Space Battleship Tiramisu Series Review: A Glimmer Of Hope Lost In Space

Short form anime is never really overly appealing as to me it seems like they always struggle to do more than insert a few gags due to run time. Space Battleship Tiramisu seemed like it might break that trend but ultimately abandoned its plot in favour of repeat gags.

Review:

While it probably isn’t fair to hold an anime’s form or genre against it, given I knew this was a short form comedy when I started it, and yet there were glimpses throughout Space Battleship Tiramisu’s run-time that hinted at a fairly interesting plot that could have been explored. Where this anime really annoyed me was in presenting the plot elements mid-season and then abandoning them in favour of more gag comedy. It is more the inconsistency of this show’s approach that ultimately makes me feel this anime is somewhat lacking.

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That said, people who really like gag anime, might get a laugh out of this. Of course that depends entirely on your tolerance for jokes at the expense of someone with clear OCD, jokes about talking pubes, and various jokes involving questionable hygiene choices (and now I’m wondering how I managed to get to the end of this). Despite all of that, there are some really great moments throughout this season.

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With seven to nine minutes per episode, one thing the anime had in its favour was even when an episode didn’t click for me, it was over fast. The other thing that worked with the short form was that if a joke was particularly distasteful, it was usually done by the next episode. There were only a couple of jokes that carried over between episodes.

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Unfortunately, the jokes they carried over usually didn’t need to be. The episode early on that focused on adopting a dog that then grew massive was actually pretty cute and funny. The return of the dog later for space-walkies was just a jarring interruption into what should have been a decent climax to the story about Subaru’s brother and his clone. Though apparently they didn’t want to deal with that because there is apparently a second season coming. I don’t intend to watch is so I guess I’ll just have to imagine a resolution for the story, though given how incompetent most of the characters seem  I might just imagine all of the spaceships blow up simultaneously and cause the end.

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Subaru as a character is at times quite interesting. his obsession with his cockpit early on is fairly well portrayed and most of the jokes stick at this stage. Where the anime fell down was despite introducing family to Subaru and having flash backs to his father who apparently designed mecha or whatever, we never really got a sense of how Subaru became the person he is. While he could have been a rich and interesting character, a look at someone who needed order in a disorderly world, instead we get mostly a character who gets pushed into dirty situations for cheap laughs and doesn’t really get much in the way of development or character progress. Also, at times he actually acts too stupid for words and some of his losses in space make you wonder why anyone still lets him pilot anything.

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Equally, the members of the support cast are all potentially interesting characters who end up being one-note gags of forgettable due to the anime’s lack of interest in doing anything more with them. Whether this strikes you as a failing or not I guess will depend on how entertained you are by the gags.

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Though I’m pretty certain most people are glad the robot had its head detached even if it meant we still had to listen to the thing.

Overall, I liked the look of this show, though animation is minimal with movement and the like often just being portrayed in a series of lines. Despite that, it had a distinct visual identity that stood out compared to many other shows in the Spring line up and I must admit my eyes were very much drawn to it initially because of how the characters looked. The OP is also really fun. It has a very old school kind of feel to it and a lot of energy. Definitely one of the highlights each week.

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Ultimately, if you are chasing a narrative, this anime isn’t going to work for you. If you just want a laugh or two in space, this might very well be exactly what you are looking for. As for me, while I made it to the end of this season and had a pleasant enough time for most of the season, I won’t be going for a second season. Definitely done now.

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Karandi James

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Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory Episodes 11 + 12: Reunited

While these two episodes certainly do a better job of bringing the season to a resting point, this remains pretty much not concluded with no real indication of a follow up any time soon.

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After a couple of weeks off we finally get the last two episodes of this season and it is the big and dramatic rescue attempt of Chidori (or abduction attempt depending on which faction attacking the one mansion you are). These two episodes bring us all our favourite characters into one location, we’ve got some great fight sequences, an accidental shooting, and a radio message from Chidori to Sousuke that would have tugged at the heartstrings even without the soundtrack kicking into gear in the background.

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Like most of the season, these two episodes were nostalgic fun and just good at doing what they set out to do. There was very little time wasted and yet the pacing didn’t feel too extreme. I did like that even after the main team reunited it wasn’t as though the months of separation and the fact that they were currently operating separately disappeared. Sure they helped each other out but they all stayed on their mission.

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Of course, what sours these two episodes and the season as a whole is the fact that we don’t know if we’ll ever get anymore and we are still undeniably not finished. At least Second Raid had the courtesy of bringing us to a very solid end point (even though the story would continue) with the characters all back together and doing their thing. But it is hard to feel too hard done by here. There was very little more I could have asked from a follow up season to Full Metal Panic other than an actual ending and I absolutely love the journey Sousuke has been on over the course of this season. Fingers crossed we do eventually get another part to this.

