Thursday, May 19, 2016

[Ended] Utawarerumono - The False Faces

In the interest of getting a few of these end posts hammered out that have been collecting dust
in draft form, I'm going to skip the quick image cuts of the shows, and shall resume again after.

Pros: Great Characters
-Characters don't always get a lot of time to develop, but they rarely feel like they needed more
-The world is amazingly deep
-The Story has the power to stand on its own without the previous season

Cons: Years divided seasons
-Several characters make cameos from the first season, and the show doesn't really seem to bother trying to fill in the new viewers about those characters beyond what they immediately need to know to make them function where they show up. As a result, I expect many people to see them as kind of Flat, uninteresting characters, or to feel like they're magic mc'guffins to advance the plot/story
-You're only going to see one-half of the true depth of the world from the second season. The two season basically exist in such a way that they are telling a story from two different opposing view points, but you wouldn't be able to tell this without seeing both seasons, and it would spoil things greatly to try to explain what those opposing views are in any detail
-For all that the story stands on its own, the plot is clearly a continuation of the first seasons plot, and I don't think a lot of people are going to even realize that there is more to the plot, without being told by someone that knows

My Opinion: This was a splendid ride from the start...but not quite to the finish. There is so much that is going to be happening right after the show ends, yet still, there it ends. As I understand it, this show is being adapted from some form of either Visual Novel/Game. I don't remember the specifics, and I don't particularly care about them either, but I think it's safe to say that this show is a strong candidate for getting another season...but...
The last time it took what, Years? How long are fans suppose to wait? Whatever, the show is good enough to wait for, I just find myself thinking, 'how would you pitch this to your source of funds', whatever that may be, publisher, company, EtC.

It's not quite a 'wild ride', like you may get from other shows. Here, the action takes place as a reinforcement of the ebb and flow of the story and world, rather than as a set piece to dominate the scenery. In fact, most of the time the 'action' is just brief flashes of pawns killing each other for a few seconds, before flashing to a more developed character who will actually show something worth seeing. Even then though, the show enjoys underlining that for all their power, still that character affects only a small part of the battlefield. The grand movement of the battlefield seems to be treated as far more important to the show. I like that myself, and the action and fighting of those main characters, in addition to the characters themselves, are superb in my opinion.

Impartial Opinion: This is a good enough show on its own, but until/unless it gets a continuation, I don't really feel comfortable recommending it, especially since if you want to understand the true grand over-arching plot of the show, you have to devour the entire previous Utawarerumono show.
Still, it can be said that you don't need to do that, I suppose. However, you'll miss several subtle cues and foreshadowing moments, or may not even understand at all why things suddenly happen in one or two points of the show. Over all, you will still understand everything you need to. The deeper meaning and plot will potentially evade you though, and you may not understand as much of the direction the show aims itself in at the end. With the previous season in your pocket, you will fully understand what the show is hinting at that it is going to do if it gets another season. You may still have a vague idea of that hinting, but not as much.

I give this show a rating of:

Whether you decide to watch it should be decided within about 3 episodes, but I would also underline that you should really watch the first season before this one, for all that I'm sure a newcomer could still enjoy this season on its own.
However, you cannot tell the worth of the first season on it's first few episodes, as it takes a much longer time to develop everything. I view this as a shortcoming while trying to sell people on the show as a whole, but in the long run it's probably what made that first season great.

Y'know, the one time I decide, "eh, let's just assume crunchyrolls paid(I assume) translators know something I don't, and not heckle about this ones title. It probably can mean that too."
...the one time. Bah. KAMEN RIDERS ANYONE? I haven't even SEEN that ancient as dust show and that's all I need, to know that Kamen means mask. How did they...oh who cares.
Mask not Faces. Whatever. Yes it makes a lot better sense, from a translation point AND from the plot.
[Aside end]

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