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REVIEW: Str.A.In.: Strategic Armored Infantry DVD




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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 254
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:53 pm Reply with quote
I've never seen this show, and I only read the review to get a feel for it. However, I was struck by the claim that the single greatest artistic fault of the show was the fact that "the girls aren't hot," in italics for emphasis, no less.

Really? Has anime come to this, that such a shallow thing can be the biggest fault in the art of a show? There are plenty of shows with unappealing male protagonists. Why is the fact that a show has unattractive female protagonists such a big deal?

Perhaps I'm overreacting, but that statement struck me as slightly sexist, which isn't something I'm used to from reviews here.
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vashfanatic



Joined: 16 Jun 2005
Posts: 3466
Location: Back stateside
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:56 pm Reply with quote
Raneth wrote:
I've never seen this show, and I only read the review to get a feel for it. However, I was struck by the claim that the single greatest artistic fault of the show was the fact that "the girls aren't hot," in italics for emphasis, no less.

Really? Has anime come to this, that such a shallow thing can be the biggest fault in the art of a show? There are plenty of shows with unappealing male protagonists. Why is the fact that a show has unattractive female protagonists such a big deal?

Perhaps I'm overreacting, but that statement struck me as slightly sexist, which isn't something I'm used to from reviews here.


Well, if the show's primary purpose is fanservice (as opposed to plot)...
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Raneth



Joined: 06 Oct 2008
Posts: 254
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 6:01 pm Reply with quote
Judging from the review, however, it's not meant to be pointless fan service.

"The series obviously wants to be a serious wartime drama (it borrows liberally from Gundam), but has zero grasp of what makes drama work. "
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Kit-Tsukasa



Joined: 16 Mar 2006
Posts: 930
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 8:48 pm Reply with quote
If there was one thing, the only good episode in this series was the first episode. Everything after that was bleh. Concept was great and all, but as the reviewer and the above poster states, it fails at any sort of drama when tried to utilize or emphasize it.
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Big Hed



Joined: 04 May 2006
Posts: 1607
Location: Melbourne, Australia
PostPosted: Tue Apr 28, 2009 10:33 pm Reply with quote
@Raneth: I think Carl emphasized the point because Str.A.In is Studio Fantasia show, a label which (supposedly) is associated with consistently attractive female leads. And personally, I find the physical appearance of main characters to be of critical artistic importance, whether they are male or female; after all, you spend a lot of time looking at them. So unless a series calls for unattractive protagonist(s) as an element that affects plot/characterization, I'd generally rather that they look good. Gundam has certainly followed that rule of late, as you'll know if you've seen any of 00 -- virtually everybody is hot.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 446
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 1:06 pm Reply with quote
Having seen the show a couple times I'm definitely biased, but thinking that Studio Fantasia's works are mostly for the "fanservice" is just setting yourself up to be fooled. It's more like, they know their audience want certain genre-specific things--space exploration, space opera, alternative take on mecha genre tropes, etc.

If you like space opera in anime and can't get enough of it, then Strain is for you. It's not that great among the greatest space anime out there, but it's kind of a cold genre nowadays. If you've seen a lot of these kinds of anime and want something new to check out, Strain can be a good investment of time.

If you want hot moe blobs and T&A, this is probably not the best choice, because it's not a fanservice show.

It has some boobs and panty shots, but it's hardly the focus. And if you think the girls in every anime has to be a turn-on in order for a show to not have that as a flaw, then you're probably just plain sexist.
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Vicserr



Joined: 26 Apr 2004
Posts: 480
Location: Carolina, Puerto Rico USA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 3:03 pm Reply with quote
Were we watching the same show?...

Whatever made Studio Fantasia famous has no bearing in the projects they work with, and if you were expecting an overload of comedy and fan service because of the animation studio... you're going to be seriously disappointed.

Str.A.In is a competent Sci-fi mecha war drama, except for the doll and the spoiler[MOE *YUCK* Alien girls], that I definately felt they were out of place, this is treated as your run of the mill revenge story, Sarah is like that because she has lost it all and all she wants is to confront her brother to ask why the person she loved, respected and wanted to follow in his footsteps turned traitor, destroyed her dreams and turned her in a pariah inside the military, the mecha is a refreshing departure from the standard "Gundam-esque" style, but they take a while to get used too. and this is a war story, people die, so for me if they were chanelling "Kill'Em All" Tomino a few times, there's nothing wrong with that.


Last edited by Vicserr on Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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jr240483



Joined: 24 Dec 2005
Posts: 4138
Location: New York City,New York,USA
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 6:14 pm Reply with quote
Big Hed wrote:
@Raneth: I think Carl emphasized the point because Str.A.In is Studio Fantasia show, a label which (supposedly) is associated with consistently attractive female leads. And personally, I find the physical appearance of main characters to be of critical artistic importance, whether they are male or female; after all, you spend a lot of time looking at them. So unless a series calls for unattractive protagonist(s) as an element that affects plot/characterization, I'd generally rather that they look good. Gundam has certainly followed that rule of late, as you'll know if you've seen any of 00 -- virtually everybody is hot.


