Karen Senki is getting a lot of hate. I understand it, but I feel bad so I’ve decided to do a weekly recap of the show in the hopes that it gets better. Kind of like Blood-C. It starts off slow and gets annoying, but the ending is all kinds of awesome. Even if Karen Senki doesn’t turn out like that, it’s a short anime so it’s okay.
Before I start on the recap, I feel like the art style is getting hate for no reason. For the most part, Karen Senki has really stunning animation. Sure, it does have a few clunky moments, which is normal for CG animations, but other than that it’s really lovely to look at. My only complaint about it is that the world isn’t as nice when compared to the characters. Unlike Nobunaga Concerto where it was full of eye candy, here it’s mainly used on the characters and the robots. It is a little easier to forgive though, seeing as Karen Senki is more about action than substance and it is an ONA. It’s even easier to forgive when they have stunning shots like the bottle of whisky in this episode.
The main problem with Karen Senki is the direction and lack of story. There’s a point when action just isn’t enough and that’s my feelings here. Yes, it’s pretty to look at, but I also want to know what’s going on. Unlike say Terra Formars, where I’ve read the manga and know the background story of everything, I don’t here so I’m lost and confused most of the time.
That being said, I did find episode 3 to be slightly better than the previous two, because some questions that I had were answered. Not all of them, only two really…and one of them I had to assume, so it’s not really answered it’s simply my own assumptions. And the other one was quickly answered after I asked the question.
…but it still answered something.
The episode starts where the last one ending. Karen is being recruited to join the Eleven crew, but she still refuses. The talks quickly change though, because Karan says something and Xiaogang go for the attack. Karen, being the star of this anime, quickly subdues him. They quickly get over that though and make nice. He also tells her that the humans have pretty much no chance against the machines, but it seems like he’ll still help Karen out against them.
Things then change and instead of Karen, we meet another member of the Elevens. I have no idea what her story is, I don’t even know her name, but she’s already the most interesting character on the show for the simply reason that one of my questions was answered by her.
When we first meet her, she’s drinking a bottle of whisky and telling us how the Elevens are monsters even though they are human. A bunch of machines come up from no where and start attacking her. At first, I was thinking that this would be another stupid action sequences with no meaning. But then she calls on her gun and I start getting excited. Then, she brings forth a shield to protect her from the bullets. At this point, I already like her. Unlike Karen, she realizes that proper robots won’t miss all the time so you need something to protect you.
Sadly, like most characters that I like she dies. 😦
Except that she isn’t actually dead. I was confused here, but then the show revealed that the lady here keeps clones of herself and always has a new one backed up in case the current one fails. The only thing she needs to do to keep the process going is to give the new clone some of her blood. The way she does it is kind of weird though. She slits her writs, instead of thumb. Considering how much blood came out, I’m a bit worried for her.
Then we go back to Karen. She fights some robots and then stupidly falls for a trap. She was meant to find some communicator thing, but it’s out in the open. So instead of questioning it properly, she shoots it and gets captured. We then find her in a room filled with cameras. The machines who captured her have decided that they don’t want to kill her, but interview her. The interview mainly consists of one question.
What is love? ……baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me no more.
From the previous episodes, I get that the machines want to be like humans and have emotions, so maybe they don’t understand the concept of love and are interviewing people in order to find out. But that isn’t really explained well, so the interview seems like it came out of no where. Why did they pick Karen out of everyone else in the world to explain what love is?
But knowing how Karen is, she doesn’t like their questions. She tries to shoot them, but they took her weapons so she summons her dead sister Touka who goes crazy.
How this happened, I have no idea. But seeing as how that other Eleven girl summoned a giant skull and a machine gun, I’m assuming it’s the same thing here. I’m also assuming that Touka was keeping the machines off of her. I could be wrong though, because that too isn’t really explained.
Karen gets her guns back and the episode ends like that.
Some development….but still not that great. I found myself really annoyed by the transitions here and thought they were worse than Re:␣Hamatora. I don’t know where the show is going, but I guess I’m in it for the long haul. Hopefully it gets better though, because it’s still mostly action, action, talking, action, talking, action, action. I like action as much as the next person, but it does get boring after awhile. Even if the plot is stupid it would still provide me with some sort of substance regarding the entire thing.
The animation did grow on me though and I do quite like it now. Even in this episode, when it dipped a bit it was due to Karen being watched from behind a camera so it made sense. I just want some actually plot now.