M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane – 03 Review
Posted by M0rg0th
What, does he want a pony or something? Becoming the Chosen One of the Nuts-For-Brains-Brigade doesn’t mean he has to be such a whiny baby about it.
Usually I do try to see the good in a series and there are plenty of series that are VERY flawed but still offer something interesting that makes those series worth watching. But being a bad series is akin to a guy throwing shit at a wall. And some of it sticks and some doesn’t. Sometimes nothing sticks at all and the series actually becomes good or even great after it had some time to breathe and develop (the American series Person Of Interest comes to mind for example). But then there are the really bad series that constantly throw shit at the wall and it sticks, again and again. The shit just piles up and at some point I just give up trying to find something good in it. M3 has reached that point for me.
Great news! The plan to investigate the Lightless Realm… still exists! And it starts… soon… maybe. After the death of Mr. Piggysnout, the previous teacher, a new teacher takes his place. Meanwhile Akashi trains to withstand the nausea of piloting the Reaper that is officially called the Argent. But thanks to the nausea he suffers because of this training with the Argent (that is also called the Reaper by some) he gets the chance to have a rare heart-to-heart talk with this woman-scientist that is in some way related to Akashi… that, well, doesn’t really go anywhere except that Akashi doesn’t outright insult her this time around.
Turns out the new teacher is old, though, and like old people usually do dies. Sadly not of natural causes, mind you… But who gives a shit about that. There’s red poop with the memory of a poor child who just wanted to play, the poor kid. And that’s the REALLY sad part. Sadly Akashi is forced to fight the little kid… that just moments ago killed the new teacher but really nobody gives a shit… Even the new girl, all sentimental and stuff, sheds tears for the sad story behind the poop-ghost-kid. But in the process of the battle Akashi finally is able to freely control the Argent, that rumors call the Reaper. And apparently Akashi will have to battle the Corpse with the Reaper (also called the Argent).
Also, Akashi remembers having met the new girl before but he’s not sure where, when and how… Hooray for plot-convenient amnesia!
What are they investigating? That the Lightless Realm actually exists? I mean, I can see it with the way this series has only shown images of it and has listed rumours about it.
I don’t know how he did it but Akashi did it: He went through an entire episode without insulting anybody. In fact it was almost jarring how I always waited at the edge of my seat for the next inappropriate comment to come out of his mouth but nothing, he really didn’t say anything insulting in this episode. I mean, he wasn’t exactly Prince Charming either but there were actual emotions in his voice when he selfishly sought to satisfy his curiosity for what the new girl has been up to in the last few weeks. And he had his chances, he had had plenty of chances in this episode and he didn’t take any of them. Well, but Emiru was there to pick up his slack and act like a bully towards Mahmu in front of the whole class who’re just like “Fuck ‘It’s A Beautiful World’, more like it’s a shitty world. Take that Anti-Bullying-Fans!”.
Before I talk about the new girl and what she brings to the table for this show, I wanna talk about the fact that this show has one of the most inconsistent plots I’ve seen recently. At the start of the second and now the third episode it really felt like the story was just shrugging in reaction to what happened before as if saying “Whatever, it happened, I guess.”. It doesn’t feel like anything happening in one episode leads to something else happening in the next. The psycho-kid from last episode is now imprisoned once more and in a coma, it seems like. He had just appeared and had barely made an impact on the events last episode and now he’s already out of the picture again. Each episode acts like it has to start all over again and sell itself again, it seems.
Case in point: Exposition. I did say that a show should aspire to follow the “show, don’t tell”-principle with its exposition but this episode had all these incessant infodumps yet again. In fact, probably a third of this episode is spent looking at characters sitting in a room spitballing exposition as if anybody in the room was supposed to go “Huh, that’s interesting.” but of course nobody did (that includes the audience). It gets even worse. I mean, rumours are still the obvious crutch for delivering 60% of the exposition. I bet in the final episode some character will mention a rumour he or she has heard that talks about how to save the world. These fucking rumours are just magically secreted by the characters’ mouths as if this shit becomes truer because originally it’s said by some dipshit off-screen. But really, that isn’t even the worst part. What’s really the worst thing about these incessant infodumps in this episode is – that they aren’t saying anything new! And even within this episode they don’t have enough shit to throw into the room for a genuine dialogue so instead I got to hear what felt like a billion times how this fucking super-mecha is called the Argent but is also called the Reaper. Yeah, sure, I buy it, that’s the messianic machine that will deal with the Corpse, after all it has to be with the way everyone fusses over its two names like it’s the biggest deal ever. Reaper isn’t a pleasant name, I get it, M3! And Argent is its official name. I get it, M3! You don’t need to act as if humanity has just figured out this language-shit!
