Star Ocean: The Divine Force Review


Right here, right now, it’s time to talk about Star Ocean! I can’t say I’m super familiar with the series compared to other RPG titles like Final Fantasy but I like the genre and I like sci-fi so you can’t go wrong. I figured I’d get this one day 1 because it looked like fun and it makes for a really fun game. It took around 30 hours to clear this one so you’ve got a sizable amount of story and cutscenes to get through. I consider this to be an absolute win and I look forward to playing more games in the series.

The game starts off with captain Raymond piloting his ship when they are attacked by the federation. His crew all manage to escape but they are scattered on a nearby planet which isn’t very developed. There are no high tech weapons or equipment on the planet and of course its medicine isn’t great either. Raymond knows he has to find his friends very quickly or it could get rough. He meets up with Laeticia, a mysterious girl who talks in a very formal manner and her bodyguard Albaird. They have a mission of their own and volunteer to help Raymond find his friends if he helps them out with some things as well. Time is of the essence so he agrees…hopefully these two are on the up and up!

As with any RPG you can bet that the plot changes a whole lot and gets expanded on as you play more and more. The story is very detailed and there are a whole lot of cutscenes talking about the rules of the federation and why it isn’t so easy to just hop in and save everyone with high tech teleporters. Raymond is aligned with a planet that opted not to join the Federation and so there is a lot of bad blood there. Meanwhile the federation really wants everyone to join to a rather unhealthy degree and they seem really shady. That’s not even accounting for all of the drama on the planet itself with the King and his subjects being on different pages as well.

At times this can make for a bit of a slow beginning as a result of that but the story really does pick up the more you go through the game. Once the various alien species show up then you get a lot of extra developments. You also have a lot of super forms and then a whole plot involving A.I. and how alive they truly are. It’s all pretty good stuff so you’ll have a good time. Ultimately it may not surpass some of the bigger RPG titles in a pure story sense but it’s well balanced in all areas.

As for the gameplay, it’s a 3D hack and slash. You have your basic attack, strong attack, and quick attack. Unlike most games where these are locked in, you can completely customize which button you want to use for which attack. You have around 15-20 by the end so you can just stick to using the attacks you want or mix and match. You can also assign full combos to each button to make things a bit easier. Personally I mainly just stuck to one attack. Once I got the flurry move I wanted I never ended up using another physical attack. It was just way too good and by the stats it was the strongest move so why switch it anyway right?

Aside from the main fighting moves you also have a final smash type attack that charges as you fight. It can be really handy in taking down the last bits of an opponent’s health bar. Then you have your DUMA which is basically a little robot that lets you hover in the air, create barriers, and do charge attacks. This guy is worth spamming on all minions because you can quickly get behind them for sneak attacks that deal extra damage. Additionally you can change directions in mid air while attacking which is handy as well. It won’t always work on bosses but it’s good to keep in mind.

Meanwhile the graphics are definitely really solid. The art style may take a little getting used to. I’ve heard some refer to the characters as looking like dolls and after that you can’t help but notice it. Still the visuals are on point and this still feels like a new gen title. A good amount of effort was put into it. Meanwhile the opening theme for the game is really solid. It’s a fun rock theme that feels like something out of the 90s. It was definitely real nostalgic to hear that although in the game I would have liked to have seen some more memorable boss fights. Surprisingly within the actual game you won’t have too many distinct tracks. They sort of just blend together for the most part.

In terms of content you’ve got a lot here. The main game is 29 hours as I noted but then you’ve also got a fairly extensive amount of replay value. There are numerous endings to obtain in the game and then aside from that you can try to get the Platinum trophy which will definitely take a while. I’d be surprised if you could beat it in any less time than 50 hours. This is a full adventure and even that may be understating it. So you’ll definitely be getting a good amount of content for your dollar and it’s worth the full price.

As far as the characters go, Raymond makes for a pretty good main character. He’s not afraid to talk tough to the Federation and tells it like it is. He doesn’t make promises without learning the details first and he is always thinking. It’s clear why he is the captain of a full crew because he is a very smart main character. He can be impulsive but balances the two attributes really well.

Then you have Elena who is a solid main heroine. As an android she tends to look at things logically but unlike most she is still able to keep her common sense and can understand humans well enough to act like one. Sometimes you’ll even end up forgetting that she is an android. She’s probably one of the most well rounded characters in the game and you can always count on her in a pinch. Without her the characters would have not made it quite so far.

Laeticia is the other main heroine here and she goes through a good character arc as she learns how to really be a great ruler. Raymond helps her become more flexible and she’s good in a fight. I definitely enjoyed her character and even her bodyguard Albaird looked decently good in the game. By the end he also loosened up a lot and was ready to stand with the other heroes.

Nina is a bit younger so she doesn’t get to fight on the front lines as much but she does well as a medic. While she is technically around for the whole game, her role feels a bit smaller though. Midas is someone who very reluctantly starts to help but that’s mainly thanks to Malkya. The two have a solid connection as she is basically immortal and he is super interested in science so it works out well. Then we have Marielle who is given a really tough time by Raymond at first due to her ties to the Federation. She does well in not making the same mistakes that most of them did though and gradually earns his trust.

Finally there is DUMA who is a fun robot type character even if he can take a little long to get on the ball about what’s going on here. Since he looks at everything logically, it can throw him for a loop when people don’t follow any kind of logic. So we’ve got a strong hero group here but the villains are more on the forgettable side. You’ve got corrupt kings and leaders but some of them are almost interchangeable. I liked the two alien villains a lot more and ultimately they were just minions. The final boss has a cool design though so I’ll give him that. At least you know that the battles will be visually entertaining the whole time.

Overall, Star Ocean: The Divine Force is a great game. It’s got a very detailed plot and the gameplay is on point. There’s actually a lot to dive into there so you’ll want to really absorb the tutorials. If I’m drilling down a bit more the one thing they messed up on is the equipment screen. When trying on an equipment it shows you all the characters and who it would work on but no indication of which character you are viewing currently which is a little annoying. Super minor since you can back out of the menu to check that but it’s the kind of thing that a quality of life update would certainly fix. It’s got every element that you need in order to have a great time and I hope to see the series continue with more games in the future. Perhaps we can get some more space exploration in the next title but either way this worked out well. If you’re on the fence about the game then I would definitely recommend making the tough call and buying it now. You won’t regret making the purchase.

Overall 8/10

Battle in Outer Space Review


With a title like this you know that you’re gonna be in for a fun sci-fi ride. Well, Battle in Outer Space definitely does not disappoint on that front. You’ve got a lot going on here right from the jump and the pacing never slows down. The movie actually goes on past where I thought it was going to end and makes for a good final act. While I would have liked the aliens to have definitely appeared more, I can’t say that the film ultimately disappointed me. It had a lot of fun moments throughout.

The film starts off with a lot of crazy disasters happening across the planet. It’s almost as if gravity just stops working at times which is making things very tricky. The UN holds a summit and while this is going on the aliens abduct Dr. Ahmed using some kind of tractor beam. When he shows up again to sabotage things the scientists are ready and take him out. We are able to locate the enemy base in space and so we send a rocket over there to stop them. What will make matters difficult though is how easily they can mind control someone. What if one of the main characters has been taken? Iwamura and Katsumiya have two main objectives. They have to stop the aliens once and for all, then they also have to rescue Etsuko who was kidnapped.

Let me start off with the weakest part of the film which is definitely the fact that the aliens barely appear at all throughout the story. There is one main scene where you actually see them but they look super weak as Katsumiya is able to take down a bunch of them. Basically these guys are not immune to the space guns and also have no super strength. Katsumiya literally just runs over and grabs Etsuko. He then pulls her out despite the two of them being surrounded by so many aliens. Even all of them combined weren’t able to do anything to him and that’s just a bad look.

It’s clear that the aliens absolutely need their tech to win in this case as the individual aliens are super weak. It’s certainly an odd thing to see as you’re usually used to the aliens looking really tough and formidable. That just wasn’t the case here, not by a longshot. I liked the tech and they certainly talk a good game from behind the loudspeakers but that’s about it. You would need to see a whole lot more out of them in order to really have any kind of confidence in them as true antagonists.

Well, I suppose you don’t need a strong antagonist to have a good alien invasion film and this title proves it. The reason I enjoyed this film first boils down to the writing. The film stays engaging throughout as we have quality characters here and a solid story going on. I always like a classic alien invasion and getting to see the United Nations deliberating about it was cool. We really got to see the governmental side of things here as there is no super main character here to save the day.

Katsumiya would be the main character here but he’s not some super skilled CIA fighter or someone that can stop the invasion with a well placed explosive. He’s just here to save Etsuko and then get out. The army is still the one pulling in the big guns to try and stop the invasion as a whole. It’s not so easy to take on so many fighters like that and this is a movie that is using a teamwork approach. Then there is Iwamura but unfortunately he doesn’t look great here. He is often out of his depths and so he isn’t able to be nearly as helpful. Etsuko unfortunately spends a decent chunk of the movie being kidnapped so she isn’t able to help too much either.

So the individuals aren’t the important factor here but what the army is doing to stop these aliens. The movie definitely nails that aspect right out of the gate. The aliens also deal a whole lot of damage to the planet so you know that even if they are defeated, it’s not going to immediately be all sunshine and smiles for the heroes. Now I mentioned how the film seemed like it was about to end. Well, the main chunk of the film is the rescue mission in space and of course we start blasting away but then we get a whole other act on Earth as the aliens prepare another assault.

It does make sense in hindsight that they still had more weapons at the ready but it had just felt like so much of a climax already in space. Regardless it was nice to get some extra action at the end there. You can never have too much combat after all. I don’t think this will end up being more memorable than most of the other big action titles out there. It really lacked the aliens in an alien invasion film but since the rest of the elements were still in play it ended up working out.

Overall, Battle in Outer Space is a film that I would recommend people to check out but I would do so with the reservation that they know the aliens won’t really be appearing. It’s important to underscore that since some people may go in expecting them to not only be appearing but to get a big role. It’s totally understandable but the film is engaging enough even without them. A modern remake would probably be fun with this concept but in the meantime I just enjoy any alien invasion film I can get my hands on. Particularly one from the olden days like this installment since they really knew how to build up to the attacks and have a lot of very solid dialogue between the characters. It’s all handled in a rather low key/calm way that you wouldn’t expect to usually see. There’s not much more to say about the film because it is quiet direct and the story is straight forward. What you see is what you get and in this case that works out well.

