Category Archives: M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 17

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I’ve been pretty disappointed in this show.  Akashi’s emotions sway back and forth so much especially when it comes to Sasame.  Kasane isn’t any different either. Writing the plot as they go along- at least that is what the creators have achieved at doing.  This is so terrible!

Guilty Crown suffered from a similar style and here this was just as bad. Tsugumi is one of the worst villains that I would not be surprised turns out to be a damsel in distress that will be sacrificed at the very end.  It’s mecha shows like this that make me lose faith in them- timorous characters that do not need to be, poorly written plot that changes on the spot.

One thing I’ve neglected to mention lately is how the soundtrack has been fairly decent.  Quite a varied balance between melancholic compositions to some lengthy classical pieces helps this show maintain some interest.  Hajime Sakite’s an intriguing choice for this show- he’s one of the most renowned saw players in the world.  Yes that’s right this guy plays on an actual saw with a bow and it sounds amazing.

Anyway, this show has a unique musical score for that very reason and provides a nice overlay into the heavily grim story. Too bad Mari Okada can’t stray away from melodramatic anime series- M3 has tons of pacing issues especially in this episode.  What was with that insert song during the fight?  Should have omitted this because it did not have the same feeling as the rest of the music played throughout this episode.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 4/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 16

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Mahou Shoujo Tai was a whimsical view of teenage witches. Shinsekai Yori followed six children uncovering a secret at a telepathic academy.  Now and Then, Here and There and eve Bokurano had a diverse set of characters that gradually grew as the episodes went on.

I even recall mentioning how much this series reminded me of Noein.  That series started off with Haruka as a younger teen growing up throughout the series.  The time travel aspect of the show was an intriguing take on a coming-of-age series.  As it took some of the kids in the show and merged them into the plot with their future selves.  The emotions those kids displayed came off much stronger than M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane.

Oh Junichi Sato what are you doing to this series?  I was glad to hear that he was working on a series that he has never really done before.  Branching out into a horror mecha series.  Honestly though I can’t classify M3 as a horror show anymore as its deviated from the mysterious Admonition in favor of angst teenagers that ultimately created the Lightless Realm.  Did Mari Okada just pull this out of thin air?  Tsumugi’s background was that just thrown in too?  How convenient that she is advancing the Lightless Realm and Admonitions power because she was left only behind by her friends.  Is that reason enough to disrupt the world?  This was boring!

Also I want to point out how this is a perfect example of how NOT to do an episode- especially when most of it is when the pilots were kids harboring an admonition.  I will say one thing that the animation has gotten much smoother than before and I like how we saw what the city looked like while it was turning into the Lightless Realm.  This episode would have had a stronger impact if it had showed up much much earlier on say around episode 4.  The story however was horrible here.  I will keep reviewing this series as I’ve made it this far- I hope it shapes up soon because it may end up derailing even further.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 2/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 15

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Now I am caught up with this show and I am sure glad I did I can work on posting about today’s airing of series.  After what seemed like a mess of quite a few episodes for a while there this and the previous episodes were really good.  Remember how I said a few episodes ago that I hoped the writers would jump into more of the Lightless Realm instead of being just a backdrop.  Guess I got what I asked for. heh.  We got to see the inside of a house among other areas that were once part of Japan.  This was very neat to see here.

Not only were we giving so much background here for Akashi and the glowing girl to progress the story but we finally got to learn who she really is.  Tsugumi happen to be one of the children that became forgotten in all of the pilot’s memories.  This here makes me wonder if that wasn’t all the was left out of their memories when they were children. Minashi was the only one so far that’s remembered her- it looks like Mahmu realizes who she is too.  So now that Akashi was just accepting she was Sasame only to be hit on the head with the truth by the Ma-Vess and Minashi [again]- this guy doesn’t get a break here at all.

I am loving this new opening intro for this series. One of the better openings out there this season!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 14

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As we are entering the second half of this series we get a new opening and ending!  Wow this OP was tons better than the RE:REMEMBER May’n OP!  The animation was top notch and the song by Maaya Sakamoto was fantastic! THIS IS HOW THE ENTIRE SHOW SHOULD LOOK! Can’t wait to hear the rest of this!

