Monday, 4 July 2011

Sacred Seven - Episode 1

Taking up this season's "well, at least it can't be as bad as Star Driver" berth in my 'blog is Sunrise's latest outing Sacred Seven - and, true to its billing, it backs more interesting events into its first minute than Star Driver managed in over twelve hours courtesy of a boat on fire, some kind of giant stone master and a screaming kid giving off some kind of aura.

The guy in question is Arma Tandoji, a student with a reputation so fearsome that nobody at school will even look at him let alone talk to him or pass the time of day, making him very much your archetypical delinquent even if nobody really seems to have seen him acting up.  There are, of course, exceptions to every rule, and at Arma's school this exception is Ohana... sorry, Wakana... an energetic and spirited girl who seems determined that Tandoji will join her school club despite his reputation.

As far as Arma is concerned however, he's far too busy being moody to have time for such things, and his problems only increase when he finds himself visited at his home by Ruri Aiba, the CEO of her own foundation (one that seems to think that maids are the best choice to fill any vacancy, even if you're in the market for some snipers) and a girl who knows everything there is to know not only about Arma, but also about his history and how it weaves in to the story of the monster we saw at the start of the episode - a so-called "Darkstone".  Of course, Arma isn't interested in any offers of help or employment, but as things take a turn for the dangerous with the appearance of another Darkstone, Arma finds himself drawn into the midst of the chaos out of concern for Wakana, and before he knows it his inner power has been revealed and seemingly tamed as he saves the day.

From this first episode, my head and heart are actually still engaged in a rather heated debate over what to make of this series - my heart is screaming "whoa, that was fun, with the explosions and the rock men and the fire and maid snipers and the battles and the... whoaaaaa", while my head counters with "man, doesn't this all seem so tired and rehashed?  We've seen all of these plot points and ideas used a thousand times before, and that comedy ending/piece of plot progression is so over-used that it's pathetic".  The truth probably lies somewhere in between - this opener to Sacred Sevenis rather fun and visually energetic in its delivery, and it has enough fizz and pizazz to capture your attention via that energy alone.  However, can it keep up this energy for the entire series while bringing us new and interesting things to see and consider?  I would wager not, and it already feels as if the entire series is mapped out in terms of how it will progress just from this one episode.  I hope it surprises me by doing something different, but I have a feeling this is going to be a generic action show from beginning to end.  That isn't a bad thing, particularly at this early stage, but only time will tell.

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