Summer 2012 Anime First Impressions: Muv-Luv Total Eclipse

Novel Adaptation by Satelight
Simulcast on Crunchyroll

Premise
An alternate history Earth is slowly succumbing to a decades long alien invasion. Humans have developed special humanoid weapons known as TSFs to combat the threat, but continue to lose ground. Pushed to the brink, a young TSF pilot and member of Japan’s Imperial Royal Guard prepares to enter the front lines.

Jel’s Thoughts

Having no previous knowledge of the Muv Luv universe I’m going into this with zero baggage. Based on it’s own merits, it was pretty good. Initially I was a bit disappointed with the slow progress of the first episode but in retrospect I appreciate the time they took to build an impending sense of dread and desperation. The hard military edge juxtaposed against innocent school life has been done plenty of times before but so long as it keeps working I’m ok with it.

Verdict? Data Incomplete
Not a lot to go on in the first episode and it ends on a cliffhanger, so I’ll be in it for at least another episode before I can really pass judgement. If Total Eclipse can bring something new to the usual “horrors of war” mecha series I just may stick with it in the long run.

Lifesong’s Thoughts
Gunbuster: Starship Mecha the anime. That said I am okay with what this anime is. I love the plugsuits and uh I guess the mecha are cool as well. The first episode didn’t really give us much to go on.

Verdict? Please Wait… Infodump In Progress
I see a lot of room for this to become interesting. The build up was interesting enough that I want to watch more but not super exciting on it’s own. I think it will be a few more episodes before I really have a pulse on what this anime is and if I want to keep watching but I’m optimistic at the very least.

Irothtin’s Thoughts
Alternate universe Japan where aliens are invading, so they have to train schoolgirls to pilot mecha and wear skintight plugsuits.

Verdict? Decent
This first episode took all the cues from Gunbuster, which is good in some ways and bad in others. It made it seem incredibly derivative, which may be an unfair assessment this early into the show – I’ll have to see another couple episodes to judge for sure.

Marlin’s Thoughts
I am a very lenient man. I’ve given way too much credit to shows that really aren’t that great. All last season Iro would be constantly frustrated every time I mentioned I actually found some enjoyment in the moe nothingfest that was Acchi Kocchi. While this show isn’t really bad, I just also didn’t find myself at all impressed. Maybe I’m burned out on buxom girls in body suits after Aquarion Evol ended and since we already have the second half of Lagrange this season that I was already looking forward to, Muv-Luv really didn’t do anything for me.

Verdict? Low Morale
I’ve been told it changes from what we’ve seen in this first episode though, so I will keep with it if only to help justify the sixty bucks I just spent on a yearly Crunchyroll subscription. Otherwise, this will be on the top of shows I will be dropping in the weeks to come.

Timmy’s Thoughts
Its been a while since I have seen such a dire setup in a anime before. Aliens have been raging across earth since the ’70’s and now in 1998 they have Japan backed into a corner. All the alternate history such as Japan not progressing culturally because of the war is presented great here and I am loving it. And with such a grim setup, everyone seems pretty expendable at this point so it will be interesting to see who out of the rookies is lucky enough to survive their first encounter with the enemy. The average lifespan after contact is said to be 8 minutes.

Verdict? You will last much longer then 8 minutes.
A great setup will no doubt pull you into this one as when this episode ended I was definitely craving for more. The premise and alternate history presented here is fantastic and I can’t wait to see how this one will play out. If you like mechs, war, alien invasions, alternate history, cute girl pilots, or all of the above, this will be right up your alley.

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