God Eater, the somewhat popular game series, continues and concludes its anime adaptation with this second half of the Ufotable-animated show. Episodes 8 – 13 feature more odd-looking but well animated characters and action scenes, plus continue to fill you in on the series’ backstory to boot.
The titular God Eaters are trained soldiers who wield “God Arcs”, large weapons that normally take the form of giant swords or guns, and fight monsters known as Aragami. The Aragami appeared and reduced the world’s population to hundreds of thousands, leading to most people living in rather unpleasant post-apocalyptic conditions. Our protagonist is Lenka Utsugi, who had a particularly harsh time before gaining his God Arc (shown in grizzly detail in Episode 10!) and despite spending the first few episodes being over-eager and short-fused, Lenka is now more responsible and is even starting to come into his own as a leader. Other God Eaters include fun and laid-back Lindow Amamiya, the distant and stoic Soma Schicksal (who also gets an extended backstory via flashbacks!) and Alisa Ilynichna Omela, who has serious mental issues resulting from seeing her parents killed by a super-powerful Aragami known as “Dyaus Pita”, who of course had just arrived and defeated her in the previous set of episodes, sending her over the edge.
The show doesn’t stray much from seeing characters with over-sized weapons slice up or shoot up large CG monsters, but it does do a good job of keeping the human characters interesting enough to keep your focus in-between the action. As mentioned, both Lenka and Soma get flashbacks and it does flesh out their characters, particularly Soma, who goes from generic “cool loner” who doesn’t care if he dies to … “cool loner” who doesn’t want to see his allies die, or himself, which is still an improvement! As you’d probably have predicted, even if you’ve only read the above paragraph, Alisa and her mental issues are eventually dealt with, though it doesn’t go as straightforward and swimmingly as you’d imagine. Also continuing from the first half of the show is the focus on the backstory of God Eater in general, devloping the story of a trio of scientists who were at the forefront of investigating the whole Aragami incident, from the very beginning to the monsters’ original appearance to the present day.
I can only really see two problems with God Eater, the first being that I still don’t like when shows try and blend CG with traditional 2D animation, even though Ufotable try to get around that by giving all the characters a weird washed-out plastic look that’s supposed to make them blend better with the CG… It sort of works, but also makes the show look… weird. Secondly, and this is a good thing in a way, the show ends with a lot of loose ends that I assume lead to God Eater 2 the game, but given I don’t really want to track down and play through a presumably long RPG, it is a little annoying, given there is no second anime in the pipeline. Still, it shows the story interested me enough that I wanted more, so really it’s definitely a plus.
The animation, despite the odd looks, is still as fluid as ever from Ufotable, which is good because the last four episodes were delayed by four months when the series was first transmitted in order to keep to their quality standards. The series continues to impress musically as well, with remixes from game tunes (one I definitely recognised from many hours with the cross-over game Project X Zone, of which God Eater was a part) and actual proper band-performed rock songs during exciting and energetic action scenes, it really adds to it, especially with the fluid animation. The Opening theme is still “Feed A” by Oldcodex, while the Ending continues to be “Ruined Land” by Go Shiina (featuring Naomi). The only extras are a clean opening and ending.
God Eater is an interesting anime, to sum up. It’s an adaptation of a game, but shows so much backstory and builds up the characters so well that it needs no exposure to the original source material (I have to admit I don’t know how many liberties it may have taken with the original game, if you’re a fan who’s wondering…) It has a very unique visual style that can be jarring, but it makes CG monsters seem less out of place, so it’s not too bad. It’s best to ignore the gaming routes and watch it if you like action heavy, shonen-esque shows with a good story and characters that actually get developed. It’s a damn fine effort, recommended to fans of the genre.