Melty Lancer is an action comedy ova based off of a Konami game. You may know them as that company that seems bent on losing any good will it might have ever had with pachinko machines based off of their franchises and whatever the hell Metal Gear Survive was. The studio they got to work on this was Gonzo. The same studio that gave us Final Fantasy Unlimited, Solty Rei & Sunabouzu among others. How does this hold up compared to their other works? I’m guessing better than Sunabouzu, not that that would be hard.
We open with a bunch of old, politician looking types approaching a prisoner. They offer him a deal. He leads a group they’re reuniting and they’ll give him his freedom. They don’t even care what happens with them. We cut to his aide travelling about to find the members of the titular Melty Lancer. Fortunately, they gather just in time to stop an attacking giant robot. Unfortunately, they seem to be pawns in some kind of political game, probably connected to the case Sylvie’s been working on. Will they be able to survive and conquer this perilous situation?
Honestly, the big issue is just that the comedy is so generic. We’re talking jokes that are super obvious and overdone like the old chestnut about men being a bunch of mindless apes who will lose it at the sight of a pretty girl. Because I know when I’m supposed to be guarding something I’ll just give a pretty girl access immediately. They also have the old jape about the powerful looking machine that has a really glaring weak point but it’s okay because they lampshade it. The series just never makes use of surprise or has anything uproariously funny. The best it can manage is being kind of, sort of funny. And that’s a big issue when you’re looking at a comedy. What’s supposed to make up for it? The strength of the plot? Because, I have to say, this isn’t a complex, compelling plot line.
That being said, there’s nothing in the series that’s bad. The comedy might be underwhelming but it’s not cringey or awful. The same is true for the script. It’s not particularly interesting, but it’s not bad either.
The cast is pretty standard. They’re bland comedic characters. And a comedy having characters who are kind of one-note can work. We saw that last week with Galaxy Angel 2. The difference betwixt that series and this one is that that series had characters who had strong comedic interactions. That series had characters who were enjoyable to watch get into shenanigans. Whereas this one has characters who are just dull.
The character designs aren’t bad. They aren’t the most visually interesting group out there but they’re fine. The backgrounds and action sequences are perfectly acceptable. Again, not the most interesting you’ll see but they work.
They did get some strong actors for this. Ogata Megumi, Tange Sakura, Yukana, Ikezawa Haruna & Iwao Junko are all good actresses. (No, this isn’t a Cardcaptor Sakura reunion.) And their performances in this are good, not their best but good. The biggest issue is with Iwata Mitsuo. He has two modes in this series, mumbling and shouting. Maybe the director thought that would be a good quirk for his character but it’s not. It’s kind of obnoxious. Amano Masamichi’s soundtrack is decent enough. I won’t be listening to it on its own or anything but it was fine.
There are some moments that come across as a bit les-yay, but those are very few and nothing comes of them.
Ultimately, Melty Lancer is a below average series. But hey, that still makes it better than a lot of Konami’s recent output. It’s not bad but it’s far from good. My final rating is a 4/10. Next week is my 400th anime review (obviously not counting the manga, cartoon, comic or live action ones) and you all know what that means. That’s right, time for some Star Power make up.