I’m on a roll! Another great week 😀
Caught an ep of the new mecha anime, Knight’s and Magic (apostrophe is supposed to be there). It’s…OK. The premise is that a Japanese programmer who really really loves giant robots is hit by a car and dies, only to be reincarnated as a young nobleman in a fantasy world, Ernesti. In this fantasy world, though, there are lots of giant monsters called Demon Beasts, and the medieval fantasy kingdoms must fight those monsters by piloting magically powered giant robots called Knight Silhouettes. Needless to say, our protagonist is so happy to be in a world with mecha that he doesn’t care at all about having died, and promptly displays a peerless skill at both magic and mecha-piloting as well.
This is just the first episode, and…I guess it’s okay. I’ll start with the bad first. The comparisons with other fantasy-mecha shows, Aura Battler Dunbine and Vision of Escaflowne, are natural, and I don’t think Knights and Mecha fares so well. Dunbine and Escaflowne had the same premise: Guy/girl from our world falls into fantasy realm where knights pilot giant robots. However, those two shows had some advantages. Dunbine’s music was better (not just the theme song, but the BGM too), and the character writing seems to be superior. I mean, the protag doesn’t even blink when he finds out he’s been reincarnated and fits right in immediately with no culture shock whatsoever. In Dunbine, on the other hand, there’s a lot of plot revolving around the hero’s desire to return to Earth. Escaflowne didn’t have quite as strong a plot (IMO), but the characters were more compelling than Ernesti seems to be (though he certainly has plenty of room to grow over the course of the series), and the mecha design was fantastic, while K&M’s are just servicable. This wouldn’t be so bad if Ernesti had been given some reason he’d have wanted to leave his old life behind (aside from a love of giant mecha), but there’s no indication of any of that. Maybe we’ll see in later episodes, though. And one more criticism: Back on Earth, our protag dies in a very ridiculous way. He gets hit by a car…but the scene is animated in such a way that our guy just stands there without moving a muscle as the vehicle bears down on him. He didn’t look scared, in fact, he didn’t even try to move out of the way, like the whole “Deer in headlights” thing! XD
With all that said, though, I stand by my assessment of the show as okay–on the higher bounds of okay, at least so far. I’ve wanted a fantasy mecha show for some time, because I loved Aura Battler Dunbine, and Knights and Magic looks like it’ll scratch that itch, even if it can’t beat Dunbine (or Escaflowne). The animation is solid. Not nearly as good as Escaflowne’s, but definitely on the good side of average. Nowhere near as bad as, say, Berserk! XD The mecha design also isn’t as good as Escaflowne’s nor as distinctive as Dunbine’s, as I said, but it gets the job done. And again, like I said, the characters aren’t exceptional, but I didn’t intend to say they were bad. They’re likable enough; Ernesti seems like a pretty cool hero. He’s very feminine in appearance, but thankfully doesn’t have a complex about it, which earns him points in my book. Another famous mecha protagonist, Kamille from Zeta Gundam, had a girly name and physique and was really pissed off about it, so I’m glad Ernesti is more laid back.
In terms of the action…again, pretty good! Probably the best part of the show, IMO. There’s some decent mecha action with the Knight Silhouettes versus the giant monsters (big bugs, giant ape-type things, and so on), but I actually like the swordplay better. Ernesti and his friends can fly around with their magic and wield these nifty little gun-sword things, and that was pretty cool. So all in all, I’m not blown away, but I am satisfied. And for those of you who want an age-rating: I think this show looks to be appropriate for teens. There’s not much blood (the monsters kill a horse early on and you see some blood, but that’s it) and no fanservice/sexual content. So yeah, this seems like a pretty standard, inoffensive show if you’ve got a younger friend who likes mecha. I think I’ll keep watching this 😀
P.S: Those Knight Silhouettes have no relation to the Knight Puppet giant robots I came up with for my fanfiction a while ago XD I guess great minds think alike.
Argh! Still nothing doing! I sent some messages to Italian anime fans on Tumblr to see if they might be interested in helping, but no luck…grr. Just gotta keep looking, I guess…
I bought the expansions for Master of Orion, the remake of the original classic sci-fi 4x game, and I tried playing it, but…ugh, I just couldn’t get into it. The aesthetics are too cartoony for me andthe “news reports” too goofy. Well, too late for a refund now…I got the original with it so maybe I’ll play that.
Also been playan Warhammer: Total War some more. Beat the Wood Elf and Bretonnian campaigns! 😀 This game is now undoubtedly my most-played on Steam, it really is very very good. Hits just about all my sweet spots 😀
The Four Nations by Frank Welsh. This is a very accessible overview of the British Isles and the four nations on it: England, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. Welsh glosses over a lot of stuff. One instance is where he says Danish invaders didn’t intermarry very much in England, but later also notes there was a great deal of mingling in Scotland, and doesn’t explain why. Still, more in-depth comparisons would be more appropriate for a detailed cultural or social history. If Welsh had tried to do that, the book would be like 2000 pages long instead of 400! XD So yeah, I’m satisfied with it 😀
Finally! I can show it off to you guys 😀 Check it out:
Not epic, but not bad if I say so myself 8) And yes, uncouth as it may sound, I have started taking donations! Absolutely not obligated at all, of course, but since I’m starting on more writing, I do have an option for folks to vote on what my next long essay will be on for a few dollars, I thought it’d be a fun little ‘fan interaction’ thing. But again, as always, absolutely not necessary. See ya next week!