OP: “Stone Cold” by FictionJunction
When it comes to anime, there’s probably no other studio bigger than Sunrise when it comes to sheer historical weight. They’ve been involved in more monstrously popular series and films than anyone, not the least of which are properties like Gundam, Cowboy Bebop and Code Geass. So anytime Sunrise comes out with a new series, I give it a watch no matter what I think of the subject matter.
Sacred Seven is a bit of a mess plot-wise, but at least it’s interesting. The main character is 17 year-old Alma Tandoji (Takuma Terashima). At school he’s thought of as a generic dangerous ruffian, but in reality there’s a reason for his loner demeanor – he hides a secret power that once led him to injure 14 others when it broke free of his control.
Onto this stage steps an odd “corporation” led by Rozen Maiden wannabe Ruri (Megumi Nakajima), black butler/assassin Kagami (Miyu Irino) and some sort of weird Noh mask that projects emoticons and likes to say “Hell” every sentence. They know about Alma’s power and attempt to turn him to their side as the city is under attack by a couple of mythical demons/mecha, one of whom wields a very cool Medusa gun. Oh, and there’s a love interest too – Wakana (Kanae Ito) a classmate who tries to break through Tandoji’s brusque shell and invite him into the geology club.
If all that sounds remarkably formulaic, it is – so much so, in fact, that I’m wondering if this is meant to be taken quasi-seriously or as a bit of Sunrise self-parody. There are a few twists, one of which being that rather than riding in a mecha, the “Sacred Seven” who possess the strange power Tandoji does seem to turn into mecha themselves. There’s also a “true” (good) mecha form, and a “darkstone” (evil) form. A bit of a mess, as I said, and rather confusing, but the first episode had some nice action sequences and just enough odd quirks (one being that most of the female characters ahare their seiyuu’s names) to offset the formula and make things mildly interesting.
You never know quite what you’re going to get with Sunrise. The show this will likely bring to mind is Star Driver, perhaps Code Geass (with whom it shares a character designer). The guys are definitely fabulous, but I hope it doesn’t go too far down the Star Driver path as I tired of that series pretty quickly. I really think the big question is just how seriously this one will take itself, because if this isn’t a parody at least in part, I could see it collapsing under it’s own weight pretty quickly.
ED: “輝跡-kiseki-” by Yuuka Nanri