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EP. REVIEW: Muv-Luv Alternative


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09jcg



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:09 am Reply with quote
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Bonus: As alluded to, I did do a little wiki-diving down the side of the Muv-Luv iceberg to more properly prepare myself with some context for these reviews. If you're a new anime viewer who wants some kind of primer yourself, I found we actually have an article on this very site by another writer named Chris, detailing some of the history and backstory for the series (did you know this thing is actually a spin-off of Rumbling Hearts?!). It's definitely worth a look.


So to go off the bonus, Rumbling Hearts has an OVA called Akane Maniax (which itself was a fandisc for the Rumbling Hearts/Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien VN). Akane Maniax actually serves as the first intro for the Muv-Luv cast and was made to link Muv-Luv to Rumbling Hearts/Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (which was actually a pretty good anime). Characters from both do play a role in Muv-Luv Alternative.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 2654
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:32 am Reply with quote
09jcg wrote:
Quote:
Bonus: As alluded to, I did do a little wiki-diving down the side of the Muv-Luv iceberg to more properly prepare myself with some context for these reviews. If you're a new anime viewer who wants some kind of primer yourself, I found we actually have an article on this very site by another writer named Chris, detailing some of the history and backstory for the series (did you know this thing is actually a spin-off of Rumbling Hearts?!). It's definitely worth a look.


So to go off the bonus, Rumbling Hearts has an OVA called Akane Maniax (which itself was a fandisc for the Rumbling Hearts/Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien VN). Akane Maniax actually serves as the first intro for the Muv-Luv cast and was made to link Muv-Luv to Rumbling Hearts/Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (which was actually a pretty good anime). Characters from both do play a role in Muv-Luv Alternative.

Seems like they're recasting near everybody but Norio Wakamoto, so I wonder if the Rumbling Hearts cast will be recast.
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09jcg



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 11:38 am Reply with quote
MFrontier wrote:
09jcg wrote:
Quote:
Bonus: As alluded to, I did do a little wiki-diving down the side of the Muv-Luv iceberg to more properly prepare myself with some context for these reviews. If you're a new anime viewer who wants some kind of primer yourself, I found we actually have an article on this very site by another writer named Chris, detailing some of the history and backstory for the series (did you know this thing is actually a spin-off of Rumbling Hearts?!). It's definitely worth a look.


So to go off the bonus, Rumbling Hearts has an OVA called Akane Maniax (which itself was a fandisc for the Rumbling Hearts/Kimi Ga Nozomu Eien VN). Akane Maniax actually serves as the first intro for the Muv-Luv cast and was made to link Muv-Luv to Rumbling Hearts/Kimi ga Nozomu Eien (which was actually a pretty good anime). Characters from both do play a role in Muv-Luv Alternative.

Seems like they're recasting near everybody but Norio Wakamoto, so I wonder if the Rumbling Hearts cast will be recast.


So this ANN article says they cast Hibiku Yamamura as Mitskui

animenewsnetwork.com/news/2021-10-20/muv-luv-alternative-anime-adds-3-cast-members/.178664

In Rumbling Hearts she was voiced by Chiaki Takahashi, so thats at least one person recast, My guess is pretty much everyone is getting a new voice.
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MFrontier



Joined: 13 Apr 2014
Posts: 2654
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:17 pm Reply with quote
09jcg wrote:
So this ANN article says they cast Hibiku Yamamura as Mitskui

animenewsnetwork.com/news/2021-10-20/muv-luv-alternative-anime-adds-3-cast-members/.178664

In Rumbling Hearts she was voiced by Chiaki Takahashi, so thats at least one person recast, My guess is pretty much everyone is getting a new voice.

In before we get a visual novel remake with the new anime VA's...
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whatev



Joined: 31 Dec 2013
Posts: 8
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:55 pm Reply with quote
The first episode is effective in one sense of getting into the Muv-Luv universe, but I feel that it's ultimately a misfire overall. Basically, there's a reason why the BETA aren't actually seen until about a third of the way through Alternative. They serve effectively as a mysterious, looming threat until they finally make their appearance. Pretty much all of that is lost in showing them from the beginning. Of course, one could say that the original intent of Rumbling Hearts spinoff to Alien Invasion has already been thoroughly spoiled, but I don't think that means the subtle buildup would not have worked anyway.

