Tuesday, January 17, 2012

E's Otherwise Anime Review

E's Otherwise
ADV Films
Complete Collection - 5 discs
650 min. - 26 episodes
$59.98 (2006)
$49.98 (2009)
ISBN 702727150326
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Masami Shimoda
Studio - Studio Pierrot

Synopsis: Kai Kudou is the latest recruit to join AESES - a team of young psychics working for ASHURUM, one of the twelve corporations controlling the modern world.  Psychics (also known as Espers) have incredible mental powers, but are feared and hated by humans.  AESES was put together by Eiji Sagimiya in an effort to study, train, and police the world's psychics.  Kai's sister Hikaru is sickly and Eiji offers her the best medical treatment available in exchange for Kai's participation. 

After completing his training along with the other psychics of AESES, Kai is sent out on missions by Eiji - missions to apprehend renegade, dangerous psychics endangering the general population.  A sinister plot emerges when Kai starts to notice all of the psychics he apprehends mysteriously disappear. 

AESES is sent into neighboring territory Gald to 'apprehend' more psychics, but the mission ends in disaster as Kai is injured and lost in the city.  He is taken in by two human siblings, Yuki and Asuka.  Kai stays with them in Gald to escape ASHURUM and worries about his sister.

Clockwise from left - Kai, Asuka, Eiji, and Yuki (holding the gun)
Kai begins to understand the humans' fears of pyschics and uncover the secrets of ASHURUM.  Will he be too late to save his sister Hikaru from the evil plans of Eiji and his legion of brainwashed psychics?
Pros: Some neat psychic powers and battles, interesting story setup with evil corporation exploiting psychics, animation for opening credits was pretty good

Who is that strking young lady?
Cons: Opening/ending theme songs were generic, Kai *reluctantly* cross-dresses a couple times (shyea-right), too many silly episodes in the middle, dub voices were pretty annoying (especially Shen-Long and Asuka), weak animation quality, no extras

Mike Tells It Straight: I've had this series on my 'to be watched' list for a long time and finally checked it out over the holidays.  It could have waited.  The first few episodes were great and the drama built as Kai began running missions for AESES.  Right when things were really gaining steam the story veered off into a silly, episodic mess with Kai helping Yuki do odd jobs.  I guess the Gald episodes were meant to show Kai growing closer to Yuki and Asuka in a lighthearted fashion, but it really killed the momentum of the series. 

I wish the animation looked this good
The story finally picked up again in the last few episodes, but the ending felt rushed with too much crammed into that final episode.  We learn several key details about Kai, Hikaru, and Eiji at the end, but I still felt confused.  I really loved the character designs and art from original creator Satoru Yuiga's manga, but it didn't translate into the anime.  Despite having some good points, this show was a confusing mess and doesn't rate a good recommendation.   
TO BUY and Recommendations: