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Friday, February 25, 2011

Chrome Shelled Regios DVD Part 1 Impression

A fight for survival that feels like a refreshed E’s Otherwise meets Blue Gender

Chrome Shelled Regios from FUNimation is solid. The characters, design, story is all solid but not spectacular. This series of survival keeps the mood lighthearted but mixes in the action and an intense storyline for one solid anime. Let’s take a look at a bit more of the story then pass a wee bit more judgment.

Humanity is mobile, living in large domed cities and on the watch for monstrous Contaminoids that prey on humans. These large insect like creatures swarm and attack if not avoided and the only line of defense are soldiers with military arts powers. One such fighter is a young boy named Layfon who finds himself enrolled in a military academy. His abilities are incredible but he hides them for some reason, a past reason that will catch up with him. Layfon has a past with these Heavens Blades is quickly coming to the fore but as a new student, a member of the 17th platoon and a few young ladies with a crush on him, Layfon not only has to deal with the past but the very real present. Battles, special missions, desolate cites and pools all await Layfon.

The story in Regios does no real explaining of the mobile cities, military arts users or Contaminoids in this first volume but rather its focus is on Layfon. Viewers will explore parts of his past mixed into his current enrollment and member of the 17th platoon. The school portions feel like a typical anime school series but with action thrown in. Full Metal Panic anyone? Layfon has fled something and the fun is finding out what. The awkward situations are great fun, heck there’s even a maid café in here, but the action is what will get viewers jazzed. There is a lot of promise in this first volume but so much more to see as anyone paying attention to the opening theme (decent song) and animation will notice. There are a lot more players to be introduced. So volume 1, solid story about Layfon, a very likeable character, and his platoon/schoolmates but not enough about what the heck happened to the world. Even a quick intro would have been nice, but no, all viewers get is a bunch of mobile cities and big-ol-bugs.

The animation is solid (liking this word today). Each character is very shonen cookie-cutter down to their not-overly spiky hair. The personalities from tech wiz to playboy are all present but this formula never gets old. Each character and setting will feel familiar to fans of the genre, even the desolate settings feel familiar (hi Desert Punk). Also with FUNimation fans can be assured they will get outstanding voice work and background music.

Overall Chrome Shelled Regios is not a revolutionary, ground breaking anime but what it is translates into a great purchase. A solid story and characters that has great pacing in revealing just enough to get viewers back to the next episode. How will volume 2 play out? From the looks things are going to get serious very fast now that the groundwork has been laid. The past will crash into the present and viewers will take pleasure especially if the nasty bugs get explained a bit more.

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