Overall 7/10

The Cloverfield Paradox Review


The Cloverfield series loves to have movies with pretty much nothing to do with the original. You always get a little stinger at the end and that’s basically it. Unfortunately that is the case here as well as it just isn’t very relevant until the final scene and even then that is more of a tease than a full connection. The series is toying with the fans by this point so it’s best to watch this as a stand alone sci-fi film instead. Even then I would say it’s below average but I suppose it’s not super bad or anything. The logic of the universe just isn’t that great so while it’s trying to be very mysterious and cryptic, it feels like the movie is just cheating instead. There’s definitely one scene in particular that I’d say fits this bill.

So the Earth is in a big energy crisis and they have sent representatives from various countries to find a solution. This group was thrown onto a space station far in the sky and they have to do whatever they can. So they decide to work on a device that should give the Earth unlimited energy but unfortunately this goes sideways and they seem to open up a portal into another world. They have to try and get back to where they used to be but it won’t be easy. They have to fix parts of the spaceship that don’t work anymore and a lot of weird things keep happening on the ship. Are aliens among us?

This movie is dealing with a lot of sci-fi elements but doesn’t really get too out there with creatures and the like. The main dilemma here is really that they have to question everything they knew about physics. Everything’s just scattered and odd happenings start occurring like people phasing through walls and a hand just running around. Where I thought the film messed up was in throwing some clickbait to try and make you think that a bunch of aliens would show up. There’s an odd scene where these cables start choking someone and basically murder him as he gets crushed by a super magnet but you have to question how it happened. It seemed completely sentient the way it was moving but the rest of the film gives no indicat4ion that it was. So yes it’s a strong scene and definitely gets you nervous but it doesn’t make much sense within the context of the rest of the film. It’s more shock value than anything.

Not saying the movie would have been better off with aliens but this scene could have been changed a lot. The idea of trying to help an alternate version of yourself through writing is interesting and the film could have made that something interesting but even that element doesn’t get as much depth as you would expect. So what we have here is a sci-fi film that is only half heartedly jumping into the various concepts that it introduces. This is what keeps it from being the next big thing. Well, at least that’s one of the reasons.

We’ve got a decently big cast here and I wouldn’t even say the members are that bad. First up is Ava who is the main heroine here. She didn’t even want to go on this mission but it was the only way to potentially save her husband since the Earth wouldn’t be surviving much longer. So now that she is in space she has a lot of regrets and the idea of an alternate planet appeals to her. I will say from the jump that I think even being tempted to leave is not a good idea here. An alternate version of you may seem similar but ultimately it’s a complete different person.

So it’s best not to get attached or to distract yourself from the mission. Meanwhile you have Jensen who is a mysterious lady that appears on the ship after things start to get crazy. She reminds me of a lady who showed up late in the game in another sci-fi title called Astra Lost in Space. Jensen is a wild card here as of course the main characters can’t trust her but at the same time it’s not like they have a lot of choices either. At this point you really need all the help that you can get and you just have to hope that it goes well.

Ava’s husband doesn’t get a huge role but in a small subplot he tries to help a kid stay safe. It’s not like there are too many safe areas left but at least helping someone would be good. This plot is definitely going for the more emotional kind of vibes as it’s rather somber. It’s not until the end that this really goes anywhere. At least I did like the ending here though. This was a good cliffhanger and it gets you ready for the next film. Of course as always that seems like it’s probably a longshot but if it were to happen then that would definitely be cool. At least it ends things off on a hype note.

With a lot of drama going on in the ship you feel like this is yet another case where the heroes would do so much better if they weren’t constantly fighting among themselves. Inevitably this starts to become a country vs country thing. Some characters at least try not to get mixed up on this but it’s a very enclosed battleground so it’s not like there are a lot of places to run either. You’re basically stuck here as you just try to stay alive. There are some things that happen where you can’t blame the character for being in a bad spot like the poor guy who started merging with the wall. There wasn’t really a way to avoid that one but other things like creating a gun just amps up the odds of people snapping at each other.

The effects are good though. I thought that the spaceship looked good and it was big enough where you didn’t feel that the crew was too confined. We still got a decent amount of other sceneries throughout. On land everything was in a fairly bad spot early on so this may have been the best location for the movie to take place if you were trying to avoid the monsters for some reason. Meanwhile having the film take place on land would have been the best way to do a proper Cloverfield 2 so even to the end it feels like they are avoiding giving us what we’re really looking forward to and that’s another giant monster movie.

Overall, The Cloverfield Paradox shouldn’t have included the word “Cloverfield” at the end because this movie is barely connected to the franchise at all. They seem to love including this word just to drum up sales and it’s a bad idea. Keeping this as an individual sci-fi film would have been a much better idea. Ultimately it’s not like it would have changed a whole lot about the story itself but you can probably enjoy it more that way as opposed to waiting for the monster to appear each time. I think there are some interesting nuggets here to be sure but ultimately not enough to keep you really invested. This would have worked better as a full TV series as they start to see the differences between the Earths or maybe as a multi film series. As a stand alone you have to cover a lot of ground and so there isn’t time to really have the characters talk about this situation that they’re in. It makes for a bit of an underwhelming experience especially when it feels like the movie isn’t exactly sure of how these things work. Spending more time on the implications of this other world and some good dialogue could have helped it go to the next stage. Instead you will want to wait for the next Cloverfield film.

Overall 4/10

The Mist Review

This review is of the TV-14 edited version. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time for a rather intense thriller with a title that sounds like the Fog but the plot is very different. It’s a very interesting movie and I like the idea of being stuck inside a supermarket but the film ultimately trades the idea of a very atmospheric horror for a more graphic adventure

The movie starts with David and his son Billy heading to the supermarket to pick up some supplies. There had been a really bad thunderstorm after all so they want to be prepared. Unfortunately a heavy mist rolls in and before the characters can leave the store, a guy runs in claiming that there is some kind of monster outside. Any who walk into the mist shall vanish quicker than a wish. Everyone is rather skeptical of course including a lady who decides to run out and take her chances. It’s all very silent outside. David gets a glimpse of one of the monsters when he goes to the back room but of course most people didn’t see this. As the film goes on the characters start to get more and more desperate. Are the people in this supermarket actually more dangerous than the monsters outside?

I mean the answer should be no but at least with the monster you can count on a quick death in theory. Inside the supermarket everyone is slowly turning insane so it’s hard to say what you can expect. The main antagonist here is Carmody as she is someone who is completely delusional and tries to start a religious cult within the market. At first everyone knows that she is crazy but as the movie goes on the more weak willed members begin to believe her. It’s evident that people are losing their minds and fortunately David as well as a few other characters actually see this coming right from the jump.

Sometimes characters can be slow on the uptake for this kind of thing so I was glad that this wasn’t the case this time. They were actually ready and actively plan for this. It goes without saying that I lost respect for any and all characters who ended up siding with Carmody. It’s just so apparent that she is crazy that it’s disheartening to see these characters follow her so readily. Clearly their minds are highly susceptible to being taken over which doesn’t speak too well of them. Some things do go Carmody’s way of course but they’re all coincidental at best.

I enjoyed the first half of the film the most as the situation slowly starts to set in for the main characters. There is no easy way to escape their predicament and the supplies at the market will only last so long. Additionally the defenses at play here won’t last forever here either so simply staying put isn’t an option. No matter what you do there is going to be a huge risk. Personally I’m of the camp that says to try to get into a car and just drive away as fast as you can. I think that’s the best way to at least give yourself a chance to escape while the other methods just feel like you are delaying the inevitable which isn’t really what you are hoping for.

The atmosphere is tense and the characters all sound reasonable aside from Carmody. One of the big antagonists here is Brent and it’s not like he’s evil or anything. He just thinks that the whole story about there being a monster in the Mist is fake and he figures that David is messing with him. The two of them never really got along much before now so it’s not even that far fetched. My main issue with him was just that even if it’s not a monster within the mist, it could easily be some kind of chemical weapon or something equally destructive for your health. So walking out there isn’t the best idea if you don’t have a plan.

I liked his confidence and he is good at getting people together but ultimately he was on the wrong side in this one. If he had just been willing to work with the main characters then I dare say that the film would have gone a lot better for the main characters. It still would have been tough of course but the situation wouldn’t have deteriorated nearly as fast. Billy isn’t able to help a whole lot since he’s way too young for any of this but David does good. He comes up with a lot of plans and is quick on his feet.

He particularly did good in the back room when everyone is trying to act really macho with how they aren’t afraid of the monsters. When they all froze up, David didn’t. He kept on trying to save the poor kid and did his best throughout. He certainly loses his cool a bit during the movie but at least it’s always fairly well justified with how everything is going at the moment. He makes for a good main character here. In general the cast is fairly large. You’ve got quite a lot of people in this supermarket and they range from being reasonable people trying to help the main cast out of ones who join up with Carmody. You see where each character’s true loyalty lies in the end.

Where the second half falters for me is it starts to get really violent as the creatures start to shred everyone. Each wave of attacks from the enemies starts to get worse and worse as they really don’t hold back. People are nearly burned alive or just straight up eaten at times. One death is like something out of Alien. It’s not quite the chest bursters but it’s surprisingly similar. The movie goes quite far once we get to the violent phase and it never lets up. It may help to underscore just how dangerous a predicament everyone is in but at the expense of the slow burn it had been doing so well with.

I would have liked it if the film had stayed more like the first half. In a way I wouldn’t mind if we never even saw the creatures but of course that’s only one route. Way I see it you play the film out like this which is still a great approach in concept as the enemy waves keep coming and people have to choose between defense and escape. Or you go the alternate route where people choose if they want to leave or not but every time they enter the mist it gets really quiet so you as the viewer have to decide if they got out or not. It would be more like a Twilight Zone episode with that kind of suspense throughout. Two very valid approaches that I think could really work out for this one.

Also the ending was really bad. It’s one of the least satisfying endings I’ve seen in a while and I would completely change it. The ending is an absolutely key part of the movie so when that doesn’t live up to expectations then things get really tricky. I also disagreed with the main character’s decision there. It’s a drastic move that you would only even think about taking at the last possible moment. Not when you think something is going to happen but when it’s actually starting to happen. It’s a key difference there and the ending certainly has a lot of shock value at the ready but I didn’t like it. Kind of ends the film with a whimper.

Overall, I like the concept of the Mist. Having a big survival film where the heroes have to try and survive without turning on themselves can be a lot of fun. I’d like for the humans not to crack at least once in these things though. You could absolutely still have a lot of issues and problems come up without having the humans turn on each other. It seems unlikely that a film will end up going this route but I do think there is a whole lot of potential there. Either way the film just decided to let loose a bit too much and went for the gritty route as opposed to keeping this very ominous. I’d say to give this one a skip and instead just think about the premise and play it out in your head because it is still a sound idea.

