Series Recommendation: Re:visions – Rise Against Destiny

I’m going to be a saviour!

What if we make a mecha series where the main char is a teenage student, but this time he’s not even remotely concerned about the state of the world but just want to pilot the mechs and show everyone who’s boss! Well that is Re:visions – a sci-fi series that features some crazy time-travel stuff with anti-Shinji as the MC. The series’ director is Goro Taniguchi – a big name in the mecha industry. We are all familiar with a lot of his work like Godannar, the Eldran series, Gaogaigar, Code Geass, Infinite Ryvius, Linebarrels, and Gun x Sword…

Re:visions is a Netflix-exclusive anime with 12 episodes. It follows Daisuke “not-Shinji” Doujima in his quest to become a hero and save his friends and neighborhood. His town and school was transported to 300 years in the future, now Daisuke, along with his friend and a mysterious onee-san claiming to be an agent from the future, must fight against the “Revisions” – huge and grotesque mechanical monster to bring everything and everyone back. But those monsters are not their biggest threat – but rather the ones behind them…

+ Plot:  Story-wise, it starts out simple but then becomes very complex with many time paradox and plot twist. The characters’ development also contributes a huge part, especially Daisuke and Milo. Daisuke reminds me of Kouichi Hayase with his hero complex and Sousuke Sagara with his militaristic way of thinking. He looks like Shinji but is a 180 of him. His character arc is also quite relatable to many young teenagers – a slightly arrogant and self-confident young man who has his expectations shattered, but was able to regain his composure and do what’s right for his loved ones. The story also has a bit of Valvrave element with how the adults and teenagers’ dynamic is handled.

Animation: The anime is produced fully in 3D – and with many Netflix mecha series out, you can sorta have a feel. The series’ animation is quite similar to Yasuke, Knights of Sidonia and Yakitori. The characters is a bit jerky and their face is extremely flat, but not to the point of unwatchable. The action sequence however, is pretty badass. The String Puppets in the series move quite smoothly – as expected of Graphinica. However, it is a different story with character model, which is an industry-wide issue at the moment (saved for studio Orange). All in all, Re:visions’ action sequence is very good, while the “daily life” stuff is a bit rough.

Mecha Design: The mechas featured in the series are called “String Puppet”. It resembles the APU of Matrix and the AMP of Avatar: an exo-skeleton suit with advanced anti-Revision weaponries. The Mechanical design are courtesy of Yohei Arai-san. The Revisions remind me of Tsutomu Nihei’s work in Blame. Yohei Arai – the designer – did a very nice job with the exo-suits. It has many similarity to some other Real Robot series such as Pacific Rim, Full Metal Panic and Armored Core. However, they look distinct enough (a headless mech) to stand as their own unique designs.

Music: Music-wise, they really nailed it. The OP is extremely catchy, and the OST are great all-around. The Oral Cigarettes really set the right atmosphere.

+ Conclusion: Re:visions is a pretty good coming-of-age story mixed with a sci-fi thriller. The main cast remind you of Stranger Things or Kids Next Door but teenager. The dynamic between the different age generations in the anime is quite thought-provoking plus the actual realistic depiction of a teenage boy who is (figuratively) on a self-power trip that has to face a harsh reality. Production quality is about 50/50 but the parts that matter was done well. And if you want to see a confident MC like Kouichi Hayase, this is the anime for you.

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