ZenbuSpeaks – Fall Anime First Episode Reviews

Cover

It’s the first weekend of October and that means a lot of anime from the Fall 2015 season have now started. I have some shows in this season I had taken an interest in and now that they’ve all aired here are my first opinions about the shows I’ve watched so far.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans

Barbatos starts out the episode as the base power generator.

Barbatos starts out the episode as the base power generator.

Mikazuki belongs to the private security company CGS, at the Martian city of Chryse, which has been hired to escort a girl named Kudelia to Earth. But just as preparations for departure are underway, Gjallarhorn attacks CGS in an attempt on Kudelia’s life.

With IBO we find ourselves on Mars at a millitary settlement near the city of Chryse where a call for independnce from the Earth Sphere is quite prominent with it’s figurehead being Kudelia Aina Bernstein who is heading to Earth as mediator for the talks. Of course the Earth Sphere still depends on Mars so Gjallarhorn, the “peace keepers of the world” take action.

Mars for the Martians

Mars for the Martians

With the jumpy direction of this pilot episode we do get a lot of information from various sides as we get a section of the episode dedicated to our main characters and what they deal with, harsh training and overly cruel and terrible adult figures throwing in additional layers of pain and paints a fine picture of the “Adults are terrible people” mantra that is repeated in many other Gundam shows.

From here we jump into the second half of the episode where Kudelia meets with the boys she’s hired as her Earth escorts because she want to understand the hardships these ordinary people have gone through as she’s from a wealthy family, and very quickly picks out Mikazuki, our main character, to show her around. Wanting to be on equal terms she offers him a handshake to which he declines due to having dirty hands, showing they are not on equal terms at all.

Can’t dirty the hands of our princess, can we.

Can’t dirty the hands of our princess, can we.

With the first batch of exposition out of the way, Kudelia’s world view being challenged by Mikazuki we move onto the final stretch of the episode where Gjallarhorn launches an attack at the base to take care of Kudelia as they do not want Mars to gain independence.  The boys puts up the offensive front while the adults prepare to go around the rear for a pincer attack. Or so they said when in reality they were leaving the boys to die and just wanted to save their own skin. With things looking grim Orga, the leader of the boys calls for their secret weapon and sends Mikazuki back to the base while the rest of them do their best to stall against the overwhelming power of a Mobile Suit. And just as Orga is about to be killed by the Mobile Suit, Mikazuki returns in the Gundam Barbatos and destroys the attacking Mobile Suit ending our first episode of Iron-Blooded Orphans.

Giant mace to the face breaks the Graze

Giant mace to the face breaks the Graze

Conclusions

The direction was quite a mess as it had to cover a lot of exposition in a very short amount of time but it did manage to spend enough time to give a brief look at the personalities of all the characters which does bring up one main bugbear for Iron-Blooded Orphans so far and that is Gjallarhorn is being portrayed almost like moustache twirling villains rather than ambigiously grey moral villains and all adults are portrayed as selfish assholes who doesn’t care what happens to others with so few exceptions you can count them all on one hand. But there’s characterization which in and of itself is not a bad thing and does leave some hope for the future.

And to give a brief note on the music, it’s great. There’s a solid track for the combat oriented music that was also prominent in the trailers and the style even persists into the Opening Theme, Raise Your Flag by MAN WITH A MISSION.

While the first episode was a mess of exposition the animation was mostly consistant and it’s a different set up than normal for Gundam, there’s room for the characters to grow as the story progresses with many sides of the story still kept in the dark.

Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans can be watched at Daisuki.net every Sunday.


Concrete Revolutio

Witches likes stars and deep cleavage.

Witches likes stars and deep cleavage.

What if superhumans were real? Even better, what if every fabled superhuman existed at the same time, in the same place? Titans from outer space, life forms from a mystical world, phantoms and goblins from ancient times, cyborgs created by scientists, relics that rose out of the ruins of ancient civilizations. In another Japan, it’s not just a question of “what if”—it’s a reality. Some of the superhumans choose to keep their identities a secret, while others bask in their superhuman fame. Jiro Hitoyoshi, member of the Superhuman Bureau, keeps track of their doings.

Where Gundam played its exposition quite up front Concrete Revolutio doesn’t, we’re introduced to Jiro and Kikko inside a cafe before jumping to a different point in time inside a train where Jiro is apparently hunted and this is where we first meet the shapeshifter Fuurouta. Jiro quickly makes his escape and then we cut to the Opening theme.

