Level E

Title:Level E
レベルE (Japanese)
Keywords: , , , , , ,
Notables: Animation - Studio Pierrot
Original Concept - TOGASHI Yoshihiro
Tsutsui Yukitaka is a freshman who has finally convinced his parents that he is ready to live on his own. When he arrives at his new apartment, he is surprised to find that someone has arrived before him; A young man who claims that he is an alien and that he is suffering from amnesia.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

Animated by Studio Pierrot.
Started airing on January 11, 2011. Aired for 13 episodes.
Based on a 1997 manga series created by Yu Yu Hakusho manga-ka, Yoshihiro Togashi.
Episode Details 
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 9 8 8 7 7 7 Ggultra2764 [series:2415#1552]
This was a fun comedic romp. Level E's become quite infamous for its "troll" humor compliments of the antics pulled by the show's main character, Prince Baka. The series has enough of a habit of dragging its audience into thinking they are experiencing a sci-fi mystery/ horror story through the various arcs of the series only to get bait and switched by Baka who twists the developments of said story into another direction instead. His character does well at delivering with the show's laughs as his indifference over the concerns and misery he inflicts upon much of the show's cast for his personal amusement do enough to press the buttons of said characters. The last plot arc in particular did enough at having me laughing senselessly with the twists eventually brought up with Baka's arranged marriage. While not as loaded with the visual flair brought along from Fractale for the Winter 2011 season, Level E does still sport clean visuals with a good amount of detail on scenery and character designs.

Much like other pure comedy titles I've come across, Level E won't be for everyone. I've heard of some people criticizing the show's split into a number of separate story arcs following the first four episodes and being turned off by the cruelty of Baka's character. So your mileage will definitely vary on whether or not you can get into this series.

Otherwise, I would consider Level E to be the first comedy gem I got latched on for this year. With the clever comedy brought about by Baka's character, this was a fun enough comedic romp for me.

Last updated Tuesday, April 05 2011. Created Tuesday, April 05 2011.
Rent Stretch [series:2415#628]
(All episodes watched):

After watching episode one, my thinking was that if I had to choose between watching only this show, or being able to watch every new Winter series except this one, I think I would go with Level E. The opening episode really is that good, and the competition this season is that bad. Somehow a disproportionate share of the available virtue seemed to have wound up concentrated in one series; that definitely ought to save us some time. The fact that this would quite possibly be the best show of the season was clear to me even when I had yet to watch more than five minutes or so, due to some technical problems. This one had a sort of witty MIB meets ET feeling to it. Level E oozes quality while numerous other new shows are completely dried out. Somehow, I'm having a hard time describing what it is that I like--perhaps because I like pretty much everything. It's both genuinely funny and is telling an intriguing tale. You must see it for yourself.

So, why haven't I written more about it? Somehow, succeeding episodes haven't held my interest as firmly as the first one, and I'm tempted to revoke my claim that Level E is better than all the other Winter series combined. One thing I definitely am uncomfortable with is the revelation of the blond alien's true personality. The Prince is basically an asshole, and kind of a sadist, too. The show is still funny and witty, but that makes it a good deal harder for me to enjoy. Anyway, after the first three-episode arc (with a surprising resolution), episode four was kind of neat. I thought for awhile that we had seen the last of the Prince and had taken off on a completely different aliens-on-earth story. I'm a little unhappy with the way this episode wrapped up, because I was becoming engrossed in the new story.

I wish baseball player Yukitaka hadn't been unceremoniously dumped. He was a much more fun character than Prince Dogura, even though the Prince is far more important to the basic premise. The series was at its best when the two of them worked together as a comedy team. It looks like this show will consist of a series of arcs, with the prince and his bodyguards as the only recurring characters. In arc three, the 'Color Rangers', I felt sorry for Red who was continually harrassed by his classmates. I'm not sure if weirdness or humor had priority in this story, i.e, I didn't laugh as much as in the previous arcs. And the prince is such a dick that I am really getting to hate him. He is becoming more of a liability than an asset to this show. Arc four, about the visiting Macbac alien Princess, was so-so. It seemed to me that the trick Dogura used to fix things was more of an easy way out than a believable resolution; an anti-climax, sort of.

Fortunately Yukitaka is back for the final three episodes; that sort of undoes some of the disappointment I felt at the way that the Prince turned out to be. I did like the way the series as a whole ended; the Prince gets a taste of his own medicine in a clever way. I had thought that the conclusion might be simplistic, but in fact it seemed a genuine conclusion for once, not just an arc conclusion as is often the case nowadays; Level E is fairly old, after all. I think that the general impression of Level E that will stick with me the longest will be of a show which seemed so fantastic at first but ultimately turned out to be good but not great. Somehow, that hurts more than a new show which never shows any greatness at all. After all, the first couple of episodes demonstrated that this clearly could have been a much better show than it ultimately was.

My favorite line: "So lame! And I punched a hole through the wall and everything!"

Last updated Tuesday, May 10 2011. Created Thursday, January 13 2011.

Other Sites
Level E Official Website (Japanese) http://pierrot.jp/title/level-e/

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