Archive for the Level E Category

12 (Nice) Moments in Anime 2011 No. 2 – The Trickster Is Tricked

Posted in 12 Moments, Level E with tags on 12/24/2011 by Shinmaru

I’m not sure I would say Level E is the “best” show of 2011, but when it comes to pure enjoyment, it’s probably the one I liked most. Prince Baka made me laugh more than every other character from every other anime combined this year, and the writing is consistently strong and interesting, even when the stories don’t quite work.

And the ending . . . I’m stepping up to the plate and saying Level E‘s finale is the best and most satisfying final episode I watched this year. Just by virtue of being satisfying, it beats like 90 percent of anime endings already, but it’s truly the culmination of everything that makes Level E a wonderful, entertaining series. The writing keeps you guessing, but once the twist comes, it’s so well-executed that you swear you should have seen it coming the whole time. Prince Baka is at his douchebaggiest, fucking with people for the sheer hilarity of it. Kraft is alternately trying to figure out Baka and freaking the fuck out.

And the princess. Oh, that princess.

Princess Luna proves herself Baka’s equal — perhaps even superior — by doing to him what he has done to everyone else throughout the series. For me, it’s the most romantic gesture of the year: Luna sweeps Baka off his feet by beating him at his own game. She sees what she wants, and she gets it, and she has such fun executing her grandiose plot! And the sparks when Baka realizes Luna has pulled the wool over his head~ <3 Only Baka can appreciate the sheer work Luna has done to become as amazing as she is.

That’s a pairing I can get behind. Luna x Baka: Ship of the Year.

Level E 13 – Making Chump Meat Out of the Maestro (END)

Posted in Level E with tags on 04/05/2011 by Shinmaru

Holy crap, I think I’m in love!

So, even though I think I enjoyed the final run of episodes more than some other people, I think we can for the most part agree that the second half of Level E isn’t quite as good as the first half — it lost a bit of steam, and the comedy didn’t have quite the same bite to it. But I’d say this final episode is a worthy conclusion that captures the same sense of unpredictable fun that made Level E so good from the start.

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Level E 12 – Forever a Bachelor

Posted in Level E with tags on 03/29/2011 by Shinmaru

I’m not really sure whether to take this cliffhanger seriously or not. It’s certainly set up like a traditional cliffhanger (“What’s written on the paper?!”), but given Baka’s wild card status, I wouldn’t be surprised to see this turned upside down and rendered a moot point soon. (Kind of like Fractale, except on purpose.) Then again, Yukitaka and Miho wouldn’t gasp for no reason; they certainly aren’t playing along with Baka. Hm . . .

Well, whatever. Baka’s mission right now is to stay a swinging bachelor so that he can have time to play MMORPGs with kids and stow away on buses to catch the Koshien whenever he wants. Someone’s deathly afraid of being tied down. Some folks just don’t have it in them to settle down, though. Can you imagine Baka as a family man? He’d be like Calvin’s dad from Calvin and Hobbes in full on “I’m going to fuck with my kid’s brain and tell outrageous lies” mode 24/7. That kid would be undeniably messed up, but at the same time . . . it would be funny, right?

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Level E 11 – Subconscious Strikes

Posted in Level E with tags on 03/21/2011 by Shinmaru

Hm, I’m not entirely sure I got the resolution to this episode, so let me try to write it out, and if anyone thinks he or she understood it better than I did, then please offer an alternative explanation . . .

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Level E 10 – Don’t Mess with Mermaids

Posted in Level E with tags on 03/15/2011 by Shinmaru

I like the hitman look the mermaid has going on this episode. Fitting her fins into those shoes must have been a bitch, though.

Anyway, I’m kind of impressed that Level E manages to pull off a solid serious episode involving the Color Rangers. What?? I think it’s because this episode is made with slightly more style than usual. The gun scene is particularly killer (pun intended, direct your tomatoes in this direction). The gun point of view, silent screaming and then the blood spatter on the screen — good, visceral touches right there.

