God Eater. Humanity is on the brink of extinction after the emergence of man-eating monsters immune to conventional weaponry. As a last-ditch attempt to save the ravaged earth and what little is left of humanity from certain doom, Fenrir was formed. People capable of being infused with the very cells that make those monsters wielding weapons (called God Arcs) made out of the very same cells are the only thing that standards between humanity and death.
God Eater follows the story of Lenka as he masters his new God Arc and tries to fulfill his desire to destroy the creatures. (Source: My Anime List)
I truly have no better way to introduce this anime than paraphrasing the blurb from myanimelyst.com. If you’ve watched anime before, it’ll tell you most of what you need to know. If you don’t, then it should be more enough to decide if you want to give it a shot.
I watched it in about a day and, if there is anything I will praise about this anime is the art. I keep thinking it just looked so good when compared to most other anime I have watched. In particular, the way lighting was applied to the characters and the scene alike gave everything a rather unified palette that isn’t also flat and bright. Much like the world, the art reflects the struggle of the world inhabitants without forgetting itself among the grim darkness. I did find myself wanting more frames1. It would have benefited from having the animation be much more fluid and smooth, and perhaps made the fights feel better.
Meanwhile, the fights were, for the most part, underwhelming. There was just something about the way the camera was set up that felt as if they were afraid to properly choreograph a fight sequence with the monsters. Odd, considering they managed to make an interesting looking fight in one of the later episodes.
The story was nothing special. It is your standard unknown life-form infesting the planet until there are only a few populations left, and, obviously, only some people can use the tools (which are made from the very life-form and will consume you) that can defeat it. It gets carried by its characters and the clever use of flashbacks to provide the necessary and rather interesting backstory that colors and fleshes out the story into the entertaining action anime this is.
Sadly, despite having some interesting elements it fails to deliver a story worth remembering. The characters, perhaps, but the story is unimaginative. It had some elements it could have explored, such as the infested vegetation that could have served for protection against smaller threats (and perhaps as a resource).
Instead, those elements exist merely to justify and support the big, climatic fight and are barely explored. The infested woods, for example, exist and are never used beyond their function as a natural defense for the settlement in the dam, or as an environmental hazard during the climatic fight. Do those woods even have cores? And if they do, why aren’t they being farmed to complete the aegis project without having to risk the lives of the people in an unnecessary fight against monsters? And if they don’t, how are they a thing? And how can they be of use?
And what about the struggle between Alisa and her own goddamned past? It went nowhere beyond the strictly necessary to give that drama and a chance for Lenka to show his leadership skills and bring everybody together by taking on the mantle of his predecessor.
Likewise, it barely explored the theme that permeates the anime: what are people willing to do to survive? How far are they willing to go in their fight against these monsters? We get the answer that the researchers had before the apocalypse, which is the same answer they had as leaders of their respective organizations. And on a personal level, we got three answers that, while fitting for their characters, didn’t receive that much thought. As expected of the genre.
Overall, however, it is a pretty anime to be entertained by for a while and at thirteen episodes, it is well worth watching it for a day or two on a lazy day. And, if you happen to be intrigued by the world, there is a series of games to play. I have personally been enjoying God Eater 2 – Rage Burst. Though, it still has its personality.
1 while most anime is designed to be played back at 24 fps, the animation itself is often less than that.