Ange Vierge – Preview
Original Air Dates: July 9, 2016 to ???
Synopsis: Without warning, an evil force has merged five separate alternate universe worlds together. In an effort to save our worlds from extinction teenage girls, awakened with the power of the Exceed, band together on the isolated island of Seiran. They form an academy where these girls, known as “Progress” fight to avert the apocalypse.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Ange Vierge’s cast, despite featuring a wide array of character designs both unique and highly familiar, every one’s personalty feels very samey. Each character has the same drive and goals pushing them forward. Sure, a few of the characters vary in levels of intensity, and have differing mannerisms that set them apart, but they all want the same thing: To advance in their class and become a more powerful and well known individual. This means every single conversation, outside of the big battles, feels obnoxiously similar. Maybe there’s slightly different dialogue, some side characters are more supportive than others, etc. But because each conversation is leading to the same place, and drags on for a good several minutes at a time, the episode really starts to trudge along.
Linny: The characters came off so bland that I couldn’t name a single one of them if you asked me to right after the episode ended. Like Tom says, every single girl, no matter how she looks, is basically a lower level wanting to rise in rank and hearing the same conversation between different people over and over was mind-numbingly dull.
Tom: The stronger characters, the heroes, our low level cast aspires to rival, are actually kinda assholes. They agree to help train our main characters, but actually end up mocking them over the course of their battle as the little guys ultimately lose. It’s really odd and not endearing at all to a cast that feels like carbon copies of each other.
Linny: The show is definitely little more than merchandise promotion. It’s trying to sell its game elements, trying to give what are most likely mere images in a card game some actual personality while also inserting elements of the game play into the story. The problem with Ange Vierge in particular is that it doesn’t seem to actually be putting in real effort into growing and defining its characters, content to focus on their looks to differentiate between them.
Tom: The overarching story is pretty straightforward, in part due to a heavy handed voice over that just dishes everything we need to know out in one big dose. Otherwise this episode is pretty weird structurally. It opens with a big battle and then the entire middle of the episode, a good fifteen minutes of screen time, is spent with all of our characters in a hot springs bath like resort. Like, all of their time. We pretty much never see them clothed again, not until the very end of the episode when they perform yet another battle sequence. It’s like, outside of battle, everyone just sits around naked in water all the time, turning into prunes. Like, does everyone just get naked when they aren’t saving the world? Is Ange Vierge actually just about a nudist colony in the middle of the ocean?
Linny: There’s tons of lens flare hiding the “goods” and since a good percentage of the girls look like they’re 10, I am happy for the lens flare. It’s ridiculous because they seem to stay naked for so long and only get dressed for battle. Prepare for boat loads of lens flare if you decide you want to give this show a chance.
Tom: One of Ange Vierge’s redeeming attributes, if not the only, is the high quality animation used to depict both the superb battle sequences and all the sexy fun time in the bathroom scenes. If you like fan service there’s plenty to be had here, beneath all the censoring lens flare, and the fight sequences are pretty impressive. It’s certainly a shame that the rest isn’t nearly as enjoyable.
Linny: Ange Vierge is a disappointing watch for anyone who isn’t a fan of the game. If well animated battles half the episode and naked girls covered only by lens flare and steam for the other sounds like something you would enjoy, be my guest. If not, then Ange Vierge can easily be skipped as yet another bare bones attempt to market a game. Let it be known however, that it does have some of the best combat animation I have seen in its genre.
Tom: Ange Vierge is based upon a card game, so it’s unsurprising that it might feel like a poor man’s Kantai Collection, which was based off a mobile game with similar card/stat based elements. Unlike Kantai Collection, Ange Vierge fails to introduce us to a wild cast of characters, or a world that feels fleshed out. If you like nudist colonies and only care about visual fidelity then Ange Vierge might be a decent use of your time. But if you need a little more substance, it’s best to look elsewhere this season.
Ange Vierge is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.