So we get a nice look at the government officials backing the IX department.  Realistic repercussions for the Lightless Realm expanding and Natsuiri was able to turn this problem into his favor.  Spirited Away Children was an interesting concept put into the heads of the pilots this time.  Explains why they would have remembered parts of their childhood of being together.

Mahmu linking with Emiru, never would I have thought this possible but here it worked out very well.  With Heito in intensive care and Sable without a pilot Mahmu was the only logical choice here.  They wrote in Mahmu and Emiru’s friendship so well here.  We’ve got two shy girls, one afraid of being accepted by others and the other afraid to accept others into her own life.  Mahmu’s feelings grew so much here!  Great to see a big development from her finally!  The animation was also really awesome here too- the scene with a dark metal version of Emiru desperate for affection from Mahmu.

The ending was much better in the first cour. Usually, I enjoy the songs that Nano provides for the most part but this song doesn’t fit the style that M3 has presented itself to us so far.  La La Larks developed stronger instrumentals and vocals landed heavily for  what this series is about.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 13

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The groans coming from the admonitions I forgot how creepy they had been.  It’s been awhile since we’ve heard that.  This ended up being a pretty solid episode that was not just about Sasame and Akashi but flushed out the rest of the cast as well!  So Akashi was told to bring back Heito and Emiru LIM- Minashi shows up to try and save the day.  Only THAT backfired greatly and ended up having the Lightless Realm expand further into the real world.  It’s about time the mysterious glowing woman reveals herself to Akashi and Minashi.  The fact that Minashi did not save Akashi and only destroyed his passion for Sasame is proof enough that there’s a lot more to him than meets the eye.  This is where the teenage angst can be pulled through much better and that bridge scene was excellent development for that! The scene that followed was fantastic when Minashi tried to pull Akashi back from another Admonition fight.  This illustrated greatly how linked all the pilots are to each other.  The animation was better this episode too and they handled Akashi’s facial expressions at the end there wonderfully! Tons better than the previous episodes!  Nice to hear Emiru again too!

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 12

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Was it just me or did the budget get tons better this time around?  The character designs look more livelier than they did before, as for the backgrounds the Lightless Realm looked more detailed too!

This was filled with quite a lot of recaps, I’m not sure what the writers have been thinking over the past couple of episodes but it looks to me like they are drawing out the plot for the sake of time. I lot of those inner monologue sequences with Akashi in this episode were highly unnecessary and it would be a lot more refreshing to see more of what the Lightless Realm has and what’s happened to more of the victims of the dark metal. Similar to the four episodes we had  at the start of this series.  About the only good part about this episode were the fights between the admonition and the reaper.

Not much of what we already know had been written into the story here.  Akashi and Sasame are in love and that had been the main focus of this episode.  I hope this series can redeem itself after these last two episodes.  Could have done without this episode completely, aside from the nice cliffhanger at the end.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 11

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I was highly disappointed with the episode. I will start off with a few good things it had going for it.  Sasame became the love interest in the show for Akashi.  Such a moving scene between the two of them up on the roof embracing each other yet it was so melodramatic!  Minashi’s character has been so left in the dark until now.  That past scene with Sasame and Minashi was pivotal in showing that not all these pilots are the same, they have there own desires and regrets which ultimately hinted at Minashi becoming a villain.  Here is where it went wrong. That was out of left field. This show went from a mecha series, killing minor and major people off to adding a bit of romance.  As cheesy as it was done here I cannot see how this series is going to pull off having a 2-cour instead of 1.  Just hope M3 doesn’t fall flat on its face when its all said and done because this episode as interesting as the Minashi scenes were the amount of melodrama is fueled more than an actual solid plot.  The very beginning was really evil of Natsuiri to reveal the dark metal on Sasame in front of the rest of the pilots. Can’t say I liked how Akashi handled his emotions after that scene.  Way too dramatic.  Come on Sato can your characters in this show be a bit more understated? Strange Dawn, Aria and Kaleido Star were great examples of strong characters. The main cast is crying in just about every episode just as much as Gundam 00 had.  The writers should refrain from doing this.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 3/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 10

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This series is really underrated.  It is amazing how much Akashi and the others have gone through even after 10 episodes. Akashi’s brother Aoshi died, Emiru died, Heito is stuck inside the Lightless Realm and now we’ve just learned the secret behind the LIM- what is more is that we haven’t even reached the halfway mark of this series and here is where we get a nice good look at Aoshi’s past just a bit more.

