“Karen Senki” is a show that has a good story to tell, but perhaps the way it was done was not the best approach. You see, it’s all CG and there are still a few bugs in the system with regards to that. OK, on to the plot. Karen kills robots. It is the world of the future and robots have become sentient. They also decided that the Robot’s Three Rules were for sissies and they have decided to eliminate humans once and for all. But it’s just that they do it so badly.
I mean, you just march in and start killing everyone, right? Or maybe a well-coordinate air strike (there are flying robot craft). Well, no, as there are whole communities of humans, eking out a living, rarely under attack. Now, since Karen is a fugitive and Public Enemy Number One and a Justin Bieber fan, she MUST be eliminated! But the robot forces just can’t seem to do it. Between her enhanced powers and a pair of 45s she sports (hey, I’m talking about her pistols. What DID you think I was talking about?), she is formidable as she wipes out the enemy forces like an errant catsup stain from her cheek.
She has been asked by a shadow group, Eleven, to join in their cause, as they feel rather than having individual rogue elements, as a cohesive whole, they can do things better to stop the menace.
A simple enough plot, but you are made painfully aware of the limitation of CG, as nothing really moves smoothly. It jerks and stutters and galumphs along, much like driving a car with square tires. It almost seems that the director and his crew want you to revel in how well they can do this stuff, but it comes off as unnecessary and amateurish. Yes, CG is hard to do, but I have seen some that were really great. I assume they wanted to do it this way, to get a specific feel and ‘realism’ for the show.
Also, there is something about a guy trying to put the moves on a robot who is dressed in lingerie. It just comes off as really pervy. And he wants to marry her. Much like that, a lot of the series does not really answer things and the clues that are left allows for a correct answer to things as easily as an incorrect answer to things. There are hidden agendas and duplicity and other uncertainties that work against the series. And they don’t have to be 12- or 15-minute episodes; if you’ve gotten this far, you could take things a bit further to really flesh out the stories and the motivations of all the characters.
This episode approach also hurts things, as you are not really certain why they do what they do a lot of the time and it seems to be an excuse just to blow up things, which they do with great aplomb. Plus, the almost bulletproof nature of the heroine just adds another layer of incredulity to the entire approach. I just felt they could have done more with what they had, but they preferred to be thin with the final results.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 7 (Good design, bad execution)
Plot 7 (Fairly standard)
Pacing 6 (The fights slow it all down)
Effectiveness 6 (Too scattershot in its approach)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would be “Wedding Peach”)
Overall 7 (Lacks cohesion)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. Go get ‘em.