Artificial Continuum

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Halo has gathered a rather massive fan following, especially for a video game. Although a majority of these fans care little for the backstory and mythos of the Halo universe, one cannot deny that the shooter series has built a rather impressive lore behind it. So when 343 Studios and Bungie announced an anime series following Halo back at this years Comic Con, fans were pretty excited. 343 announced that five different studios would produce seven different episodes following multiple areas of the Halo backstory.

The first episode The Babysitter was released last fall in order to build off the release of Halo ODST.

The Babysitter in many ways is a study of the relation between Spartans and normal marines and soldiers for the UNSC. Following a group of ODST (Orbital Drop Shock Troopers) and one spartan on an assasination mission in enemy territory, The Babysitter relies heavily on the chemistry created between the areas of humanities forces. When rivavlry and jealousy break out among the troops, the mission is put in jeopardy and is only saved by some dire circumstances.

The Babysitter is an enjoyable piece of anime, if not perfect. Lasting only around seventeen minutes in length, it is hard for anyone to truly build a connection with any of the characters shown. While the characters, especially the ODST sharpshooter are given some good character development and interesting pathos, nothing really resonates with the watcher. Like mentioned earlier,the real strength of this story comes from the relationship presented between the ODST and Spartans. The Spartans themselves are potrayed perfectly in this episode. Shown as quiet hulking behemoths who can take down gigantic enemies with ease, but can still die and have a human soul.

The animation is crisp and true to traditional anime. It is a pleasure to watch throughout the episode. The action scenes are done perfectly and are exhilarating to watch without going over the top.

However, there are problems with this first episode as well. The dialogue is bland and uninspired, which would hamper the episode if there were more speaking scenes. Another aspect that struck out was the design for the "alien" ruins the team encountered. I understand the production team is from Japan, but do they honestly expect us to believe that an alien civilization built pagoda's and Asian style temples? The inclusion of these buildings is so jarring and out of place that it ruins the immersion.

Score: B+


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