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.