Monday, 21 March 2011

Level E - Episode 11

The Koshien stadium.... the one place where every up and coming baseball star wants to end up.  Then again, there are probably better ways to get there than seemingly finding yourself abducted by aliens and dumped into an eerie, silent replica of the stadium.

However, it's exactly this dilemma that the Kisaragi High School baseball team find themselves thrust into - a team which includes our friend Yukitaka from Level E's first story arc of course.  While it initially seems that the team have actually been transported, bus and all, from the middle of the highway to this famous stadium, it soon transpires that the Koshien they're standing in isn't the real deal, and it quickly becomes apparent that this location is little more than the figment of someone's imagination.

So, the team have been sucked subconsciously into someone else's dream, like a sports fanatics version of Inception - but how do they get out in time for the big game?  Luckily (and I use that word loosely) for them, our much-loved alien Prince has come along for the ride by smuggling himself into the back of the bus... although his suggestions as to how to escape prove to be useless as we learn the true extent of what has happened to the team and why courtesy of Craft and company on the outside.

While part of me gets the feeling that this instalment was just an excuse to squeeze a baseball episode in the series, the bigger problem on this occasion was that this particular story (much like last week's instalment) simply wasn't that gripping in terms of either concept or execution, and it certainly had none of the twists or turns that delighted us during earlier story arcs.  On the positive side of things, there were a fistful of full-on laugh out loud moments, so I can't fault the episode's entertainment value too much, and in terms of visual execution everything was nailed on pretty much perfectly as per usual.  In short, I quite enjoyed this episode, but at the same time I can't help but feel a tiny bit disappointed that Level E appears to have lost some of the zest it showed early on in recent weeks, suggesting perhaps that it was a bit of a one-trick pony after all even if it did leverage that trick to great effect on several occasions.

No comments: