Review: Aoi Sekai No Chuusin DePosted: April 23, 2013
One star normally, because even at 90 minutes for all three episodes, it’s pretty bad. Three stars however, if you can catch many of the references, because this rather mundane ecchi anime is actually a history of the console transition from the eight bit systems to the sixteen bit. That three stars is for one viewing though, and it drops back to one otherwise.
Life is tough in the Segua kingdom. The other kingdom on the continent, the Ninteldo, owns about 90% of the land. But a new warrior named Gear, mourning over the loss of his brother Til, has come down to fight. He teams up with others from the Segua kingdom to rescue General Alex, and the series is over. It’s not something you really miss the plot of, because that’s not why you watch it.
You watch it because every single character in there is based on characters from video games.
Gear is Sonic the Hedgehog, right down to having Til/Tails, and his sister is Nei from Phantasy Star. She even has the power of Online and the Neiclaw! Opal is Opa-Opa from the Fantasy Zone, and there’s a Tetris based character who exists to make lame double entendres about pieces fitting into gaps. It’s literally a history of the time when the Sega Master System failed against the Nintendo Entertainment System, and the Genesis was just introduced to even up the console wars. There’s a TON of references in there, mixed in with fantasy tropes. General Alex Kidd is held in Taitoland by the two brothers from Bubble Bobble, under the command of Space Invader. Some of them are very subtle; Gear’s mother resembles Nigel from the Genesis RPG Landstalker, and there’s a character based on Space Harrier of all things. If you lived during that era or like retro games though, you will want to watch this once.
Other than that though, it’s a really bad anime. Pointless, overlong ecchi scenes, and too much repetition mar it. It could have easily been a forty -five minute anime with no loss of quality, and apart from the video game conceit has nothing to recommend it.
But what a conceit! The plot actually mirrors the early history of video games and links it well. Alex and Gear are father and son, but they actually both were flagship titles for their respective systems, and Alex Kidd actually died as a franchise with Sonic the replacement. Tetris is a mercenary, which at first wont make sense unless you remember that due to Tengen games, unlicensed versions of Tetris appeared on other systems after Nintendo’s Game Boy. They even group games into magical genres-Gear is Action, Opa is Shooter, and Tetris is Puzzle. If it were a better anime, and a full series, it would be a hoot to watch, as the main villains are evil versions of iconic Nintendo characters. But it’s kind of painful otherwise, and I was losing focus towards the end.
For Christians, R. It has some lame jokes about masturbation that go on way too long and will make you never see Tetris in the same light again. Opal’s charge attack is blantantly masturbatory too. There’s some obscured nudity for utterly absurd reasons; the first time Ramses meets Gear and learns what he can do, cue the nudity. Some violence too, but it’s mostly a bad wink-and-tease ecchi anime. It actually can wind up feeling un-sexy because it handles it so badly, which is kind of a good thing. But you really aren’t going to feel the need to watch this more than once.
In a way, it’s a funny series to watch because Japan more than any other nation has a tendency to anthropomorphize the oddest things. In this, video game characters and systems, but I’ve seen or heard of Windows and Mac computers, aluminum cans, cats, (in one particularly disturbing anime, the cat was made into a miniature girl while everyone else is full size) all the nations of the world, (Hetalia: Axis Powers) and other things. It’s something that you wonder why it only works in anime. For Aoi Sekai, it’s a double edged sword; a weak anime actually becomes watchable if you can grok the things it anthropomorphizes. But so much time is on that, that they forgot to add a story for people to care about. Worth watching all of one time for gamers inured to bad ecchi anime, otherwise pass.