Overall 2/10

Morgan Review

This review is of the TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

Morgan is a film with an interesting premise. That isn’t enough for me to actually call it good or anything like that but at least it is different. I also think it lays the groundwork out for future films to take place in this continuity which would keep on getting better and better. If it focused on certain elements of the climax and built off of that then this could end up being a lot of fun.

So the movie starts with Lee being sent out to a remote science lab by corporate. They want her to check in and make sure that things are okay there because there was a recent incident that has everyone concerned. The project being conducted here is the development of an android named Morgan. She is supposed to be the most advanced android of all time but she ended up seriously wounding one of the personnel so there may be a safety issue. Morgan is locked into a cell at all times as she is no longer allowed to go on daily walks after the accident. The whole staff swears that she is a good kid but Lee is unconvinced. Morgan is smart enough to notice this as well and may be forced to act quicker than she expected. Will Lee be able to leave this place alive?

There’s a lot to like here right out of the jump. For starters I would say that the atmosphere is suitably ominous. Morgan clearly seems to be saying all of the right things but as an android with incredibly state of the art software she effectively knows what the right things to say are. So does she actually mean what she is saying or is she just going through the motions. That’s what Lee has to figure out and it’s not an easy task. Bringing in a behaviors expert was a smart move there but that guy’s not too smart.

Lets look at the context here. Morgan is in trouble because she just seriously injured someone who upset her. So now Alan is trying to intentionally put her in a bad mood to test whether or not she would do this again? Hmmmm I don’t think that’s a good idea at all. You absolutely know how the scene is going to play out the instant that it appears. I wouldn’t say it’s bad writing on the film’s part, just a bad decision by Alan. Crucial difference there and the scene is handled well.

For the people who lived with Morgan the whole time it’s easy to see why they would still take her side while as an outside viewer like Lee you think the whole thing is crazy. There’s just no coming back from having back to back incidents like this including murdering someone. From here on out the movie gets a little crazier as it becomes a full on horror about an android that’s out to destroy everyone. You can say that Megan probably got the idea from this one although Morgan is portrayed as even more serious right from the start. She is wearing a hoodie and hides her face right from the 1st scene to set the tone.

The sci-fi backdrop is really solid and there are some good tunes here. The humans are on the annoying side though as the film couldn’t escape its weak cast. First up you have Skip who is portrayed as the most reasonable one. He just wants to have a good time and all but he quickly tries to pull some moves on Lee after having a previous affair prior to the film. He explains that it just gets boring there but you meet someone for one day and want to get that close? He just comes across as being really fake. He was also extremely slow on the uptake towards the end of the film. Just about anyone should have put something together by the end but instead he has to make a lot of noise. I don’t think things would have played out much differently for him if he did something else but it’s still not the ideal way to go.

Alan also wasn’t smart but I already covered him. Lui seemed more reasonable at least, she just overestimated how much conviction the rest of the team would have. Ultimately they let her down and she probably should have seen the whole thing through from the start. Then you have Kathy whose role is actually quite a bit smaller than most of the other characters. She’s in bed for most of the adventure but gets out just in time to be in some trouble of her own so that was probably not the best move. The character with the biggest role here is Amy who also doesn’t handle anything very well.

She’s the only adult who was by Morgan’s side the whole time. I actually thought Morgan was going to be angrier at her because Amy started to falter at the end but Morgan cut her some slack. From there if you’re Amy you have two real options. Leverage this and try to support Morgan in order to preserve your own existence or if you think she really should survive or you quickly make a break for it when you can. Instead Amy just tends to freeze up at every circumstance and sticks around long enough to get herself in trouble all the time. I didn’t really care for Amy. She’s always being a rebel and that’s fine but she’s a rebel without much of an end game. She was humane to Morgan and always tried to help her out so that was good at least.

If she only could have been more understanding then things could have maybe been different. There’s one scene in particular that hurt the movie a lot when Morgan ends up murdering a deer. The scene is unnecessary and should have been played out in much different ways. Get rid of the animal and you could show her logic processors another way. Still, in context what happened here is that Morgan saw the deer was dying but a very slow death as it had gotten stabbed. So she quickly finished it off in order to stop the pain. It’s disturbing to watch but you understand the general idea.

So why did Amy panic so much? You’re dealing with a sophisticated android that doesn’t fully understand emotions yet. Shouldn’t you be able to understand why Morgan did that and explain why it made you feel uncomfortable. There were so many things Amy could have done but did not and it made her look really bad here. You can’t just fumble the ball at the worst possible time like this. It puts everyone in a really bad situation.

The climax throws in everyone getting slaughtered one by one so that’s when the film really finds its horror roots. For most of the film it was an atmospheric horror but this is where it turned into more of a shock type title. I did really appreciate two of the fight scenes towards the end though. Now those were a lot of fun and if the whole film was like that then it would have really gone to the next level. That’s why a sequel could be really solid.

I mentioned that most of the cast was weak but Lee is an exception to this. Right from the start she is a great main character. She’s all about logic and making the correct decision so that’s a nice contrast to Morgan who does the logical thing because she was programmed that way. The film lays a lot of groundwork down for Lee and showing how she works as a character which works well throughout the movie. By the end you’re really satisfied with how she was portrayed the whole time. Meanwhile Morgan is also a log of fun. She makes for a solid antagonist who may fly off the handle a lot but it shows how you can’t totally trust her. Any character with incredible abilities like this is probably hard to trust if we’re being honest there. All it takes is one slip up and that’s game over.

Overall, Morgan had a lot of good ideas and it was a different kind of horror film. It should definitely get some solid props for that but at the end of the day it does return to form by the end of the movie with the brutal murders everywhere and that random animal violence moment didn’t help matters. If you really like horror films then you should check this one out but otherwise you’re better off watching Terminator Genysis if you want to see some android action. Now that one gets real intense the whole way through.

Overall 2/10

A.I.C.O. -Incarnation Review


It’s time for another Sci-Fi show. There are quite a lot of these anime running around and this one really goes into the technical elements. Get ready for a lot of discussions on the burst, alien life forms, and cloning which can be pretty intense but at times it also means that the pacing can be a bit slow. This is a good title but another one where it takes the show a very long time to really get good. I don’t think it fully found its footing until near the end and the ending wasn’t ideal so while there is some replay value here, it won’t be near the top of the list.

So a while back there was an incident known as The Burst! A lot of people died in it and now some organisms known as Matter rule the area. They’re effectively mindless and touching it will result in your death unless you destroy the contaminated limb quickly. Now you need professionals just to get near it if you want to study the area or something like that. Our main character is a girl named Aiko and her family was seemingly murdered by matter but one day a guy named Yuya appears and says that this isn’t the case. They are still alive and Aiko needs to save them.

This guy is a bit shady though as he’s on the run from a mysterious military group and wants her to follow him without question. Aiko does want to save her family though so even though it means leaving her friends and old life behind, she follows him. Yuya and some other shady guys have enlisted a group of professionals who will guide them through the affected areas of the burst. At its center is presumably where Aiko’s mother and younger brother are. Once they save them then the day is saved….or is it? What does Yuya want out of this? Aiko figures she has no choice but to trust him….but this could be a mistake.

Now I would call that the basic plot but a lot of other things start to occur as the series goes on. I’ll go more into it in a minute but we have to answer the tough questions like if a clone is truly alive and what it means to sacrifice one. Do you sacrifice a town to save a kid who might be trapped within the Burst? Then you’ve got the government groups all fighting each other and a whole lot of chaos as outside governments want to weigh in on the conversation. I think the show could have tackled all of this in more interesting ways because there is a lot of cool stuff to discuss here but for the most part it is satisfied being more of a low key show that talks about it but mainly just from the main characters’ view. Extending this with another 10-12 episodes and bringing in more outside forces could have worked.

As far as the animation goes…it’s decent. I wouldn’t say it looks very good or anything like that but it’s not bad. It’s more that there aren’t a lot of good fight scenes because typically they’re just fighting the matter which is effectively mindless and can’t fight back beyond lunging at everyone so the fights aren’t super exciting. There are some episodes where you have the characters blasting the matter for the whole episode and yet you’re not excited because it isn’t a real opponent. Fortunately at the very end of the show we do get a real villain but it is very near to the end by that point.

As for the soundtrack, it’s not on the memorable side. The tunes within the episodes just don’t stand out and I wasn’t a big fan of the opening. It’s got to be one of the least exciting ones that I’ve heard in a while. The show is just not impressive on a technical sense so that means the actual story needs to hook you which it does not. This is starting to sound rather negative so I should say that what keeps this from being a bad show is that it does execute on some of the potential. While it does tend to drag out some elements and not take others to their full use, at least it is trying to tackle a bunch of Sci-Fi themes. Throw in an explosive climax (Even if the ending is underwhelming) and you’re really all set to at least get things interesting for the end. To it’s not the most engaging show out there and loses in most head to heads, however if you are looking for a decent Sci-Fi title to bring up then I would eventually mention this one. It’s still good enough where I could recommend it.

Now as for the characters, first up we have Aiko as the lead. I do think she’s a bit too trusting with the whole Yuya situation. She wants to save her family and that’s great but you still have to keep your guard up at all times or else you’re just going to walk into a trap. As the show goes on the mission appears to be riskier and riskier all the time. By the end Aiko learns a lot and makes a lot of good decisions. I do think she handled things maturely and did try to help out as best she could. Her being a bit naïve is her only bad trait, beyond that I liked her well enough as the main heroine.

She would actually contribute by firing the cannons and would disobey any order that told her to stand down. So Aiko did have some toughness to her and that was really important because if she was a passive main heroine then it would have been that much easier for the villains to take her down. As it played out this way, she was at least able to make decisions of her own and stayed in control of her destiny. Aiko definitely surpassed expectations here.

Unfortunately I could not say the same about Yuya. This guy starts off reasonably well as he’s very mysterious but you figure he’s got a good plan at the ready. You have to decide if you trust him the way that Aiko does or if this is all some kind of big mistake. Ultimately I did not agree with his plan at all and that is what ended up hurting him here. He is willing to make a whole lot of sacrifices and while the other characters get him to be more reasonable by the end, it doesn’t change what he was willing to do. You can’t trust him and he grew worse as the series went on.

One area where the show struggles is with the supporting cast though. Outside of Aiko and Yuya, the divers don’t really stand out. There are quite a few of them and you have the gruff leader, the hyper newcomer, etc but there isn’t much to them beyond that. One of these guys is Kazuki and he ends up liking Aiko from the start. It’s not a good idea to fall for the person you are escorting since this is supposed to be a mission where you stay neutral and everything. He definitely fails on that end.

I do give him credit for always having Aiko’s back though. He’s probably the only character in the series who doesn’t waver or get tempted to abandon her at any point. Yeah that’s because he likes her but isn’t that still a pretty good complement to his dedication regardless? When she falls into the cafe and asks for help he immediately tries to get her out of there while everyone else was still hesitating. That counts for something.

