Kurogane Communication – episodes 9 to 16

November 14, 2004 on 11:38 am | In Kurogane Communication | Comments Off on Kurogane Communication – episodes 9 to 16

The best kind of anime is the sort that starts off nice but then, around the halfway point, starts kicking some serious arse. You may not have expected it, but Kurogane Communication does precisely that.

After the whole “holiday at the beach” thing has been exhausted, the robots learn that their area is in danger of being hit by a tsunami, while Haruka learns of her past. Regardless of any misgivings, they have to escape before disaster strikes, so they hijack an old warship and find new land.

The layers upon layers of drama here are fairly impressive. The ten minute episode thing makes for many surprise endings and, now that there’s very little slice of life material, a cracking pace. Brevity is key in making Kurogane Communication compelling.
Haruka’s character drama hits its peak when she learns the horrifying truth of her past. When it’s foreshadowed, it’s horrible enough – however, Haruka actually witnessed it and learns that perhaps there was a reason she didn’t have a memory. These scenes were really quite distressing, and even provoked the “you’re a robot, you wouldn’t understand” argument. Considering how much Haruka loves her surrogate family, you would have to imagine that she’s been pushed pretty horribly. The performances of Horie Yui and Ishikawa Hiromi in this episode were fantastic – although it is beginning to come clear that synch was sacrificed as a result.

Angela, the duelling robot reformed from hating humans, is clearly warming to Haruka – even to the point of bathing with her. Being the only female influence that Haruka has around, it’s natural that she would want to be friendly. By opening her own heart to Angela, Haruka is making Angela more open and caring herself. Angela would even kill a man who threatens Haruka in any way, which is really saying quite a lot. Any of Angela’s scenes are guaranteed to be interesting. Gruff characters can stay gruff forever, but Angela is not like that. She’s even willing to be violent against Trigger for saying stupid things. The ultimate sign of her “humanity” as a robot is that she blushes. Fantastic.

The incredible theory of a warship that is sick of war, having seen its fellow warship brethren die for humanity, is seen here – and while robots with individual wills is nothing new, a sentient inorganic warship is certainly impressive. While such a life form may not want to hurt a human (being an “intelligence robot”), it certainly does not want to serve them. Humanity is to blame for a lot of things, but Haruka is an ultimately blameless character. What evil could a thirteen year old girl have possibly committed?

There’s even a new cast of characters around, but Haruka does not really understand them yet. The dramatic meeting of Haruka and Kanato was well done, moreso because of the inclusion of rain – but Kanato is deliberately closed off and confusing in the messages that he sends. He lives with robots, yet he takes apart all others. It looks like Lillith and Alice are kind of comedy robot twins, and Sone and Honi are designed specifically for mystery. Ohtsuka Akio lends his voice to the chief of defence, so things are looking up.

The writers even have a grasp on robot humour: if it makes no sense, it’s funnier. Take, for example, the scene where Trigger is stoking a fire by blowing through a tube. This robot has no mouth, yet breathing into the tube is making him dizzy. It’s just like a king non-sequitur. There’s not a lot of humour, since the service misunderstandings ended, but what there is is generally good.

Kurogane Communication is also remarkably visually rich. When Haruka gets a vision of war, it sends the blood cold. The action scenes, while sparing, are frequently amazing. To see Angela dodging lasers is genuinely exciting, and the new land is steeped in mysticism that is helped along by Kawai Kenji’s growing score. Watching these episodes, it’s clear that Kurogane Communication is not what it once was.

Kurogane Communication is an unassuming series that manages to be compelling and dramatic while trying to keep itself a secret. This anime offers a truly immersive world, and some great characters – and even a hot springs scene complete with actual nudity! Needless to say, Kurogane Communication has everything.

No Comments yet

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Powered by WordPress with Pool theme design by Borja Fernandez.
Entries and comments feeds. Valid XHTML and CSS. ^Top^