by Lauren Orsini,
How would you rate episode 2 of
God Eater ?
Welcome back to God Eater, the prettiest apocalyptic science fiction show of the season. Humanity may be in the midst of some hard times, but we can take solace in the painterly beauty that makes up the backdrops, character designs, and even monster designs of this show. The question that still needs an answer is whether God Eater is more than just a pretty face, as this episode's cliche story and dialogue simply left me wanting more.
From ombre skyscapes to streamlined military design, everything in the world of God Eater is nice to look at. I'm still loving the soft, artistic style that characterizes the show. Even the Aragami are stunning, with a boss monster this episode that looks like something out of Shadow of the Colossus. The characters dub the electrified beast Vajra, which is Sanskrit for “thunderbolt.” It's clear that as much care was put into the cinematography as the art style. I love how the movement switches from smooth to jarring in order to convey scenes of high tension, how grainy and shaky it is when we flashback to the past, and how the theme of electricity jolts its way through several unexpected corners of the episode.
Unfortunately, I found the care put into camera angles overly artificial. The practice of placing female characters' breasts at eye level has continued, more for the audience's perceived interests than the best interest of the story. Male characters often appear to look, speak, and interact directly with breasts, not with women's faces, since we see their busts more often. Whether you're a fan of breasts or not, you have to admit that it's strange to focus on this part of the anatomy during an otherwise somber exchange.
Plotwise, the Attack on Titan comparisons continue. Lenka winds up in a prison cell for his heroic actions—aided by his supernatural ability nobody quite understands—because the military doesn't believe it can trust him. Getting shades of Eren Jaeger yet? Lenka doesn't remember the events that led to him ending up in confinement, because he's a rookie who conked out during the fight, leaving Captain Levi—I mean, Licca—to take on Vajra by himself without breaking a sweat. Still, Licca is inspired by Lenka's raw determination. He convinces his improbable sister, Major Anamiya, to bail Lenka out so he can fight. The Major then proceeds to give the most cliche speech imaginable about how Lenka can wait for the board to make a decision or “go out and prove that you are worth something.” She then adds that she “doesn't approve.” Lenka responds in an even more eye-rolling manner, indicating that he “doesn't believe in prayers” and is going to fight with all he's got. To which I ask, God Eater, is this really all you've got? I've seen more convincing dialogue in shows for children.
Meanwhile, we've been introduced to Alisa, another New-type who may be even stronger than Lenka. Alisa's on a plane to Russia, but it remains to be seen if she'll get there, since a bunch of airborn Aragami have attacked her plane. It really bothers me that the Aragami can fly because what's the point of a walled city if the enemy can just fly over it? This is all going down while the Japanese squadron is attending a minor character's elaborate funeral. I'm guessing the death count is much lower than we've been led to believe, since there is only one funeral that we know of occurring after the battle.
If God Eater put half as much work into its story and dialogue as it did into its stunning visuals and cinematics, it would be the best show of the season. As of now, it has me ooh-ing and aah-ing at the backdrops, but groaning at the no-duh character interactions.
God Eater is currently streaming on Daisuki.
Lauren writes about anime and journalism at Otaku Journalist.
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