Eat-Man: A Vague Man for a Vague World

Eat-man is another anime that is hard to write about. Not because there is a lot going on, but because there is a lot of incompleteness to it. It doesn’t explain itself; it just is. If you were never an anime fan that tried something out by jumping into it blindly, eat-man is that again and again and again. Eat-man thrusts you into the middle of stories and you don’t know about their relevance at all. You only know that things are going to happen and the show doesn’t want to tell you about the world its apart, who the main character is besides his name until the end, but only the here and now. Why the character we are featuring is important and why you should get attached to that. Eat-Man is such a strange show.

In a world that exists in some place of time maybe, there is a strange man that wanders from place-to-place named Bolt Crank. A mysterious mercenary of a man that eats metal and can form weapons in his hands. A strange and very interesting man that wanders from place to place and gets himself involved in so many different stories that are not his own. Also, I am not lying about the world of Eat-Man. In this series, not sure about in the second one, but the world is so vague. One episode, Bolt will be hired to find a giant beast in the jungle or in a fantasy bar. In another, he could go through a battle ground you don’t know where. In yet another, he could be in a modern city. We don’t know if this is in the future or in the past, it just is and that is definitely a choice here.

In a lot of ways, Eat-man is another story like Kino’s Journey, Mushishi, or whatever episodic travel series that involved different countries and situations. As usual, there is a lot of opportunities for our character to go into a different place or go somewhere we have never seen before. The major question I have for this anime is, is the vagueness of it all on purpose? Is the director going for something time less by just focusing on the there and now. Creating universal experiences that we have seen before for some reason? I mean, not adding anything special is what makes it boring. That is something that can’t say Eat-Man is. There is something that drew me to it a bit more into the show as we go on because the individual stories are at least interesting.

Diving into the world of the different characters from the female warrior who doesn’t want to be confused as a mercenary, that scientist who wants to discover the secrets of creature in the woods that is killing some random military men, an airship that is about to crash into a town, a dancer in a Titty Bar who has higher ambitions, a soldier who fights for a country that doesn’t like her, and so many other things. These are good stories that have a lot of potential in them and I think I am just looking at the potential when looking at this show. A lot of these episodes have some obvious twists, some feel like they are about to say something and then don’t, or an episode ends and you wonder what the point was. One cour of stories that are just like this in their anthology and they certainly exist.

The human experience is here in Eat-Man led by a crazy man who eats metal and can form guns in his hands, but Eat-Man never goes as far as it could because each of the episodes could have been longer, better, or a bit more well defined. Even the art and animation are minimalist at best. There are some flashes of brilliance when a shot looks incredible, but a lot of the show is covered in shadows and focused on the characters with enough attention to the backgrounds to let you know what setting the characters are in. The end result of the show is that it exists and a lot can be read from it if you can imagine it. With that in mind, Eat-Man is just ok. I am curious enough to check out Eat-Man 98 in the future. I just don’t know when.

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7 comments

  1. I’ve watched Eat-man 98, and honestly I thought that was the one you were reviewing, and it’s nothing like this anime. It has a legitimate story line with a fairly stable cast of characters. It’s not high quality, but it’s a lot less vague.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Great review! I felt the same about this ‘Eat-Man’ – it really holds back on those contextual details, huh?

    The 98 ‘Eat-Man’ offers a bit more detail on things that were absent from the first series but perhaps isn’t as moody and mysterious – I thought it was a deliberate move to leave much unsaid too. (Bolt himself is played a little differently in the 98 version too.)

    Liked by 1 person

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