Tuesday, 22 April 2014

M3 the dark metal - Episode 1

Humanity, it seems, is in a tight spot (although when it isn't it in anime?), with those that remaining living on the outskirts of a darkness known as the Lightless Realm which has swallowed up everything and everyone in its path, and continues to expand.  From these dark depths come strange creatures known as Admonitions, and guardians of the realm known as Corpses.

It isn't all bad news though, as a company named IX seeks to reconstruct what they can in a place known as Kawadahara City as a refuge from the Admonitions, an area which includes a school named Kukunochi Academy.  It's here that IX seems set to train up and look to somehow take back the Lightless Realm using trained pilots and machines known as Vess, capable of travelling into that realm where humans have previously been unable to tread without certain death.

Heading up the trainees selected to be part of this scheme is the talented but dour Akashi Saginuma, who is selected alongside an existing active pilot and a bunch of other kids who are also signed up for reasons which seem inexplicable even to them.  After an initial period of training, Akashi and fellow trainee Emiru are sent out for what should be a safe, initial exploratory run in their Vess units... of course, things prove to be anything but safe as an Admonition attacks Emiru, with subsequent events providing some important pointers as to the origins and driving forces behind these strange creatures.

As with most anime series, it's hard to really gauge M3 from its opening episode.  Its animation doesn't exactly look great, which is a bit of a worry for a first episode, and its exposition is frequently delivered in a less than satisfying fashion, but the world that it's built seems as though it could be interesting especially if it manages to flesh out its characters from the boring slate of cardboard cut-outs that seem to be from this first instalment.  There's arguably more going against the show than for it at this very early stage, but that could mean nothing if it settles down into a good rhythm - something I hope that M3 does as the only mecha show that even vaguely interests me this spring.

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