Magmel of The Sea Blue: Spoiler Free Review


Magmel of The Sea Blue
(Spoiler Free Review)



Now it's possible you haven't heard about this one, and it makes sense considering no legal streaming site has picked it up... which means if you wanted to see it you'd have to resort to some *cough, cough* pirating.

But, lucky for you, you're really not missing out on much. As of this post, the show has aired of 11 episodes out of a 13 episode run, and the story has gone nowhere.


I really could end the review there, but there are a few bright spots amongst this dilapidated mess.

"So why bother talking about it if you say it's so bad?"

Because this show had so much potential, and it's painful to think of what might have been. And because I like discussing both the bad along with the good when the levels of disappointment are this staggering.

Here's the story:

"One day in the middle of the Pacific ocean a miracle occurred, a new continent appeared out of nowhere! The new continent was the home for new and mysterious plants, creatures and minerals! Humanity is excited that the age of exploration has returned."

This synopsis suggests many adventures and mysterious dangers, much like that of "Made In Abyss" (An excellent show, btw). Going by this alone, it doesn't really seem to lean to one side or the other when it comes to quality.


So why am I up in arms about this forgettable show?

Well, it's complicated.


The Review


The Main Characters


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The main character is called Inyou, a young man who's a "Lecter", someone who uses their special powers to rescue people who are stranded or in danger in the treacherous lands of Magmel. The MC's powers are creative and fun to watch in action. He creates any object he wants out of thin air and uses them to fight monsters and protect people, all the while crisp silver electricity emanates from him.

As you can imagine, this creates some fantastical visuals during his fights and the silver electricity touch feels like a new coat of paint on his Green Lantern-like powers. Is this original? Heck no, but it was a fun power system that could continue to be used in various creative ways.

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As far as personality goes, he's pretty subdued, like a weathered adventurer who knows a lot about his surroundings and the way things usually go but doesn't talk much about it. So, for the most part, he's just as mysterious as Magmel itself. It takes a while before we learn anything about him, and what we do learn is little and far between leaving much unsaid.

Granted, there are 2 more episodes that finish off the series that haven't aired yet, but I'm afraid it won't be enough to make up for this lack of knowledge.


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Our second lead is a little orange haired kid called "Zero". She's cute and charming, playing as Inyou's little helper in Magmel. She often controls a small floating robot from the safety of their home, aiding Inyou as needed.

All in all, their dynamic is charming and usually fun to watch.


The Animation

Now, let's be truthful here, the animation is nowhere near as excellent as most shows. There's a painful CGI crowd in every city scene, the vehicles are CG, and what is hand drawn is simply adequate. Not good, not bad, just adequate.

Sooo... what's good about it?

Well, the characters have nice designs... Oh, and the monsters are NEVER CG. That's right, a show with painful computer generated images simply refuses to make the giant monsters in every episode a bland 3D object.

HOW DID THIS HAPPEN?!

No idea!



Do you see this?! Look! Just look at it!

Beautiful :)

I don't know why they made this trade, but in all of the show's creative choices, I'm so grateful for this one :D


The World




While it's nowhere near as complex as "Made In Abyss", this new continent holds an air of mystery about it, and the things we learn are interesting.

The show doesn't delve into this as much as I'd like, but it is still there.


That First Episode

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Here is where it got my attention. All of the show's themes were so well presented to the audience that there was no cause for worry when it came to future episodes. Quite frankly, it started with a bang and faded out to a whimper when more episodes followed. I just wish the rest of the show had kept the same tone and quality... or at least follow up on the subplots they'd set up.

For example, who in the flaming hedgehog is this guy?!


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He showed up in the very first episode with that smug look, and we haven't seen him since! I'm not sure if this is a failure as a manga adaptation, or as a story, but this is the frustration. There are so many interesting or mysterious ideas thrown at us, and not a lot is done with it.

But let's go back to praising the pilot.

The very first episode was (in my opinion) the set up for an excellent story. Magmel of The Sea Blue is a dark episodic look into human ambition and characters being further corrupted by the world of Magmel, and this is this anime's greatest strength. The first couple of episodes did their best to match the quality of the anime pilot, but unfortunately, it just didn't compare. This episode sold me on the show and made me so hungry for more like it.

If you're a fan of "Made In Abyss", then this first episode will certainly put a smile on your face.

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It starts off with a sickly kid who wants to find his big brother because he hasn't returned from his adventure to Magmel, so he hires Inyou to find him. But when they do, things take a turn for the worse, and we see what the dark unforgiving world of this new continent can do to someone.

It doesn't matter who you were going in, something else comes out. And now Inyou steps in to clean up the mess.

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It ends on a bitter-sweet note, with the sense that Inyou is a part of these people's lives just long enough to experience their horrors to then go home to eat pudding afterward as if none of it happened. This truly sells us on the themes of Magmel, the fact that these horrific occurrences aren't out of the ordinary and that it's just another day of Inyou's work.

Regardless of how this show turned out, I implore you to watch the pilot. Because if anyone had asked me then and there about the quality of this show, I'd have called it a masterpiece.



Conclusion: Mostly a Missed Opportunity 

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I say "Mostly" because there's still a chance the last two episodes could save it from my many criticisms. But that remains to be seen. If you're looking for a mildly enjoying ride, this will work, as there are still fun moments in each episode, it's just that the story itself tends the suffer most.

Magmel has an intriguing visual style and an atmosphere that comes and goes as it pleases, but despite all of my praises and curses, this is just kinda a bland show. Nothing to be truly angered by, but inconsistent to the point that I feel strung along, put on a train that's leading to nowhere. When all's said in done, I will come back to the pilot to relive that great experience, and no amount of disappointment can take that away because the episode can stand on its own. If you're looking for a great one-shot anime episode, I think you'll find the pilot satisfactory.


But hey, this is just my opinion.






Hey, everybody! Thank you so much for reading! 

Image result for anime thank you gif

Did you watch Magmel of The Sea Blue?
Did you enjoy it or hate it?

Let me know what you thought about this post in the comments below!

Comments

  1. Like yourself the 1st epi hooked me in, then... it went south from there onwards. I'm only on epi 4 and I just can't find myself to invest watching it on a daily basis.

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