I mean, even ignoring the stupid exposition in this episode the basic plot is that there’s a new teacher who’s older, nicer and kinda slow, it seemed like. And he tells the class that they’re about to go into the Lightless Realm to investigate… stuff, I guess. Yeah, no shit, Sherlock! I’ve learned that in the first goddamn episode! Why is this series acting like the same thing is about to happen – for three fucking episodes! And the sexist, misogynistic pig of a teacher that died last episode is never even mentioned as if it’s no big deal. I guess, it’s asking too much to expect a series like this to actually address the fact of this pig-teacher’s weirdly horrible behaviour but at the very least he seemed to confirm one of those stupid rumours that all the people who heard the Corpse’s song would be killed by it within nine days. I wondered after the first episode why the episode made it seem like a thing and that it didn’t really seem to suit the general tone of the episode to have something that horror-ish trope-wise. And the second episode made me go ‘Huh… so I guess it IS a thing after all.’. Now in the third episode, though: Not really a thing anymore, it seems. Instead everyone’s like ‘Yep, the Reaper will kick the Corpse’s ass so no need to worry about my survival!’. And nobody dies because of the Corpse as if to prove that very point. The third did all that so why the hell did the characters make such a big fuss over the threat of the Corpse in the previous two episodes if it’s that easy to dismiss those fears?!
An even more “brilliant” move was of course to get action into this episode by letting another Admonition randomly appear. And that poop-ghost proceeds to kill the new teacher. Great! Because it’s not like the previous teacher just died last episode without being acknowledged in this episode. I don’t give a shit that that teacher died. He was simply a nobody. So, yeah, terrible death, I mean, whatever, wrong place, wrong time etc., etc. or something like that. Anyway, that brings me to the new girl who brings all the soapy drama you need to the table. She’s shy, soft-spoken and she got all theatrical when she saw the poop-monster of this episode. Sure, let’s pity world-threat #1 because I guess, global warming wasn’t destructive enough to be misinterpreted. For some reason Akashi is less of an asshole faced with that attitude and he’s also a bit more contemplative all of a sudden. In the first episode he was like ‘Fuck ghosts!’ and just killed the poop-monster. But now he gets all broody and emo-like because there’s a girl crying over the ghostly nature of the poop-monsters. He still kills the poop-ghost with his super-mecha, though. But the poop-ghost was a kid-ghost and just wanted to play which made everyone feel sorry for the poop-monster, of course – except the new teacher, of course… because he was killed by the poop-ghost. But nobody gives a shit about him anyway. And the episode ends with Akashi admitting to himself that he’s really just interested in the new girl because he has a feeling they’ve met before. It’s not a revelation, even though this series seems to think otherwise. I knew THAT as well since episode 01.
Sure, let’s make this all about the tragic origin of the ghost-poop-monster. It’s not like anyone was killed or something like that…
At this point, really, the series should just move on. I don’t care anymore. I don’t give a shit that there’s red poop driven by lousy memories and that these kids somehow survived the red poop hitting the fan and that there’s a black mecha out there to do shit that Akashi has to fight or do Karaoke-sessions with or something. I just don’t care anymore. If these nutjobs don’t go into the Lightless Realm next week consider this series dropped.
After three episodes this series’ plot has barely progressed beyond its starting point and this episode spends most of its time just spinning its wheels. Being even worse than just doing a filler-episode, this episode needlessly reiterates all the basic plot-points and themes that have been established until now without adding anything. Add to that the way a lot of time is wasted on infodumps and it’s hard to imagine how anything interesting could ever happen in this series.
- On a side-note, though… Raika, the mecha-pilot-girl, is the obvious voice of reason in this show. Only that she’s SO reasonable that it just seems absurd. I would even say, she’s simply lampshading the nonsensical plot with her logical questions and doubting comments. And a shitty series like this one doing lampshading… that’s just condescending towards the audience. I mean, every time Raika points out plot-holes or how illogical stuff is I just go “Well, fuck you, too, M3! But I don’t need your help to see how shitty your story is! I notice that all on my own just fine!”
- I usually don’t talk about animation that much unless it’s great or… horrendous. Now M3 has never been a great-looking series to begin with and barely made any effort to look like anyone cared about the look of this series (outside of the Lightless Realm and the mechas). This series must have a seriously low budget considering how few shots there are of scenes where anyone but the main-characters is present. There are barely any irrelevant people in this series to show that the world doesn’t simply consist of a handful of people. Most shots make the setting of this series look desolated or isolated. There’s really no sign of daily life happening in the locales usually seen in this series. Well, this series dropped to a new low when the happy-crazy kid is doing fireworks in one scene and the glow of his fireworks is out-of-sync with the movements of his hand. That’s not bad animation, that’s just a straight-up mistake. And considering that there’s a whole team of professional people behind this series that’s something that absolutely should NOT happen.
- Actually, if I HAVE to say something positive, I would even say this is again a better episode than the previous two but at this point I have seen three barely interesting attempts at an introduction. And with this being the third episode getting a little bit better doesn’t cut it anymore.