Wow. If I were the kind of person who felt physical attraction to anime characters, I’d be flopping on the floor dying right now. That is quite the bit of fanservice there, isn’t it? Last time I saw anything like that was with Weiß Kreuz!
Over the course of two episodes, I am enjoying Level E more than any other show that is airing this season. Granted, Hourou Musuko has the cruel duty of satisfying me as a fan of its manga, whereas I have not touch the Level E manga. But, even so, Level E is proving to be extremely fun to watch. Its also a lot funnier than anything else currently airing, in large part since it doesn’t equate constant screaming with humor nor does it contain buckets of fanservice, the above shot from the OP aside.
One of the things, though, that I’m really liking about Level E is how very 90’s it feels. The visuals definitely evoke that with the character designs, although the whole theme of aliens really bring about that sense as well. The anime I honestly was reminded of most was actually Tenchi Muyo, as we met more aliens in episode two and the humor was ratcheted up. No harem antics here, but aliens coming out of the woodwork everywhere is definitely reminiscent of that show. As for aliens and the 90’s, there is also the plain fact that I saw Men in Black as a kid and watched the cartoon based off of it (by the way, the Wikipedia article for the franchise notes that another sequel is coming in 2012… not sure how I feel about that, although the second movie was fairly entertaining). Or maybe its more accurate to say ‘aliens associated with hilarity’ as being very 90’s to me, as I now watch Doctor Who and Torchwood, but bad shit always happens in those.
Also: like I said, last time I saw fanservice like the above was in Weiß Kreuz… in the 90’s. Or, ok, it was from the 90’s, although I watched it later.
…fuck, I miss the 90’s!
Ahem. Moving along.
The humor. I laughed at every joke! What a rare thing for an anime! And, not only that, I actually laughed, not just giggled a little or smirked. That moment with Baka laughing at the static on the TV? I cracked up. Of course, maybe that’s since I could see myself doing the same thing, but its indicative of the fact that Level E’s humor wasn’t tiresome or simply unfunny. KoreZom may’ve started off with some decent laughs, but the humor really dropped off in the second episode in large part due to unfunny jokes and bad timing, whereas Level E ratcheted it up.
I also really like the characters. That our leading guy has gone from seeming good kid on the baseball team to former punk is amusing. Miho is awesome and not at all the lame sop she could’ve been (if I were watching Bakuman, I’d probably say something like ‘I’m looking at you, Bakuman’ now… but I’m not). Her disassembly of the phone and the intercom were hilarious, and I loved how she immediately knew about all the security at the spaceship crash. And, yeah, yakuza-types aren’t exactly a rarity, but Kraft’s over-the-top personality paired with the yakuza suit was hysterical. I also may be developing a fetish for yakuza-type characters… but we’ll not dwell on that too deeply!
Of course, I haven’t even mentioned Baka, our resident alien. Well. In addition to all those other aliens. Because he is the real linchpin of the entire thing, after all, particularly of the humor. He’s so good at faking out poor Yukitaka, and much to the amusement of the viewer. And, of course he’s a prince! Its the only way he could be like that, in a way. Oh, and the cat he picked up? A surveillance device, apparently, although no one has figured that out yet.
Anyway, I’m really looking forward to watching this show this season. I strongly recommend it even if you’re not looking for a comedy to watch. Its good enough in general to be worth a watch.
Oh, and funny fact – I kept thinking of Shiki and Sotoba with all those shots of the town and how rural the outlying areas are. And the dead guy in the trash barrel moving his eyes suddenly at the end? HOLY FUCK VAMPIRES