Unfortunately it’s not like he’s super strong or anything so ultimately he can’t stand in the way of the government but he tries his best. You figure that he’s doomed from the start too so you feel bad for him there. Maho and Daisuke are the two leaders of the diver operation so they have a lot of experience but they don’t tend to contribute a whole lot. As you watch the show you’ll see that they technically talk with the crew and make decisions but ultimately don’t change things up.

At least someone like Kaede may make her share of mistakes as she dives into the fights but she’s memorable because she gets a whole character arc about maybe being too impulsive. Her partner Haruka always takes the blame when this happens but it causes Kaede to really think about how she has been handling this situation. At the end of the day she doesn’t want to create more trouble and so she gets a bit more cautious as the show goes on. Haruka doesn’t really get an arc like this in comparison but at least this makes it easier on her as well.

Yoshihiko has his hands full with Kazuki but does as well as can be expected. He’s the more calm member of the duo so he usually has to end up being more of a boring character there but his advice isn’t wrong and in terms of pure skill he is probably better than Kazuki. Together these divers are good enough to blast away at the blobs and we’re told that they are the best in the business so even with their character flaws they make it work. Fighting in teams of 2 helps out with that I suppose.

Outside of the whole main plot with the heroes trying to save Aiko’s family we’ve also got a whole government conspiracy plotline going on as well. This isn’t quite as interesting as it could have been but I always appreciate seeing their take on things. The main character here is Akiko and her ongoing banter/feud with Susumu. They used to work together but now he’s on the rebel side with Yuyu while she works for the government. This leads to a lot of disagreements and subtle threats between the two. It’s always very subtle of course but you can’t help but think that Akiko actually would take Susumu down if she could.

I think what would help this plot a bit would be to have the characters actually talk things out a bit more. Typically how the conversation goes is she would ask him for details and after he gives the intel she hangs up on him. She’s very openly using him the whole time until the end where she decides to help but because of that there is no ideological battle or anything like that. I think that’s a missed opportunity because there is a whole lot you could do with that otherwise. She was a decent character though while Susumu is mainly forgettable.

The real standout character here is Kyosuke as the main villain. Basically he wants to save his daughter who is in a coma after the burst. He thinks that the answer to saving her lies within Aiko and that goes against Yuyu’s plan here so they are naturally at odds. It’s always a good idea to have the villain get a decent motive though and having him want to save his sister was an effective way to do that. He seems like a reasonable guy for the most part but as the show goes on he starts to go more and more off the deep end.

We even see how he used to function normally with how he had some friends and other doctors who had his back. Eventually they just weren’t able to do this anymore but it was nice to see because it makes sense that he would have some allied by this point. The premise makes it unlikely for everyone to have a happy ending but you are hoping that she will be able to pull through at least. Then thanks to Kyosuke we do have some more action by the end.

The climax still isn’t super exciting but at least it’s a bit different. Instead of all the blobs being mindless, now you have some being controlled by him and some by the daughter. Then you have Aiko controlling others as well so it all gets really crazy. The show’s ending is not very satisfying though which was another missed opportunity. So what I’m saying here is that the concept of the show was better than the execution. Giving us more monsters and such would have been great or give us more government meetings about what to do with the burst. This was a huge event that the show barely even bothers talking about except to nuke it all. I want to know more about the origins and how the other countries are taking this. It’s touched on but just barely.

Okay now I’m going to quickly talk about some of the more in depth parts of the show so skip the next 3 paragraphs if you haven’t seen it yet. Head out now because we’re starting fast:

So the big twist here is that Yuyu is trying to save the real Aiko who was captured by the monsters a while back and is used sort of like a core. He intends to sacrifice the cloned Aiko to bring the real one back to life. This touches on the classic theme of if a clone is truly alive or not. (The right answer is that the clone is alive so destroying it would be awful) As we’ve been with the clone Aiko the whole show we feel like she is alive and you would hope that he could see that but he doesn’t. Even up to the end he intends to destroy her until Kazuki knocks some sense into him. Of course by that point Aiko convinces herself to die for the original. It’s an interesting dynamic where both the clone and original would rather sacrifice themselves to save the original.

Clone Aiko looks a little bad at first though because she is fine with someone being sacrificed for a while but when the twist is that she will be the one sacrificed then she isn’t happy about the plan. I know she eventually comes around but it wasn’t the best look since it seemed to imply that she would be fine with someone else dying. It’s a good twist about the two Aikos though and the show has a good amount of foreshadowing for it. It’s easily one of the most interesting parts of the show and you know it must have been tough to be stuck within the Burst for so long without any way out. Likewise for the daughter who was in a coma but still conscious within the void all this time.

The show could be a little dark when you think about all of this but it’s not going for that angle. Now why did I not like the ending? Well, they save both Aikos which is great and what I was hoping for but they decide the family isn’t ready to know this and so one of them can never see the family again after the final goodbye. Cmon that doesn’t make sense to me, we’ve just survived a big sci-fi apocalypse. They can handle seeing two Aikos and the ending just feels unfair/forced. I didn’t buy that excuse and it just made the show forego what should have been a really happy ending.

If I could change one thing to improve the show rather dramatically it’s that I would cut out one episode of the heroes running through the mindless monsters and add it to the beginning. Have Aiko decide not to trust Yuyu at first and gradually she realizes that she wants to take a risk and goes off with him. That would help the pacing because part of what hurt the show is that the pacing died around the middle. You had multiple episodes of blasting away at the mindless ooze and it’s just not exciting. There’s action but how dangerous can these creatures really be? (Surprisingly they do pretty good at times)

After all in some ways the slice of life parts were better than the apocalyptic adventure which should never happen. I liked Aiko’s best friend even if she never appeared after the opening episode. The scenes of the characters talking and planning were better than when they were running through the endless labyrinth of monster zones. There’s even a blue gel creature that randomly shows up and at least you could wonder what it’s deal was. Meanwhile fighting the sludge monsters didn’t do anything for me.

Overall, A.I.C.O. Incarnation is a good show. While I had a laundry list of issues and weak points for the show, it shows just how strong the ideas and premise was. I saw a lot of potential that was left on the table and that’s what really made the show underwhelming for me. It didn’t look great on a technical level but could have still thrived without it. Unfortunately the writing and plot direction could not compensate enough for this. If you want to watch a Sci-Fi show though then this is a good one to check out because it’s short and it does touch on all those themes I mentioned. At least you can ponder them even if the show has no time for this.

Overall 6/10

Earthchild Review


I remember all the hype this series got when it was first announced. It was going to be the next big title, a really great superhero story that was also part romance between an ordinary guy and the super talented heroine. Well, the series swerved that premise right off the bat in chapter 1 and it felt like the series never recovered. Now I got to binge the whole series so my experience may be different than someone reading weekly but I can get why the route the series ended up taking wasn’t as exciting. It was fairly different than I had expected even knowing the twist. It’s a good series but I can definitely see why it was cancelled, you can only bait and switch the audience so many times.

The series starts off by introducing us to Reisuke who is a super average guy in every way. That’s his complete character personality but then one day he is saved by a superhero. She quickly erases his memory and goes back to saving the world but for some reason he is still able to remember her. Why? Because he has fallen in love! The power of love is able to negate the memory erasure and so after trying again the heroine decides to let Reisuke hang out with her. Her name is Kareri and she’s never been able to open up to anyone before. Since her life is so crazy and full of danger, being with someone ordinary like Reisuke puts her at peace. They decide to have a kid together…and then she dies stopping a meteor from hitting the Earth. Now Reisuke will have to raise their child by himself.

So of course this is the big switch that nobody wanted. Everyone was hoping for a fun story about a couple raising their kid and a lot of adventures from there. It would almost be something like Spy X Family at least on the surface level but very different with the superhero angle. Well, that’s out the window and chapter 1 ends with Reisuke realizing that he now holds the worlds future in his hands. The writing for the series is awful like this whole line when his wife just died but we’ll go into that later.

The series quickly changes gears because a chapter or two later we find out that Kareri is still alive but trapped in stone. So yeah the plot’s changing again. The actual plot of the series is that Reisuke has to find a way to get into space and save her but to do this, he will have to teach Mamoru (Who is still a baby) how to control his powers. So lets get into the lore here. Kareri was an “EarthChild” which is why she had superpowers. This just randomly happens to people of Earth where occasionally they’ll be born with powers.

How occasionally is “occasionally?” well, there have only been a small handful of these types in the last few decades. There can only be one primary Earthchild at a time and they are given their powers to save the Earth from a world ending threat. It is then their destiny to die against this threat and the power moves onto someone else. If the user somehow survives past their allotted time then they will naturally start to lose their powers as the next user gets it. So one of the themes here is people telling Reisuke not to save his wife since he will be defying destiny. If he listened to them then he would be an F rank main character so fortunately he doesn’t.

The series is 27 chapters long and this plot takes close to 20 chapters. We then get a final arc that’s about 5 chapters long but lets talk about this saga some more because I think it’s probably where the series doomed itself. This is already far too many plot changes. Usually you need to have some kind of focus before you get into the next arcs but the author didn’t really seem to plan things out all that much.

It also feels like the chapters go in circles a whole lot. For example, at one point Reisuke takes their kid Mamoru over to space to save Kareri but then he realizes that Mamoru wouldn’t recognize her in the stone. So they head back to Earth and waste some time talking to her parents where we get a whole subplot about how their memories were removed. We then head back into space again and here’s where the ping pong starts. Reisuke goes outside to save her but…he fails so he has to head back to the station. Then he goes out to save her again and succeeds, but dies in the process as she wakes up. Then she risks her life to save him and fails so she goes back to the space station. Then she goes back out again to stop a new thread and Reisuke comes back to life and helps her out.

It’s a really long sequence of repetitive steps before the arc is over. A lot of these were for big cliffhangers to make you think that one of them really was going to die but that never felt very likely. Why introduce the twist of her still being alive if she was going to die right? What took us past chapter 20 should have only lasted until around chapter 10-15. There was just a lot of unnecessary steps here like failing the mission only to try again in 2 chapters and succeed this time. There wasn’t a lot of point to that.

After a while I thought that the series would just end with this arc. I’m glad it didn’t since the final arc is a bit more exciting. I never became a big fan of any of the characters either. There was one that I liked at least but for the most part the others could be annoying a lot of the time and it’s hard to succeed without great characters. Lets start off with the main character Reisuke.

His gimmick of being totally ordinary gets old fast but the guy also whines a whole lot. He cries in almost every chapter since he wishes that he could be stronger and often makes the wrong call like putting power inhibitors on his kid before realizing how crazy that is. Then he runs towards death on multiple occasions before being pulled back by the other characters who remind him that dying would be bad for his kid. They have to remind him of this numerous times. The reason Reisuke takes these risks is he gives up on controlling Mamoru’s powers and wants his kid to have fun even if it means dying in the process. That’s just not a very good option.