After the Opening we return to the cafe where a transaction between Japan’s leading scientist and an industrial spy is about to take place and Jiro asks Kikko for her help to thwart the deal. The deal takes place and the scientist is handed a package and gets ready to leave and this is where the deal gets thwarted and it’s revealed the spy is actually an alien with sleep inducing eye powers and at the same time we now learn that Kikko is actually a witch. Kikko quickly makes her escape via magic with the package with the alien in hot pursuit. After tying him up with her magic he reveals his true form as an “S” Planetarian and grows into a giant form only for another giant appearing, Grosse Augen, a “superhuman” siding with humans.

Equus, going from sports car to centaur in the time it takes to do stock footage transformation.

Equus, going from sports car to centaur in the time it takes to do stock footage transformation.

The two giants vanish in a flash of light and Jiro pursuits them alongside Kikko whose help is needed as he, being a normal human cannot see the location Grosse Augen moved himself and the alien to and needs guidance. Jiro and Equus, guided by Kikko joins Grosse Augen in the fight against the “S” Planetarian in what quickly turns into a cool fight and ends with the “S” Planetarian being swiftly defeated. With everything taken care of Grosse Augen extends his hand to the Jiro piloted Equus who returns it by cutting open his finger and spraying it with a purple liquid. Grosse Augen quickly leaves in a flash of light and Jiro drives away catching up with a minature version of the “S” Planetarian and captures him in a small box just as Kikko shows up and calls Jiro out on attack.

Here we then jump in time once more to Jiro being on the run where he finds his path blocked by Kikko with a mysterious person showing up behind Jiro. And now once again we jump in time to an roof top where Grosse Augen appears in his human form from a beam of light only for him to be confronted by a woman who can track him based on the smell of the liquid Jiro sprayed on him earlier. The man quickly jumps off only to run into Jiro and Kikko, he explains how he became Grosse Augen and how he and his human host. Grosse Augen then gets to leave back to his home planet and the human host dies with Kikko wanting to know why Jiro let him die.

A group that protects and manages superhumans

A group that protects and manages superhumans

As we reach the end of the episode Kikko is assigned to the Superhuman Bureau so she as a witch doesn’t have to keep moving around from job to job. And then we once again jump in time back to where the mysterious person showed up interrupting Kikko and Jiro where it’s revealed that the human host of Grosse Augen never died but simply separated from him and he then got to merge with the comatose “S” Planetarian. Kikko says Jiro disobeyed the Bureau’s rules to save him and Jiro declares he’ll never return to the Bureau and he then leaves with Grosse Augen’s human host and on that note the episode ends.

Conclusions

Concrete Revolution is a mixed bag for a first episode. On one hand it shows a lot of cool things but with the multiple time jumps there’s a lot of holes in the story that we have yet to reach such as Jiro suddenly having super strength and being hunted by the Superhuman Bureau.

The show is backed by beautiful visuals and a very great soundtrack by MONACA who also did the musical score for the Nier games and GARO: The Animation from last year and the upcoming GARO; Guren no Tsuki, which starts this Friday.

All in all Concrete Revolutio is a show that can go in many directions as there’s a large gap in its story we don’t know much about nor do we know much about the overall cast outside Jiro and Kikko.

Concrete Revolutio can be watched at Funimation every Sunday.


Comet Lucifer

Here's your obligatory free loli.

Here’s your obligatory free loli.

“Comet Lucifer is a fantasy set on the planet Gift, where precious crystals called Giftjium are buried in the earth. The main character Sogo lives in a prosperous mining town, Garden Indigo, and loves to collect rare crystals. One day, he gets caught up in a dispute between his classmates, and somehow loses his way deep in the ruins of a mine. There, he at an underground lake, he discovers a blue-haired girl with red eyes named Felia, and his adventure begins.”

Our story starts out with an elderly man giving exposition about a being coming from the heavens and one from the darkness below while looking into a telescope directed at the moon. While this is happening a young boy, Sogo, is hanging from a cliffside looking for crystals. A small meteorite suddenly appears and crashes right next to him and he later wakes up with a crystal in his hand and happily heads home.

Sogo happily rides through the city on his flying scooter bike giving us a view of a pretty town filled with nice people and we learn he lives at a restaurant of some sort. Looking at the crystal he woke up with at home he talks it being proof of something his mom knew about and his thoughts are cut short as he forgot to bring home bread for the lunch hour he quickly pockets his crystal and heads off.

