A.I.C.O. -Incarnation-

Title:A.I.C.O. -Incarnation-
Keywords: , ,
Notables: Animation - BONES
In Japan in the year 2035, an accident known as the "Burst" occurs during a research project, spawning an out-of-control artificial life form called "Matter" that has spread throughout the Kurobe Gorge. The research city that was once hailed as the hope for humanity is cordoned off by the government. Two years later, 15-year-old Aiko Tachibana, who lost her family in the Burst, learns something unbelievable from Yuya Kanzaki, a new student at her school. A secret is hidden within her body, and the answer to the puzzle lies at the "Primary Point" that was the center of the Burst. Aiko resolves to infiltrate the restricted area, escorted by a team of divers and with Yuya as her guide.
(Summary Courtesy of Anime News Network)

12-episode ONA series that premiered on March 9, 2018.
Animated by Bones.
OverallArtAnimationCharacter Design MusicSeries StoryEpisode StoryReviewer
Buy 10 10 9 7 8 9 Ggultra2764 [series:3710#1552]
A.I.C.O: Incarnation is a sci-fi series focused on a high school student named Aiko Tachibana who discovers she isn't exactly human and that she is somehow connected to an incident called the Burst where an experiment creating an artificial lifeform called the Matter led it to surge out of control and engulf the city in which the experiment was performed in. Learning more about her unique origins, Aiko is partnered with a group of Divers, who specialize in technology to counteract the Matter and aid to get her to the center of it to halt its growth.

A.I.C.O rehashes some typical tropes of sci-fi that include good-intentioned science leading to chaotic events and the efforts made by those responsible to atone for those actions. Still, the series does a great job at establishing the science and technology employed within the series that include the genetic experiments that led to the Burst's creation, the mechs and weaponry employed to counteract it, and how the science led to major breakthroughs such as artificial limbs and the plugsuits worn by the Divers. The series is pretty thorough in establishing its logic with the behavior and habits of the Matter, as well as the Divers adapting to its varying forms and actions as they press further into its territory.

In regards of plot and characters, A.I.C.O offers solid development of Aiko and her journey within Matter-infested territory with the Divers. Aiko gets much of the development throughout the series as she learns more about her origins and identity, gradually coming to terms with both as episodes progress. While much of the cast is not explored as deeply compared to our female lead, there is still enough dimension to their personalities for them to be likeable and there are still some within the cast who get their developments in connection to the problems caused by the Burst. In addition, the plot doesn't waste time on pointless side-plots or filler to pad out its runtime. The pacing of the series is reasonable enough to have its plot progress, while also allowing enough time to delve into more elements of the problems surrounding the Matter and those connected to it. The only major hiccup with the plot is the show's unnecessary need to add an antagonist in the final two episodes of the series, who becomes a tad bit over-the-top compared to his depiction in earlier episodes.

Visually, A.I.C.O seemingly sports a higher-than-average animation budget with how nice it looks. It sports nicely detailed and vivid scenic shots, creative uses of the Matter's forms and means to attack, and the tanks and mechs used by the Divers are nicely rendered in spite of sticking out from the regular visuals. Movement throughout the series is very fluid, with visual highlights being any conflicts that the Divers get into with various forms of the Matter.

In spite of some quality hiccups and not necessarily breaking any ground, A.I.C.O Incarnation is still a worthwhile sci-fi anime that offers up a solid foundation of plotting and exploration of the Matter's behavior and the advances that its creation brought about. I'd at least recommend checking the series out once if you are a fan of sci-fi anime.

Last updated Tuesday, July 09 2019. Created Tuesday, July 09 2019.

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