Almost every chapter will have him giving up before someone gives him a speech about how great he is and then he gets up to get the job done. I figure this must be what it’s like for people who watch CW’s The Flash. Yeah Reisuke ends up saving the day in the end but a lot of the time it’s cheesy. Remember that time he actually died? There is never an explanation given for how he is able to come back to life aside from his love for his family.

Apparently this love is so strong that even death cannot claim him which is…..not a great explanation. Everyone also respects this guy a whole lot considering how he’s always breaking rules and causing a fuss. One character who slaps him ends up thinking of him as a very mature hero by the end. Nobody can stay mad at this guy. I like some of his qualities though. I like that he’s determined to save his wife no matter what. I think he can come up with good ideas sometimes (Rarely) and that he is determined.

These are all great qualities but the way he executes them can be awful. There are several times he basically decides to go no a suicide mission because he figures it’s better than doing nothing so the other characters have to remind him that it is worse than doing nothing since he has a kid to look after. Eventually they talk him down and come up with a real plan each time. There’s also one moment where he takes off his helmet in space and it’s supposed to be an emotional moment but you just wonder how he’s not dead yet.

The author is actually bold enough to claim that taking your helmet off in deep space may not destroy you and cited some scientific paper about a one time exception that supposedly happened in real life. I didn’t bother googling that so maybe it’s legit but I have my doubts. The romance here is also really cringe at times but I’ll get into that more later. Needless to say, I wasn’t very impressed by this guy.

Then we have Kareri as the main heroine. I think she could have been a lot cooler as well. Her character arc is fairly classic as she used to be super cold and efficient at her job but after meeting Reisuke and falling in love with him her whole life started to revolve around him. She couldn’t help but talk about him nonstop, she was a lot nicer while being a hero and she gets flustered whenever someone brings him up. Pretty much all her scenes with Reisuke have one of them closing their eyes in embarrassment or covering their eyes because they can’t handle this.

I think we should have seen more of Kareri’s actual missions before getting together with Reisuke. That’s probably the riskiest thing about having them get together in the very first chapter. Yes there are some time skips so it’s not like they immediately got married but since it’s off screen it feels like we didn’t get to know the cold version of her. So when we learn about how she used to be a lot more serious through exposition and the occasional flashback, it doesn’t hit as hard.

Her powers are also kept rather vague. Basically all Earthchildren have the same ability which is telekinesis and it seems to be just strong enough to accomplish whatever goal they need to. It just seems inconsistent as sometimes she is really strong and other times she isn’t. It’s clear that this isn’t an action series with how none of this is thought through all that much. I guess just roll with it as it’s not too important and it’s not like there are any traditional supervillains either.

The main supporting character from the government is Yuma and he’s an agent of Waste. (Yes that’s the main organization’s name so Reisuke can’t help but make a pun about Trash later on) Their job is to watch over the Earthchild and ensure that he/she is able to complete the mission. In the first chapter this guy is ruthless and almost insanely aggressive as he starts to force Reisuke to lose his memories and is tossing out insults left and right.

Then Reisuke gives a speech and he immediately switches up to being more of a soft spoken nice guy. It’s such a dramatic shift that even Reisuke comments on this. For the rest of the series Yuma is actually the encouraging member who tells Reisuke to believe in his marriage and drive to save Kareri. He’s all on board for helping people and making Waste less of a shady organization. It’s all just such a drastic character change that they should have removed his role in the first chapter. We even get a flashback from his POV for chapter 1 later to do some damage control but I wasn’t buying it.

There are two next door neighbors from Waste in Todoroki and Kasuya but even though they’re introduced as if they will become big characters, they don’t get to do much. Maybe they would have been bigger if the series had kept on going. They seem decent enough even if they’re trying to get Reisuke to give up his kid as well. These guys are definitely relentless that’s for sure.

Now for the first character who is actually rather solid we have Albert. His gimmick is that he thinks the world is one big adventure and that makes him the main character of the story. He believes that he is the true main character but to a lesser extent everyone else is the main character of their stories. He has some very minor abilities which were used as a big cliffhanger but after that he never looks as impressive with them again. He is mainly here to give Reisuke some encouragement when he’s feeling down but at least he is actually convincing with it.

I can actually get behind this guy and root for him. He wants to help people out too but isn’t as wishy washy as Reisuke is. Albert also has the saddest character backstory in the series by far. I have to say that his brother was also a terrific character and I would say he’s the best in the series if we count him. The guy only appears for a chapter after all but he was great. That’s definitely the right way to complete your mission and defy destiny.

After that we’re introduced to Maromi who is on the space station and she’s a super whiny character. She literally writes in a journal about how Earthchildren are unfair because they can do whatever they want and she has to work hard to succeed. Maromi has barely met any of them and is still so jealous the whole time. You can understand why she is jealous to an extent but it’s a terrible first impression when that is her whole focus for her first chapter. Couldn’t she have had some positive character traits to balance that out? She never ended up growing on me but don’t worry, she gives Reisuke a pep talk later on as well.

That about wraps up the character cast from that arc. So lets head onto the final arc now which is really rushed but it’s interesting. So of course Reisuke saved Kareri and they were now at peace so we get a time skip of around 6 years. Mamoru is older now and can use his powers. They’ve also figured out that Reisuke is an amplifier with the power of love. Physical contact with his family makes their powers stronger and likewise the farther away he is, the weaker they get. So he has to be around at all times and the 3 of them stop threats together. One person doesn’t like this though…Earth.

Earth appeared earlier briefly but the planet takes the form of a high school girl as its avatar. Basically she explains to Reisuke that he’s getting in the way since she controls destiny and Kareri was supposed to die. This is the scene where she keeps murdering him but he keeps reviving because of the power of love. So she returns for vengeance and is once again trying to murder him. The climax of the series is the 3 characters fighting Earth but they have to be careful because if they destroy Earth….well they’ll have destroyed Earth.

That said, she’s shown to be far above them so that’s not much of an option anyway. She can cause natural disasters on a whim and her avatar is for visual purposes but can’t really be hurt anyway. Earth also points out that she has time on her side and can attack 24/7 for years and years until they die from exhaustion. Realistically I don’t see them being able to fight for more than 3 hours nonstop with how much power she had. Of course this leads to the power of love and the climax is…a family meeting at the dinner table with Earth invited.

It’s a very cheesy ending but I was expecting it since the series is all about sitting down and chatting. Earth was also shown to be way too powerful to be stopped. Regardless I did like the arc because it was interesting to have Earth itself as the main villain. I thought that she was a very fun villain. The whole thing is a bit contrived though because you can’t tell me that she couldn’t have found a way to bump Reisuke off during those 6 years. Just have a big piece of hail randomly fall down while he’s walking one day or an Earthquake happen to murder him. There are plenty of opportunities given how many powers she has.

I also like how the lollipop she is always eating is a mini version of Earth. Just a stylistic thing that’s kind of fun. So that’s the series in a nutshell and as you can see I had quite a few problems with it. It also has that annoying tendency to have someone narrate from the future the whole time. The narrator is confirmed early on to be their kid Mamoru. You can see why this is bad right? It confirms that he survives the first arc since he’s talking from the future and we even flashback to the future a few times. From the way the dialogue goes we can also confirm that at least the father dies but with just a little bit of analysis you can see that they both lived.

Considering that the “will they live?” question is supposed to be massive with the constant cliffhangers, this removes all of the tension. I never liked future narration as a concept and it doesn’t work at all here. The other big negative as I mentioned is that the romance isn’t written well at all. It’s one of those romances that is super over the top with both characters constantly blushing because the other one said something so bold. Wouldn’t they get used to it after a while? No, every time they talk you’ll have Reisuke hiding his face in embarrassment because he said his true feelings or Kareri saying something nice and then blushing right away.

I might be spoiled from reading/watching romances that are a lot more subtle and feel more realistic but this one could be hard to read with those pages. There was no variety either, it’s the same gags for all of their dates and character moments. A lot of the dialogue didn’t make sense either like Kareri asking Reisuke if he was embarrassed to have her as a girlfriend when he panicked at her using her powers in the open. No…he just pointed out that people don’t know she has powers so that could cause an issue. It’s like she jumped to a really crazy conclusion there.

The writing in general is bad though. Like I mentioned earlier, in chapter 1 right after she seemingly dies, Reisuke has this inner monologue where he is stressed because now he has to raise the kid on his own and this kid is the future of humanity! Is this really what you would be thinking of right away? It’s a little bold to come to that conclusion too. There are too many speeches here and Reisuke is such an annoying main character even though he should be good. The series goes in circles a whole lot during the first arc and all of this add up to the series being cancelled early.

So, what should it have done to avoid being cancelled? Well, right off the bat I would say that they shouldn’t have killed Kareri off in the first chapter. That just destroys the premise and makes no sense. If you’re going to do that, do it much later in the story so we can see the dynamic first. If you have to bump her off though, rescue her by chapter 10. Cut out the visit to the parents and training the baby at the abandoned beach. We go right to a plan to save her with the other Earthchild and then we jump to the time skip with Earth’s revenge. Fast forward after that and Waste can be the main villains as they try to weaponize the fighters.

You could then jump into their shady history of speeding kids up from the age of 1 to 11 and all of that other stuff. It would make the series a bit more fast paced and cut right to the action. It wouldn’t resolve the writing issue as you would just need another writer for that but I think it could have captured people’s attention more. Now this probably sounds like a brutal review with all the shots I’m taking here but I wouldn’t call this a bad manga still. It’s basically a 6 on the large scale.

The reason for that is that it’s still an interesting manga and an easy read. I blasted through the whole series in one day. Well, it’s only 27 chapters so that’s not super impressive but still it was enticing enough for me to keep going. It also helps that the art is really solid. There are the occasional moments where there’s a small mistake or a character is off model but for the most part I was quite impressed. This looks more like a veteran manga than a new one.

While this wouldn’t fit the bill as an action manga since there aren’t a lot of fights, it can still be a good adventure. I liked a lot of the concepts that were brought in like Earth which could have gone into more interesting things had the series kept on going. Death’s waiting room is also an intriguing concept although it probably brings more problems than fixes when you really think about it. There would have to be more of a plot twist about Reisuke for me to ever accept how he kept defying death like that.

One thing that also earns it points is how the series is very anti-destiny. Every time the Earth talks about destiny or other characters do, Reisuke just keeps yelling that he’ll defy destiny and all of that. He never takes no for an answer and keeps on fighting until his family can have a happy ending. That’s always the right approach to me because someone talking about destiny shouldn’t deter you at all. Call their bluff and keep on fighting, it’s the only way to go!

