It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. As usual, there will be a list of five suggestions, in no particular order, for each series and there will be spoilers. So, you may want to keep that in mind. This time around I’ll be looking at a pair of post-apocalyptic series, one good and one bad. We’ll start with the bad one, The OVA Ice and then move on to the Shingeki no Kyojin anime.
- Fixing the premise. I went into some detail about why the premise of the human race going extinct due to lack of men doesn’t work. Mainly because we have ways for women to reproduce with other women. They require medical intervention, and the baby will always be a girl, but we clearly see that this future has high level technology and records. I do have two suggestions to make the premise workable.
A). Have past technology and records be lost. Sure, you’ll end up with a society where everything is in ruins and they’ve regressed to primitive conditions, but that might actually make things more interesting. This method has the added advantage that the thing Julia and her group are seeking could be records about the procedure to fertilise an egg using the chromosome from another egg.
B.) Have the survivors all be men. Yeah, there’s a theory about a way that it might be conceivable for a baby to have two biological fathers, but at the time Ice was written that doesn’t exist and, even now, it’s in the very, very early theoretical stages. You can keep your futuristic world and tech without any issues using this method. The characters would just have to be gender-swapped.
2. The acting. Yeah, the idols in this were pretty bad, overall. And there was no real reason for them to act in this. They could have just done the music since that’s their forte, and left the acting to actual actors. Ishida Akira also really shouldn’t have been cast in this. Especially not when he’s going to use his completely undisguised voice.
3. The time skip scenes: In Ice, the post-apocalyptic future apparently wasn’t enough to carry three episodes. As such, we get flashbacks to a woman named Hitomi, just like one of our leads, and hen we end with a peak at the future where reincarnated versions of our leading ladies meet again in some idyllic garden type setting. Romances that incorporate reincarnation can work. The problem in this one is that the setup is clumsy and there’s really no time to develop the concept. So, it comes across as rushed and stupid. The whole time skipping element should have just been eliminated to allow for more time to develop the world and/or characters.
4. The romance needed development: What passes for a romance in this is that Hitomi rescues Yuki. Yuki immediately comes onto Hitomi only to be rejected. They spend a small amount of time together while returning. They meet again at a party, dance together and there are some more stilted moments where they have zero chemistry but they have the reincarnation thing, so I guess it must be fated love. That’s just lazy writing. With the time wasted on those time shifts, they could have actually shown more scenes twixt the two and let their relationship grow naturally. If they couldn’t be bothered to actually develop the romance in a sensible fashion, they shouldn’t have bothered having it.
5. The Ice itself: In my review, I said the Ice worked in a nonsensical way. How? Well, a girl injects the ice into her vagina. Which causes her to become encased in a crystalline cocoon. This process, somehow, makes a baby. That baby can be a boy, in spite of them having no access to Y chromosomes. Even suspending disbelief to the maximum level that’s humanly possible, that method makes no sense. It’s so stupid that they can’t even throw in some techno-babble to try to explain the mechanism. It would honestly work better to have the Ice be an illicit drug or something and just have reproduction work using one of the actual methods.
Shingeki no Kyojin
1. The Foreshadowing: This really could have been fixed by just doing a better job of following the manga. In the anime, they either skip the foreshadowing scenes or move them to a point where there’s no more point because they’re about to give the reveal anyway. . The big example in the first series is Annie training against her father. In the manga, this scene is part of the training segment. In the anime, they move it to right before the reveal that she’s a titan shifter. Yeah, foreshadowing is actually a lot more effective if you introduce it earlier.
2. Eren, Mikasa,and Armin should not be the focus: There are so many compelling and complex characters in the supporting cast of Shingeki no Kyojin. So, I constantly find myself wondering why they focus on the three bland ones who have very stock personalities? Is it a marketing gimmick? Did Isayama think that cliched characters would be easier to sell to the audience? Was it a move to make you care more about the characters who are more likely to get killed so that those scenes have gravitas? Either way, Toast, Sand and Vegetable just aren’t interesting and there’s a whole ensemble that would make for more interesting viewing.
3. The romantic tension between Toast and Sand: Here we have two characters who have been raised like siblings since they were really small. There should not be any kind of romantic tension between them.
4. Trim the recaps: The recap portions of this really do take up too much time and it just feels like a thin excuse to pad things out. The sad part is, they don’t even need to do that. There are a couple foreshadowing scenes they skipped in the first series that could have been helpful to have. Alternatively, they could have given us some more time with the interesting characters.
5. Vegetable has a not so cunning plan: One of the problems with Vegetable’s character is that he’s supposed to be clever and intelligent, but all he does is point out really obvious stuff like “I bet that Toast can lift that rock while in titan form to block the titan’s path” and various other things that any of these characters should be able to figure out really easily. It doesn’t serve to make him look smart. It just makes everyone else look slow. Either have him come up with something that requires really good reasoning skills or stop telling us that he’s smart.
Well, that’s my very specific list of things that could have improved these two series. I’m sure some of you disagree on some of them. So, feel free to leave a comment on your own ideas of improvements, or why you think I’m crazy for thinking one of those would be an improvement. As you may know, I do take review requests. The ones I’m working on right now are : Uchuu Kyoudai, Samurai Pizza Cats, Solty Rei, Phantom: Requiem for the Phantom, Gankutsuou,Code Geass series 1 ,Nanoha Vivid, Love Live s2, Golgo 13 & Ghost in the Shell Stand Alone Complex series 2. Expect to see those reviews popping up. I’ll finish as many as I can in September before we get into horror anime month.