This post might be pretty long but keep in mind that it MIGHT SPOILS YOU later. So you should watch the episode first before reading my impressions about it.
First of all, the animation looks absolutely lively, gorgeous & so detailed. I mean, most scenes were animated like they were supposed to be, like the snowmobile part & the staircase animation for example. It’s like you watch a proper TV show. MAPPA spent a lot of effort for this one so I give a big thumbs up to them.
The musics are amazing. Yoko Kanno did a very good job at composing the tunes that suit the atmosphere pretty well. The OST album is now on sale so you can grab a copy from any retailers like cdjapan and Amazon.
The characters were created by Samurai Champloo’s character designer, which was another Watanabe’s show. Speaking of Samurai Champloo, did you see the similarity between this anime and that one in terms of lead characters? 2 males & a female in a single group. Nice play, Watanabe. At first I thought they were the good guys but instead they are anti-hero protagonists. That’s pretty unusual for an anime. I love the rarity nature in this one unlike other shows that have typical stereotypes & fanservices nowadays.
Story wise, it’s very solid & has some kind of tension in most parts. Since it’s fictional, I ain’t relate it with the events that happened in our world just to make sure that I won’t cause any fuss. Anyways, I’m very curious of their backstory & their statement “We’re not supposed to be exist.” thingy.
Now I want to talk about Lisa here since there’s something that caught my interest. She clearly has problems in her life, like being bullied by the girls, hiding alone in the toilet & the most weirdest thing is her eating disorder. Not long after that, she suddenly has some kind of Shinji complexity there. Remember in End of Evangelion movie in which Shinji wished that everyone should disappear? Well, the same goes to Lisa too. That gave me goosebumps a bit. And the part with Nine’s attempt to make her an accomplice was perfectly done well. Since she had no one to rely with, she was speechless & had no choice but to join them. Go for thug life Lisa! Don’t give a damn about anyone! (Just kidding LOL, it’s not like I want to encourage her…)
Overall, the episode is very solid. I’m so glad it went beyond my expectations. Definitely the candid for the anime of the season. For those who keep sayin’ SAO2 is AotS, TAKE THAT IN YOUR FACE!! SAO is still too far from this level. Do not underestimate the legendary Shinichiro Watanabe and Yoko Kanno.