Overall, Earthchild was definitely very different than I imagined. If it ever bothered to stick to the main setup of the two parents raising their superpowered kid then this could have actually been solid. The series just got a little too ambitious before immediately backpedaling and then being caught in a circle. I don’t think I’ve seen a manga so unsure of what to do before but maybe that’s part of what keeps you reading. You’re just wondering how long they can possibly stick this out for. Personally I was expecting the rescue to take up the whole series by the end. The script is also so cheesy that you may get a few chuckles in there at times. I absolutely see why it was cancelled but reading it as a mini series, it’s a good read. I’d recommend this if you’re looking for a fun sci-fi romance to check out. Just don’t read it for the actual romance but instead for the emotional journey of seeing how far Reisuke will go to save his wife.

Overall 6/10

Deep Rising Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative

It’s time for a movie about survival with a little mystery thrown in for good measure. The movie’s got a fairly interesting premise although I wouldn’t say it makes the most of this and a fantastic ending but one that likely won’t be followed up on. So the movie’s in a rather interesting space there but it does have its moments. You’ll just walk away feeling like it left a lot of meat on the bone.

The movie starts off with John and his crew carrying a bunch of shady characters on their boat. John runs an operation where he will take you and your people/belongings to wherever you want. He won’t ask questions as long as he gets his money and so a lot of crooks love this. This particular group is really shady but it’s all going good until John’s partner Joey decides to make trouble for all of them. It’s only the first in what would soon be a whole lot of issues from that guy. Now all of the good will is lost and the heroes know too much so they’re taken aboard the cruise that the villains were going on. There’s just one problem…all of the passengers have vanished somehow. John needs to think of a way off this boat and fast or his group will follow suit.

The villains are led by Hanover as their version of John. This guy is after something within the ship and it’s clearly important because even the disappearance of everyone on the ship isn’t enough for him to turn back. Definitely a massive tactical error on his part to be honest. This is already such a strange situation that you shouldn’t want to get anywhere close. Of course with the ship they had been using already busted by this point, he was between a rock and a hard place.

What I appreciated about the film is how petty this guy is in addition to being evil. There is one moment later on in the film where he is given the option to go out painlessly or try to attack one of the heroes again. Naturally he goes with the latter and I haven’t seen a villain that determined in a while. It definitely shows what kind of man he was even to the bitter end. He was the most interesting villain by far though and had a good dynamic with the heroes.

I already mentioned that Joey causes a lot of trouble and he definitely does get real annoying in this movie. Why would he have to check on what the villains brought on the ship? The whole point of the agreement is that everything is kept secret so the drivers don’t have to know what’s going on. Joey put the whole crew in danger and without any payoff. Okay so the heroes know that the villains are carrying nukes. What are they going to do about it? Sometimes it’s best not to know. Of course the best option would be to not drive these guys in the first place but since they’re already doing that anyway, then it becomes an issue when Joey is putting them in a bad spot like this.

Joey also wastes a grenade later on during clutch time and doesn’t come up big at any points. He’s always got something to say and while this can result in some good lines once in a while, on the whole he just wasn’t very good and I wouldn’t say that he was a big success as the comic relief either. He’s a character that you just wanted out of the way as soon as possible that’s for sure.

Now John was a good main character though. He took a lot of big risks when needed in order to help his crew and stood up to the villains. It’s not like he’s a fighter and he was heavily outnumbered but John wasn’t going to let one of his guys get beaten to death. I appreciated his courage there and throughout the film he is good at improvising and turning losses into wins. He’s the kind of guy you could definitely look up to and a large reason why the film works well enough is directly because of him.

There is also Leila but she actually doesn’t get a lot to do from the main 3. She misses out on the full adventure because she has to stay on the other ship to work on repairs while everyone else goes aboard the cruiser. You can imagine that things don’t go great for her. I would go as far as to say that she’s pretty much a wasted character. I didn’t think that her role really made a difference in the story to the point where you could cut her out completely and nothing would really change. That’s never a good thing for a character.

By far the worst character here is Simon though. He’s one of those traitors who just wants a lot of money and is willing to destroy a ton of people in order to get his big pay day. The guy continues to get worse and worse as the film goes on. It’s pretty crazy just how awful this guy is. He lasts a long time too so once he is around you can expect him to betray the heroes over and over again. If there is a way for him to make the adventure harder then that is what he’ll do.

Meanwhile you also have a thief named Trillian running around the ship. She’s an interesting character. I tend to like the classic thief types. She has some skills but ultimately picked off a bit more than she could chew with this cruise. They have an impressive amount of security measures in place and it’s clear that this is the kind of boat you would be on if you want to be safe. You know..not counting the monsters but that’s not exactly the cruise’s fault. Trillian helps out a lot during the battles and knows how to use a gun so I appreciated that. She contributes a ton in getting the heroes out of a bad situation.

In general the movie had some good humor at times and the pacing was good. I liked the mystery and intrigue of how everyone vanished. Of course you know it involves a monster if you’ve seen the trailers or read the synopsis but if you went in blind then that would really be a compelling angle to be wondering about. The monster itself doesn’t appear for a while but once it does, it actually does get a good amount of screen time. This isn’t one of those films trying to hide the monster the whole time, when it shows up its ready for a lot of action and to claim some big wins.

It’s not the most impressive monster design but either way it’s not a creature you would want to fight in the ocean. That would put you in a bad spot because it’s so strong. It would be nice if it was fully bullet proof though. I feel like making the eyes vulnerable takes away from the giant monster experience a bit. I also would have liked the film to play around with the empty cruise a bit more. Have the characters wonder more about what happened here and slowly get picked off. That was some of the best scenes in the film so stretching it out a bit longer before they found survivors would have been fun.

The movie can get a little violent at times. This creature isn’t holding back after all. I wouldn’t say that it ever gets into Alien territory or anything like that but there are definitely big kills in the film and the monster isn’t afraid to really make the humans suffer.

Overall, Deep Rising is a reasonable monster movie. More films should try this mystery dynamic as it has a lot of potential behind it. It’s just a shame that we’re not getting a sequel because the ending was perfect. I think it would have ended up leading up to a sequel that would have been even better than the original. I would have had really high hopes for that one and I think it would have absolutely paid off. Ah well, either way if you like films with a little creature action and survival themes then this is a good one to check out. It’s on the fence on if I would really recommend it to someone but you can tell more or less if this is your style of movie. Picture Alien but a bit lighter with more banter and a comic relief character at the ready and more of an escape option since they aren’t trapped in space.

Overall 5/10

Revisions Review


Revisions should remind you a lot of Attack on Titan in several ways. The main character is big into revenge and the world is quite apocalyptic so it’s got those vibes right from the jump. A whole lot happens in the show and it’s got a satisfying ending so this makes for an impactful 12 episodes. There’s a whole lot left to look at for future seasons so hopefully we get a sequel at some point.

The show starts by introducing us to Daisuke who trains hard every day. The reason for this is that he was kidnapped as a child and saved by a mysterious lady named Milo. She told him to train because one day he would have to save everyone from an impending disaster. Many years have passed though and everyone thinks that Daisuke is crazy. Even his friends don’t have his back and prefer not to even think about that incident which disturbs Daisuke. It’s like they’re just trying to forget everything for some reason. Still, the prophecy comes true when the city is suddenly transported into a desolate future where monsters have invaded. Milo appears again and gives Daisuke a mech suit which he can use to fight the invaders off. Finally all of his training has paid off but Daisuke almost seems happy about this which concerns his friends. Their friendship will be tested as humanity tries to survive this crazy situation.

Right off the bat this is a great premise. For once it’s not just one character who has been isekai’d but the entire city. So you’ve got a bunch of people all trying to adapt to this crazy situation in the future going up against monsters and the like. It also gives us a rare opportunity to se the government’s reaction to this. Naturally some of them crack under the pressure immediately while others stay the course and do what they can to help. It’s a nice dynamic that we don’t see too often. Additionally there’s an alien race that is here claiming they can help but it all could be a trap. So there is a lot going on in every episode.

This show starts off strong right out of the gate with a very powerful first episode. While the show is usually not all that violent, it does go all out in the first episode as the monster shreds everyone to pieces. We get to see which characters are brave like Daisuke and which ones end up cracking like the teacher but more on her later on. I thought the show did a good job of not dwelling on the violence too much while still emphasizing the danger here. Daisuke was also a great character right out of the jump and the mystery about what Milo said at the beginning was also very interesting. I do think that the show doesn’t capitalize on every plot that it throws out there like one involving memories that I thought was going to be a big deal but it covers a lot in 12 episodes. I actually thought this was going to have to run for 24 for a minute there but they do tie just about everything up.

This is an example of higher quality CGI as well. It’s still CG so I won’t say that it’s perfect but we have some solid action scenes here and the character models are good. There are a lot of great still shots that really stand out as well. The soundtrack is also good. I wouldn’t call it great, but I liked a tune or two in there and the opening is definitely catchy. On a technical level the show doesn’t falter and since the story is already good that’s a double winner right there. The pacing is really good and the story is on point so there’s a lot to like here.

The show doesn’t have any real big negatives either. The cast is strong and there’s never a dull moment in the series. There isn’t much fanservice at all and the violence is manageable. This has to be one of the rare apocalyptic shows that doesn’t feel it has to shove numerous character deaths in your face every episode and have everything be grim dark. There are some intense scenes like someone being destroyed in their suit, a few characters get blown up and squashed but it’s usually not as graphic as you would expect. Things are dire for the heroes but they still keep their hope up all the time. Some characters can be annoying and others are traitors but at the end of the day part of the theme is about humanity relying on each other and strong community spirit which works out well.

As I mentioned earlier, I liked Daisuke a lot as the main character. People called him crazy and gave him a hard time but he didn’t let that stop him. He still trained each and every day and never lost sight of his goal. I really like that kind of dedication in a main character. It’s certainly not easy and yet he was still able to pull it off. I doubt very many characters would have that level of conviction. While the characters get worried about him, I do think that Daisuke had his head on straight the whole time. Of course he is excited to be saving lives and using his abilities but I never thought this turned into anything twisted or that he lost sight of the overall goal. Everyone was just really hard on him the whole time and I thought it was a bit much.

He even gets locked up at one point after saving people. A lot of times the characters really don’t appreciate the hero until after the fact, that’s for sure. Then you have Milo who has a big role here. So we get into a little time travel with her and it’s time for me to explain more of the plot. So with the city trapped in the future, the way to go back is to destroy the main core device at the villain’s base. The Revsions (villains) seem to have the tech to voluntarily bring people through but don’t want to. They claim that Milo’s group, the AHRV are the real villains here and want to keep humanity trapped in the future for their own gain. So they will bring some selective people back to the past and this is part of what gets the local government into a civil war. Some believe the revisions and others do not.

