Title: Level E
Genre: Comedy, Sci-Fi
Summary: Tsutsui Yukitaka was a freshman who had just entered a high school, and he was hoped to be a good baseball player. When he moved to a new apartment, there was a man in the room. He said he was an alien and lost his memory.
Review: Don’t let the trailers and opening image fool you, Level E isn’t your action packed, alien invasion anime. It took me by surprised as I went in expecting a suspenseful and mysterious anime, and came out in tears and pains on my sides. Level E turned out to be one of the best comedies for the Winter season. It probably is one of the better comedies out in general because of how unique it is. The anime went much farther on the humor scale by pushing away from awkward sexual innuendos, walking in on naked girls, and completely random skits. The thing that really hooked me were the short stories. It was nice to have a comedy that had some sort of plot line even if they were only two to three episodes long. After watching the first arc I couldn’t wait for more.
The art style for Level E also wasn’t what I expected. As I mentioned earlier it is a comedy, however, the art style took the direction of action or drama. The realistic faces and bodies made it seem like it would be no laughing matter. I was a bit skeptical at first because I’ve always been found of the art style aiding in comedy such as strange faces or moments of chibi. Yet Level E did it again and surprised me in every possible way. It ended up being that the realistic art style made me laugh even more. It’s difficult to describe, but it is as though the characters really were going through the trouble of following the Idiot Prince. The spaceships and other races were drawn just as well. The art mixed well by pulling me into a state of laughter and awe as I watched massive spaceships blast off into the light. The opening theme really caught my attention with the solid and bold colors. The simple coloring in the opening reminded me a lot of Cowboy Bebop as it mixed with a jazzy tune. The series itself, however, was far from simple.
The story of Level E is best described as episodic. There are constantly new characters coming in and out and drastically different stories. The only constant factor was the prankster prince. Normally characters who act like fools get on my nerves, especially if they are the main character of a comedy. However, the Idiot Prince was by far the best in the series for his crazy antics. His pranks were actually enjoyable to watch because the audience is completely unaware of them till the very end. What made the pranks long lasting and unpredictable was the inconsistency. Generally it isn’t a good thing for a series to be inconsistent, but I think this is one of the series that can make the exception. At times I’d be sitting at the edge of my seat waiting to see what the prank was, and it turns out there never was one. The entire plot of some stories were actually real (and quite dramatic may I add)! Other times the pranks actually backfire on the prince, leaving even the brilliant prince dumbfounded. Not to toot my own horn, but in general I can find the “unexpected twists”, but Level E kept me guessing the entire way. It isn’t like the twists are anything major or difficult to follow either. Let’s just say if anime characters were real, Level E’s cast would win best actors award. The series did end with only thirteen episodes. I’m glad they didn’t push it further because I’d be afraid the pranks would be half-assed. If a second season comes out I will definitely watch it, though a part of me wishes it stays at one. For such a short series I got a lot of entertainment value out of it.
The soundtrack was just as good. As I mentioned in my first look and earlier in this post I am a big fan of the opening for its sound and style. However, between the opening and ending all credit would have to go to the ending song for best on the track . After listening to the full version, it really was a rockers dream. I could feel a chill down my spine every time I heard them whisper “Are you ready?” at the beginning of the song. I’ve become a huge fan of ViViD’s singer Shin. Admittedly I thought he was a she at first from the singing (oopsy~). None-the-less still a brilliant singer. I will probably be checking out their other song as well.
Final statements: Level E is definitely a preferred watch for being such a good comedy. If you want a good laugh then check it out.