Big Order – Preview
Original Air Dates: April 15th, 2016 – ???
Synopsis: Hoshimiya Eiji lives in a world that’s nothing like our own. The world we live in, the society we have, is gone, forever changed after a global catastrophe left society in tatters. Recovering, the world believes that those who are designated as “Orders” caused the catastrophe. Orders are people who possess bizarre powers. Eiji is an Order and he believes it was his wish, ten years ago, that caused the destruction of the world. Eiji has remained quiet, seeking to take care of his sister in the hospital, his only remaining family member from the cataclysm. However, his life is changed when a girl transfers into his school, Kurenai Rin. She’s actually an assassin sent to kill Eiji, as she knows the truth: She knows he’s the Order who almost killed us all.
1st Episode Review (Warning: Some Spoilers to Follow):
Tom: Big Order likes to be dark. It’s color palette keeps everything dark, red, and moody as we’re introduced to a world barely hanging on after Eiji got his wish. It helps to keep with the creepy atmosphere Big Order is trying to sell us, with flesh bubbling and blood flowing. Sometimes, the visuals succeed, but other times the tinge of melodrama from the story overshadows the visual’s efforts.
Linny: It also doesn’t do the greatest job of relaying information, other than pushing the gritty and gloomy circumstances of society in our faces over and over again. There isn’t a lot of exposition, just short screen time with poorly introduced and unexplained, random characters. Our protagonist, Eiji, is dull and cliche as he is revealed to be an anime lead archetype; an outcast at school, dismissed by his classmates, with his only concern and confidante being his little sister, who surprise, surprise, has been ill and in the hospital for years.
Tom: I found Eiji to be okay, not the best protagonist of the season, but also not the most annoying either. He’s pretty bland most of the time, hitting the stereotypical beats we’ve seen within most shonen. The only times I was really kind of impressed with Eiji were when he was loathing himself for killing someone mid-way through the episode. Eiji has a full blown panic attack, collapsing due to the sheer weight of the situation. That was pretty cool, something we don’t always see within Shonen and reminded me a little of Tokyo Ghoul’s more psychological moments. His sister is ho-hum and acts like most of the cast at this point, a plot device to keep the story moving.
Linny: The other characters really do not get enough airtime to make an impact or an impression, save for one other character, the assassin Rin. And once again, we get a common cliche where the assassin turns out to be a complete psycho. So while the show does have some unique characteristics, such as the hero’s mental breakdown, and some very interesting fashion choices (refer to GIF above), there is also a lot that feels familiar and uninspired.
Tom: Rin is pretty disappointing, diving right into the psycho cliche we’d all expect of over the top assassin characters the second she’s outed. Daisy, a magical being that’s granting all the Orders their powers, is also relegated to little more than a plot device. Despite these failings, Big Order unfolds at a fairly fast pace, keeping the questions coming and answers flowing. It’s probably also why we spend so little time defining anyone besides Eiji as a character. But I fear Big Order is going to suffer from a larger issue going forward: Namely the Superman Syndrome. Eiji has a power that allows him to do some pretty overpowered things, and the only thing stopping him from doing so is an arbitrary limit placed on him by Daisy (which I fear will always be removed at just the right time.)
Linny: It’s ridiculous how OP Eiji is that Daisy has to limit his power to a ten-thousandth of its true range so that he can use it without losing control. That immediately screams of how unstoppable our hero is going to be no matter what is thrown at him. It immediately preempts any and all sense of danger or urgency to a degree that makes further watching a little frustrating. The powers themselves are not that bombastic onscreen for now, which might disappoint some viewers who like exaggerated depictions and explosions. Each Order seems to have a supernatural being manifest when they use their powers, and Eiji’s one in particular is reminiscent of the creatures in Ajin. But what really stands out about Big Order is its rather peculiar ending (I’ve even thrown in a GIF of it below). It’s rather suggestive of an inappropriate act and the fade to black, along with the moans and cries of Rin really add to the uncomfortable nature of the entire sequence. It’s something that I feel could come off as rather upsetting or controversial and hamper Big Order’s image.
Tom: The ending VA work of Rin crying for help as Eiji ‘dominates her’ (the shows choice of words, not mine) all over black, with some slithering sound effects makes for a, uh, rather interesting sequence. It comes off sexual, and perhaps even a bit molestation-esque. If that sounds uncomfortable to you, then it probably is and is the one aspect of this fun, if highly flawed show, that keeps me from really recommending it.
Linny: The first episode of Big Order is a bit of a roller coaster ride. It starts off slow, gets absurd, then picks up speed, then gets crazy and finally ends..molesty(?). It would probably entertain those who enjoy action packed shows featuring a cast with insane supernatural powers. Just make sure to avoid the last few minutes if you want to watch but dislike a tinge of sexual violence.
Tom: Big Order was a, mostly, enjoyable watch. It isn’t anything great, the characters are paper thin, and you’ve probably seen something like it before, but it moves quickly enough, and has a strong atmosphere that kept me engaged. If not for that final sequence that doesn’t quite sit right with me, I would’ve been happy to recommend it. As things are, I can say it’s worth a watch as long as off-camera potentially implied sexual assault doesn’t bother you. If it does? I currently don’t think Big Order is worth risking that.
Big Order is available for streaming via Crunchyroll.com.