Hein (fub) wrote,

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Finished series: Cluster Edge

We've finished watching Cluster Edge. My first episode review is here.

Agate travels to Cluster A.E., a prestigious school where the new (civil) elite is being raised. The war between two countries has ended at last, and so Cluster A.E. is slowly going back to normal life -- but the aftershocks of the war are felt, even in such an ancient institution. The military tries to intervene with school life, mostly in the form of prohibiting the teaching of aeroplane engineering and the traditional aeroplane races.
But outside of the school, the effects of the war can be seen too. During the war, both sides used 'artificial soldiers': vat-grown beings with super-human strength, conditioned for obedience. Now that they aren't needed anymore, they are hunted down and placed in internment camps. The production of artificial soldiers is prohibited, but there are still some facilities around, and some clandestine organisations can still provide you with artificial soldiers for a price.

Chalcedony, a Cluster A.E. alumnus, campaigned hard to give artificial soldiers human rights, but he was not succesfull. He did, however, infuse several of them with his own memories -- reasoning that if they had the memories of a 'normal' person, they'd have the associated morals as well. There is also a band of roaming artificial soldiers who fight for human rights who have Chalce's memories, but Agate is also one of the 'beneficiaries' of the Chalce treatment which is why he is drawn to Cluster A.E. in the first place.
Yes, Agate is an artificial being -- but one with a special purpose. The religious establishment is after him for precisely that reason, while trying to keep the true nature of Agate hidden from the military.
And when Agate finds out the truth behind Chalce's death, he goes bat-shit crazy and single-handedly defies the laws of physics!

The series is really, really slow to start up. The first 14 episodes of the 25 are basically just set-up and rehashes and recaps. The footage of Agate going bat-shit crazy must have been shown about ten times -- which is just sloppy story-telling. Perhaps there was only enough animation budget for one season, and the writers had to stretch that to the max to be able to fill 25 episodes... I don't know. Yes, there is a plot, but it starts towards the end of the series, and it's not that interesting either.

Most of the characters don't have any personality whatsoever, and the fact that they are all named after minerals doesn't make me believe the writer put a lot of thought into his characters. The animation is decent, but it gets rehashed too many times to muster any excitement. Voice acting is decent as well, though the lack of personality is felt in that department as well.

Good points:
- Pretty boys!
Bad points:
- No characterisation;
- Really slow to start up;
- Uninteresting plot.

I'll give it a 4 -- the endless recaps really worked on my nerves, and the pay-off didn't redeem the series.
Tags: anime, full review

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