The main protagonist (one of the best characters in this anime) with his first punk’d victim.
The fourth 2011 anime reviewed in the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition today is going to be Level E. Actually, at first, I thought Level E is the third season of the CODE-E series (I really need to get off my ass and watch the second season that is rotting on my file share already) but it turns out I was wrong. Therefore, here is my review of a title better than the first and third audition entries reviewed in this blog before.
The always stressed subordinate of the main protagonist, also one of the best characters in this anime.
In our peaceful world, humanity doesn’t realize that extraterrestrials from other planets has been living amongst them, just like it is in Men In Black. The various diverse interests between those aliens factions are the only thing that keeps interplanetary wars from happening between them. With the situation hanging on a balance,
Aston Kutcher Rio Ferdinand the main protagonist crash landed on Earth, and everything started to change…
Even with its science fiction background just like Infinite Stratos and Dragon Crisis!, this anime is more comedy than shounen action unlike the the other two titles. Just like Dragon Crisis!, this anime also went with the multiple-arc presentation format, but unlike the former, the arcs in this anime are mostly better. The first arc is outstanding (unlike Dragon Crisis! crappy initial arc) and the same can also be said for the first Color Ranger arc. The Twilight Zone-like arc between those two is just average, and probably is the weakest arc in the whole series. The second Color Ranger arc isn’t as good as the first one though, but is still decent. The Princess Saki and the Koshien arcs are slightly better than it though.
I laughed hard when this anime made this E.T. reference. The context is spot on and the scene is so hilarious.
The quality of the comedy here is very good; one of the defining aspects of this anime. It was the comedy that make me hooked to this anime in merely one episode, mainly because of the tsukkomi-like interactions between the main protagonist and his first prank victim shown in the first screenshot above. There are plenty of hilarious dialogues and slapstick routine in this anime. The presentation in this anime is also excellent, with spot-on pacing and smooth story development. Some references to other materials are also done here, like the E.T. parody above.
Character developments in this anime is pretty much non-existent, but strangely this doesn’t affect this anime much. Only the kids in the Color Ranger arc have some semblance of them. Meanwhile, the main protagonist is pretty much the same character from the first episode until the last one. The other blemish that this anime has is the ending arc that is even more obvious when compared to the ending arcs of Dragon Crisis and Infinite Stratos, which makes me wonder how on earth the main protagonist didn’t see what is about to come. From how the ending was written, there should be no second season though.
One of the two best arcs in this anime.
Character designs in this anime is just average, and this is probably where both Dragon Crisis! and Infinite Stratos are better than this anime. It simply look less modern to newer titles, and maybe it has something to do with this anime being an adaptation of a manga from the last century. Black hairs are common though just like Dragon Crisis! which is a good thing. Even some of the aliens choose to have one…
Just one of the hazing events that the main protagonist enjoys himself doing.
Voice acting in this anime is good overall with no sub-par performances. Then again, there are no outstanding voice acting gig(s) in here either.
The complete opposite of Dragon Crisis! and Infinite Stratos happened here. The OST is average but the OP/ED themes are good.
Quoted For Truth #1.
Unfortunately, just like Dragon Crisis! and Infinite Stratos, this anime also employed the blurry animation technique I don’t like. Not as much as the other two titles, but too much for my liking. Automatic one-point deduction from the final evaluation will be done. With this, three out of four anime titles I watched for the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ audition already has them. Which is not a good sign.
Ignoring that, character and general animation quality in this anime are good, even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography is non-existent in this comedy anime. The directing is flawless, and I have no problems with the efforts.
Quoted For Truth #2.
7 out of 10. Definitely a better title than Dragon Crisis! and Infinite Stratos, but nowhere good enough to prevent HighSchool of the Dead OVA from running away with the ‘Anime of the Year 2011’ title. The less said about the usage of the blurry animation technique, the better. If all the listed unreviewed titles at the right-side bar has them, HotD OVA will simply walk away with the title unchallenged.
Quoted For Truth #3.