Mecha and boobs, all in here
|Soooo my very first summer first impression goes to Muv-luv? What has happened to me? Just kidding I get to tag with the always fun anaaga and of course great Jrow. I just have to say what in the world are we about to talk about? Judging from just the strange cover artwork I can only see FANSERVICE, FLIGHT-SUITS and strange mecha, but who knows this could be fun to watch and make jokes about right?|
|Time for anaaga to put on a tight plugsuit and defend our planet against BETA. Fosh & I would love to fight alongside her, but we are guys and guys do not pilot mechs in Muv Luv because, well, that’s just the way it is.|
|Sorry Jrow, but I don’t ride mechs naked so I can’t ride them. I mean- Ehm, anyway… As everybody picked the shows they want to blog, I was suddenly possessed with the idea of blogging this anime. At the last minute, I put Muv-Luv as my second show I wanted the most. I have NO IDEA how that happened, but I guess that’s why I’m here now. Thankfully, I’m not alone since Fosh and Jrow are with me right now. Yay mecha buddies!|
Foshizzel // Hmmmm what did I just witness? I saw some cool stuff with people getting owned on the surface of the moon and then suddenly we were thrown around through time. I really did not care too much for the time skips, but I wanted to see more of the aliens versus humans on the moon! Why did we have to return to boring old earth? Oh right because the main plot lives there of course. I should take a minute to mention one of the “main characters” Yui Takamura who is a first lieutenant in Japan’s imperial royal guard and she also comes from a well-known family. She seems to be an alright character that I can follow along with and the others are from the same country or from some other part of the world? According to MAL we have some characters from Russia, America and Sweden, but each character has a special skill it seems.
So which character I got excited to see? Ohhhh I bet anyone can guess like anaaga, but to save you some time guessing it is easily Vincent Lowell because of the amazing Tomokazu Sugita of course. However, I think he is stuck playing a random fighter from America who doubles as a mechanic? Sure why not! I always have a soft spot for the mechanic types or inventors. Other than Vincent, there really are no other characters I can’t wait to see, but I think we have the generic giant boob characters and yes I think there are a few loli girls running around namely Inia Sestina? Her bio says “often carries a teddy bear with her” if that doesn’t scream loli character I have no idea what dies. She could just be super short with a childlike mentality?
Cool characters are nice and all but how are the mechs in Muv-Luv? I would say they are 90% CGI and 10% animated. I don’t really like their designs at all, but there was that scene with the girls flying through the woods which looked really cool and it almost felt like a video game cut scene. While this is a first episode and I tend to keep the negative comments to myself on most first impressions I have to say the flight suits for the girls are TERRIBLE! They are seriously bad! I rather stare at the suits from Rinne no Lagrange or Aquarion EVOL…those shiny parts make their boobs look like cannon balls…yeah… Anyway I will give Muv-Luv two more episodes before giving it a drop forever.
Jrow // Debut episodes like the one for Muv Luv Alternative frustrate me. This episode doesn’t have a redeeming quality that hooked me in. It’s alright to have a slow first episode and take time to do some table-setting, but you’ve got to do, at minimum, one thing that sells me on the series and makes me want to continue. On that level, Muv Luv failed significantly.
I’ve already talked with regular commentor Highway on our preview about the character designs and how boring/flat they look. They don’t exactly meld in with the backdrops all that well. They look like a worse version of, well… a visual novel. Satelight’s previous animes Mouretsu Pirates and Aquarion Evol outdo this tenfold. No girl jumps out at me in a fanservicey way. The skin-tight suits? No thanks; disappointingly boring, even with different colored suits for two of the mains. Even that camera-panning stuff used at the beginning couldn’t interest me in the whole idea of a war and how what happened in the ’60s has shaped the world into a bunch of high school girls piloting mechs. There’s more to be seen with the mechs, so I’ll withhold judging that element of the series. Problem is, I don’t plan on sticking around for episode 2.
BETA’s full name is a terribly unnecessary garble of words (Being of Extra Terrestrial origin which is an Adversary of the human race) meant to imply other humans are fighting against this whole group of female pilots. I liked how Gundam AGE kind of built up the possibility of their “Unknown” being aliens. The full name BETA seems to imply that it’s some other group of human beings that are engaging in war for energy-based reasons. Energy resources is all the craze in entertainment, so it wouldn’t surprise me if that factors into the plot any.
And then the preview happens. A girl screaming her lungs out. I get the sense that shit is supposed to be getting real and that some of these girls are going to experience hell all the way to their graves. I hate when an anime makes me feel like I need to give it a second or third episode in order to appreciate the story that’s being told. There are only so many hours in a day and better anime from yesteryear that I still have to check out. There didn’t need to be death or blood in episode 1, but in the end I had trouble developing any attachment for these girl pilots or hoping that humanity can emerge out of this horrible nightmare it seems to be living.
anaaga // Since I had no expectation for this anime, I was not disappointed with this episode. That doesn’t mean that I liked it though. One biggest letdown I have for this episode is definitely the animation. From Muv-Luv’s synopsis, I expected an eye-catching visual with beautiful color, just like Mouretsu Pirates. Hey, it should be like Pirates. It’s from Satelight after all! Not to mention that this is a mecha show. But no, I did not get that. The animation quality was just average. It was nothing impressive. With the exception of the CGI of course, but the rest was just… So-so. This anime has this bad habit of distorting everything that’s not being focused on the scene. I’ll see this decently animated close-up animation of Yui, then everything behind her will be blah.
While the CGI was great, the mecha design is bleh. There is nothing great about the design. Also, the female pilot suit design is REALLY AWFUL. I am sure this is not without reason (in fact, there’s a reason why it’s made like that), but that kind of design would just be distracting especially during the intense fights between BETAs and TSFs. Stupid fanservice. What’s the point of this? Like ExecutiveOtaku mentioned in his tweet, the original materials are horrible. He specifically point to the pilot suit, but I personally think the designs of everything are pretty much not pleasant to the eyes. The only exception I have is the BETA, and it’s because they’re not even shown yet. I have to admit, the way they’re animating BETA is pretty interesting since BETA’s form is being concealed at the same time they’re doing their slaughter. And while the Zaikaku has this horrible design, the cockpit’s system is pretty interesting. Man, why can’t the design be as interesting as the cockpit system.
I know some of the audience did not like how the story started. It makes sense, since over half of the episode was only about bunch of girls doing boring non-girly stuff that somehow looks girly when the girls do them. I had a hard time trying not to sleep because the episode was extremely slow (hence why I watched it twice), though it gives me a calming feeling too, somehow (Justin was giving a hint by telling me this). Even though I dozed off, I don’t think this episode was bad at all. Yes, it was slow, but all it was trying to do was to show the girls’ daily lives before the storm happens. Maybe it wants to make the audience sympathize with the girls (which obviously didn’t work for me). Let’s not forget that this is PART 1, which means that it was supposed to be watched with PART 2, shown in Anime Expo. Us internet peeps are not lucky enough to watch both of the episodes at the same time. And even though episode one was pretty slow, it was able to explain all the basic stuff that needs to be known in this anime, including the alternative setting (e.g. the Imperial Japan is still in power). So yeah, all the actions and tragedies are going to be shown in episode two. And who knows, maybe the story and animation will get better in episode two. Muv-Luv anime did not start well, but I see the possibility of better episodes with proper development. I see a potential in Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse. And maybe when new characters appear (Sugitan, Fosh!), this show will be better.
Goddamn it, just bring me Ono Daisuke and Sugitan already.
Preview: Part II aka. the tragedy part.