It gets a bit deeper from there but you’ve got the basic structure now. Milo is sent on different missions across the timestream in order to ensure humanity’s survival and that is what led her to the past to save Daisuke and the other kids. That past hasn’t happened yet for her though as she doesn’t jump until the future so she doesn’t know Daisuke and friends. It makes for an interesting dynamic where they are just complete strangers to her. Milo is a solid character for most of the show though. She’s a good ally and someone who can actually fight.

She tries to play nice with the government and just be helpful as needed but sometimes this does put her in a tough spot when they get corrupt. On the whole I was on her side a lot until the end where she really started to fall flat. My big issue with her is that she goes way too far in following orders. I figured she would have her big moment where she just tells off the group and does the heroic thing but it doesn’t happen. In fact, she was seemingly about to follow their last order which would have made her a huge villain.

That was disappointing and it did do a lot of lasting damage to her character. It’s difficult to recover from this and so by the end she became a bad character. She cracked under pressure is what it boils down to. She was someone that I thought all of the characters could trust and in the end that was not the case. I like my characters to be independent and break the rules when they have to. Someone who mindlessly obeys all orders will always falter when it counts.

Of course she still isn’t close to being one of the worst characters. For starts you have Yumiko who is a teacher that can’t handle the pressure at all and goes as far as to lock a bunch of students on the roof so that they can get eaten by one of the Revision monsters. Gee that’s real helpful…it would have been bad enough if she just ran off but locking them up there was awful. Then there’s also a brief moment where she seems to be making a pass at Daisuke who is one of her students just so that he can protect her. As the protector of humanity he would have saved her anyway but that was a really bad moment on her part.

We can’t forget about Mr. Muta either. He’s the mayor and the guy is the biggest coward in the series. He agrees to all demands by the Revisions without complaint and doesn’t seem to care about how obviously shady they are. From his perspective, as long as he lives he doesn’t care how many people they murder. It’s a shame that he had to be the leader since he gets the humans into a whole lot of trouble on multiple occasions. Things would have gone quite a bit smoother if he wasn’t involved that’s for sure.

So lets talk about the good government figures here. First up you have Izumi who is a very loyal cop who works for Ryohei and does a good job of watching over the kids. It’s a really dangerous task since she has no mech suit and any of the Revisions could destroy her in an instant. Unlike certain other characters Izumi doesn’t crack under this pressure though. Instead she continues to fight hard and does well within her role.

Another solid character is Ryohei and he’s the guy who really takes charge while everyone else is in a panic. He gets some good plans and actually listens to the other characters as a good leader should. Muta gives him a lot of issues throughout but once Ryohei is really on top then he does a good job of gripping the reins. He’s also one of the few characters who will give Daisuke the time of day. Ultimately he won’t always have the kid’s back but at least he tries from time to time.

As for the other kids, most of the time they tended to annoy me. First up is Gai who seems incredibly jealous of Daisuke for the most part. He really dislikes how Daisuke is always talking about being a hero and saving the day. Gai even tells Daisuke off after the lead saved his sister from almost being hit by a bike. Sure Daisuke may have been a little over the top but the fact that he is trying to protect everyone should really resonate as a positive thing for Gai. I don’t get why he is so upset the whole time. Tensions run even higher when Gai is chosen as the official leader of the mech unit over Daisuke.

Gai gets even more unreasonable from this point on to the point where he asks for Daisuke to be kept off the team for the final mission. He’d rather that the guy rots in jail even if it means they have one less mech suit to fight off an entire Revisions army. Gai lets his personal feelings cut through way too often. He has his share of hero moments but ultimately he’s a really annoying character that is hard to root for. I never thought he was a good choice as leader and most of the fights between the characters are directly his fault.

Lu is much more reasonable and one of the few characters who would stick up for Daisuke at times. She is careful not to rock the boat too much though and tends to not get involved in the discussions too often. By the end all of the kids have mech suits so she is able to help out in the fights too. I thought she did a good job and was one of the nicer characters, I don’t blame her for not speaking out more too. It would be tough to do when everyone is against Daisuke.

I was not really a fan of Marin though. She’s the classic shy character of the group and has a hard time voicing her feelings. She wants things to stay the same as they used to be with everyone being friends but that really has not worked out for her at all. The group is just drifting apart and there doesn’t seem to really be a way around that. She has her spotlight moments in the show but on the whole I wasn’t impressed.

Daisuke’s final friend is Keisaku and boy does he go through a lot. The guy got sent to the future along with his mother so that’s a massive red flag right off the bat. Parental figures tend to have a rough time in these things. Daisuke has his uncle warp with him too but the mother angle will naturally be a whole lot more personal. Keisaku is fairly quiet and also just follows Daisuke’s lead but that means he also bottles things up a lot and is under a lot of stress.

He goes to great lengths to try and find his mother when she is taken and of course most of the characters say this is reckless but Daisuke is eager to help. Again, Daisuke is leagues above the rest of the characters. So I’m with Keisaku on this because with Revision monsters running around there is no time for a slow and steady approach. She needs him as soon as possible after all. Even if he enters a fight that’s a little bigger than him, he doesn’t go down without swinging and doing damage of his own. He did his best to surpass his limits and cause as much damage as possible which I appreciated. He was a very solid character throughout.

Chiharu is the first main Revisions member to get a role. She tries to smooth out the negotiations with the humans and even takes a humanoid form in order to chat with them. That said, I’m not sure that her plan was very well thought out. Her current form at least has some superhuman abilities to it but ultimately she wants to switch to a fully mortal body. I guess everyone wants what they can’t have but it’s a downgrade and puts her in immediate danger. The way things work out for her certainly wasn’t great and in general I would say that the villains in this show were on the weaker side.

The next villain from the big 3 is Mukyu and she has the form of a little girl. She likes beating up on Nicholas while he’s in the teddy form but is more of a follower than a leader. Chiharu makes all of the tough calls and Mukyu just roots for her from the sideline. She doesn’t see the writing on the wall until it’s too late either. The only villain who really looked impressive was Nicholas, but perhaps too impressive. He has advanced gravity powers that can even render a mech suit helpless.

He seems like the most powerful members of the villains by far to the point where the heroes have no shot. I think the show should have absolutely toned that down a bit. It then goes even farther when he has powers that are basically cosmic in nature. Revisions may not be a realistic show but the power levels were very grounded throughout so this sort of broke the logic of the universe. There was just no way the heroes could realistically take this guy down and so the climax does get a bit iffy on the power levels. I would say that the writers got themselves into a hole here. He did make for a good villain though.

There is also a mysterious creature/robot hybrid that shows up once or twice and is pretty cool. This fighter is incredibly powerful and really gives the heroes more than they can handle when he appears. I liked his savage fighting style and for a while there I figured he wouldn’t even be able to get this plot wrapped up before the season ended. The show pulled it off though. This is perhaps another area where the villain was a little too strong but it did make for some good fights. Maybe the show should have just boosted up the heroes a bit to even things out. That would have solved the power level issues and also been cool visually.

I did mention there was one plot which didn’t seem to be resolved though and that involves their memories. So when Daisuke remembers the past and is always talking about being a hero, the rest of the characters aren’t so sure. So then they try to recall the past but all of them remember Milo saying completely different things. In one flashback she says to trust the others, in another she says not to trust anyone, in Daisuke’s she says to be a hero, etc. Nobody can agree on what she said and it’s like she talked to everyone at the same time with different conversations. I thought this was going to delve into multiple timelines or something but it’s never acknowledged or brought up again.

That means we’re probably supposed to just take it as the characters not remembering properly due to stress or something but it’s a bit hard for me to swallow. I wonder if the writers just forgot about this. In general the time travel is a key part of the show so you’d think it would be top of mind but at the same time there isn’t too much depth into the mechanics. Basically the patrol agents go into the past which directly effects the future but seems to not actually create a new timeline. It’s an interesting mix of sorts and I’d like the series to have explained how it works a bit more in depth here.

Agents of AHRV can apparently see multiple timelines at once due to their quantum brains which is another concept that isn’t really explored much. I can’t say that the time rules here make a lot of sense but it does give the writers a lot of freedom to do whatever they want. This is especially crucial in the climax of the show when one character is messing around with multiple points of time at once. It’s a pretty interesting group of scenes for sure and I like the Sci-Fi concepts that mess with your head a bit. I’m sure if needed you could make it all work out with a long thesis and with more time I’d like to do that, but either way it’s an enjoyable scene. Again it stacks the deck too much against the heroes but lets not dwell on that.

The series leaves room for a sequel with how it ends and that’s always a good thing. It would be interesting to see how this all plays out because none of the groups seem all that trustworthy. AHRV is clearly one of those really shady groups that believes any sacrifice is worth it if it will save humanity. The issue is that they have absolutely no scruples as a result and will do whatever they feel is necessary. Probably not the most trustworthy group to have your back right? Of course they’re still better than the Revisions who are basically using sacrifices to power their human bodies.

If they do a sequel, I could see Milo being the only returning character. Have her assist a different timeline with a new temporal problem and that could be the format for the series as it goes on. I think that could be a good focus but it’ll be tough to have a main character as good as Daisuke was. It’s hard to have lightning strike twice like that. As for the villains, we’ll see if they try to go for a bit of gray again. At the end of the day the Revisions were basically victims of how things turned out. They just ended up taking thing way too far in their attempt at revenge and equalizing things. I don’t blame them for not trusting the heroes since the humans are often super corrupt and all but they’re no better with how they sacrifice people all the time. I think the Revisions as a concept were interesting and how they became Revisions but it never went to the point where I found them to be too sympathetic.

There is even the twist about the Revisions monsters which as I mentioned you will see coming right from the jump, but it doesn’t land nearly as hard as this twist in other titles because we’re not given as much reason to doubt if destroying them is still the right thing to do. Based on how it is presented here, you still need to take them out at the end of the day so it doesn’t really change anything as far as the objectives go. I assume in a sequel the whole concept of them would be gone though. Only way I could see them returning is if it turns out that the future didn’t actually change yet and a big plague is still coming. Then the heroes have to try and change the future again and I guess the theme would be that the future is impossible to change and they have to try and beat it somehow.


Overall, Revisions is a great show and I would recommend it. It does a good job of showing characters under stress and bringing some fresh perspectives into the apocalyptic future. You will probably see some of the twists coming while others you will not and it’s just a really solid sci-fi show. It’s got a nice blend of action and fun sci-fi concepts to play around with so you can enjoy it as a fan of many different genres.

