Can you run out of ideas for adventure shows? I mean, we can go to the depths of the oceans, the outer reaches of space, the darkest cave, the highest mountain, the hottest desert, even what lies underneath your very feet in the big city. What else can you do? Well, what happens when a continent appears out of nowhere in the Pacific Ocean? Adventure calls, which is what happens in “Magmell of the Sea Blue” (“Gunjō no Magumeru, or “Ultramarine Magmell”).
First, we have to talk about this land, as it appears to have overtaken every bit of land mass in the Pacific, so that means Hawaii is gone as we know it and it may have also subsumed the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. However, the flora and fauna appear to be fully formed, so there is little time for evolution (it doesn’t appear that much time has passed since it arose from the depths of the sea and humans have descended upon it).
It is also savagely violent and the danger is off the chart. If it was a ski slope, it would be four black diamonds. As Spinal Tap reminds us, “These go to eleven”. People go to investigate and die, die, die. You need someone who can help, at the very least, to keep you from dying or will, at the very least, bring whatever is left of your body back for some degree of burial.
One such guide appears in the form on Inyo. He has a magical ability, in that he can create objects out of sheer will. Do not let his lithe form and seeming youth deter you; he is the best at what he does. Ably assisting him is Zero, the woman who operates all of the equipment, so Inyo can stay one step ahead of all of these nasties.
But a lot of people go for the same reason: get rich quick. Too bad a lot of them die trying. One would think there is some kind of guide or directory as to staying away from this place. I realize that we are still trying to track all of the poisonous flowers and carnivorous animals, as there are tons of them, but the bottom line is that it’s going to go south pretty damn quick, even before you get off your ride.
As the story unfolds, we learn of the terrible back-stories our two protagonists have had to endure in order to get where they are and all of the steps they need to take and continue to take to be who they are. There is a kind of false crises that consumes the last episodes of the series, but it does help define things better, especially for Zero.
It’s just that a lot of the politics of this show made no sense. If you have the money and the ability to get to said land, you are free to do as you choose and nature be damned. Inyo is not much more than a glorified janitor, cleaning up the mess of those whose eyes are filled with yen signs.
I found myself more intrigued by the carnivorous inhabitants and the amount of destruction they can do than by the people and their petty goals. But I guess some folks have to learn the hard way and you will be dealt the hard way every single time.
Yeah, binge this. Go whole hog, as you see the double unrelenting nature of both the strange land upon which they find themselves and the unflinching nature of those who guide you through it.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Great monsters)
Plot 8 (Good adventure tale)
Pacing 7 (Follows a formula)
Effectiveness 8 (A lot of hidden agendas)
Conclusion 7 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 0 (A similar show would be “Honey and Clover”)
Bingeability 9 (It does help a rather predictable plot)
Overall 8 (Adventuring has never been more dangerous)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. You’re kind of young.