Koukaku no Regios (鋼殻のレギオス)

All posts tagged Koukaku no Regios (鋼殻のレギオス)

It seems like forever (actually only less than a week ago) since Wolf and Spice 2 was crowned as ‘Anime of the Year 2009’ holder, so I decided to present the first challenger to it in the form of Koukaku no Regios. This anime is probably the hardest title I ever reviewed in this blog, so read on to see why.

In a distant future, the world’s atmosphere makes it inhabitable, plus with all those Pollutant Beasts around prowling for human’s flesh, mankind now has to live in giant moving cities called Regios. The main male protagonist moved in Zuellni, which is one of the cities mentioned above, and he started to do his thing. And that’s about it.

I started watching this anime right after the Over Drive review was posted at 9 October 2009 on 9.10pm. In 10 October at around 2.00am, I finished watching the first 7 episodes of this title. At this point, I realized that this anime lacks a certain ‘something’ (will be explained later), but I dismissed that pre-conception thinking that maybe this anime only starts very slowly (which is not uncommon at all in the world of Japan’s anime). With that, I went to sleep.  Then I get up at around 7.00am and then an hour later, I watched episode 8 all the way to episode 15, which I finished at around noon. At this point (the anime is already well into the second half), that ‘something’ I mentioned above still haven’t appeared yet, and I have started to be alarmed. Later on, I watched episode 16-19 before going to my cousin’s birthday party, and only then, that ’something’ started to appear, but only barely. With this, I predicted:-

  1. The ending is going to suck and be hurriedly executed, no matter what happened in the last 5 episodes.
  2. The producers better be planning to have a second season at least, or else we will have an ending that is even worse than the ending  mentioned above, plus the ending is the one that will keep the viewers bewildered by the various unfinished plot and character developments.

I then watched the final 5 episodes yesterday night, and went ahead to collect my mind and started to write this review.

That ‘something’ I am talking about is a visible storyline. With the hindsight after watching the whole series, I think the main story arc started when the wolf-like hooded characters attacked Zuellni and stole its Electronic Fairy, which the main female protagonist #1 (so many female protagonists here, they have to be labeled) then rescued. Now the problem here is that I cannot identify the main story arc until way into the second half of this anime. It is like the director taking the anime’s whole main storyline (assuming that it has already fully written), smudged one-third of it and then extended the smudgy part to the left, making the extended storyline so thin it makes the flow of the story disjointed and uneven.

Again, with the advantage of finishing the whole series, I finally be able to connect the dots that marks the developments of the main storyline, and here I realized another weakness that this anime has. That weakness is that alongside the main story arc, many other subplots were started at the same time as the main story arc itself. These minor plots obscure the main story so well; that at the end of episode 15, I thought that the most prominent storyline would have to do with 2 women (main female protagonist #1 – the main male protagonist’s platoon captain, main female protagonist #2 – the girl that the main protagonist saves in the first episode) and a white-haired flat-chested tsundere loli-trap (main female protagonist #3) trying to get into the main male protagonist’s pants. The director seems hell-bent on explaining the mechanics of the world, how life in a Regios city looks like, what is Pollutant monsters all about, doing character developments and advancing the side-stories all above his/her primary role; presenting the main storyline in a precise and concise manner.

That’s a pity because when it comes to doing the things I have mentioned, the director really excels. Especially character developments, which are done very well. The main male protagonist and main female protagonist #1 are two outstanding characters in this regard. In fact, I think there will be more to come from both of them, especially the latter. For the ending, it seems that a second season is in order (I then forgive the existence of plenty of loose ends in this anime), therefore making the ending less crappier than I thought. But my prediction about the ending being hurriedly executed is correct. See the caption of my screenshot below.

If this anime is just like any other typical shounen anime, the main male protagonist would take at least one fully dedicated episode to defeat an antagonist as powerful as the one above. Maybe even more, if Naruto is used as a reference. But here the main male protagonist swatted the antagonist away, literally just like Ash Ketchum does to Team Rocket. I demand an epic one-to-one Heavenly Blade battle!

There will be a second season right? If Darker than Black has one, this anime should have it too.

Character Design:-
The character designs in this anime is excellent, with my only complaint being that the design for the main male protagonist being too bland. Outstanding character designs in this anime is the Zuellni student council president, the breast-grabbing dark-haired queen (so little of them here in an apocalyptical world), the blonde lioness from the 10th platoon and the main female protagonist #2. Definitely a positive point for this anime.

Voice Acting:-
The voice acting in this anime is just average in general, and I can’t think of any characters that has their voice actors/actresses doing any outstanding gigs in there. And it is better for me not to mention the extremely poor job at speaking English in this anime (far worse than the attempts in Gigantic Formula). Thank god for English subtitles!

The OST in this anime is good, but not for any of the OP/ED themes. And BTW, having several variations of a crappy ED theme is not going to make them better.

Animation Direction:-
The animation quality in this anime is top-notch, very fluid even in fast-paced scenes. Choreography in action scenes, especially human-vs-human battles is average though (the fact that the main male protagonist is basically invincible doesn’t really help). My comment about the directing has already been mentioned largely in the story section, but I think he/she has done well if the mismanagement of the main storyline is ignored.

5 out of 10.
Actually, at the end of episode 15, I would have put this anime alongside the likes of Hayate no Gotoku, Macross 7 and Hani Hani Operation Sanctuary but this anime redeems itself somewhat at the end. Wolf and Spice 2 successfully defended its title from the first challenger.

If the director has done his/her job properly, the audience would have known what the hell the 'Rigzario' and 'Ignasius' thingy are by now. But you have to wait until second season for that!