Overall 8/10

ID-0 Review


Now this is an anime that I had never heard of before. It’s a Sci-fi title with a fairly original premise and it’s very unique. You couldn’t say that this one was emulating any other anime on the block. That said, while being original is good and all, I can see why this one didn’t ultimately get a second season. It starts off very slow and while it builds up by the end, it’s a little too late for this one to have really hit it big. I liked it well enough, but it does have its share of issues.

The show starts off by explaining that we are in the distant future and now one of the big ways to get rich is to farm the material known as Orichalt. It’s sort of like the great gold rush has returned, only now everyone is working on getting this material. You’ve got the government who is going after this as well as local pirates and such. In order to extract this material from deep space, people can put their soul inside of an I-Robot and control it virtually. It’s very safe since if the robot dies you just get booted back to your body at least. That’s true for most characters at least.

The main character here is Maya and she is still a student but has big aspirations for the future. Unfortunately there is a hitch to this plan as she has a run in with local pirates and is now framed for working with them to steal the Orichalt. Until she clears her name she will have to work with this group but gradually sees that they really aren’t bad people. Why was she even framed in the first place? She will have to work through these answers while also getting to know her new friends who are actually permanent I-Machines meaning that their bodies are long gone. This means that if they die, there is no coming back from that.

So lets tackle what I would consider to be the weak points of the show first. One is the main thing you may have guessed from the poster and that is that the animation isn’t very good. This is a CGI show and one that is very rough around the edges. While I’m not the biggest supporter of CGI, I can say that there are high end shows, medium, and lower tier. This one would be in the fairly low side as it’s all just very janky and at times the movement is off. Not to say there are no cuts here as the show does turn it up for the climax but for around 9-10 episodes it just doesn’t feel very natural.

A visual issue isn’t one that would hurt the series all that much on a score level though. While it may prevent it from taking the next stage, it wouldn’t make it a 4 or anything like that though. Animation is more like the frosting on top of the foundation so if your foundation is good then you’ll be okay. The other weak part I’d say is the story which is a bit more serious. It feels like the show is a bit more aimless for the first half and things don’t kick off for a while.

It’s hard to really care about the hunt for Orichalt. There is some tension between the government and the main pirates group regarding the hunt and how the government monopolizes this. The pirates basically hunt for it because they need the funds and there aren’t many other options. They also do like the thrill of the hunt as well. The show doesn’t pause on the ethics of this too much as it’s fairly direct. Think of these guys like the Strawhat Pirates. They’re on the wrong side of the law but at least they don’t hurt anybody and so it’s still easy to root for them. We’re not really given much of a downside to the pirates going hunting with how much Orichalt there seems to be everywhere.

The characters are fairly dry though and so you need something from the story to really get the cast going. Once the climax does start, then things get more interesting. We actually get a fairly deep dive into personas, the soul, and how it all intersects. One character has amnesia for example and part of the show is about finding out more about his past and the inevitable dilemma of what he’ll do if his personality was different back then. We’ll get into that more later but the show does get really interesting by the end, I just wish it did that a bit sooner.

The soundtrack is also virtually nonexistent for the most part. I wouldn’t say I remember any tunes and the theme song wasn’t my favorite. It wasn’t catchy and there wasn’t a whole lot of animation in it. So the show just feels low budget on all fronts and that spills into the experience a bit. Now lets talk about the characters. Maya is the main heroine here and she’s a nice enough person. There isn’t much to her beyond this and she goes through a fairly standard character arc of not trusting these pirates until she finally sees what nice people they are. By the end she is ready to take more risks and is more confident in her navigational skills.

Ultimately there isn’t a ton for her to do beyond that especially as Ido seems to be just as good as her in this area. Often times he will come up with a plan and just ask her to confirm it or vice versa. It helps the group be doubly sure about everything but for the most part she doesn’t change much of what would have happened without her. She is here to give them a bit of an emotional push though as it can be easy to think of everything scientifically after being a robot for so long. Maya is still more on the emotional side. It’s annoying when she gets held hostage but in the end she’s okay, there’s just not much to her.

Ido is the best character though and does his best to hold up the show. So he has lost his memory which is why he calls himself Ido. (Get it? ID 0? As in his Identification is zero because he doesn’t know who he is) Ido doesn’t exist on any record and he doesn’t have an ID code like every other ID machine. He wants to find the truth to his past but without any hint at all it seems like a lost cause and so he’s really thrown himself into his work, almost to a dangerous degree. He takes a lot of risks because he just doesn’t think it matters all that much.

This all changes when a little girl named Alice appears and then we start to slowly get more info on the plot. I’ll touch on that second half a bit later. Going on with the character introductions, Alice is a little kid so there’s not a whole lot that she can do. She seems to possibly have some kind of powers and at the very least everyone is after her but there’s not a whole lot that she can do about it. Alice is mainly a tool for the plot but barely a character for most of this.

Grayman is the leader of the pirates and is always ready to make the tough calls. He’s a rather stern guy who is nice deep down but is careful not to get too entangled in the emotions from the crew. His role is a bit smaller than you’d expect but he does a good job of leading the troops. Rick is the comic relief member of the group although his backstory is rather tragic. The guy is always joking around and he can go really fast which comes in handy by the climax. It would be nice if he could dial down the flirting a bit though. They really need this guy to focus instead of trying to make moves all the time! Plus as a giant robot who will never have a human body again, it feels like he may be out of luck there. It’s good that he stays optimistic though.

Karla is a character who was good for the most part. She was a reasonable member of the crew who kept everyone grounded and was good at strategy. Unfortunately I lost a ton of respect for her later on. Lets just say that she made a deal which was awful and took huge risks with very limited upside. It leads to Ido’s best scene in the series but it wasn’t something that was going to help her win back any points. She really lost all likability from this point on and got off rather easy. This is not the kind of character that you want to have at your back.

Clair probably gets the smallest role in the group. As Grayman’s daughter she helps to be a mediator when he is arguing with someone. She’s always calm and nice about everything but there just isn’t much of a role for her here. I expect she would have done more in season 2. Amanza joins the crew later on in the show and she was a fun addition. She can fight which is always appreciated and has some good plans. The group would have had a much tougher time without her and she starts to contribute right away.

There’s a character in here called Sam Taylor who only appears for one episode but was a great character. Not only did he nearly outsmart the whole crew but he was talking really tough considering that he is only a human while they’re in giant mech suits. That takes a whole lot of confidence in your own abilities and he pulled this off with ease. On a separate note, the heroes do need to work on keeping their guards up though. They seem to drop their guards immediately when they let people in which is something that Amanza took advantage of as well. This guy just left a big impact and I remember him partially because this was the first really solid moment in the show that made me take notice.

Okay so now I’m going to talk about the meat of the plot from episodes 9-12 so big spoilers will ensue from here on out. Skip to the last paragraph if you haven’t seen the show yet and don’t want to know about this yet. This is when the series got really interesting and ambitious. If you ask me this should have been the focus from the start and that would have been perfect. So Ido used to be a guy named Kain. He was actually a rather extreme scientist back in the day and was willing to do anything to save his daughter Alice. This led into him working with the Orichalt and messing with its very essence which was related to a dark god. So Addams stopped Kain by sealing him away and Kain effectively died but was such a genius that he was able to transfer to an I-Robot but lost his memories.

Then we had Kain mass cloned and one of his clones got big ideas to replace him and assume his identity. It gets more convoluted by then and it’s all very interesting. This is the kind of story I like to see because while it can be tough to follow, it lends itself well to a lot of theory crafting. It’s just interesting to ponder all of the possibilities and the show gives you a lot of ammo for this because there is a ton of dialogue and flashbacks in these episodes.

It’s also interesting how Kain an Addams basically reversed positions after the memory erasure. Now Addams is the extremist while Kain has mellowed out and is trying to find a solution for everybody. I actually thought Addams was a really good villain throughout this. He is absolutely a villain of course but the objectives were sound here and you could absolutely see why he was going with the old plan. The situation was tricky enough where saving everyone seemed impossible so the idea was to guarantee a few rather than risking everyone.

At the end of the show the government has to decide if they trust Ido’s gamble to use the last of the Orichalt to possibly save everyone or everyone will die, or go with Addam’s plan which guarantees survival for a group but will definitely doom the others. Always a tough decision but I tend to go with the group of either everyone lives or everyone dies. It’s an equal playing field and no time for regrets since everyone will be dead anyway.

I haven’t even touched on this yet but with the dark god, basically he needs to reabsorb Alice to be complete and it’s why those dark crystals are constantly chasing her and attacking the heroes. It’s like a living version of Orichalt but interestingly his weakness is to weaponize actual Orichalt and stop him. Of course the ship can only carry so much of it and it’s like shooting money at the guy so that’s not unlimited either. It’s an interesting concept going on here.

Although I wouldn’t say it’s the most visually interesting plot. You can only see the heroes blasting away as pixelated objects for so long. The objects can’t even fight back per say, but touching them is bad and they can crush you with sheer numbers. It’s like fighting a never ending blob of pure matter which is certainly dangerous in space since if you’re caught, that’s it. It just doesn’t make for particularly interesting action scenes.

We do get some real mecha fights near the end though. Addams has his own mech suit of course and Ido is able to have a proper fight there. We also got an excellent scene where Ido was seemingly cornered but then moved with incredible speed and took out quite a few fighters. That was one of the best animated cuts in the show and likewise for the fight with Addams. It felt like they saved up a lot of budget to spend on the end and they delivered there.

The ending is fairly definitive so it’s the kind of show that did not need a sequel anyway although it still would have been pretty fun. I think if they built on the ending well enough then season 2 would have been stronger. You could mostly avoid the slow start because we already know the characters and that way you could jump right into the story. While I didn’t think the cast was very impressive, maybe they would be able to look better in a high stakes environment.

With the whole clones angle, there could always be another one out there so you could use that as a plot thread and of course even if the dark god is gone, you could have other pirate groups that are less friendly show up. Just don’t focus on the actual mining too much, that’s the part that won’t be as interesting even if we do understand that it’s super dangerous. One wrong move and you could die while getting the Orichalt but that would be such an anti climactic way to go out.

Overall, ID-0 is a unique show that just suffers from a very slow start and a fairly low budget. Once we get to the meat of the plot then things get very interesting. As long as you enjoy the discussions and what they’re talking about then you’ll love the climax. If you don’t tend to like all of the sci-fi jargon then you may not enjoy it quite as much but we also have a lot more action so that should help balance things out. I can also finally say that I’ve seen a whole anime about space miners so that’s nice bragging rights. The show is very short either at 12 episodes so I’d still say it’s worth a shot if you’re looking for another sci-fi show. Think of this more like an adventure like Star Trek as opposed to an action and you’ll be going in with the right mindset.

Overall 6/10