I’m a big Blazblue fan. I’m not very good at the game, cause I’m just not much a gamer, but I actually liked its story and it was very much my high school obsession, and anyone who’s seen my series is aware of my love for the series, from the way the cutscenes are presented.
The series is full of anime tropes, but it’s still a whole lot of fun is is heavy on character and art, so when I learned this year that was going to be an anime adaptation of it, I was excited.
The first episode came out earlier this week and I gave it a look. You can watch it at Funimation’s site here.
I really wanted to love this. Unfortunately, it’s kind of disappointing. It really came down to several issues. First, the animation is actually better than the animated scenes in the first two games, which I’ll leave a sample of below:
Calamity Trigger, “Meh” animation.
Continuum Shift, “Derp” animation (Just check the clip between 0:25 and 1:16, it’s actually kind of funny).
However, with the two newer games, the animation has since improved quite a bit, seriously, the intro the Continuum Shift Extend looks great (refer to clip below if you don’t know it).
So, onto my thoughts of Alter Memory, the series takes an interesting step with its narrative. In Calamity Trigger, we had no idea what was happening other than the fact that was a time loop until near the end of the first game when the true Big Bad, Terumi was revealed (which was the only major twist in that game, sorry if you didn’t know that). Alter Memory dispenses with that element of ambiguity and makes it abundantly clear that Hazama is the main villain from the get-go. If you watch the ending credits, the existence of several other spoiler characters are there too. The main story drops us off in the whole thing in Continuum Shift about observers, loops, and endless time (it’s confusing).
The series feels kind of cheap. It’s one of those shows that reuses animation for the intro, which is a pet peeve of mine. Like… we’re about to watch the episode, stop showing us clips of what we’re gonna watch. It just makes the animation feel cheap, though it mostly looks okay. The action scenes are actually pretty good, and character emotions are right. All the characters feel like the characters from the games we grew to love, especially the adorable Noel and the snooty Rachel.
One big distracting factor of this first episode was the notable number of perverted fanservice shots. First minute or so of the episode, we get two of Nu-13, one shot of her breasts that lasts about 3 seconds, and one of her ass that lasts about 2. It was distracting from the action that was occuring. The last instance I can recall off my head was when we first meet Taokaka, Ragna steps over her, and we get a shot in between her legs looking up her skirt.
The direction Blazblue has been going with the increased fanservice has been annoying me. In the first game, none of the female characters except Litchi felt like they were there to satisfy the sexual fantasies of men (though as an improvement over characters like Mai Shiranui, Litchi is not written to act very flirtatious), and with Continuum Shift, we got the conservatively dressed Tsubaki added to the roster, even though I don’t like her character at all, she fit right in. Then came Makoto Nanaya as a fighter…. Jesus Christ, look at her:
And then we have this character Bullet in Chronophantasma continuing this trend….
But as for the anime, I’m going to keep hoping, but it is a bit of a letdown. I’ll keep watching.