I have a real problem with a lot of shows. Should I grab it when it comes out and take it as it is or should I wait for it to conclude and watch it all at that time? But then, I’m not giving a ‘fresh’ review. Sure, I end all my reviews with the admonition “It’s first run until you see it”, but you never want to be behind the curve in reviews, as it looks like you are cobbling one together from what other people have said and so it isn’t all that ‘fresh’. I bring this up as I almost did not finish the run for “God Eater” (“Goddo Ītā”) because of some crazy trick they pulled during the run. It also doesn’t help it is a video game adaptation and it feels like it several times over.
It is set in a post-apocalyptic Japan of 2071. The world has been mostly destroyed by mysterious monsters known as the Aragami (and where they really came from is revealed through the run of the series). An organization known as “Fenrir” was founded to exterminate Aragami using ‘God Arcs’, weapons made from Aragami cells (those ridiculously immense weapons that they are proffering).
Those who specialize in exterminating Aragami are known as ‘God Eaters’. Their God Arcs originally could only keep a single form, but with endless modifications and experimentation, a new type has been discovered that can switch between gun form and blade form. These have been classified as ‘new-types’ and the previous ones as ‘old-types’. Got it? Good, as there will be a short test at the end of class.
Into this seething mix is thrown Lenka Utsugi (left). He has the power to be a God Eater, but neither the patience nor the discipline to grow into the task. It’s that Catch-22 that we need you out there, but you’re not good enough to be out there, but we don’t have the time to give you a proper education in this, but you have to wait, but we need you out there. He pitches himself into battle with his weaponry and discovers that war is hell.
He gets in serious trouble but is permitted to hang around, as another ‘new-type’ shows up, Alisa Illinichina Amiella (that flirty number to the right). Let us not ask where she can obtain outfits like that; I am pretty sure the mall is long destroyed. Led by Lindow Amamiya (guy in the middle; he smokes all the time), they do relentless battle against an equally relentless adversary.
A show like this takes a little while to get going and then it was moving along well when, for some bizarre reason, they stopped at Episode Nine and took four months off. Since the series is now all up and pretty for you, you get to avoid that mess. The pause made no sense to me. Did you only contract for the nine to see how it would work out and then frantically put together the remaining episodes? It certainly hurt the narrative for me. Action shows like this depend on you coming back week after week to catch the next installment. If there is a significant break in things, you may never return or forget what has gone before when it does come back.
I have a personal situation with anime: I don’t like having to back up and remind myself as to what went before when there is a mid-season break or a massive delay between episodes. Why can’t you, as the production company, get it all together and have it ready to trot out? And this beef is part and parcel as to the series. For me, it was a fence-sitter. The action sequences were a bit over the top, with not only the sheer amount of blood slopping about, but there seemed to be no genuine way to get an upper hand. They are fighting the results of the problem and not getting to attack the cause (you destroy the nest, you destroy the threat). And couldn’t they come up with a better weapon that a giant butter knife of doom? What about a laser cannon or incendiary rounds or even poison pellets?
I bring this up, as it is a good-looking series, reveling in the grittiness and decay and somber tones of this depleted landscape. The weapons get high marks for the extravagance that they are, despite being the size of a Buick. You can just see this item on Lindow, but the God Eaters have a huge metal bracelet (for wont of a better term) about their right wrist, which assists in lifting the weapon and being able to use it. However, it is not much of a fashion statement and looks ridiculous. It’s just that a show that has so much going for it seems to have almost as much working against it. And the conclusion means a second season (which is confirmed to air….soon).
It just feels that shows like this (and I have seen a lot of similar ideas, even this year) need to have a special something, if you wish, a je ne sais quoi that makes it more distinctive than others around it. OK, you have really savage monsters, a dystopian society, severe mental stress that would bend the most iron of wills and no end in sight to their plight, but is it any different that “Sky Wizards Academy” or “Schwarzesmarken”? And there was fruitlessness to the battles, in that you fight and fight and fight and fight and just reach another stalemate. At least you get to go home for that time and can die another day.
I would suggest that you do check it out and see. Perhaps your ability to watch it straight through will give you a better experience than what I had. It’s tough being a ‘new-type’.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Good backgrounds, odd character design)
Plot 7 (Usual end-of-the-world stuff)
Pacing 7 (The fights slow it down)
Effectiveness 7 (Over-reliance on good back stories)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (A pervasive sense of hopelessness)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I must kill them all!