Unfortunately the gundam series always followed that rule so it kinda don't count. Also sure there's some flaws but it's still fun to see and the dub version is kinda better than the sub version sound and scriptwise. Kinda similar to Dual and to Vandread though that crazy nickname should've been left out. I've watched all the epsiodes on the funimation video website and while it ain't a good mecha series,it's still decent enough.
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Gewürtztraminer



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 1028
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.
PostPosted: Wed Apr 29, 2009 11:04 pm Reply with quote
I am only 7 episodes in via the first disc on Netflix.
I was kinda fired up about this title after the Shelf Life review, and discussion afterwards, but....

Whew, I am glad I did not blind buy this.

Again, this is only through episode 7, but there is just a lot that I find really unenjoyable. Who are the evil bad guys? Why are they evil (besides all the prominent cliches: having dark uniforms, poor shipboard lighting, a harsh command structure, and officers that make sneering faces behind others backs)? The main evil guy has I think 1 line in the seven episodes (besides the opening sequence). The story has done a very poor job of making care at all for these characters. I feel nothing when 5 good Strain pilots in row are eviscerated 1.3 seconds after engaging the enemy.

Even if the final 6 episodes are the finest thing ever created, the first seven episodes could have been covered in a five minute prologue. Maybe I will be wrong, but I doubt it.
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Zalis116
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Joined: 31 Mar 2005
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Location: Kazune City
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 3:49 am Reply with quote
Quote:
Rather than touching or intense, it's sloppy and unfocused, and worst of all, seriously un-fun (the unintentional humor of Ralph's random contraction of the dreaded cough-up-blood-and-die anime disease notwithstanding). Faced with that, libido-driven stupidity is almost preferable.
This. I thought Strain would've been a lot better if they had played up the fanservice and lesbian hijinx, instead of trying to pull off a story that was never anything better than hollow and convoluted. Especially the unforgivable crime of transforming silly shenanigans in a lighthearted scene into plot elements sometime around ep 8 or 9.

And yeah, Ayako Kawasumi does sleep-walk through this. Then again, she's rarely asked to play any character other than Ayako Kawasumi. See Melfina, Akari Kamigishi, Miu Nomura, Mahoro Andou, Aoi Sakuraba, Kazumi Yoshida, etc. Although she had a good turn as the psychotic puppeteer Lottie in Geneshaft.

While the mecha designs had issues, as the review points out, I thought the fight scenes had a good approach to near-lightspeed combat. I don't know exactly how realistic it was, but at least they tried to create combat constrained by some sort of rules.

So despite how underwhelming and disappointing Strain was, I'll be checking out Funimation's version eventually. I wish the dub re-write were a little more liberal, as that might have salvaged things a bit.
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omoikane



Joined: 03 Oct 2005
Posts: 446
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:42 am Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
Especially the unforgivable crime of transforming silly shenanigans in a lighthearted scene into plot elements sometime around ep 8 or 9.

I really liked it. Oh well, each to his own.
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Gewürtztraminer



Joined: 14 Nov 2007
Posts: 1028
Location: Texas - Its like whole other country.
PostPosted: Thu Apr 30, 2009 10:43 pm Reply with quote
Zalis116 wrote:
Especially the unforgivable crime of transforming silly shenanigans in a lighthearted scene into plot elements sometime around ep 8 or 9.


If it was the bit about Emily and Lia-something's brilliant plan, then it was episode 7, which further ruins the one faint glimmer of enjoyment the series had for me so far.
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babbo



Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Posts: 274
PostPosted: Fri May 01, 2009 12:27 am Reply with quote
Vicserr wrote:
Were we watching the same show?...

Whatever made Studio Fantasia famous has no bearing in the projects they work with, and if you were expecting an overload of comedy and fan service because of the animation studio... you're going to be seriously disappointed.

Str.A.In is a competent Sci-fi mecha war drama, except for the doll and the spoiler[MOE *YUCK* Alien girls], that I definately felt they were out of place, this is treated as your run of the mill revenge story, Sarah is like that because she has lost it all and all she wants is to confront her brother to ask why the person she loved, respected and wanted to follow in his footsteps turned traitor, destroyed her dreams and turned her in a pariah inside the military, the mecha is a refreshing departure from the standard "Gundam-esque" style, but they take a while to get used too. and this is a war story, people die, so for me if they were chanelling "Kill'Em All" Tomino a few times, there's nothing wrong with that.



Pretty sure that Carl was just pointing out what Fantasia has done well. I don't think that in anyway negates the major flaws that he did point out. And meaningless deaths of characters that were never really given any depth generally is a very bad thing for any story.
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norman728



Joined: 03 Jul 2004
Posts: 17
PostPosted: Sat May 02, 2009 6:46 am Reply with quote
Having watched much of the series. It does try to throw a bunch of story elements to you all at once. Once you find out what's really going on. The series doesn't really take off. I found the series kinda bland. and the lead you want to try to root for her, but you just can't hang on.
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