Karen Senki

Post Reply
54603 cr points
Send Message: GB Post
36 / M / SF
Posted 1/8/15 , edited 1/8/15
by Zerogouki

Classifying Karen Senki is difficult. Although it's clearly anime in both style and provenance, it ends up feeling distinct and different from most of it's compatriots. A Japanese and Taiwanese co-production created by Sakura Wars creator Oji Hiroi, the show immediately sticks out for its CGI animation, which, recent hits like Expelled from Paradise notwithstanding, is a format that most anime fans and creators are seemingly resistant to. There's no mistaking what it is, and I applaud the bold choice of the animation.

That sort of go-for-broke stylization is everywhere in Karen Senki. The action is unapologetically the centerpiece, the colors are bright, and the choreography of fight scenes and exposition is always propulsive -- Each episode is only half the typical length at eleven minutes, and they still breeze by. Appropriately enough, it does feel at times like a cutscene from a video game that manages to be engrossing without ever getting boring. That alone is an impressive feat.

At the same time, the story is presented in shortcuts, pared down to the bare minimum in order to effectively communicate a handful of ideas -- about the interactions between machines and people in a future where human-like and intelligent robots co-exist with humans, about the unknowability of human emotions -- that would be familiar to any long-time anime fan, as they are favorite themes of the medium. One could easily look at that and assume laziness, but it seems to me it's much more about using recognizable iconography and concepts in order to fully communicate the progression here, as we follow main character Karen and watch her slowly reconnect with humanity while also fighting stronger and stronger adversaries.

There's a simple pleasure to the entire experience, as the show flits from setpiece to setpiece, every scene offering with it some new power or weapon to change the game of the action. Many a lesser series (especially ones with more time to fill) would be content to repeat themselves, but Karen Senki operates on full blast at all times, pushed forward by novel creations and bizarre settings and sights -- the robot gangers in episode 2, or the weird Old West cowboy sequence in episode 3 -- that are never so far from what we're used to that they're impossible to grasp, nor so familiar that they become boring.

Karen Senki occupies a perfect little sweet spot -- it feels new and nostalgic at the same time, like picking up an old Playstation game and being surprised at just how good and how weird it really is, and wondering why no one has ever talked about it before. I suspect it will occupy that role for some time to come, so it's well worth the time to check it out now.

5430 cr points
Send Message: GB Post
33 / F
Posted 1/16/15 , edited 1/17/15
it just looks like it's done in 100% 3D style... doesn't look so different apart from that. kinda like the knight of sidonia also some kind of 3D style but it looks a bit different not like RWBY which looks like it's done in MMD but i discovered that the program they're using is POSER. There's actually a link to one other RWBY trailers on the official Poser website. The animator(s) are using a specialized rendering feature called "Freestyle" to create the anime / MMD look.
7247 cr points
Send Message: GB Post
26 / M
Posted 1/19/15 , edited 2/3/16
I'm a great sucker for inovation such as 3D use for anime, like Sidonia no Kishi which I absolutely loved, so I really wanted to like Karen Senki.
I wanted to... But in the end the story was really bad and characters too shallow and bland.
The art was really nice and the action scenes were really good and fast paced, so at least I can say that the anime had the art department pretty much nailed.
You must be logged in to post.