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Notables: Animation - LIDEN FILMS
In 1967 an alien life form, the BETA, was discovered. The hideous BETA responded by launched an invasion of earth, and after first landing in Kashgar in central Asia, have steadily expanded the land they control. As East Germany, amid rampant suspicion and merciless authoritarianism, resists the onslaught, veteran DDR mecha pilot Theodor Eberbach meets a girl he wasn't expecting.

12 episodes

A prequel to Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Unevaluated Stretch [series:3145#628]
(One episode watched):

The mention of the BETA and illustrations of them in the introduction rang a bell in my head, and today I tracked down the show that Schwarzesmarken is a prequel of: the 2012 Muv-Luv Alternative. The author of both series seems to enjoy playing with Cold War tensions, whether it be in Alaska in Muv-Luv or eastern Europe here. But, as a person with a fair knowledge of history, both series strike me as ones that don't go into much detail. Words like 'Stasi' (the East German secret police) are just used as eye candy for another mecha series with cute girls serving as pilots, and apparently the words alone are supposed to shock and enthrall us. If you're going to set the story in East Germany, at least teach us a few things we didn't already know about the place. Even the execution scene at the end wasn't all that infuriating or shocking, since the show clearly isn't taking it's subject all that seriously. I recall from Muv-Luv that it was often unclear whether the main premise of the show was the war against the BETA or suspicion and spying among enemies who have been forced to cooperate by an extraterrestrial threat. During episode one of Schwarzesmarken I often found myself composing lines of my own that I would have had the characters speak if I had somehow been the director ("The first thing you need to learn here is to keep your mouth shut. Talking will only get you in trouble'). What's more, I was left confused at the end of episode one. Is this girl that Eberbach has found really his sister, brainwashed so that she doesn't remember him? Or does she just look so much like his sister that he experiences deja vu? Even the lengthy battles against the aliens weren't all that exciting. This show just strikes me as shallow and overblown. I thought about watching some more, but ultimately did not.

Last updated Wednesday, February 15 2017. Created Wednesday, January 13 2016.

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