We cut to some millitary people doing an underground excavation of some sort before cutting back to Sogo getting the bread he was sent after. We then see the millitary guys inside mech drilling into a wall underwater and a spiral monument inside a cave suddenly cracks and lights up, the same light appearing in Sogo’s crystal giving him a brief vision of a girl before sending him into the air where he conveniently crashes into a friend of his, Kaon who’s on the run from her betrothed husband, Roman.

Roman is clearly overcompensating for something.

Roman is clearly overcompensating for something.

The chase leads them to an older part of town and with Roman’s driver, Otto, being allowed to drive roughly to get them to stop sends Sogo and Kaon into a large pit in the center of the old city area. The two find themselves inside an underground cave next to flowing water and have a brief embarrasing friends bonding moment. We move back to the millitary excavation team blowing a hole into their underwater wall which triggers a mysterious phenomena lighting up the underground lake Sogo and Kaon had landed next to before all the now glowing water seeps out of the cave giving the two a better look of the huge spire in the middle. As Sogo heads down to investigate the spire glows and reacts to the rare crystal shattering the spire with a girl suddenly appearing from it. As the two wonder what just happened a mech suddenly appears charging for the girl only for another giant robot to show up to protect them. The robot makes quick work of the mech gaining the interest of the man in charge of the excavation ending our first episode.

Gorilla robot beats mechs

Gorilla robot beats mechs

Conclusions

Comet Lucifer is quite interesting as it feels a lot like an older adventure anime with a very light-hearted setting in a small cozy village and some mysterious elements. It’s very vibrant and shows some nice looking mecha designs, has a nice soundtrack and the CG for the mecha aren’t an eyesore to look at which is always a huge plus when it comes to that choice for a show. It’s feels like one of those shows that doesn’t come around very often and that’s why it managed to win my interest.

Comet Lucifer can be watched at Crunchyroll every Sunday.


One-Punch Man

The face of a man enjoying fighting

The face of a man enjoying fighting

Saitama is a guy who’s a hero for fun. After saving a child from certain death, he decided to become a hero and trained hard for three years. Though he’s now so strong he can defeat any opponent with a single punch, lately he feels as if, in exchange for overwhelming power, he’s lost something even more important.

One-Punch Man being an outlier of the anime in this article as it’s the only one that is an adaption it follows out a few plotlines picked from the manga to give an indication of Saitama and the threats faced in the world of One-Punch Man. First we see Saitama deal with Vaccine-Man, a parody of Dragon Ball’s Piccolo who’s voiced by veteran Voice Actor Ryusei Nakao who voiced Frieza in Dragon Ball, Vaccine-Man is swiftly defeated as Saitama can defeat any opponent with just a single punch which anguishes him.

Note to self: Don't eat too much crab

Note to self: Don’t eat too much crab

Following an amazing Opening theme by JAM Project we see Saitama’s backstory of how he three years prior had not turned bald from training yet. Crablante is looking for payback as a big-chinned kid drew nipples on him with a permanent marker. Saitama decides to save the kid by killing Crablante by pulling his eye and innards just with his tie.

We then move to the case of Beefcake, a young man who dreamed of getting the strongest body who grew gigantic thanks to a serum developed by his brother and he’s now wrecking havoc in the city. Saitama shows up after his trip to the supermarket got interrupted by the chaos. With a swift punch Beefcake is knocked out cold.

Saitama then wonders about his lack of emotions from being so powerful and have a brief “scuffle” with a car person and then heads home to bathe, eat dinner and then go to bed. His sleep is interrupted by the sudden appearance of Subeterraneans wanting to claim the overworld for themselves due to their own over population. After a lengthy but cool battle their king shows up to end things after Saitama had defeated all the others and just as they’re about to duke things out… Saitama wakes up.

To his own joy he hears the Subeterraneans outside his apartment only to find them all much more dissapointing than their dream counterparts and on that note we end the first episode with small preview for the next weeks plot with a cow having been devoured by mosquitos.

The face of a man who can defeat anyone.

The face of a man who can defeat anyone.

Conclusions

There’s not much to really say. It’s the adaption of a manga with a ridiculous concept and it does it justice with cool animation and a great soundtrack. It’s an already cool manga made even cooler animated.

One-Punch Man can be watched at Daisuki every Sunday.

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One thought on “ZenbuSpeaks – Fall Anime First Episode Reviews

  1. Pingback: ZenbuSpeaks – Fall Anime First Impressions Review Part GARO | PGX

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