One thing is certain though. This level of compression gives very little reason to care for many of the main characters. I would have said that Youko was the most interesting character anyways in the original VNs, but having that position by default of all the other characters not being developed at all is disappointing.
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Kelohmello



Joined: 17 Oct 2013
Posts: 11
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 12:57 pm Reply with quote
As per the nature of this sort of adaptation, one of an originally very long visual novel, the anime has no choice but to abbreviate the plot. But this section of the original VN is basically just a recap of Muv-Luv Unlimited, meaning most of what anime only viewers are seeing here is an abbreviation of an abbreviation. And it very clearly feels like it. It's baffling to me that this is how they chose to do this.

There were red flags to be had when it was announced they weren't doing Extra and Unlimited in any capacity. Those are key to Alternative carrying the massive emotional payoff it has. But even without those, the general execution of this anime as it is falling really flat. The visual quality, save for some of the TSF scenes, is pretty bad and the character designs have successfully made half of these characters seem like generic background mobs.

And speaking of, they've failed so profoundly in this early section of the story to establish their personalities. The way Mikoto is introduced so matter-of-factly in Episode 3 then immediately just slotted in like she was there from the beginning says everything. And this is going to kill the the value of later developments if they can't even spare time to make you care about these guys right now.

The way they're treating this adaptation makes me ask who this is being made for. It can't be for long time fans. Are newcomers really going to find the sparknotes version of a third part in a trilogy that skipped the first two parts appealing?
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Kamijou Touma



Joined: 01 Oct 2017
Posts: 84
Location: Gakuen Toshi
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 2:16 pm Reply with quote
I tried to watch this show. I found it so stupid after episode 3, I gave up. My 1st foray in this type of show was Schwarzesmarken.
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rizuchan
Collector Extraordinaire



Joined: 11 Mar 2007
Posts: 923
Location: Kansas
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:09 pm Reply with quote
Kelohmello wrote:
As per the nature of this sort of adaptation, one of an originally very long visual novel, the anime has no choice but to abbreviate the plot. But this section of the original VN is basically just a recap of Muv-Luv Unlimited, meaning most of what anime only viewers are seeing here is an abbreviation of an abbreviation. And it very clearly feels like it. It's baffling to me that this is how they chose to do this.


Yeah, if it were me, I would have adapted Unlimited and then sped through the first half of Alternative with quick montages or something. But given that a entire plot arc in Unlimited was whittled down to a 5 second flashback here, I'm going to guess it would have taken more than 13 episodes to do so.

Honestly this just feels like Rewrite all over again. Both it and Alternative could have been perfect for anime adaptations if they weren't trying to condense 50 hours of story into 3 hours of anime. I'm also a little afraid that the really impactful parts of MLA are going to be completely lost when you rush through them. It's already bad enough if you don't already know the characters from Extra. It'd be sad if this anime inspired people to check out the visual novels, but then the more acclaimed scenes in Alternative don't hit nearly as hard when they've already seen a watered down version in the anime and know they are coming.
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09jcg



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 3:58 pm Reply with quote
rizuchan wrote:

Honestly this just feels like Rewrite all over again. Both it and Alternative could have been perfect for anime adaptations if they weren't trying to condense 50 hours of story into 3 hours of anime.
I think that's the real tragedy behind this. There's a world where this could have been one of the all time great animes. If they went the Clannad route and dedicated 2 cour to Extra/Unlimited and then 2 cour Alternative then you could have had an anime for the ages. I mean, this is the same VN that inspired Attack on Titan and countless other shows. Instead were getting a glorified advertisement for Muv-Luv sequel projects that don't even look that good. It's a real shame.
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garfield15



Joined: 06 Apr 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 7:38 pm Reply with quote
09jcg wrote:
rizuchan wrote:

Honestly this just feels like Rewrite all over again. Both it and Alternative could have been perfect for anime adaptations if they weren't trying to condense 50 hours of story into 3 hours of anime.
I think that's the real tragedy behind this. There's a world where this could have been one of the all time great animes. If they went the Clannad route and dedicated 2 cour to Extra/Unlimited and then 2 cour Alternative then you could have had an anime for the ages. I mean, this is the same VN that inspired Attack on Titan and countless other shows. Instead were getting a glorified advertisement for Muv-Luv sequel projects that don't even look that good. It's a real shame.

Funny thing is, there was an attempt to adapt the trilogy in the late 00s, but it didn't pan out for some reason that I don't think has been documented

There's an alternate universe where there is a decent adaptation of the trilogy in 2007/8. That time period was perfect. BDs were becoming a thing, Hype mecha anime were successful, VN adaptations were extremely viable and the idea of a 4 cour adaptation with the first 24 episodes Extra/Unlimited and the second 24 being Alternative like Clannad or HIgurashi would be seen as a logical idea. In this alternate universe, we get a decent-great adaptation but one that goes down as memorable and successful.

