write about this cool mecha show with you!
I have to admit when you suggested this review, I sort of just jumped on the opportunity without really knowing anything about this show. I didn’t even read the synopsis because I’m not a good blogger. I figured I would go in as blind as possible. And from the bright colours, cartoonish designs and cute little animal sidekicks, I was getting ready for a fun little pokemon with robots adventure.
Not utter depression in a dystopian future. Wait… that’s still kind of pokemon.
To be honest, I didn’t know much about it either. I try my best to not read any synopsis or watching any PVs when it comes to seasonal anime. I think it just makes the experience more fun and unpredictable.
I guess that depends on how far you go into the lore of Pokemon. Disclaimer: Scott is not an expert on pokemon.
One of my first notes is, this is much more serious than I thought it would be. I figure you are much more on the ball than I am and you knew what to expect?
I feel like I did just because I know mecha a little too much (or not enough) and I have seen what Sunrise Beyond has worked on before AMAIM or Kyoukai Senki. Mecha shows are inherently dark, but I feel like this studio likes dark but not too dark to be kid friendly.
Not that it was all doom and gloom. Not at all in fact. The first episode of AMAIM was a pretty good mix of gloom, action, some sweet exposition (I appreciate when the authors manage to add in straightforward expo dumps like this while still organically blending it with the events instead of voice-over, or having a character explain something to people that should already know it or start spontaneously narrating to themselves…) It was good expo. And of course, good ‘ol comic sidekick shenanigans.
I am in the same ballpark as you, Irina :). It felt like a good introduction to almost everything the show wanted to present to us without feeling too much. I liked seeing everything from Shiiba’s point of view because we get to see the world grow as we follow him. It just felt right. So far, it’s just a very well balanced character story.
That being said, I wish the show took place in a different universe with then ours in the future. There is some vibes in the show that I’m not very ok with. I hope that sense will at least improve in the future.
You may know that I watched Vivy recently and Gai reminded me instantly of Matsumoto. Since he was my favourite part of that show I have no complaints. How do you see Gai going forward?
I admit that Matsumoto was one of my favorite parts of Vivy too and I hope that Shiiba and Gai get to know each other a bit more in the future and there aren’t many sneaky tricks. Or at least, very fun sneaky tricks.
If I have one complaint about this first episode is that so far, the military is aggressively un-nuanced. My notes just say military=bad and so far that’s the extent of depth we get from the immediate antagonists. Now don’t get me wrong, I have said that I like an uncomplicated evil but that’s when the evil is this unknowable Cthulhu-like entity or a single madman we hardly see so their motivations can’t be guessed at. If you’re going to create an entire military then I’m going to need to have some reasons for why all of them are such meanies. It gets a bit difficult to get really lost in the conflict when one side seems entirely made out of straw, you know.
Of course, this is just the first episode. There is still plenty of time to fix this, but it was the one red flag for me.
I see what you are saying and I agree, but those military officers didn’t bother me that much. Especially since they are first episode villains. I’m honestly surprised that one of them even mentioned some of their motivations about not wanting to stay in this out of the way spot for so long. If anything, that is a bigger positive for me with a lot more hope in the future.
All in all, I quite enjoyed this first episode. It flew by and I’m looking forward to the next one.
I agree, it was just a good episode. More please.
Here are some random thoughts that don’t fit in a post. I think those three rat tails the main character has are yet another variation of a mullet and therefore just more proof that anime is trying to gaslight me. Also, the main character is called Shiiba Amou… Look, I know that this is just because I’m an uncultured foreigner, but to me, it sounded a lot like Shiba Inu. So now I really like him!
Shiiba Inu! I love it 🙂 And yeah, his hair style was something else. Not surprised though.
My random thoughts have to be around the mecha themselves. Not their designs, though they are fun, but the color. There are a lot of OG gundam colors here. The mecha (Kenbu) the protagonist uses is a fun variation of classic gundam colors in a way that makes them distinct, but the mook mecha are the same colors as the Zaku from the first episode of Gundam. Just mecha lore things it seems.