The thing with voicing a sort-of opinion on things you like is a challenge for me. On another hand, I don’t want to look anyone down and voice my sincere opinion for the other party to wager. On another hand, I have a tendency to aim for an objective point of view. These things tend to mix with each other and often I have found myself mixing the two to an unhealthy degree. That’s somewhat dishonest thing to do for the person requesting for a genuine opinion.
Whether or not Muv-Luv Alternative Total Eclipse is a bad or good show is thus relatively relative. Just to base on opinion, it’s a good series that suffers from various issues. The question is then, for me at least as the one voicing it, is how trustworthy is this opinion? Clearly I am a big fan, the biggest one you can locally and probably in this nation which is either a really sad thing or really awesome. Because I am a fan of the franchise, it kind of colours everything I voice on the franchise, the good and the bad. While I am one of those heretical guys who say that Muv-Luv Unlimited The Day After is less than unnecessary piece, I can value the expansion of the franchise with new content. Yet, when a side-story like Total Eclipse gets animated and practically is the one thing the common people will recognize. It’s not uncommon at all to see the title written as Muv-Luv Total Eclipse without the Alternative notion because people just don’t know the meaning of that Alternative. Even people who should be well informed about the animation scene seem to shorten the title.
That’s to be expected thou. Muv-Luv isn’t Gundam or Macross, or even any of the modern mecha franchises in its exposure. It didn’t help that Total Eclipse didn’t really grab the viewers with great plot, awesome animation or high production values.
Muv-Luv and Muv-Luv Alternative are products that are somewhat… a challenge to convert into an animated form, to put it slightly. The problem lies not just with the genre shift, but the elements what Muv-Luv and ML Alternative are as a whole. Adapting a Visual Novel into animation form is just as challenging as any written material and thus one needs to be very careful how things are written and how these things would appear on screen. It’s easy to directly adapt bunch of lines directly from the Visual Novels and have the characters tell about it just like that. We all know that this doesn’t work for television, as it’s pretty damn boring just to watch people give out exposition and explain what has happened or what is happening. For a television audience, showcasing these events is a must. Then again, Japanese animation has made sliding pictures and talking heads into a form of craftsmanship.
When Total Eclipse aired a little over a year ago, I wrote whether or not it introduced the world of Muv-Luv to the new audience successfully, which in hindsight was written far too early. Through the year one of the most common criticisms I’ve seen has been that the BETA wasn’t explained in enough detail. The worst response one could give to this is Read the Visual Novels, as it showcases one of the biggest weaknesses the Total Eclipse TV-series had; the goddamn narrative is either all over the place or is lacking. For a person who knows the world setting and have read the Visual Novels, the first two episodes were nothing but fanservice atop fanservice. For a newcomer the two first episodes were really imperative in initial world building, and I have to say that in hindsight they failed to some extent. The series needed to be more on the showing and introducing things early on.
Anyway, this isn’t about Total Eclipse as such, but I wanted to create basis on what grounds the upcoming sort-of review on the series will stand on. The intention is to watch the series in one go again this Saturday with my editor, or at least bulk of it, and have another head to discuss with. As such, you’ll most likely see this and one other shorter post this week, as I assume the writing will splash unto next week. And it’s Christmas week, nobody’s reading what lonely shit I’m writing here, right?
Furthermore, because of my issues with hardware and shit, the Kimi ga Nozomu Eien post is spilling to the very early 2014, and if you have something you’d like to see touched upon, go write it into the comments section.