Instead we live in the personification of the "Why can't I just skip Extra/Unlimited and get to the cool mecha" complaint VN fans had to deal with for over a decade
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GoldenJediLink



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Northern BC, Canada
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:00 pm Reply with quote
It is going to be interesting to read these reviews each week, as the reviewer seems to be the target audience the show is aiming for.

Quote:
Yeah, if it were me, I would have adapted Unlimited and then sped through the first half of Alternative with quick montages or something. But given that a entire plot arc in Unlimited was whittled down to a 5 second flashback here,


I agree that not adapting Unlimited in some way is hurting the show so far. Having the events of Unlimited shown in just a few images every so often does not provide the context us VN readers have. The two examples I can think of is the conversation Takeru has with Meiya in episode 2 and the conversation he has with Yuuko about Kasumi in episode 3.

Quote:
they've failed so profoundly in this early section of the story to establish their personalities. The way Mikoto is introduced so matter-of-factly in Episode 3 then immediately just slotted in like she was there from the beginning says everything. And this is going to kill the the value of later developments if they can't even spare time to make you care about these guys right now.


Ya, so far the most development we have gotten for the girls is the nicknames Takeru calls them. This worries me since the impact from most of the more well known scenes relies heavily on your attachment to the characters.
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One-Eye



Joined: 08 Mar 2011
Posts: 2203
PostPosted: Thu Oct 21, 2021 9:46 pm Reply with quote
I want to like Muv-luv it has elements I normally enjoy. Mechs, fighting against impossible odds, apocalyptic/post-apo setting, etc. My first experience with Muv-luv was the Total Eclipse anime. I really enjoyed the first 3 or so episodes. It was kind of harsh and while there was info dumping I had no problem following what was going on. Then it kind of took a nose dive after that for me. I couldn't really get into Schwarzesmarken and dropped it quickly.

Now with this new anime, I feel again conflicted. It starts out ok, but man the character designs are generic as heck. I'm also not feeling this alternative timeline stuff and have zero interest in any of the characters because there isn't anything to them. I guess I'll give it another episode or two, but I'm not feeling hopeful. Everything I've seen of the franchise seems to have ingredients that I would like or has potential (for an anime), but I don't think its been handled particularly well. Sad
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09jcg



Joined: 19 Sep 2006
Posts: 153
PostPosted: Fri Oct 22, 2021 12:07 am Reply with quote
GoldenJediLink wrote:

Ya, so far the most development we have gotten for the girls is the nicknames Takeru calls them. This worries me since the impact from most of the more well known scenes relies heavily on your attachment to the characters.
I didn't even really think about how its going to impact specific scens. The infamous Chomp scene is going to be very difficult to pull off let alone (Spoilers for the back half of Muv Luv Alternative)spoiler[Takeru sexually assaulting Meiya]
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LTKCentaur



Joined: 24 Oct 2021
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 4:49 pm Reply with quote
The real problem with the show so far is that it's moving so fast. Way too fast, tbh. I get that it's an anime with giant robots and aliens, but the VNs only work because they have amazing characters. This show has almost no characters yet. It has facsimiles of characters, and Takeru and Yuuko are flirting with becoming three-dimensional, but there's just a dearth of reasons to care about what's going on. I'm hoping, perhaps foolishly, that once they get done fast-tracking the Unlimited recap, they pump the brakes hard so that the setting and the cast have time to breathe.
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GoldenJediLink



Joined: 17 Feb 2016
Posts: 5
Location: Northern BC, Canada
PostPosted: Sun Oct 24, 2021 5:24 pm Reply with quote
LTKCentaur wrote:
The real problem with the show so far is that it's moving so fast. Way too fast, tbh. I get that it's an anime with giant robots and aliens, but the VNs only work because they have amazing characters. This show has almost no characters yet. It has facsimiles of characters, and Takeru and Yuuko are flirting with becoming three-dimensional, but there's just a dearth of reasons to care about what's going on. I'm hoping, perhaps foolishly, that once they get done fast-tracking the Unlimited recap, they pump the brakes hard so that the setting and the cast have time to breathe.


That is my hope as well. Currently it seems like the production is trying their hardest to get to the mechs as fast as possible at the expense of any character development.
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