Kuromukuro

Title:Kuromukuro
クロムクロ
Overall:Unevaluated
Keywords: , , , , , , , ,
Notables: AZAKAMI Yohei
Animation - P.A. Works
M.A.O.
UEDA Reina
Yukina Shirahane is the daughter of an expert at the United Nations Kurobe Research Institute, which was created partly to study an inexplicable cube shaped object that was unearthed nearby during construction. While visiting her mother at the facility one day, Yukina is caught up in an attack on the lab by unidentified mobile suits and as a result is the first to discover just what the object's purpose is.

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OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3193#628]
(15 episodes watched):

I haven't really learned enough about this show from episode one to pass judgment on it. On the one hand, it doesn't seem terribly original what with a mecha battle between unidentified assailants and the UN (the animation of which was pretty good). One the other, a few questions do leave me curious, like who is this dude who has apparently been in suspended animation? The opening scene of episode one implies that mobile suits have intervened in Japanese history way back in the Samurai era, and I'm guessing that was when he was entombed within the cube. And why does he think Yukina is a princess? I notice that nobody has gotten killed so far, or at least we haven't seen it happen; is that because violence is being limited to what is really necessary, or will this be one of those 'only robots get hurt' shows? I decided that I would need to watch episode two in order to get a better idea of what was going on here and whether it was worth watching to the end. Episode two, however, didn't exactly clarify the situation. I still have little idea who the attackers are or why this Samurai guy was preserved; it seems that a Rip Van Winkle situation like this ought to be a goldmine for interesting dialogue and events as a man who has been asleep for centuries adjusts to the modern world and relies on a friend to help him. For instance, as he warms up to Yukina he might awkwardly ask her if her parents have decided who she will marry yet. But little seems to have been done with the opportunity; the man doesn't even think Yukina is a Princess anymore, and does little but fight, so where will things go from here? Chances are that Kuromukuro will turn out to be pretty mundane, but I haven't given up on it yet.

I must admit that this show manages to remain fairly interesting. Perhaps it's because the jokes are OK; or perhaps because the characters have a little life to them. A modern day girl teaming up with a Rip van Winkle Samurai is fun (but I'm supposed to believe that they are the same age? He looks ten years older to me). Or perhaps because the story doesn't seem to be insufferably predictable. I get the feeling that the plot is going somewhere, and I remain curious. Why did the aliens come to earth 450 years ago? What are they looking for? We get enough clues to remain intrigued; in some shows there are just no signs that the basic questions will ever be answered, but with Kuromukuro I feel fairly confident that they will be. One major question is who the hell is piloting these evil mecha? Are they aliens, or humans, or are the things just robots? In episode six we finally get a (partial) answer, and it intrigues me. Perhaps one thing I like is that the aliens aren't two-dimensional, hyper-evil characters as is often the case. No, they have an important goal which they want to achieve, and their actions might be justified for all we know. They haven't committed any atrocities (IIRC); I just hope that when we finally learn what they are trying to do, it will be fairly neat and original. In general, Kuromukuro has turned out to be a surprisingly fun show.

I was disappointed when apparently the fansubbers gave up on the show after the first season. But six or nine months later I stumbled across a complete set of second season episodes and downloaded them all. I rewatched episode twelve, the last one I had already seen, in order to refresh my memory. Episode thirteen, the finale of season one, ends with a cliffhanger which I for one wasn't expecting: (Spoiler)the Princess that Kenosuke once served turns up alive and well and does something very surprising. How could anybody not be eager for episode 14 in order to get some sort of an explanation?

I find that I may be losing track of what's going on. What are the bad guys up to again? Why do they keep sending down one or two mecha instead of making a maximum effort attack to accomplish their goal? What was their goal back in the Samurai era? I'm getting frustrated at a lack of answers (or at least hints at what the answers might be).

Last updated Sunday, March 12 2017. Created Thursday, April 28 2016.

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