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Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory Episode 10: And So It Doesn’t End

After a thirteen year gap, two recap episodes, we now have a ten episode season with a totally incomplete story. If this were any other franchise I’d be dropping it for good and never looking back and yet Full Metal Panic still makes me desperately want more of this story.

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There comes a point where a franchise knows that its core audience isn’t going anywhere and so they realise they don’t need to worry about a big season finish or even attempting to tie up their story. It is dissatisfying to say the least and makes Invisible Victory more or less impossible to recommend to anyone except die-hard fans of this franchise given you can’t start the story without knowing the history of the characters and events and then it just leaves us all hanging.

This final episode is clearly setting up the next phase of the story, but we haven’t really done anything with the current phase. The best way to describe Invisible Victory is a bridge between the previous seasons’ events and whatever they are moving toward but we don’t know what that is.

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Still, Sousuke gets to do a cool take down even from a hospital bed, we get Kaname sighing and then swimming in her underwear, Tessa also has a changing sequences because the anime couldn’t possibly ignore the fans of Tessa, and we get a Sousuke training sequence before they reveal who some villain is and the story just stops. Kind of something for every fan of the series in this episode and yet nothing for anyone because we don’t have an announced follow up yet and by itself this story went nowhere. I don’t think I’m going to do a series review of Invisible Victory at this point because basically it isn’t a full series and other than complaining about that and being all happy about seeing Sousuke and Kaname again, there isn’t a lot to say. You are either already a fan of this franchise or you never touched this season of it.

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 13: A Dramatic Re-Entry But No Conclusion

Due to inattention and general stupidity, Subaru and his brother both start plunging into the atmosphere. The tension of whether Subaru will survive or not isn’t exactly mounting in this final episode of the season.

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Well any hope I had for this series has effectively come crashing to an end, and not just because of the Durandel plummeting through the atmosphere and onto Earth. None of the potential plot points were concluded in any meaningful way here or even addressed and while I get it is a comedy and short form so building a narrative isn’t its first priority, it didn’t even really try to do much with those elements. I did hear a rumour of a second season but I’m pretty sure I’m done here.

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The other issue is that when something is absurd just to be absurd, it kind of loses impact after awhile. And two pilots being distracted by their OCD and allowing themselves to fall for so long into the atmosphere is just kind of ridiculous and makes you wonder how Subaru ever got called an Ace pilot if that’s all it takes to trash his ship. Anyway, this one is done and I will get around to reviewing shortly.

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Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory Episode 9: Perfect Timing

Despite the fact that Sousuke has been carrying this season fairly well on his own, episode 9 of Full Metal Panic Invisible Victory brings the welcome return of some familiar faces at just the right time.

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Despite the twist being obvious from the minute Tessa was picked up, this was a deeply satisfying return for the crew as we watched Tessa work her magic playing bait for the bad guys. The crew all got their moment to shine in a short but effective fight sequence and all and all this was a really fun reunion for the audience with these characters who have so far only really had a token appearance in this season.

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Then we jump to Tessa’s brother, Leonard, and for the first time since episode four we get a look at Chidori. It is nice to know that while she’s being compliant enough to not be chained to a wall that she hasn’t lost all of her attitude despite captivity.

Lastly, we return to Sousuke, where we are reminded of the events in episode 8 and see the toll they have taken. This is where the episode ends and it makes me really excited for what will come next now that all the players are back on the stage. I also really liked the parallel from the beginning to the end of this episode with Tessa on the hospital bed to Sousuke being on the hospital bed.

All and all, another solid episode (provided you don’t look too closely at Sousuke while he’s lying in the hospital bed – there’s some bad shots there where his neck looks like it has disappeared entirely).

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Space Battleship Tiramisu Episode 12: Back to Jokes About Dirty Cockpits

When things go wrong for a series, it is sometimes good to return to your roots. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work here given the story had pushed on a bit and now Subaru just getting OCD about dirt is kind of a weak consolation prize.

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Apparently we have one episode left to go which really isn’t time to learn about the clone, the brother, and whether or not the father being a robot developer is in anyway significant. So basically we have a short form gag anime that midway through its season started to seem like it was going to build a plot only to squander the remaining run time before adding yet more plot points that won’t ever go anywhere.

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I’d be disappointed except that I was pleasantly surprised that this anime attempted any kind of story in the first place. Still, at episode 12, I want more than Subaru upset that the spare machine he gets asked to use is filthy and that someone left the volume on the stereo turned up to loud. It just doesn’t cut it this late in the season.

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Karandi James

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