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EP. REVIEW: Schwarzes Marken


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Scherzo



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 20, 2016 3:22 pm Reply with quote
So, to what extent spoiler[was Axmann in the loop on Beatrix's scheming? He seemed surprised when his coup attempt failed.][/spoiler]
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invalidname
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:30 am Reply with quote
First wave of rewards just shipped to backers of the Muv-Luv kickstarter. Part of the loot is a set of patches, including the 666th from Schwarzesmarken:
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Vaisaga



Joined: 07 Oct 2011
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 21, 2016 11:35 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
So it's no surprise that even Beatrix would be appalled at Schmidt's willingness to use them.


Not to mention that in this timeline it was Germany and not Japan that got A-bombed in WWII.

Quote:
Fan service is mostly relegated to undue attention paid to the butt of Circe/Kirke


You know, I'm kinda surprised no one raised a fuss about her superior's blatant sexual harassment.
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ryanvamp



Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2016 3:22 pm Reply with quote
Episode 11 was great; of course no series is without its flaws, and the more adult the approach is, the more likely for them to show up in all its uglyness. I'm not saying this is the 0079 of our generation.

That being said, I think Schwarzesmarken was (and will probably forever be) underestimated as a spin-off to an erotic franchise with a limited budget in animation. While it is indeed all of those things, both the story and the human drama has much more to offer than the ever so praised current Gundam series being reviewed here (IBO). That show is simply too childish and the fact that it has giant robots fighting each other (which I love) has NOTHING to do with that affirmation. You just have to see how poorly it handled the character of Kudelia and how simplistic their portrayal of a "revolution" is. Both series play with the notion of "hope" and a person being a "symbol", but with very different results. While Schwarzesmarken is no literature work, it clearly aims to feel more plausible.

I like how the characters weren't black and white (with the exception of Ursula who is mostly pure but still manages to feel authentic) and how actual grown men & women were present during the whole story. Yes, you have the usual teenagers ATTEMPTING to change things and save their country, but it was done in a way I can somehow buy it.

I think they handled Theodor's feelings and arc in a smooth way. It was also refreshing to see female characters that can actually achieve things (or mess up) as much as the male ones. It's ironic how a series that showcases these kind of pilot suits actually manages to be less sexist that the ones aimed at a mainstream audience but there you go.

Lise could have been handled in a more subtle way, but at least they didn't shy away of showcasing her as both a victim and a despisable person.

Anyways the show isn't over yet so of course it can end in an unsatisfying way, but so far it has been the one mecha series in a long while (after stuff like aldnoah zero and the aforementioned IBO) that has given me some hope for the genre in the future.
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Scherzo



Joined: 27 Feb 2013
Posts: 147
PostPosted: Fri Mar 25, 2016 5:37 am Reply with quote
ryanvamp wrote:
Episode 11 was great; of course no series is without its flaws, and the more adult the approach is, the more likely for them to show up in all its uglyness. I'm not saying this is the 0079 of our generation.

That being said, I think Schwarzesmarken was (and will probably forever be) underestimated as a spin-off to an erotic franchise with a limited budget in animation. While it is indeed all of those things, both the story and the human drama has much more to offer than the ever so praised current Gundam series being reviewed here (IBO). That show is simply too childish and the fact that it has giant robots fighting each other (which I love) has NOTHING to do with that affirmation. You just have to see how poorly it handled the character of Kudelia and how simplistic their portrayal of a "revolution" is. Both series play with the notion of "hope" and a person being a "symbol", but with very different results. While Schwarzesmarken is no literature work, it clearly aims to feel more plausible.

I like how the characters weren't black and white (with the exception of Ursula who is mostly pure but still manages to feel authentic) and how actual grown men & women were present during the whole story. Yes, you have the usual teenagers ATTEMPTING to change things and save their country, but it was done in a way I can somehow buy it.

I think they handled Theodor's feelings and arc in a smooth way. It was also refreshing to see female characters that can actually achieve things (or mess up) as much as the male ones. It's ironic how a series that showcases these kind of pilot suits actually manages to be less sexist that the ones aimed at a mainstream audience but there you go.

Lise could have been handled in a more subtle way, but at least they didn't shy away of showcasing her as both a victim and a despisable person.

Anyways the show isn't over yet so of course it can end in an unsatisfying way, but so far it has been the one mecha series in a long while (after stuff like aldnoah zero and the aforementioned IBO) that has given me some hope for the genre in the future.


I dunno about IBO, I think your issue with how it handles Revolution is more of an issue with how it conflates Revolution with reform accomplished through disruptive, potentially violent means, whereas in reality Revolution is much more destructive and holistic. I'd say in general though IBO has a much firmer foundation than Ald.Noah.

I don't really know how I'd stack Schwarzesmarken with those, but I wouldn't say it's trying to be the same sort of thing. It has political elements, but it's more interested in the cogs in the machine than the grand political strategies, though those do occur to some extent.
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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 10:01 am Reply with quote
A few more links before the finale in a few hours:

See you all after the final episode…
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maximilianjenus



Joined: 29 Apr 2013
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:17 am Reply with quote
it's over, glad to see how the love triangle got solved, reminded me of my favorite seinen series.
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zrnzle500
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:29 am Reply with quote
I must say, this series exceeded my expectations. I only really decided to watch it because a) mecha b) Sundays are light, and also their look at Stasi East Germany too. And they executed on that last part quite well. They gave a quite reasonable representation of East Germany and effectively wove it into the plot. The mecha action was no slouch either. I'm glad I watched it.