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Level E 9 – Sexy Time

Posted in Level E with tags on 03/07/2011 by Shinmaru

What would be the female insectoid equivalent of a cock block? Because Baka and company totally pulled that off on Saki.

Sure, she gets laid and contributes toward the growth of her species, but according to Saki’s talk with her mother (and they must be really close if that conversation didn’t turn awkward in a hurry, or perhaps these insects are just really open about sex because humans are the universe’s prudes), doing the nasty isn’t the height of ecstasy for them. No, it’s the feeling of watching an entire species die in the afterglow of mating that’s the best part (I imagine each generation’s queen smoking some sort of space cigarette while this is happening). But that’s not going to happen now . . . I wouldn’t want to be on the wrong side of a frustrated, horny insect, let me tell you.

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Level E 8 – Love at First Sight Is the Destroyer

Posted in Level E with tags on 03/01/2011 by Shinmaru

We all deify the Power of Love, but see where it gets us? Earth will explode into little bits of impotence if our insectoid overlords decide to give mankind the sting. See where love at first sight gets you? In this case, instead of divorce, it’s the extinction of our species.

But I did enjoy the cynical take on the idea of love at first sight — two people jump in not knowing what to expect, and it is fated to end with utter destruction. Not very romantic! Also enjoyed how the episode gets the viewer to root against true love taking place, unless, you know, you’re cool with humanity dying out. (And a few people probably would be OK with that.) I was definitely on Kraft’s side in all this, and was facepalming at Colin throughout the episode. Love is one thing, but you can’t sacrifice all those people so that one dude can get laid. Come on, man!

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Level E 7 – Baka Always Gets His Way

Posted in Level E with tags on 02/22/2011 by Shinmaru

Stupid, sexy Baka. Stop taking advantage of being a princess . . .

I haven’t been that high on this arc, but this closing episode is pretty damn funny. The best part is the kids actually getting in a few shots on Baka by using the logic of his game universe against him. When Baka started describing this awesome, godlike attack he invented to tempt players to be as destructive as he is, you just knew that he’d get a Golden Hammer to the face like he deserved. (Except I bet the GaoGaiGar fans among us — myself included — were shouting, “GOLDION HAMMER” instead. :p)

Also love how Baka’s plans fall apart because he didn’t play test his world enough. See, this is why you need proper game design! If Baka had taken the time to make sure his Demon Lord filled its role properly and didn’t go rogue, then the kids would have been fucked; instead, they took advantage of the game’s bugs and stomped the crap out of the game. These kids will make a fine quintet of nerds.

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Level E 6 – I Could Use a Battle Pocari Right Now

Posted in Level E with tags on 02/14/2011 by Shinmaru

why does this geodude have a rock cock and stalactite pubes i don’t understand

Haha, of course Baka has the kids move from one staple of anime comedy — the sentai parody — to another staple: The RPG parody. Next week: dating sim?! I’m pretty sure Edward Elric is already working on one of his own, that saucy little player.

As far as RPG episodes go, this is fun (I enjoyed the robotic NPCs and the shot of the tedious numbers puzzle), though I’d be lying if I said I didn’t prefer the episodes before the kids came along. But meh, enough of me being a wet blanket; at least there is a hint of the alien teacher perhaps joining in next week (who would be a better ally than a hot alien assassin?), which would make things more fun. Especially with those tentacles she keeps under wraps . . .

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Level E 5 – It Ain’t Easy Being a Power Ranger

Posted in Level E with tags on 02/08/2011 by Shinmaru

I swear that’s Edward Elric at the far left . . .

This is a pretty well-worn idea (if you’ve been an anime fan for more than a few months, then you’ve probably seen some sort of Sentai send-up episode at some point), but it’s still fun in Level E, more so than usual because the kids don’t actually do anything worthwhile with their newfound identities. They transform, curse their benefactor and use terrible powers that completely suck unless they are leveled up. Baka enjoys RPGs just a bit too much, I think.

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