Under the Dog: (Prologue from Kickstarter) Review

It’s quite an experience or an oddity to say that I was a backer to this project.  I had only a concept of an idea of what I was expecting from this project and looking back at it, I am very interested and yet frustrated in what the result was.  It was a very interesting first episode into a series that I want to watch more of and I don’t even know whether or not there will ever be more.  While the general setting is set up and the watcher can get a feel for what this series is going for, there is still a lot that we don’t know about the situation.  What the back story of this setting is, what the goals of each side are, and so on and so forth.  Also, it’s very similar to the first episode of Ga-Rei: Zero in a lot of ways.  I’m not going to spoil what that means, but this is a cause for even more frustration.

Let’s start with what I can actually tell you, the audience.  This would be boring without something to throw out there now wouldn’t it?  Under the Dog’s setting is most intriguing.  At some point in the past, who knows when, the United States has occupied Japan.  From the surrounding area that has been seen, they keep around a solid military force to maintain control of it and keep it on lock down.  Call it what you want, but it’s obviously an occupation.  Perhaps a political statement?  Staying on topic, trained female assassins who are forced into this occupation by having their families held hostage, are searching for chosen ones who will save the Japan.  Not much else is clear on this, but that’s what I have been able to hash out on a narrative level.

On a character level, there isn’t that much to speak of.  This…whatever it is…focuses on a high school assassin and the chosen one escaping a school from the attacking U.S. Army.  Yes, these two characters get more fleshed out and have possibly gain some interesting for each other in that body guard crush kind of way, but this is only the beginning of their development.

Okay, visuals and audio are something that I can talk more in depth about.  My god this was gorgeous.  Very easily comparable to Studio Bone’s Towa no Quon.  Fluid animation, fluid destruction, incredibly well choreographed, well directed power use, great explosions, gore (yes gore), and so on and so forth for things that I can probably go on for hours about.  Also, the voice acting.  It was pretty solid in general, but they must have hired some actual American voice actors to fill military roles.  I don’t know if they would have the budget for that, but it all felt natural.

I’m not sure if I would recommend this or not.  If anything I have written sounds interesting, go ahead and watch it, but just know what to expect when it comes to the ending.  If you don’t want to watch this, I don’t blame you.  It’s thirty minutes of your time into a world that you may or may not see any more of.  Some people would call that a waste.

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