January 10th, 2016.
Coiling Streets, Striking Samurai.
The presentation is doing some work here. The show starts with showing us the city. The city is always a big draw in the urban tapestry that is cyberpunk, since all technology revolves around it. And then when we had Mira about to enter her home? The joint effect made me think of Durarara!!, another show where “The City” is very much an important character.
But, aside from that, look at Kyouma himself. Look at his haircut, look at his robe, look at his life-style. He’s a hippie who runs a gasoline-guzzler car. He’s a dork who scares off the neighbourhood kids. He’s someone who wears a samurai robe, and has an antiquated hairstyle that also befits someone from a bygone era, while the emblem on his robe is anything but, nor his field of employment.
Animation in the show is somewhat sparse, and instead we have the camera cut from one angle to another, or fuzz things through Mira and Kyouma’s semi-conscious gaze. The couple of shots that are properly animated look pretty nice. The robots engaging in CG gladiatorial fights were also fine. The clashing colours are definitely interesting, and it certainly feels as if someone went to an effort of giving this show a more interesting, purposefully disjointed look, even as it’s dominated by greens and slightly darker shades – everything looks slightly grungy.
The voice acting is solid, though unimpressive as of yet, the couple of times the OST were kicked in I really liked the music playing along.
OP – Very colourful, a lot is going on, dancing, fighting, flashy colours, nice contrasts… but it doesn’t feel cohesive, unless “frenetic energy” is what you’re going for. Likewise the sound, very energetic, and moments sound good, and the lyrics hold snippets of meaning, but it just doesn’t feel like something that draws you in, but like sound walling you out.
ED – Again, energetic, colourful, vibrant, and more meaning here, and Mira’s “story”, but it still doesn’t add up properly in terms of sound. A lot of nice shots I’d love without subtitles or credits, Mira with kids, in the fields, tearful, working. Daily life. Like a proper girl.
Themes / Story:
I’ve played the Shadowrun tabletop RPG. I’ve read Shadowrun books, and books by William Gibson, Neal Stephenson, and Philip K. Dick. I’ve long had a fond place in my heart for cyberpunk. I wonder how my reaction differs from one who’s not so into the genre.
Regardless, a Street Samurai, usually employing cybernetic enhancements, and representing a mix of old and new. Kyouma takes this even further, seeing as he rejects the new technology. But then again, so does its creator, and it’d be quite some time, I think, before we are to find out whether he’s found out something that made him wish to recall his creation, or whether it’s vengeance alone that had him set out on the path he’s set on.
We don’t really know where the show will go from here. I know we’re going to get a whole bunch of “daily life with an interruption thrown in,” as Kyouma learns to live with Mira, and she learns to live in the trade of Illegal Coil Collection. And through them we’ll learn more of the world, Coils, and the 4th Dimension. How gritty will it be, as opposed to how over-the-top silly (the action in this episode was a bit of both), or how much mystery? I think we’re going to start with a mixture of light and action, and move onto more mystery and actions, and emotions, as the show goes forth.
I like shows about androids and humanity, but there are so many things here that I wonder where they’ll go with it. Hopefully we’re done with fondling Mira’s tail to make her shut off, cause I’ve had enough Chobits flashbacks in this episode as is. Don’t get me wrong, I actually liked Chobits, but it’s not what I’m looking for this time.
Also, as noted, though I don’t know anything about the source material, except it’s by the mangaka behind King of Thorn, I believe in Series Composer Suga Shoutarou, who did OreGairu, Uchouten Kazoku, and Isshuukan Friends. The base material is strong enough, and even if it didn’t wow me just yet, I liked it plenty enough to see where they’re going with it.