Level E Episode #02 - Mania.com



Anime Review

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Info:

  • Audio Rating: NA
  • Video Rating: NA
  • Packaging Rating: NA
  • Menus Rating: NA
  • Extras Rating: NA
  • Age Rating: 13 and Up
  • Region: All Region DVD
  • Released By: Crunchyroll
  • Running time: 24
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1 Widescreen
  • Disc Resolution: 480i/p
  • Disc Encoding: MPEG-2
  • Series: Level E

Level E Episode #02

Level E Episode #02 Anime Review

By Chris Beveridge     January 17, 2011
Release Date: January 17, 2011


Level E
© Crunchyroll

When your alien roommate heads out into the city and you could be implicated with his being there, you damn well better find him.

What They Say:
The mysterious man continues to squat in Tsutsui Yukitaka's room. However, people from the laboratory are closing in to capture him. Yukitaka and his neighbor Edogawa Miho try to shelter him. But despite their concerns, he suddenly disappears from the room. Yukitaka and Miho search for him, but he ends up getting involved in a horrible event. Craft and company appear before them as the day ends. And the shocking truth about him is revealed! What is the true identity of the mysterious young man? And in a development that's truly gone above the diagonal, all of humanity is wrapped up in the situation...

The Review:
Content: (please note that content portions of a review may contain spoilers)
If there was a show this season that had low expectations just because of its source, Level E was probably it since it's based on a three volume throwaway manga nobody remembers from the mid 90's by someone who achieved fame through Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter. Yet with the first episode, taking the older designs and making them slick with modern animation techniques, Level E ended up producing one of the most intriguing shows of the season by putting your average baseball player student who wants to go pro in a room with an alien with a real penchant for just the right kind of gags. Case in point: the true self he showed us in the first episode was actually that of his pet.

This episode plays up a couple of different angles that leads to a good bit of fun. Yukitaka finds himself coping with his mysterious guest going out on his own since he wants to explore the world he's in a bit more, but it's problematic because of the people associated with the laboratory where Miho's father works are out and about looking for him. Or for aliens in general as well. There's certainly an increased presence on Earth as it seems like specific prefectures are under different aliens' rule without out knowledge, as a trio have crashed landed only to learn that the prefecture they're in is controlled by the Disckonians and that has them in a panic. Interestingly, the aliens have a good look at first with some unusual designs, motions and voices to them, but they have a fun way of morphing into human mode in order to get around.

With so many people on the hunt for Yukitaka's mysterious roommate, including Yukitaka and Miho as well, there's a lot of suits walking around the area that look rather out of place. But it does give the pair a chance to talk a bit and get to know each other, as well as grapple a bit with the idea that he's really an alien which is handled far too easily yet fits with the nature of the comedy here. It detours into an amusing side story about some thugs trying to abuse a young woman and the method of storytelling used to relate it to Yukitaka and Miho is priceless, but it's all taken further when the results of it are truly realized. Every time Yukitaka starts to think he can handle what his alien roommate will bring to the table, it gets taken to another level. Including the end where it's finally revealed that he's actually a prince and we start to get a better idea of why he's here and why people are looking for him. Yukitaka's reactions are spot on here as he gets aggressive, rather than it turning in the usual direction of panic and awkward compliance.

In Summary:
Level E continues to have a very unusual sense of pacing and comedy that when blended with the science fiction elements manages to truly delight. While it has some expected angles to it, it also has a quirkiness to it that keeps it fresh and unexpected. With the arrival of more aliens here it could easily be a group of women, but they're all suited up men who have a mission to perform that involves Yukitaka's alien. The revelations aren't too much of a surprise since reading about the show anywhere other than Crunchyroll reveals the truth, but it's where it wants to go with that is where the show could shine or crash horribly. Right now it has such a wonderful roughness about it with the action and violence yet balanced with some great comedic moments and interesting moments of quiet that it all comes together very well and keeps you wanting to see more of what will happen.

And on that note, here's a kitty.


Features
Japanese 2.0 Language, English Subtitles

Review Equipment
Sony KDS-R70XBR2 70" LCoS 1080P HDTV, Dell 10.1 Netbook via HDMI set to 1080p, Onkyo TX-SR605 Receiver and Panasonic SB-TP20S Multi-Channel Speaker System With 100-Watt Subwoofer.

 

When your alien roommate heads out into the city and you could be implicated with his being there, you damn well better find him.

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