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Tide-Line Blue

Very few animse can make political statements while remaining independent of clichés. Tide-line Blue is a uniquely fun-filled adventure that brings up many down-to-earth moral issues. Instead of opting to draw lines between right and wrong, the show juxtaposes two seemingly just sides that both fight for their idealism. Despite all the politics that is thrown around, the quirky characters and the original story serve as the real crux of the anime; the moral insights are merely bonuses in this neat package.

The reason that Tide Line Blue has not fallen into the trap of many other moral based anime is its strong cast. Instead of using the characters to preach to the audience, the various ideologies are intricately intertwined into the plot. The cast goes through a wide spectrum of emotion as they act childish one minute and threaten genocide the next. While the comedic interjections prevent the show from getting too serious, they often appear at the wrong times, unintentionally deflating gripping conflicts.

Aesthetically, the anime has a clash between the conventional computer generated cels and the three dimensional graphics. While the show has very nice animation, the CGI often feels obtrusive and out of place. Thankfully, the music and seiyuu compensate for the failed computer imagery. Save the submarine fights, the series is generally easy on the eyes and ears.

The overall quality of Tide Line Blue varies from episode to episode. Some parts are insightful and thought-provoking, but others edge mediocrity. While the show brings many problems full-circle, the end is painfully abrupt. The audience is left waiting for the elusive episode 14 which does not exist and probably will never exist.

The animation level is pretty much today’s standard, so nothing special here. Most of the marine vehicle designs are fairly average 3D models with limited amount of textures or even shapes applied on them, so they look rather plain, and from time to time, under certain camera angle, look extremely bad. There is also a lack of contrast in this animation, even when the submarine passes through the wasteland; the colours are often too bright and vibrant, thus reduces the dramatisation effect. Moving to character design, well… again, nothing special here, they are all fairly standard, although the minimal style design does suit this animation perfectly.

The opening and closing themes are pretty decent – I would not consider them awesome, but definately nothing negative to be said about them. The voice acting is done really well, with decent voice actors being used. The effects are the main strengths of the sound – the foreground noises and background ambiance add really well to the overall feel of the anime, and enhance the atmosphere well. The musical score is where I have my main point of complaint – some of the main musical themes became really irritating (especially the dramatic piano melody) and I felt they didn’t necessarily compliment the atmosphere of their respective scenes at times.

Ultimately, this series is a good anime with a quirky cast of characters but suffers from corrosion by obtrusive comedy and irresolution. Not much may get done, but the ride is more than worth the price of admission. So the next time you have a few spare hours, take a look at Tide Line Blue.

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