What’s it about ?
Adaptation of a shonen manga series by the author of Trigun.
Leonard, our protagonist, has the most boring voice ever ; I’m pretty sure his narration put me to sleep at least once. Anyway, he’s come to
New York City Jerusalem’s Lot, the City of Miracles, where half the population are aliens because of something weird that happened a few years ago. (By now, everybody’s gotten used to it.) He wants to make a living as a cub reporter, but that’s not really working out.
He stumbles into the secret organization Libra, who briefly confuse him with their latest recruit. They are :
– Mr Klaus, the guy in charge, who looks half-gorilla and may well be. Cool dude, though, and impressive in a fight.
– Zap, an abrasive asshole who of course gets partnered with Leo for half the episode. He uses a smaller version of Mr Klaus’s blood weapons.
– Chain, our token woman, who seems to have super-agility powers that allow her to exit the scene quickly and have nearly no screentime whatsoever.
They’re basically an underground vigilante force working against the likes of…
Femt, a cackling madman who looks more like an opportunity for Akira Ishida to chew scenery than somewhat with a coherent agenda. He takes over the airwaves and warns the city that he’s planted a “gate” that’s about to wreak havoc ; those gates are what made JL so weird in the first place, so that sounds bad.
Fortunately, a previous encounter with a gate (I’m not sure if it’s the big original one or a smaller, later one) has embued Leo with super-sight powers, allowing him to find the real gate (as opposed to the decoy planted by Femt that everybody was running after).
There’s a framing sequence set six months later with Leo’s sister reading a letter narrating all this… Which makes no sense whatsoever since the aforementioned event made her blind. WTF ?
This is a show that puts a lot of work into making this altered version of NYC feel real and lived-in, with all the weird aliens looking completely at home. I’m less enthused by the color design, which is drowning in greys and browns until the super-powered action brings in flashes of bright colours ; I can see what the art directors were going for, but that makes most of the show look rather drab.
Why the heck can’t I enjoy this more ?
On paper, I should love it. It’s got a great concept for a setting, colourful action, some decent comedic timing, and it even tries to do something clever with non-linear storytelling.
But there’s something that just doesn’t quite work. Maybe I’m just a bit tired, but the plotting felt like an impenetrable mess. (I had to watch it twice to get a better sense of what was going on, and Femt’s plan still makes no sense whatsoever.)
I’m giving it another episode to turn me around, but it had better shape up quickly.