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Triage X (anime review)

Title: Triage X: Complete Collection on Blu-ray

Directors: Akio Takami, Takao Kato

Music: Makoto Miyazaki

Studio: Xebec

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23

U. S. Release Date: Jan. 24th, 2017

Format: Blu-ray / 10 Episodes + OVA / 275 Minutes

Genre: Drama, Action, Extreme Fan Service, Harem

Age Rating: MA for nudity and violence

Overall Personal Rating: C+

Synopsis:

Our society is infected with a disease, a gangrenous cancer in the form of those who commit the most monstrous of evils, yet whose power and influence place them beyond the reach of the law. When corrupt politicians fail to act and the police seem helpless, there is a third, secret option that stands ready to excise the malignancy in a tactical surgical strike: Black Label, a dedicated team of doctors, nurses, and students who moonlight as an elite team of assassins.

With the world’s deadliest nurse, a master swordswoman MD, an idol with an affinity for explosives, and a pair of seemingly indestructible high school students, their mission is as simple as it is deadly: identify the drug runners, terrorists, and criminal masterminds who can’t be destroyed any other way, and then eliminate them by whatever means necessary in TRIAGE X!

Special Features: Interview with Kenji Akabane and Yuri Kondo, Japanese Promos, Clean Opening Animation.

Commentary:

Oh my goodness, Triage X takes you straight to the fan service and nudity. There is no attempt to hide the intent there is just a blatant explosion of nude women on the scene. The fact that there is a serious drama included kind of gets in the way of large breast bouncing across the screen.

My first thought was that someone took the heavy drama as seen in series like Darker Than Black or even Black Lagoon and mixed it up with Sekirei or even Tenjou Tenge.  After few episodes I realized that the plot was only secondary to the fan service and it became almost meaningless that they were unabashed vigilant. This is where the plot broke down for me. I really wanted some meat with these bones, but that just wasn’t meant to be.

Overall Rating: C+

You might think that I would have given this a lower grade and maybe I should. Honestly, I can see where it was true to its nature and audience. The target audience is the male 18 to 29 year old group and everything you expect from one of these series in piled in. There is a serious drama that provides plenty of girls with guns and a very sympathetic male lead character with a overabundance of nudity.

I typically am not a fan of these type of series but do love a solid girls with guns show. Triage X provides the excitement that goes with a serious girls with guns even if their breast to tend to overshadow the plot and action. The other shinning point of the series has to be the animation. It is high quality and it was easy to tell that the animators enjoyed what they were doing.

In the event that you are looking for a action packed series with an overdeveloped fan service quality then you will find Triage X the series for you.

Argevollen Collection 1 (anime review)

ARGEVOLLEN-Collection-1Title: Argevollen Collection 1

Directed by: Atsushi Ōtsuki

Written by: Tatsuo Satō

Studio: Xebec

U. S. Distributor: Sentai Filmworks, Section 23 Films

U. S. Release Date: September 1st, 2015

Format: Blu-ray / 12 Episodes / 300 Minutes

Genre: Sci Fi, Mecha

Age Rating: TV 14

Overall Personal Rating: B

Other series to check out: Knights of Sidonia, Nobunaga the Fool and Aldnoah. Zero

Synopsis:

Tokimune Susumu has every reason to distrust the military and question orders. His sister has already died in the service of the Arandas military, and his secret reason for enlisting is to ferret out the truth behind her mysterious death. So, when a civilian convoy is in jeopardy and his own battle mech is destroyed, Susumu’s all too ready to break ranks and jump into the cockpit of the experimental Argevollen.

What he isn’t expecting, however, is that activating the Argevollen conforms it to his mind alone. Now he’s on the frontline of the ongoing meat-grinder that the war between Arandas and Ingelmia has become, and his only certain ally is an attractive civilian contractor whose reasons for being in the war are as convoluted as his own.

Commentary:

2015 may just end up being the year that the Mecha series made their triumphant return. At least in the U. S., really 2014 was the year in Japan. I think that some of the very best series release in the states this year are mecha and Argevollen is a classic example of where the genre tends to be very good and also very heavy handed.

Argevollen gives us a rather common story line of a young mecha pilot who has raw ability but doesn’t understand how to control himself. Can you say Full Metal Panic, you know it is all about being able to connect with the machine to become the ultimate fighting mecha. Of course his youth and lack of understanding tends to get in the way and is pure energy and mindless will ends up being his savior. The level of coming of age struggles may be at the core of all too many anime, but is is also fun to watch and at the same time very frustrating when the drama ends up being heavy handed. And heavy handed drama is front and center with Argevollen.

Overall Grade: B

For a mecha series it is very entertaining because of the way they bring this band of military outliers together and prove that you don’t have to be spit and polished to be good. There is also the connection between Tokimune Susumu and Jamie Hazaford that is handled very well. Jamie is a reluctant player in this war but as things move forward it is clear that she is meant to be right where she is and that she is there to help Tokimune and Argevollen become a single unit.

The animation is above par but in the end it is all about how these characters blend together. I can’t say that Argevollen is one of the top offerings of the season, but if you are a mecha fan then you should be pleased with this series too. I still think the heavy handed dramatic approach is what always hurts mecha series. I will always love the approach that Full Metal Panic took with a easy blend of comedy and drama with plenty of wonderful action to keep things going.

Argevollen will find its home in the hearts of plenty of fans, so if you enjoy a action packed mecha then this one is for you.