Kurogane Communication – episodes 1 to 8

November 4, 2004 on 9:19 pm | In Kurogane Communication | Comments Off on Kurogane Communication – episodes 1 to 8

Kurogane Communication is a half length TV series about the alleged last human on Earth and the robots with which she lives. The band of five mechanoids looks after this young girl, Haruka, as if she was their daughter. In a way, they are a family despite their lack of blood ties or consistent appearances. In these first eight episodes various aspects of day to day life in a post-apocalyptic Japan are showcased, leaning towards more character development and some story progress in the latter half.

Each episode’s content is roughly eleven and a half minutes, which makes for compact stories that convey their content with a minimum of waste. There’s a two parter when needs be, which makes for an effective and tense break that wouldn’t have worked in standard length anime.

The characters are interesting enough so far, with Haruka being an almost wastefully energetic character. She channels her energy into curiosity and an intense desire to assist, which naturally gets her into trouble. Haruka does not push it, however; too much of this sort of behaviour would make infuriating anime. The other character of interest is, naturally, Haruka’s polar opposite Angela. Initially she hates humanity due to her dark and mysterious past, but that looks like it’s on the path to change. The most emotional scenes among these eight episodes are those in which Angela is left alone to tend Haruka’s fever. It becomes obvious here that the aim seems to be to make the audience feel good about things: these moments are deftly executed.
The other characters will probably be fleshed out over the next two thirds: gun-happy Trigger, stupid looking over-protective Spike, wise Cleric and the hilariously gay Reeves. As they stand, they’re nice but don’t do much other than support.

Of the seiyuu, only Horie Yui as Haruka and Fukami Rika as Angela seem to be the only real “name” seiyuu, and they do a good job: Horie gets roles that she’s either suited to or she’s not – Horie’s characters have to be nice. Fukami is unexpected as the gruff Angela, so it’s even better that she can pull it off.
The music is in tune with the whole Kurogane Communication ethos: Kawai Kenji’s OP boasts considerable charm, and the score itself has a very laidback feel to it. The scenery is beautiful, and a very nice yet deserted world is presented. This leads to the art direction, which in episode six is simply amazing. The quick cuts employed make the already dramatic episode really quite gripping in a way that’s not often seen. Kurogane Communication may have been designed as a fifteen minute segment in a “comic strip” on satellite TV, but it seems to have had some thought placed into it to create drama.
There’s a little bit of fan service so far, but Haruka is really too young for it. Fortunately she’s not exploited in any way, and any instance of service is brief and natural, and “hilarious misunderstandings” happen too infrequently to be annoying.

Soon Kurogane Communication may seem like the end of the world, but for now it promotes the excellent optimisim that has to take place after horrible catastrophe. It’s how humans and, theoretically, robots manage to move on. If you were to use a Japanese phrase that ultimately seems to mean nothing when literally translated to describe this anime, it would simply be kimochi: Kurogane Communication promotes good feeling.

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