Big Order 02 – METANORN

Big Order – 02

big order 2005

Her bat impression is spot-on

Considering that I was attached to Mirai Nikki enough to cosplay as Yuno last year, you’ll have to forgive me if I’m a little fixated on comparing Big Order to Mirai Nikki. I promise to make more than a half-hearted (maybe three-quarter-hearted?) attempt to stop pointing out all the similarities between the two next week.

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And you thought your Monday was going poorly

I usually prefer blogging about the psychological aspects of characters and situations themselves instead of a more technical review of the direction, tone, and quality of the show. Big Order is a bit of an exception because it sometimes feels like a raggedy patchwork quilt of different shows and this confusing change of pace is something I want to address. Considering this is only the second episode and many of you may be deciding whether or not to drop this, it’s important to know what the show is aiming for and whether or not that is particularly something that will be worth investing time in.

To me, I see Big Order as having 3 different tones: Edgy Grimdark, Comedy, and Shounen Battle. Instead of seamlessly integrating them all into one cohesive show (as many shows can manage a multitude of genres without tripping up), Big Order feels like it is strictly separating these things so only one is present in any given moment.

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So Tone 1 is the iffy grimdark stuff. That’s torture scenes, gratuitous blood, and overall just throwing in edgy shit for the sake of it and taking it all with stone-faced seriousness. Sena reading a complex tome by Nietzsche when she was a kid is an example of that serious tone reversing and just becoming unintentionally hilarious. I’m not a big fan of the edgy stuff being so-bad-it’s-good unless the whole show is committed to being bad (i.e. Mayoiga), whereas Big Order has the potential to be more than that. When I have actual expectations, I get disappointed. I can’t say I was impressed with Eiji fulfilling some power fantasies. I mean, we start off with some mild torture porn, as Eiji’s kinky, bondage-themed Order shoves phallic objects into Rin while she moans suggestively. It’s not exactly subtle! I also found myself cringing at how quickly Eiji went from being terrified at Rin to reacting purely on a rush of male hormones and asking his would-be murderer to marry him. I know guys his age are thirsty, but there should be limits to desperation!

It doesn’t get much better as Rin basically ends up being his slave and it’s sort of framed that Rin’s only reason to live now is for Eiji, and her eventual marriage to him (come on, you know she’s gonna fall for him). This is pretty much the usual short end of the stick girls get in anime as they end up being bound to a hapless guy in some way or another. Mirai Nikki was interesting because it reversed the roles and had Yukiteru, the dude, as the one being forcefully paired up with a homicidal maniac. That role reversal pointed out how terrifying it is for girls to be treated as objects one can possess by taking it to the extreme with a completely yandere girlfriend. The final message there is that anyway you slice it, boy or girl or what-have-you, being stuck with a dominating significant other against your will is torture… Big Order almost feels like a step back from that as it just goes ahead and has the same sleazy relationship where Rin has to do whatever demeaning thing Eiji says. It doesn’t make a statement because it’s the same thing we always see happening to girls.

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Thankfully, however, my concerns about it getting too serious with watching Rin writhe in pain as Eiji penetrates her were relieved a bit as the episode went on. From there, we moved to what was Tone 2: SILLY SHENANIGANS! I’m not sure if it was intentional to take the edge off of how twisted the previous scene was, but it sure as hell was a smart move. Big Order works surprisingly well as a self-aware comedy – much better so than Mirai Nikki thus far. Rin constantly offing herself and reviving while trying to kill Eiji was an unexpected turn of events that kept me smiling all the way through. The concept of Orders makes for some interesting comedic set-ups – such as Rin’s Revival Fire being used as an impromptu flashlight. Also, Rin grabbing Eiji’s balls and almost crushing them with a wet “scrunch” sound was wonderfully hilarious. I appreciate those little attempts to give Rin agency. Unfortunately, her reasoning for keeping Eiji alive so she can kill him herself is very flimsy and seems more like a poorly thought-out excuse to get two enemies to work together.

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I don’t even think I want to know what the wood plank’s wish was for.

Finally, we have Tone 3: Shounen Battle Extravanganza. This is where all the superpowers come in, as well as an entire league of villains who are all introduced at once (and also forgotten all at once). It’s very standard fare, but Big Order pulls it off well enough to be a decent show amongst all its shounen competitors.

After going through all that, I do realize it’s highly possible that this episode was a bit of an anomaly and future episodes will blend these three aspects together more smoothly. It’s hard to tell at this point, but regardless, I found this particular episode to be a really strange, compartmentalized experience. I still enjoyed it though. It was only some ridiculous moments at the beginning that had me groaning, but after that it was all good. Big Order is clearly still a show that is rough around the edges and slow to get started. Despite this, it’s maintaining a charming (albeit fragmented) personality throughout. By episode 3 or 4, it should be more clear exactly which direction this show wants to go in…although I have a feeling the answer to that is “ALL OF THEM!”.

big order 2009

“God is dead, onii-chan”

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A neuroscience graduate, black belt, and all-around nerd. You'll either find me in my lab or curled up in my rilakkuma kigurumi watching anime.
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15 Responses to “Big Order – 02”

  1. skylion says:

    This one felt like they had to pile it all in the back of the truck and get it from Point A to Point B with alacrity and no sense of grace. We movin‘ this sh*t now!

