Film:
DVD:

Based upon the manga by Satoru Yuiga
Directed by Masami Shimoda
Music by Hajime Hyakkoku and Kazunori Miyake

Features:

  • Clean opening and closing animation
  • Japanese TV promo spots
  • Design sketch gallery

Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:

  • Evil corporate overlords
  • Sister complexes
  • Death and angst
  • Deadly misunderstandings
  • Imperiled little girl

Released by: ADV
Region: 1
Rating: TV 14
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.

My Advice: Definitely check it out.


If the X-Men were anime, the result would be like this. The near-future world of E’s Otherwise is run by twelve powerful corporations, who may or may not have the best interests of the people in mind. There are also psychics, known as “E’s” who can convert thought into energy. Kai wakes up in a facility known as Ashurum, a military-run installation where a special forces group known as Aeses has been formed out of other psychics. Kai has other problems, however, as another psychic, Shen-Lon decides to pick on him, he has to learn everything as fast as possible, and his sister is dependent upon the medical forces of Aeses for her life. Unfortunately, as always, corporations (and their contractors like Ashurum) are never as benevolent as they seem. The Aeses are sent to invade Gald, a seeming hotbed of rebels, and just maybe new hope. The true nature of the attack, however, and the reasons for who does what may not be all they seem, and it’s up to Yuki and Kai to discover the correct path.

The characters are one of the strengths of the show. From the mysterious and duplicitous Eiji to the human-hating and rather irritating Shen-Lon, there is someone for every audience member to appreciate. Yuki is irreverent and a wild card, Shin-Lu is flirty but dedicated, Shen-Lon is very protective of his sister Shin-Lu, Maria is desperate and confused, and the others are all unique in their own ways. It’s too bad that more time isn’t spent developing each of them, including Kai’s sister. At the very least, we learn to care about Kai.

The visuals are nice: a solid mixture of attractive character design, detailed science fiction imagination, and interesting backgrounds that don’t compete with the action. They do a good job of underscoring the action and influencing viewer emotions and impressions, as they should. The sound is also nicely done, with effective voice acting and subtle music and accompanying sound effects. The sound levels are also nicely balanced, with no overly loud passages.

The features are well-done; we get a clean opening and closing, plus a nice set of production sketches, and some original Japanese promo spots. The production sketches, as always, should please anyone interested in how anime comes together, or how to draw their own anime characters and worlds. The dozen or so promo spots are basically all the same and show scenes from the show with a voiceover pimping the new series and saying when it will be on TV.

E’s Otherwise will appeal to fans of other psychic-driven shows, such as sCRYed, Texhnolyze, and the X-Men, buddy action like Get Backers, or mystery shows like Gantz and Black Jack. The characterization could be a bit stronger, but given that this only the first volume of the series, we won’t panic yet. This is still a good bet for SF fans and those who want a little action mixed in with their conspiracy and mystery. This is a series that could go uphill or down, and only the next volumes will tell, but it looks promising so far.

Buy it from Amazon.