Dimension W takes place in a world that fossil fuels are no long relevant. The world uses coils that acquire energy from alternate dimensions to power everyday things. Our main character is introduced to us with a mysterious pass and a hate for all things that use coils. He works as a collector (a mercenary who goes after illegal coils) and on a mission, he runs into a robot girl that inhabits human emotions. This is where the anime begins.
I’m going to say this out right, this show crashed and burned. Up to the half way point, it was a solid above average show that had a lot of good science fiction elements and decent episodic adventures of collecting illegal dimension w coils. By all rights, this could have been a very fun cyber punk show that I could have suggested to people as an introduction. The second half of this series had flash backs that were not focused in any meaningful way or place where they made sense and adding more characters that almost no time was spent on developing them so they ended up being pointless. I think this show needed two cours instead of one to get all the characters developed, have all the proper back story in place, and pace the show how they wanted. The animation and soundtrack were okay throughout. These are the only positives that I can think of.
Grimgar: Of Fantasy and Ash:
Tell me if you have heard this one before, a group of kids end up in a video game somehow and have last all of their memories of their past lives in the normal world. It sounds very familiar, but the execution in the series is not. If anything, I feel like this show was the opposite or the long lost cousin of Log Horizon. In Log Horizon, the characters were already a high level, they knew the lay out of the land, and what they were getting into, none of these things are true in Grimgar. (This isn’t a ding on Log Horizon season one at all because it’s very intelligently written). The characters start at level one everything, including memories. They work hard to explore the lands around them, to live and acquire money, and to level up and learn abilities.
One of the many things that people complain about in Grimgar are the characters. In some ways I agree with people at the beginning of the show, but it’s hard to have a defined personality with no memories. The show plays thing surprisingly realistically. As the it progressed, the characters became more and more fleshed out from dealing with the environment they are forced to be in and the characters they interact with. Also, Grimgar does a lot of great showing rather than telling. You can tell the creatures are very humanly intelligent, despite our main characters not speaking their language, because of the items they use in the show. The background art is beautiful as well. As of this moment, this is probably my favorite show A-1 pictures has made. It’s slow paced, but it’s worth the ride.
That is not to say that Grimgar is flawless. There is a lot of unnecessary fan service in this show. The camera focuses on a certain female’s rear end at least once an episode and these shots are always very unnecessary. Also, there is a certain thief master whose sole existence is providing fan service because of the way her costume is designed and the way she acts toward one of the characters. There is also insert songs that show had to deal with out of nowhere because the show was used to advertise for a singing group. Entire bits of dialogue that could have provided more characterization were taken out of the show. If none of these two things happened, I would be singing the praises of this show more then I currently am. Nothing is flawless though and these things just prove it.
Snow White with the Red Hair Season 2:
I have a post about this show earlier and all of my feelings from that blog post all are maintained. This is still the Disney feeling anime, but with not your typical Disney protagonist type female. Shirayuki is a very self-motivated commoner who was on the run from the country she was from due to a Prince with questionable morals. She becomes immigrates to another country and works hard on her job to become a court herbalist while also falling in love with the youngest prince of that country. This is the season that redeems the prince with questionable Morales. Of course, this happened when Shirayuki was kidnapped and her failed attempt to escape. This show walks the fine line of having her a damsel in distress and having a strong independent female protagonist who don’t need know prince. I think this hurts it slightly because it doesn’t know what this show wants to be.
Snow White is an almost perfect blend of Disney and Shoujo anime. Definitely a fantasy and slice of life anime that is completely different from the norm. Shirayuki is very much the “Disney princess”, but she blushes and loses her over how adoring the prince is over her. This is anime, these are to be expected. The background art and music are so wonderful and glorious that it really sucks you in to this setting. It’s almost like you live there. At the same time, the show doesn’t aim too high trying to be overly amazing. Snow White works inside its own means to be as solid of an entertainment piece as possible.
Next time, one of my favorite shows that ended this season (besides Lupin the Third: Part 4): Showa Genroku Rakugo Shinju