Soukou no Strain

Soukou no Strain

Soukou no Strain is one of those shows that I felt would be a big flop and a bore to watch initially, but I was proven wrong, very wrong in fact. Debuting in the crowded autumn season, it has surprisingly become my third most “subs-wanted” show of that season, behind Kanon and Megadere.

The main reason that attracted me to Soukou was due to appearance of Ayako Kawasumi, along with a few other of my personal watchlist seiyuus such as Yukana and Rie Tanaka in the cast list. The first episode had me initially bored though, with the economy-budget art and generic 3D CG scenes, but what intrigued me was the fact that the screenwriters had the balls to kill off many, supposedly “main” characters.

So along the way, I enjoyed Ayako-sama voicing out the role of the stoic, hard-headed yet tragic Sara Werec, while gleefully playing the “Guess who will die” with every episode and I must say, I am very impressed with the screenwriter’s balls of killing at least one central character per episode. Also, there are some unforgettable scenes such as the Lavinia’s naked run around the ship in episode 7.

In the end, what made me love Soukou was the important revelations made of Emily’s origins and the reason behind Ralph’s betrayal. The story became surprisingly engaging and serious at the same time as all the threads began to fall in place, rather than fall apart as I initially felt it would, and culminated in a nicely scripted ending, tying up the story neatly in a satisfying manner, rarely felt in many anime this days.

9 Comments

  1. T_I Said,

    February 23, 2007 @ 11:38 pm

    That comment about the CG is rather surprising

    I found it very smooth. Quite possibly one of the best ones.

    Personally I found it better than Vandread, Last Exile, and Zegapain

  2. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 12:21 am

    It’s smooth, but the designs are quite simplistic rather, apart from the Strains.

    It does give off a very “low-budget”-ty feel for me, but I’ve perhaps been too spoiled by Gonzo and Kyo Ani, for both 3D and 2D art respectively.

  3. Stripey Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 12:28 am

    heh, I somewhat had the revere experience for Soukou no Strain. XD I was really wow-ed by eps 01-04. Good pace, angsting, action, music (though it gets repetitive after a while). We hit a plateau when Sara joins her new friends… But it all fell apart when the reasons behind Ralph’s betrayal was revealed. Granted, the motivations are adequate but not mind-blowing as I hoped, given the extent of his crimes.

    Maybe it’s just that I had expected Ralph to be more of a siscon than lolicon XD

  4. FlameStrike Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 5:48 am

    Huh your wierd, no offence but eps 1 and 4 and stuff really wowed me too but then around eps 6-7, especialy 7 it reallly sucked and Carris dieing was bad too. But after that I really enjoyed it. The bro vs sis fight was just awsome and I can just see Ralph dripping with insanity. The part where Ralph comes to his sense just before he dies was really nice too. Over all this was a pretty damn good anime imo

  5. T_I Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 1:17 pm

    apart from the Strains? why would you pay attention to anything aside from that? XD

    personally I found the CG and choreography one of the best, but I’m only taking into consideration mecha anime

    it’s really not fair to compare it to the works of Makoto Shinkai and those CG flowers from Kanon. I totally different genre of CG

  6. jinyamato Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    i totally agree with kuro…. what made me go on with this show initially was the …wth… so fast people die in the first epi …cool….. but as i continue the show, the story wowed me and the development too.. the ending was suitable imo, but i sort of wish there were even more char development in the show

  7. Syaoran Li Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 3:17 pm

    Damn it! Another seismic movement, I hate that!

    First of all, I’m with Kurogane-sensei, the main reason to me that made my watch Soukou no Strain was Ayako-sama as Sara (nice name). At the beginning I was excited to know what kind of series will be, but after what happens in episode 1, bad memories, really bad memories came to my mind (a Sunrise ghost behind the curtains). Then I get a little confused with all that crap about time lapses when you travel in sub-light speed. Everything else was fine.

    In the end, Ralph couldn’t accomplish anything, only bringing Emily to Sara, nothing more and nothing else. He was wrong for trying to make all humans to paid for what they did to the little girls.

    A nice ride, once in a while we need stuff like this. The very painful episode was the 5, when Sara were beating up

  8. Kurogane Shiroikaze Said,

    February 24, 2007 @ 9:22 pm

    T_I: No, I’m not comparing them to the geniuses, but as I said, the whole series is probably done on a low budget and it gives off a certain “feel” that reflects it. Perhaps it’s the low details and polygon count for the 3D.

    Well, the main focus of Soukou was never on the mecha anyways, it was a purely personal story of Sara herself, on how she deals with her “fall” from grace, her subsequent conquest to find out the truth and finally confront and stop her brother from committing even more horrible things that would’ve further stain his name. I’m currently halfway reading “A Little Princess” and I’m finding out that the producers have been rather faithful to the spirit of the original story.

    I would personally recommend Soukou as an anime with a good story and character development, rather than just “another mecha anime”.

  9. Noein Said,

    February 25, 2007 @ 6:00 am

    I thought the CG looks low budget as well which is the main reason I stopped watching after first ep, guess I have to pick it back up.

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