Chrome Shelled Regios
The earth is toxic and only dangerous mutated creatures called contaminoids roam the wastelands. Humanity still exists, but are mainly confined to self contained roaming cities called Regios. While cities are self sufficient, they compete against each other for the one resource required for their survival. Wars have been distilled down to a capture the flag contest. This doesn't make them any more safe for the military teams which participate however. While civilians are uninvolved, the combatants are free to kill each other if it means saving or taking a flag.
Nina is the head of 17th platoon in the academic city of Zuellni. Having recently lost a key person on her team, she's scouting out anyone she can. As luck would have it, she encounters Layfon who recently immigrated to the city. What no one knew is that Layfon was a former carrier of the heaven's blade in a military city. His skills will be key for survival in such a harsh environment. Especially when Zuellni's patron spirit that acts as the city's heart and mind, starts acting erratic.
Chrome Shelled Regios is an imaginative sci-fi series, hampered by semi-lame characters, and semi-lame plot. The end result is something that isn't bad but isn't great. Nearly everyone in this series shows traits from the typical assortment of stock anime personalities, but thankfully aren't trapped by those constraints either. Unfortunately they're also a bit shallow. Layfon is central to all this, and aside from some interesting philosophies is mostly a generic nice guy with exceptional powers. Also, nearly every girl in the show falls for him, but at least they don't throw themselves at him. Most annoying about the characters are the designs. Everyone looks the same aside from eye color, and hair variations.
The story isn't bad, but the construction is pretty shoddy. The beginning jams too much content in at once that isn't relevant until later (or not at all). From there it builds on a decent foundation. The end starts to bring up a few things that were hinted at throughout the series, but then leaves nearly everything hanging. Some parts lack so much information that this series really shouldn't have brought them up at all. The most odd part of this title involves a gun wielding detective with his goth girl sidekick fighting some demon monster. These black and white sequences are conspicuously out of place and it's unclear if it's a TV show people are watching, a flashback or something else. Honestly they grew on me to where I didn't care about them being frivolous, because they're cool as hell. Towards the end it's shown that there IS a tie in to the main story, but the show ends too soon to know what it really is. I'm not sure how the story can possibly tie that in without it being really stupid, but I'm hopeful it'll be ok.
As it's inconclusive it's hard to recommend this show as it stands now, but I still found it a good watch. The end is resolved by Layfon suddenly bestowed with god like powers to save the day, which is a pretty annoying way to tie things up. What Chrome Shelled Regios does have going for it is a kick ass setup. I'm pretty critical of sci-fi these days, but the entire Regios thing is a fantastic concept that made the show for me. With shallow characters, and a so-so plot that's inconclusive I'd probably wait until the next season fleshes out the story before watching this one, but if you're ok with waiting for the next part, it's probably worth watching for the sci-fi environment.
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