To get the ball rolling once again, I thought I'd talk a little about a new anime I've found; the fantastically named, The Third - Aoi Hitomi no Shoujo (which according to the infinite wisdom of Wikipedia means 'The Girl with the Blue Eye').
Released back in 06, The Third follows the adventures of Honoka, a young, seemingly homeless, sword swinging adventurer who lives in a giant tank, piloted by her awesomely named robot friend, Bogie.
I've only seen the pilot episode, and thus it's still far to early to comment on the overall quality of the anime. Nonetheless, here's what I think of it so far.
So far, there's not been much of a hint on the greater story yet. We do know however that some vaguely defined catastrophe occurred, killed 4/5ths of the human population and fucked the earth up the ass so hard that almost its entire surface has become an inhabitable wasteland.
Also, there was the generic Ominous Evil Council at the start of the episode, whose cryptic discussion included someone called The Third, which is probably where this anime got it's dumbass name from.
The setting might prove to be rather interesting if it's executed well; it's a bit of your typical post apocalyptic world with vast stretches of desert. However, the anime has yet to explore how the people live and interact with this world.
From what little the first episode has shown however, it appears that there are some remnants of civilisation that are gathered in cities, which with all things considered, are strangely comfortable looking for a post doomsday world.
ARTWORK AND ANIMATION
The character designs are rather reminiscent of older animes. To be honest, when I first saw the dvd cover for The Third, I honestly believed it was a lesser known title from the late 90s. Personally, I'm not particularly fond of the characters; they seem overly simplistic and uninspired, in particular the heroine Honoka, who looks like the kind of amateur designs I sketch on the margins of my university notebooks.
Like the character designs, the animation seems to be rather...mixed. Whilst the fight scenes are beautifully animated (though rather lazy; most of them just involve Honoka swinging her sword, the screen flashing, and baddies dropping dead), other sections are so mindfuckingly poorly animated, I must wonder if the animators were high while working on them.
Thankfully, the backgrounds are consistently well designed and drawn. Unlike the other aspects of the show, I can sit back and enjoy the scenery without wondering to myself if someone had to sleep with their bosses not to get fired for their lackluster work.
The main character, not much is known about her yet except that she's a mercenary or something, she's fucking good with swords, and she lives in a tank, which is quiet possibly the coolest house in the history of media.
Honoka's little robot partner/stalker with a crazy deep voice and a name so stupid, it's awesome. Serves as the show's narrator by talking to himself about recent events, thus proving robots can also go insane.
Pathetic little mechanic with an insurmountably dumb name. Has a crush on Honoka.
Freakishly tall man with a plastic smile, and inhuman, soulless eyes. The guy smiles all the freakin time. ALL. THE. TIME. Oh, and he has some mysterious power to heal people. Honoka also seems to want to get into his pants; the girl's got horrible taste in men. Seriously, I'd sooner do Toy.
To be honest, The Third really feels like a half assed job to me. It's not bad, and it's got quite a few good things going for it, yet at the same time, the animation is haphazard and at times even lazy, and the characters seem like little more then stock anime archetypes.
Of course, it's still far too early to call, so here's hoping that The Third picks up. In the meantime, I'm going to wonder why the fuck no one mentioned that The Third, Bogie, and Toy Joey are all mindbangingly stupid names.