Anime Club: BlazBlue Alter Memory

Hello everyone! For this week’s anime club, we watched the anime based off of a popular fighting game series Blazblue: Alter Memory.

BLAZBLUE: ALTER MEMORY

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CREATED BY: Hideki Tachibana

NO. OF EPISODES: 12

GENRE: Action, Drama, Science Fiction

YEAR: 2013

COUNTRY: Japan

In the year 2199, humanity eagerly waits for the dawn of the new century, following the end of a series of devastating magic wars. Word spreads that Ragna the Bloodedge, an SS-class rebel with the highest ever bounty on his head and a powerful form of Ars Magus known as the “Azure Grimoire”, has appeared in the 13th Hierarchical City of Kagutsuchi. To collect the bounty and his Azure Grimoire, a motley array of fighters converge on Kagutsuchi.

BlazBlue-Alter-Memory-08-031

When it comes down to it, there was only one feature of BlazBlue: Alter Memory I really enjoyed — the time rewinds. Occasionally, we are able to see events in the story where everything goes wrong — typically with fatal results. Shortly after one of these happens, time will rewind to the point of a fateful choice and restart — letting the story go down a different path. While only used a few times in the series, these time rewinds not only allow us to see how close our heroes are to ruin, but also allow us to gain insight into the various characters.

BlazBlue-Alter-Memory-02-23

Very little about the world is explained — and when something is explained, it’s done only once and far too quickly to leave an impression. It is obvious there is a tremendous amount of backstory and lore in the anime but, as there is no audience-proxy character to ask the dumb questions, you are just left to drown in a stream of proper nouns: NOL, Idea Factory, Azure Grimoire, the Six Heroes, the Dark War, Observer, Smelting, Murakumo Unit, Black Beast, Librarium, Eye of Azure, Sheol Gates, Cauldron, Takamagahara System, Boundary — and I am honestly just getting started.

To make things even worse, there are a ton of character names to remember — both those of the protagonist characters and those in the background — and many characters also carry a signature weapon with its own specific name. Hell, many of the characters even have several sets of names. By the end of the anime, I wasn’t sure whether the “Master Unit” — the big plot macguffin — was a person, place, thing, or idea. It was all too much to absorb in too little a time.

PROS:

  • True adaptation of a confusing game.
  • Time Rewinds.

CONS:

  • Confusing story.
  • Villain roles

SCORE: 5.5 / 10

If you have any suggestions for films/TV/Games/Music/Anime for me to review, drop me a comment!

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All check out my lengthier video game reviews over at Nerd Bacon Games.

 

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