Watch or Drop? Rules
Rules modified for the Autumn 2021 season.
- The anime must be new (not a sequel or spin-off).
- I’ll watch as much as it takes to make a decisionas to whether the anime will be added to the watch/review list or dropped and forgotten. For good.
First Impressions of Scarlet Nexus:
I didn’t go into Scarlet Nexus with particularly high hopes.
Another anime about an enemy referred to only as ‘others’ attacking cities and teams of super-powered soldiers, lots of which are teens, fighting them off just seemed like it was going to get lost in the crowd and the messy visuals used to promote Scarlet Nexus did nothing to change my mind on that.
That the source for the anime was a game also didn’t do much to inspire confidence.
And so I watched the first three episodes and ultimately this isn’t the worst introduction I’ve ever watched to a story but it also didn’t do a huge amount to win me over.
Scarlet Nexus is kind of hovering kind of perfectly on average with no particular elements being dreadful but not a lot to really celebrate about this anime either.
Scarlet Nexus Series Positives:
I think so far I’ve appreciated that Scarlet Nexus hasn’t been in over-explanation mode. Despite Yuito and Nagi just finally entering the Other Suppression Force (OSF) we really don’t get a lot of exposition and so far only one joint training session between to platoons which seemed more about getting Kasane some additional screen time as she seems to be a main character.
While this does mean there are some things about the world and the powers and the rest that still haven’t really been explained, I can’t imagine the plot would make any more sense even if they were. Do I really care why some people have more magic power than others? I just need to know that Yuito apparently didn’t have much.
Now could this become a problem later in the series if nothing ever gets explained? Absolutely. But for now I was kind of happy that the story just kind of flowed right along.
Equally, while a few different characters are introduced, they did a good enough job of conveying their personalities through actions in the first three episodes that you have a sense of who they are. While it would be nice to see them fleshed out a bit more beyond these initial impressions, so far all of the characters kind of work and seem to have enough of their own personality to stand out.
Scarlet Nexus Series Negatives:
Not so much a negative but visually this anime is hard to take seriously. Not just because the animation is kind of so-so but more because the ‘others’ largely look like overgrown pot-plants with legs and it is really hard to take a threat seriously when it looks that ridiculous. Larger enemies look even sillier and unwieldy and it is hard to imagine any government actually having to take this threat seriously.
Equally, while it is a positive they haven’t lectured at us and thrown so much jargon at you that you can’t even think straight, Scarlet Nexus has yet to explain why regular weapons wouldn’t solve the problem. Particularly when canons seemed to be used to bring down about 80% of the enemies at one point. So wouldn’t a soldier with a gun work as well as a psychic teen using a garbage bin?
We are lacking in context as in I don’t think it is clear when or where this is meant to be set or how we got to this situation. Not sure when the ‘others’ started showing up and why they became such a threat. Sure we might learn along the way but at this stage we just have to accept they are there.
Possibly the other negative is we’ve gone from joining the military to uncovering a vast conspiracy and being about to die in the space of three episodes. It might be nice if Scarlet Nexus slowed down a little and gave its own story a bit of room to breathe so that the audience could feel more like they knew where they were rather than feeling a little dragged along.
I don’t actually think Scarlet Nexus will end up being particularly good. But nor do I think it will be dreadful and Yuito and Kasane weren’t terrible characters so I’m kind of curious as to what ends up happening to them. There’s definite potential for this to fall apart but I think it is far more likely to end up being pretty unremarkable but watchable.
Then gain, it just might surprise me and turn out to be great. Guess I’ll find out at the end of the season.
Images from: Scarlet Nexus. Dir. H Nishimura. Sunrise. 2021
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