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Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse (2012, Satellite/itxl)

Anime Reviews

Muv-Luv Alternative - Total Eclipse (2012, Satellite/itxl)

マブラヴ オルタネイティヴ トータル・イクリプス

Worth A Watch

Humans have made contact with aliens while exploring planet Mars. Now Earth is fighting a losing war against them who they now called the "BETA". The war is going so badly that even new trainees are being sent straight to the battlefield before completing their training. Yui Takamura, daughter of a renown family, is the last survivor from her team. Three years later, still haunted by the cruel demise of her friends she reaches the rank of liutenant and leads a team of test pilots as part of the UN Pacific Force's Project XFJ, an initiative for developing the Japanese Imperial weaponry further so that they can get an edge on their alien enemies. Like Yui, the test pilots are comprised of those who lost their home and loved ones to the BETA. Amongst them is rash American born Yuuya Bridges who isn't proud of his half Japanese roots and so can't see eye-to-eye with the native Yui. Yet somehow, they must set aside their differences.

The show starts gets off to quite a rough start. First two episodes felt like a quick crash course on the plot because the direction felt really rushed. Fight scenes were too quick and you didn't really have any time to warm up to Yui's friends to get a sense of her despair other than the gorey scenes. However, the pacing is much better afterwards. Less rushed fighting scenes and more focus on character development.

Other than the first two episodes, the art and character design is generally good. BETA alien designs don't look that impressive and the 3D models style stand out too much from the rest of the show.

Your cast of characters are your cliche Anime personalities but as usual, the clash between them makes them fun to watch. There's a fair amount of fan service during the first half of the show such as scenes showing girls changing into and wearing tight body suits, abundant shower scenes etc which might put some people off. It gets pretty silly as usual with all the girls falling for the same guy. There's even your cliche stuck on a desert island scenario. It's based on a dating sim so I guess you kind of expect it - it's a prequel set 11 years before the events of Muv Luv Alternative.

That said, the story doesn't get on too badly afterwards as we watch the characters grow through a lot of internal conflict amongst the remaining human population. There's suddenly no more fan service scenes either (well... maybe another episode's worth of your obligatory hot springs). Unfortunately the BETA don't get much focus in the show so they kind of feel like an after thought loosely put together. It doesn't wrap-up that great either and feels more like a teaser to go buy the game or read the light novels.

It's not quite as funny but it does kind of remind me of Full Metal Panic. If you don't mind the heavy fan service aimed at the male audience during the first couple of episodes and some brief gore it's probably worth a watch.

Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse

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