Monday, 10 January 2011

Level E - Episode 1

The Earth is packed full of aliens - good and bad, common and endangered, all roaming around the planet and largely minding their own business... not that humans seem to have noticed this yet however.

To be honest though, aliens are the last things on the mind of Yukitaka Tsutsui - he's finally managed to move away and get a place of his own courtesy of a scholarship as an ace baseball player for Kisaragi High School, and there's even a cute girl living next door to him in his new apartment complex.  What could possibly be better?  Not walking into his new home for the first time only to find that some strange, blonde-haired guy has already made himself at home and pinched some of this clothes, I would imagine.

Of course, this striking individual claims to be an alien who has crash-landed and lost his memory - a likely story it seems, until he produces what seems to be a piece of alien technology to bolster his argument; a piece of technology that Tsutsui inadvertently uses to blow up his new friends escape pod-cum-spaceship.  After much to-ing and fro-ing, Yukitaka eventually agrees to allow his bizarre house guest to stay for one night at least, but before he knows it he's pulled into all sorts of trouble that certainly proves that this individual is an alien, but also leaves him harbouring a possible alien murderer.

As opening episodes go, this was actually a pretty entertaining affair - think Occult Academy meets Men in Black.  While the verbal sparring between Tsutsui and his unwanted guest are highly improbable coming from the mouth of an amnesiac, crash-landed alien, that doesn't stop them being pretty snappy and funny, allowing the first half of the episode to breeze along on its comedy alone.  As the episode progresses we get into more serious territory as our alien friend's true form and the lengths he's willing to go to in order to protect himself seem to be emerging - this leaves the future direction of the series and exactly where it plans to head in the balance, but it's a case of so far so good for this show that nobody seems to be talking about right now.  Could it be a little hidden gem of the winter season?  Only time will tell.

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