Urobuchi December: Obsolete

I seem to be enjoying a lot of anime that other people are not recently. Blade Runner: Black Lotus, Exkaiser, Orguss, and quite a few others. I remember when another time occurred long ago. That anime is well…Obsolete. Organized by Gen Urobuchi, Obsolete was an anime that was produced by YouTube by Bandai Namco. A really interesting, but short form ONA series of twelve episodes in which 6 episodes came out in the holidays in 2019 and another set came out in the holidays in 2020. Each episode is only 10 minutes in length. A noticeably short little thing full of concepts in which I enjoyed watching every week.

The world of Obsolete is like our own except with the appearance of aliens we never really see. Aliens that are looking for raw limestone and in return give mecha called Exo-Frames in return. The thing about this series is that the Exo-Frames are so cheap to every country in the world, even poor ones, that everyone has them. Everyone has a powerful military force now and suddenly; the United States military force is not as strong as it could be. To me, this feels like a critique of America’s military build up in the form of a what if scenario. Gen Urobuchi owning the American military in this anime no one watched.

There is no exact sort of main character to this story or other things here. Just little snippets of plots that may do something or be meaningful to something later on. Some United States parties are facing off against an enemy that they do not know. The first section of episodes has some lead in of a mysterious corps with a white skull interrupting American interests with a bit of an origin story of some kind from an American military drop out trying African children, but that does and does not go anywhere in the second season or set of episodes.

There are even episodes focused on military build up, countries, parades, and other things that one would expect. Same with the American military trying to find the next upgrade or way to utilize those things as well. It is somewhat Gasaraki in nature like that? It is amazingly simple and grounded story telling in a way that really does feel somewhat realistic. The strange and abnormal are treated in an ordinary way where this McGuffin technology is treated in a very boring and ordinary way. I find that fascinating.

This show is a very cg one. As in, the entire show is like that. The character designs are realistic and from all over the place for safe ways, but animation is very low frame rate for them and its very off putting. All that actual English speaking is natural, the animation does not make it natural when it happens. But the frame rate does work for a lot of the unique mecha battles in the forests, mountains, snow, and so many other things here too. Every country has their own special mecha design and it is so cool here.

So yes, I like Obsolete. I think its unfocused and a bit of a mess, but its interesting. Not perfect, not good, but something that is ok in a way that I enjoy. This is where I combine my own unique and complicated thoughts of “this is ok” but seeing the complicated thoughts behind it all makes it work so well even if it does not. I mean, the ending of Obsolete is not even perfect at all. It ends with a random tv episodes that is like Gundam and Madoka combined together. But it was fun and that was a terrific way to end it all.

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