    I think I’ve finally twigged on to at least one aspect of Rin’s character. She lives, she dies, she is reborn. There is always another cute anime girl coming around the corner so don’t get to attached this one

    …As far as the relationship between them goes? It feels like a very clumsy attempt at “what are we gonna do…women are becoming more and more powerful in society, and guys don’t know how to respond anymore…what IS a fella supposed to do…ahAH!!! Marriage, that’ll get ’em!”

    Question Mark Question Mark Question Mark….

    • Overcooled says:

      Pretty much, yep!

      Unfortunately for Eiji, he’s stuck with Rin even if a less violent, cute anime girl comes along. Unfortunately for Rin too…It’s a really weird relationship. Having Rin want to kill Eiji and not be able to do so might have been okay on its own. Throwing in romance (a forced marriage at that) was just…ugh. It really does come across as a “strong women secretly need men to validate them” kinda thing from insecure guys getting scared.

  2. Highway says:

    This episode felt like it just blew all of the interest that the first episode saved up by not really giving many answers. I was not impressed or much entertained by the tone changes you mention. “Hey, Rin’s trying to kill Eiji, but he’s too thick to figure it out! Hahahaha that’s so funny!” Then “Now it’s all serious, let’s come up with a stupid plan!” Plus all the “We have to get out of here” from the absolute worst defended place ever. Look two guards showed up! What a stellar security scheme.

    • Overcooled says:

      Big Order makes zero sense. I’m pretty surprised they held off on answering questions such as exactly who that floating girl with the pink hair is and why she always hangs around Eiji instead of granting other peoples wishes.

      Yeah, security sure had an off day or something…Eiji and Rin explored the entire place in and out and no one found them until they reached the door leading to the exit. I know they set up traps and everything, but there’s only so much that can achieve when your opponent is immortal.

  3. BlackBriar says:

    Well, I have to say Rin was caught in a series of messy events. Feeling immense pain before dying and reviving just to go through it again. It’s that kind of aspect that makes immortality seem more of a curse than a benefit.

    Rin’s reasoning for helping Eiji exudes a few things: Greed and vanity. It would’ve been a benefit if she let someone else kill him so as to sooner his domination but she’s so self-centered, all the good opportunities are getting negated.

    • Overcooled says:

      Yeah, Rin really has to suffer to make the most of her ability…And being stuck in a situation where the person responsible for the death of her family is her future husband isn’t much better. It must be hard not getting to kill him.

  4. ProtoSovereign says:

    Well lets look at the bright side, Eiji doesn’t seem to be as much of a wimp as Yukiteru was. Plus, he seems to be a massive sis-con too… and Sena seems to be a bro-con… happy family much 😀

    • BlackBriar says:

      Well, Eiji and Sena can get away with their too affectionate relationship since they’re not blood related. Therefore, neither could be accused of committing incest.

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        Ah yeah I forgot about that reveal. The truth is when I first saw the reveal I was thinking “wow Eiji, all your onii-chan fantasy’s have come to fruition at once. Idk how you haven’t made a move on her or vice versa… Unless you’re not really like that and you’re platonic siblings… wait, this is japan right? this is Japanese fiction right? who am I kidding ofc they’re like that. :3”

    • SherrisLok says:

      Yukki was no wimp.

      • SherrisLok says:

        I wanted to add the link, but strangely it doesn’t show…

        What went wrong?

        *Note from Highway: Link is NSFW, and remember to close your tags if you’re linking things, or use the link button

      • ProtoSovereign says:

        Lol, wimp was probably too strong a word (and biased). Sorry about that, but I think you know what I mean if you’ve watched the anime of Miari Nikki (I can’t really compare the manga since I haven’t read that) Esp at the start Yukiteru had a lot of “weak” moments (I’m not saying he’s not courageous afterall courage is about facing one’s fears). Ofc later on he becomes a lot more decisive and ruthless and he always had that in him too as we see from even ep 1 when he decides to use Yuno to protect his life. But at other times he comes off as well wimpy or idk perhaps beta? (idk how else to put it)

        • SherrisLok says:

          What do you expect from a 14-year old boy thrown into Battle Royale? Same as with Shinji Ikari, it just seems so irrational for people to complain about Yukiteru being ‘beta’, when his reactions to deadly peril are far more realistic than those of your typical hot-blooded shounen protagonist.

          • ProtoSovereign says:

            Nah, its all about comparison. Look at all the characters around Yukiteru and there is your answer. Also Yukiteru was already like that before the battle royale started remember? In fact Yukiteru got a lot more ‘tough’ and ‘hardened’ after the battle royale started.

            • ProtoSovereign says:

              Realism is good but I personally also like it when characters can get stuff done e.g. Ikoma from Kabenari or even Subaru from ReZero.

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