It’s been awhile since I’ve sat down and watched a good mecha, so when Kuromukuro popped up on Netflix, I thought why not? Produced by P.A. Works, the studio behind Another and Angel Beats! with Tensai Okamura, director Wolf’s Rain and Blue Exorcist, there is decent enough pedigree involved to inspire some hope going in.
And the first episode start’s with such hope and promise, opening with mechs fighting in the snow in the Sengoku period, and dead samurai littering the ground. It makes you think, “What the crap is going on? I don’t care…this is cool!”
The pacing takes a bit of a turn though as the title card comes up, and we skip to the present day, with a girl being told she isn’t good enough to reach her ambition of going to Mars by her teacher while her Mum blindly defends her.
After that opening, it feels a little jarring, but stick with it. You learn pretty early on that it’s not a serious Anime, so go home if you’re expecting Gundam levels of depth and story-telling, you won’t find it here. What you are given is a disjointed set of events and characters, and a sense of not really knowing what is going on.
And therein lies its charm. It’s disjointed because the characters themselves don’t know what’s going on. They are piecing things together as the Anime goes on, and there is a sense of mystery that slowly unravels.
Slowly is unfortunately the key word. After the first couple of episodes, they fall a little into the trap of “go to school, mundane crap happens, MECH FIGHT!!!” and the pattern, at episode 12, has only somewhat eased up. I feel that it would have benefited from not dealing with a lot of the school life stuff, because seriously, as far as anyone is concerned, aliens are invading Earth, and the TWO people that can do anything about it, they let go to school daily…
But I digress…I have been enjoying watching it (in English Dub…it’s awful, but I feel committed to those awful voices now…) as it’s something that at its heart is fairly light. I don’t have to engage a lot of my mind while watching it, and I don’t miss anything massive if I disengage for a minute or two here and there. I don’t feel the burning need to put the next episode on like I have with some truly great Anime’s, but by the same measure, it’s not bad.
As far as animation and music quality go, I’d say it’s all pretty good. Nothing mind blowing, and like a lot of Anime, they use a mix of traditional styling with CGI for the Mechs.
So I’ll continue to plod along, and unravel the mystery that lies at its shallow depths, and here’s to hoping that it won’t be too disappointing.
In a return to my norm, here’s the opening sequence!