Hi hi, finally able to finish a show and able to get a post out now.
I have been putting this show away for YEARS, this is also with Tsubasa Chronicle, where I was marathoning this show during my army days, but eventually interest wore off, and I moved on to other shows instead.
The year is 2020, 6+ years-ish since the first season aired, I am finally able to finish 50 episodes. I stopped at episode 15 of S1 back then, so I resumed for there.
2 seasons of 25 episodes each, with a season 3 coming in October but will be only 12 episodes. Light novel-sourced.
I chose to write a review now is because S3 is still far away and I fear that I might forget what the plot is like. And besides, I need to put S3 in my seasonal review anyway.
I was impressed with Sword Art Online back then so I was putting a pretty high bar for this show, and I was disappointed. Which was why I dropped the show back then. It’s kind of normal to compare this show to SAO, but this show is definitely weaker in comparison.
But now, since that feeling has wore off, I lowered my expectations a little with the show and it actually turned out fine.
The story for season 1 was actually pretty decent, now that I watched it again in 2020. The story turned out deeper than I expected but somewhat subdued. I feel like their choice of their airing TV channel, NHK Educational, was the reason for the oddly subdued plot.
There is a lot of depth between each arc, but I feel like a lot of the plot energy has to be downplayed so it would be fitting for TV. It lacked a lot of that punch that SAO had. The plot twist felt very tamed and sometimes predictable. Pacing is just right, but somehow the show still managed to bore me sometimes.
The story also sometimes tend to push Akatsuki into the limelight just to keep the show alive as Shiroe’s focus during the first half was pretty dull.
Season 2 though, despite having the same staff members, managed to fix some of the issues S1 had, BUT, it isn’t as adventure-focused as S1. The season felt slower, way more chill, a lot of fanservice arcs. But somehow during the critical arcs, they are way more entertaining than season 1. So it struck a nice balance between play and adventure. It is still tamed, but at least its more entertaining
I personally enjoyed season 2 a lot more, not just for the fanservice, but the plot twists are actually working and executed well.
With season 3 coming and only 12 episodes, and the title signalling that the show will focus with just one arc, I wish they can take things up a notch as 12 episodes for just an arc is plentiful of time to execute the story nicely. But I will still put my expectations low.
This one is a bit of a longer story. Season 1 is done by Satelight, Season 2 and the upcoming S3 done by Studio Deen. I don’t think I will believe myself saying this, but Deen did a nicer job overall. Let’s start off with Satelight.
The character designs are pretty conservative, not as accurate as the novel, and colours looked extremely bland. The picture also looks rather soft overall. I feel like they are not taking as much risk as they did in Symphogear which made the show overall feel like a slightly lower budget production. Combat scenes looked rather subpar.
As for Deen, things took a positive turn. The colours are more vivid, characters looked more lively and combat looked more intense as well. Using Akatsuki as a benchmark and the difference is night and day.
I cannot wait for Season 3, and what improvements they are going to be.
I feel like this is extremely lacking, with a slight hint of laziness. The OP is used for 2 seasons. ED feels rather unfitting for the show at certain moments.
The BGMs are decent, but sometimes they played it at the wrong moments or don’t even play anything during critical moments. This applies for both seasons.
I wish they could do more work on this department. And if they are using Database for S3, I would be so done with the show.
It is a pretty massive list, yet with a few repeated cast.
Terashima Takuma, Maeno Tomoaki, Kato Emiri, Nakata Jouji, Yamashita Daiki, Tamura Nao, Matsui Eriko, Kakihara Tetsuya, Fujii Yukiyo, Hara Yumi, Takagaki Ayahi, Kuno Misaki, Osaka Ryota, Murata Taishi, Amamiya Sora, Takahashi Minami, Sakurai Takahiro, Nazuka Kaori, Murakawa Rie, Hino Satoshi, Shimono Hiro, Kakuma Ai, Kanemoto Hisako, Saito Chiwa, Ohara Sayaka, Miki Shinichiro, Uchida Yuya, Iguchi Yuichi, Horikawa Ryo, Majima Junji, Nakamura Yuichi, Inoue Marina, Igarashi Hiromi and so on.
The list is way too long for me. I feel like they have way too many characters, I’m actually struggling to actually keep track of everyone, and this is probably where all the budget went.
The voice cast are generally okay, but sometimes hearing repeated voices for different characters does feel a bit weird.
Scores: S1 | S2
Story: 7/10 | 7.5/10
Art: 8/10 | 8.5/10
Recommended? More like watch at your own risk for this one. It’s not great, but its not completely bad either. This show is rough around the edges.
Okay that wraps up this post. I am currently marathoning Erementar Gerad, I watched it back in 2005 and surprisingly I didn’t write a review earlier. So currently on a rewatch, stay tuned for a review on this one soon.
I will see you guys then.