January 7th, 2016.
Futuristic Nostalgia Bomb.
The music was an interesting mix for me. I mean, I liked the jazzy tunes, and they worked well to convey and enhance the mood of the scenes they were in, but they were often a bit too loud and actually overtook the people talking, or were so energetic and raucous that they gave me a bit of a headache, but on their own I liked them, and they actually fit their scenes.
Animation wasn’t always smooth, such as with people walking, but was usually fine. Character designs were fine, but the characters sometimes went off-model and thus didn’t stick to the design. The CG was a bit of an eyesore, but when is it not? Though the animation involving the CG mecha fighting was actually well-done, more well-done than the non-CG animation. I guess one won on animation, and the other on how it looked while static.
The show definitely made some use of the cyan and teal technique, but I don’t really have a lot to say of the show’s presentation. Capably above-average, but not outstanding. Voice acting was solid, and Ozawa Ari in particular as Kazari managed to sell her character’s personality well. Oh, I see, Gekkan Shoujo Nozaki Kun’s Chiyo, huh.
OP – Nice sound, for the most part. It makes me nostalgic for something, but I can’t quite place it. A weird connection to Escaflowne’s OP? Not sure. It’s alright, it’s above-average, but it hasn’t grown on me yet. All the random CG imagery left me cold, however.
Themes / Plot:
I wonder if we had to have included the villain, at all, and whether him at the end wouldn’t have been better if the answer were “yes”. Combined with the presentation, it felt so very nostalgic, like a mecha series from the mid 90s, say, something like Silent Mobius’s manga, and some Ghost in the Shell on top, but the military situation and the two frenemy cops felt more like Gundam in anime, or various shows from the western sphere, the bicycle cop show, the A-Team, Starsky and Hutch, etc.
Kazari definitely reads way too much into things, she assumes things that has never been said, and so misses what is actually going on. The show alluded or outright said some of these things. But she’s also forceful. The exposition to the newbie scene felt believeable, and then she started talking herself, where the scene started running away from us, but then, thankfully, she was shot down. Her being forceful and driven was interesting to see, but the way in which she was constantly shot down was becoming a bit too repetitive, and felt a bit too much like a gag. People usually learn and simmer, or blow up and then there’s actually an outright confrontation. This feel too cutesy, too safe, in that regard.
Opening the show with a Heidegger name-drop, the driven newbie and the haircut, as well as the perhaps-villain looking up from on high make it seem as if the show might be drawing not just from Ghost in the Shell, but from the show most inspired by it out there, Psycho-Pass.
A lot of bureaucracy in the background, a world that adds some forms that add to the world-building, some weird almost fan-service of the captive or outright presentation of almost-nude men, this show is solid, right now. I’m not sure if it’ll manage to keep my interest, as a lot of what it’s done has been done numerous times before, thus nostalgia, but it was overall competently done, though the “mindgames” with the criminals were rushed, not properly explained, and unsatisfactory, even if they were mostly there as a backdrop to show the unit working together.
So, going to keep watching for now, but with tapered expectations. But still holding some expectations. I wouldn’t be surprised if this show would take 5-6 episodes to really get going (it’s split-cour), or even the whole first half, which might mean I might put it aside after a certain point until it concludes its run.