I have seen magical girls transform. I have seen magical boys transform (Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka). I have seen sailor moon transform. I have also seen shounen characters transform into a higher power (Ichigo/Naruto/Sasuke). I have also seen vampires transform into their monster forms. There was even multiple Frieza transformation sequences. But I have never seen a fat, short pig transform. This transformation sequence nailed the show for me. Like seriously..one of the most badass things I’ve seen this season so far.
So not much happened this episode. It continues where it left off first episode where Haruyuki encounters Ash Roller, and he realizes that the Brain Burst program was a multi-player fighting game with random-encounter battle functions. He also learned the details of the game from dueling other players to advantages and weakness of the different types. He also learns that the ability to accelerate depends on how many burst points you have. To accelerate one time, it costs one burst point. If you win your battles, you get burst points (the amount varies on opponent level difference). However, if you lose the battle, you will lose a chunk of burst points (again, depends on the opponent level difference). If you have no more burst points, you will never be able to accelerate again. After learning some basics and some little tips from Hime, Haruyuki heads off to battle Ash Roller. Although Silver Crow got the first surprise hit, Ash Roller later turned the advantage over with the power of his bike and type advantage. However, with Silver Crow’s thinking process, Haruyuki manages to turn the battle around to a one-hit-ko headbutt on Ash Roller, securing his first victory. The episode ends with a two main female protagonists facing off for the unslightly MC (cliche much?).
For this episode, the pacing was a little bit slow and there was not much development. It was kind of like an introductory episode to the program and celebrating Haruyuki’s first win. I do not mind as much since there is 24 episodes planned for it, so the slow pacing for this episode shouldn’t hurt the show too badly. The introduction of the other avatars viewing Silver Crow vs. Ash Roller was definitely nice. The anime also managed to keep up the good work with the art. I loved the animation quality this anime delivers. It is, to describe it in one word, beautiful. The avatar designs are all interesting and unique, and the surprise kick from Haruyuki was awesome. I am looking forward to the future battles, and I am also interested in seeing Hime’s battle avatar as well as why she has to hide from the view of the other avatars.
Talking about the character and action in the anime itself, there was many cliche moments, I agree. How many times have I heard the main character say, “think, think, there must be a way to win this”? Quite a lot and it was kind of a turn-off that he won in one hit. It also annoys me that there is a female childhood friend that actually cares about him, but Haruyuki totally disregards her existence and says that no one ever treated him so kindly before. I mean, are you blind? Seriously? I mean his eyes covers about half his head and he can’t see something so close to him? Some people might say that Chiyuri is the annoying childhood friend, but I do not see it that way. I see someone who cares about the well-being of the MC without looking down or scorning him, and the MC is an idiot for ignoring her. I’m not promoting a Haruyuki x Chiyuri pairing, but I wish he gave her some credit for trying god damn it. I really hope he starts paying attention to her and not treating her kindness as something that is easily accessible and replaceable.
I also want to mention about the BGM. I absolutely loved it. They played the BGMS at the right moment, at the right time to make the experience so much more enjoyable. The Ending Sequence was also very good. I have a huge pet peeve when the anime makes horrible ED with still frames and sub-par music. This song by KOTOKO, however, was so nice to listen to, and the animation for the video was also good.
Sunrise is doing an absolutely fine job, and I have no arguments on what they are doing right now animating the series. All the main character has to do is stop crying so much, although if he cried enough, he might lose some of that body weight. The material should be new and better developed since the first two episodes were a premier. So I hope they spent a good amount of time to deliver something good for next episode.
Episode 2 Screencaps
Ending Sequence (“→unfinished→” by KOTOKO)