Many shows at least that I’ve seen will struggle with developing characters that have died prior to the start of a series.  I am actually re-watching Strange Dawn right now alongside this series, and as far as I can see Sato manages to handle death as an extremely important aspect to the overall whole of a series. Perfect example was in episode 2 of Strange Dawn where a newly-introduced character died which had a huge impact on the entire village. This is how to strengthen your main cast! You’ll see a bunch of past sequences but here is where we finally can understand Akashi a little bit more. He is still getting over Aoshi’s death just as Kasane is but in a different way.  Kasane grieves over losing the love of her life and the pain of knowing that he’s a LIM has destroyed her- Akashi however misses the brother he looked up to, and regrets not fully grieving over him when he was younger.

One thing I will point out is how dramatic they’ve portrayed the entire main cast so far. I’d go as far to say this series has been very expressive.  I can see why M3 gets so much hate for being highly dramatic.  It can be annoying and unnecessary at times, but underneath it all is where the heart of the story lies.  This episode as overemotional as it was became a nice developing episode for Akashi accepting Aoshi as his LIM.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 6/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 9

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This show manages extremely well at following up right where the previous episode[s] left off. There is no recap and as a viewer sitting there picking up the pieces of what just happened.    There was so much going on in this one episode for Akashi, but it is strange how Minashi is the only one who has a consistent level of thinking out of all the pilots.  Last time the majority of them were hoping Heito would never come back- now that he is very much lost in the Lightless Realm they want him to return having Akashi and the Reaper rescue him.  That was an emotional turn that doesn’t make for good writing if I ever saw one. That was about the only flaw I noticed plot-wise in this episode.

Kasane was still grieving over the loss of her lover still!  Natsuiri sure is a bastard in this show; he may be realistic in his views considering the video he showed her, but it makes sense for the sake of his research on the Lightless Realm.  Here is where we finally see more of his intentions.  Villain of the show?  Might just be the case.  More than halfway through we learn Aoshi is still alive?! What the hell?  Being turned into dark metal only to be experimented on for the sake of developing a stronger machine.  That sure is a cruel way of saving human lives.  Even Emiru is alive.  Powerful realizations for Akashi here that he needs to find in his own way to accept!  Looks like Kasane’s secret all along was her knowledge of Aoshi still being alive encapsulated in the Argent.  Wow this episode was a lot better than I expected it to be.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 8/10

M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane Episode 8

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I have been wondering for quite some time why this show carries so much emotional baggage.  After watching this I think I know why.  These pilots have suffered a lot and it’s only normal to vent out their frustrations.  They saw their principal dead, they have to fight monsters that contain memories of dead people, and one of their pilots Emiru lost her life through the dark metal.  This does not even feel like a Sato series!  Really strange to see a director more well-known in the mahou shojo genre tackling a horror mecha series.

The Argent containing memories makes complete sense as to why Akashi has been having obscure yet frequent blackouts.  This- resulting in dream-like scenes of his brother.  Him being upset about everything that has happened thus far and this episode did a fine job at returning back to that theme.  Kasane looks like she bears more pain than any other person in this show.  She loved Aoshi and it looks to me like after seeing this episode that she holds a huge secret in her heart.  Curious as to what that is.  As for Heito, he is just a crazy mess of a human.  This guy seems more normal after having lost his partner than he had ever been before!  It’s interesting they chose Akashi and the Reaper to travel to the Lightless Realm with Heito and Sable.  I say this only because Heito is one of the pivotal characters of this show and he bears the weight of being murderer.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7/10