Yeah I too found myself almost surprised that Anett was still alive. It is almost plot armor levels, though perhaps that's just what it was, just used differently than usual. Though personally, I didn't dislike the outcome, as she was one of my favorite ones, aesthetically speaking. I also noticed something about the survivors of the 666th. All the female survivors were the ones that had a more modest bust (though realistic is more apt) than the ones who died, at least of the 666th. I wonder if they were trying to say something.
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Key
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:51 am Reply with quote
zrnzle500 wrote:
I also noticed something about the survivors of the 666th. All the female survivors were the ones that had a more modest bust (though realistic is more apt) than the ones who died, at least of the 666th. I wonder if they were trying to say something.

I didn't notice that at the time, but in retrospect I must agree with you. Kinda doubt that a message was being meant there, though. Perhaps it's just connected to someone's personal preference?
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Rensie



Joined: 02 Sep 2011
Posts: 251
PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 12:53 am Reply with quote
Quote:
[...]she really should have just shot Axmann herself instead of dramatically tossing the gun to Irisdina, which gave Axmann just enough time to pull his own gun. I also have to nitpick about how Irisdina's death scene was handled. If Theodor had time to take Irisdina to a spot where she could see Berlin and witness a final sunrise, then they certainly had time to get her proper medical care.


Lol, yes, this part was very odd, they forced the dram at all cost to leave an impact on the viewer, i think they should have managed this scene much better.

Overall, as a non fan of the Muv-Luv, i considered this serie mediocre like Eclipse, one of these mecha drama anime that you just watch 1 time and forget about it after a while.

Next is the new Macross Delta.
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invalidname
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Joined: 11 Aug 2004
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 6:03 am Reply with quote
The Muv-Luv team has launched a Steam Greenlight campaign to gauge the interest in an English-language release of the first (of two) Schwarzesmarken visual novels. Along with a trailer, the page there has a 7-minute clip of the scene where Theodor first finds Katia in her wrecked TSF. (On-screen text is in Japanese; turn on YouTube closed-captioning to see the English translation).

Also, the main English-language Muv-Luv page has launched at muvluv.moe (yes, really), while its forums have already been going for some time.

I guess the next thing to watch for is early sales numbers for the DVD/Blu-Ray release in Japan, the first volume of which came out last week. There's no R1 licensee yet, though not surprising -- it was two years before Sentai picked up Total Eclipse.

EDIT: A few closing thoughts:
Quote:
On the plus side, it looks like Gretel did survive her crash last episode.

I thought the more dire situation with Gretel last episode was that she'd been shot by Axmann (the bullets partially penetrating her fortified suit) and left behind with the burning Stasi files.
Quote:
Theodor's parallel rejection of Brehme's ideology that an absolute police state is the most effective path to the future.

Darkly ironic that Theodor will spoiler[go much too far in the other direction] later in the franchise lore, spoiler[as the "Master" who organizes the RLF insurrection in Total Eclipse.]

Finally, the staff signed off with a comical shot of the cast at an onsen, mirroring a similar joke at the end of Total Eclipse. In this case, the haloes provide a handy reference for who did and didn't survive the series.
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Vaisaga



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 7:49 am Reply with quote
Quote:
and Irisdina's death can be pinned on her too; she really should have just shot Axmann herself instead of dramatically tossing the gun to Irisdina


Passing the gun was probably the wiser choice. Irisdina and Axmann were struggling on the ground so had Anett taken the shot she might have accidentally hit Irisdina instead.
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Key
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Joined: 03 Nov 2003
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 8:17 am Reply with quote
invalidname wrote:
I thought the more dire situation with Gretel last episode was that she'd been shot by Axmann (the bullets partially penetrating her fortified suit) and left behind with the burning Stasi files.

Oh, you're right; I was misremembering that. It's been updated.

Vaisaga wrote:
Passing the gun was probably the wiser choice. Irisdina and Axmann were struggling on the ground so had Anett taken the shot she might have accidentally hit Irisdina instead.

Can't agree here. At the time she tossed Irisdina the gun, Irisdina has just thrown Axmann off her and so there was clear physical separation between them (probably 4-5 feet, from the look of it). She would have had a clean shot.
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ryanvamp



Joined: 08 May 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:33 pm Reply with quote
I loved this series but I have to agree with the score and arguments showcased in this review: the way they handled Irisdina's death was kinda lazy. Her last scene, however, made scene storywise and it was quite decent as far as emotion and having closure for her character and Theo's. Everything else was fine, although I do believe the series needed to explain Jurgen more (maybe one flashback episode in which the writers show us how both Beatrice and Irisdina choose to understand his beliefs, since apparently there's a clear disagreement here. We know Iris probably got him the "right way" and Beatrice was an extremist, but still...it's a weak plot point).

Overall I think the series managed to overcome the stigma of being considered of poor taste, edgy and full of fanservice and pulled off a pretty interesting story that was more grounded and adult in its themes than a lot of recent series (especially in the mecha genre, which is my favorite so I know how much I've been suffering through mundane series). I'd like to read the novel if it ever gets translated to see if some of my qualms get fixed. Also the budget for Schwarzesmarken was clearly small, so kudos for still managing to not feel like a chore to watch.

As a sidenote, I'm both intrigued and scared of finding out more about Theodor in Total Eclipse...I barely remember that Master character and he was clearly a bad guy...which would be a shame since it completely undermines the finale of this series and Irisdina's sacrifice.
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maximilianjenus



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PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 2:35 pm Reply with quote
yeah, she indirectly caused yet another death, regarding the lack fo medicla treatment, I guessshe got shot in the liver or other organ, that is both non immediately mortal, but also, there's no way to fix that.
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