So, it ended up being another giant fighting robot show, but it started out with better promise, so I stayed with it.
“Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse” (and that is a mouthful of a title) looks at an alternative universe of our world and it starts in 1967.
The moon has been colonized (thanks to the Japanese) but is set upon by the BETA (Beings of the Extra Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race). This is the best we could come up with? Anyway, we spend six years battling them on the moon, but to no avail. They make landfall in Europe in 1973 and begin a methodical destruction of the world, moving east. We leap ahead to 1998, when Yui Takamura (far left), attending the Kyoto Royal Guard Academy, is training to be a TSF pilot (Tactical Surface Fighter).
Things turn dire as Korea is overrun and the BETA makes a play for Japan. Despite their best efforts from all involved, Yui’s crew is wiped out and Japan falls.
It is now three years later and Yui is a Lieutenant in the Japanese Imperial Guard. She goes to Alaska with a new weapon to defeat the BETA and train new pilots. One of them is Yuuya Bridges (that guy) who dismisses his Japanese heritage. He is a good pilot, but has a chip on his shoulder, owing to the abuse he absorbed because of his mixed heritage. Joining them from Russia are the Scarlet Twins, Cryska Barchenowa and Inia Sestina, who have a secret all their own.
With the BETA ready to cross the Bering Sea and invade the US (untouched so far by the BETA invasion), it is imperative that they can be defeated here and now, as the Great Plains is supplying food to the whole world. Should that fall…………..
Now, I had a crate-load of problems with this series, primarily, the most confusing Mid-Course Correction I have ever experienced. What started out as a show about fighting space aliens dissolved into a military soap opera and the threat on the invasion kind of drifted to the back as we had to deal with more mundane issues. Another concern is that after 30 years of battling these monsters, GFRs (or TSFs or OMGs or whatever we which to acronym call the units) was the best idea we could come up with? Is everything the humans do defensive and not offensive? They can come to us? It may work in the world of anime, but it lacks a kind of military cohesion that is required for battle.
Even if you take away the GFR approach, you are still left with mawkish sentiment and awkward situations. I want to know what the BETA is doing while everyone seems to be cooling their heels. Sightseeing? Working on their tan? (Some of them are really pasty). Hitting up the souvenir shop? “My parents destroyed the Earth and all I got was this lousy T-shirt”. I cannot recommend this show at all, even if you like GFR, as we are more focused on interpersonal relationships and what is means to be a soldier, a person and a friend, but we have the hardest time comprehending it.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 8 (Rather standard for what it wants)
Plot 5 (Owing to the story shift)
Pacing 6 (The ‘love’ scenes are sluggish)
Effectiveness 7 (For what it wants to do, it works)
Conclusion 5 (Done, but not over, as the coupler is painfully obvious)
Fan Service 3 (A similar show would “Wedding Peach”)
Overall 5 (Nothing too demanding)
And remember, it’s first run until you see it. Permission to leave, sir!