Sunday, February 3, 2013

Needless Anime Review

Needless
Sentai Filmworks
Complete Collection - 5 discs
600 mins. - 24 episodes
$89.98 (2012) Blu-ray
$79.98 (2012)
$69.98 (2011) Part 1-2/ea. Blu-ray
$59.98 (2011) Part 1-2/ea.
ISBN 814131012517
Japanese/English Audio - English Subtitles
Director - Masayuki Sakoi
Studio - Madhouse

Synopsis: Fifty years ago World War III broke out among the powerful nations of the world.  Tokyo was ground zero for a nuclear explosion and the result was a lifeless crater called the "Black Spot".  Eventually people returned to live in the Black Spot and an all-powerful being called "The Second" (as in the second coming of Christ) appeared with incredible powers to help those people struggling to survive.  The Second died mysteriously and afterwards some of the inhabitants of the Black Spot began exhibiting similar powers possessed by him.  These people were called "Needless" and each only had one specific power.  It's said The Second had all of the powers of the Needless, but upon his passing the powers were scattered thus the Needless possess fragments of The Second's power.
The "Black Spot" 
A corrupt pharmaceutical company called Simeon has established a headquarters in the Black Spot.  The CEO of the company is Adam Arclight and he is hunting Needless in order to gain their fragments for a nefarious plot.  He commands the Four -a group of incredibly strong Needless including:
The evil Adam Arclight, CEO of Simeon
  • Riru Roukakuji - she controls Psychokinesis and is one of the most powerful Needless in existence, her strength is only rivaled by the size of her breasts, she is Arclight's lover
  • Saten - a mysterious figure with his face wrapped in bandages, he wears huge gauntlets and has a fearsome power, he is Arclight's top lieutenant
  • Uten - a young man whose power appears to be magic, with great stage presence he dispatches the enemies of Simeon
  • The final member of the Four is unknown and rarely seen.  Who could this person be?
Adam Blade is 100% badass
Opposing Simeon is a group of resistance fighters and they stage a daring assault on Arclight in broad daylight.  The attack goes awry and the entire resistance is killed except for a young boy named Cruz Schild.  His sister is a Needless and dies saving him from a robotic hunter/killer called a Testament.  Cruz is pursued by Simeon and runs into a strange priest.  The priest destroys a Testament with his bare hands and is called Adam Blade.  Cruz joins up with Blade and his group:
Cruz Schild joins up with Blade's group...and may not live to regret it
  • Adam Blade - a priest (although apparently not religious) and Needless with incredible strength/endurance, has a weakness for very cute girls, has a crystal in his forehead which allows him to "learn" the powers of other Needless and use them
  • Eve Neuschwanstein - a girl with a unique fragment power called Doppelganger, she can change her shape at will and heal injuries, she can impersonate people of roughly the same size, her limbs can become drills or other complex objects to fight with, her power uses up immense quantities of calories and she must replenish them (usually with a hyper-caloric soft drink called Super Gel Dero Doro)
  • Gido - an old bald man who was once a scientist, is a father figure to both Blade and Eve although they don't listen to him very much
Eve Neuschwanstein loves Super Gel Dero Doro drink
Cruz and his newfound friends are pursued by Simeon as Adam Arclight wants to replace his ailing body with Blade's.  The group must battle Simeon's evil Needless to stop Arclight including the Beautiful Girl Squadron (Mio, Setsuna, and Kuchinashi).  What is the secret origin of the Adams and their link to Eve?  A clandestine group called 666 supports Arclight and Simeon.  What do they seek and will they betray Arclight?  Why does Saten hide his face?  Can the merely-human Cruz survive among the powerful Needless with only his wits?  Who is more powerful - Adam Blade or Adam Arclight?
Eve gets in a compromising position with the Beautiful Girl Squadron
Pros: Lots of fan-service, good opening/ending theme songs, some comedy, characters with cool powers, violent and bloody battles, a few good plot twists at the end, a somewhat interesting story, some good extras, Adam Blade's voice in the dub is awesome
Eve, Adam, Teruyama (aka Uchida), and Gido.  I love how the sun
is glinting off of Gido's bald head!
Cons: Long drawn-out fight scenes (like six or more episodes in one room), very simple story and dialogue, crazy-looking character designs with a lot of dudes running around without shirts on
Blade has a major lolicon fetish - he loves young-looking girls
Mike Tells It Straight: Needless is a high-octane, action-comedy with lots of stylized battles.  It's not for kids due to swearing and loads of fan-service, but I'd say it's right on par for a teenage audience.  The plot is severely deconstructed where one fight can take five episodes.  Yes, it suffers from the Dragonball Z, Naruto, and Bleach syndrome where fights last forever due to successive reveals during fights of new powers/information.  Those other shows are hundreds of episodes long, but Needless is only 24-episodes and it seems more noticeable.
The Beautiful Girl Squadron's panties
I found a lot of Needless to be very anime cliche - particularly the comedy.  Blade's little-girl fetish, the incessant slapstick, and recurring jokes were pretty silly.  Despite all of the negatives the show had good energy and was kind of entertaining.  The animation was highly stylized, but decent quality.  Cruz's character was an underdog and Blade was pretty darn cool.
Blade attempts to steal Arclight's powers with his Byakugou
The fight scenes were a bit drawn out, but pretty brutal at times.  At the end of the day Needless is not Gurren Lagann, but it may be so bad it's good.  It made me laugh out loud a couple times and tried to have a story.  If you're looking for something mindless which will make you laugh and has some action/fan-service then Needless is your thing.
Blade, Cruz, Eve, and Teruyama set off on another adventure!
TO BUY and Recommendations: