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Old 2006-09-08, 11:09   Link #1
Guido
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Soukou no Strain (Strain: Strategic Armored Infantry)

Title: 奏光のストレイン

Synopsis from AniDB.net

Quote:
In the distant future, the mankind is divided into two powers; Union and Deague. They have continued long war that no one is sure when it began. Union uses manned weapons, Strain, as the main military power, while Deague uses unmmand weapons Tumoru.
Sara Viereck, a daughter of a good family, is a Union’s 16-year-old girl who goes to Grapera Space Armed Soldier Academy locates in Cranial Solar System in order to become a full-fledged Reasoner (a pilot of Strain).
Her brother, Ralph Viereck, was sent to the front line 130 light years away to accomplish a special mission when she was 11 years old. It takes 400 years of objective time even by the fastest sub-light speed space craft of Union. However, according to relativist theory, it corresponds to two subjective years (the time crews experiences). Therefore, Sara needs to go to the same battle field to meet her brother.
Because they lost their parents when they were quite young, Sara thinks of her bother as a guy dearer than a sibling, and she lives for their reunion.
One day, the planet Sara lives is suddenly assaulted by Deague. Surprisingly, it was her brother Ralph that takes away a mysterious girl sleeping in a capsule.
To search the truth, Sara gets in Strain and runs after him. However, she receives an attack from Ralph, and the Mimic is broken. The Mimic is a copy of the pilot’s brain, and it is an essential part to control the Strain.
Network: WOWOW

Anime News Network lists the airing date to November 2006, but I have checked the official site and only displays the name of the broadcasting network- WOWOW.

The official site now hosts a preview movie trailer for the upcoming show.

CAST

Ai Nonaka* as Emily / Lavinia Liberus
Ayako Kawasumi** as Sarah Willeck
Takashi Kondo* as Ralph Willeck
Asuka Tanii as Carmichael
Junko Minagawa** as Melchiseddeck
Kayo Sakata as Armie / Armengod Yunihatz Bekki
Kishô Taniyama* as Decon Sidnok
Miyu Matsuki* as Jesse Iges
Nao Hanai as Martha Shubipauel
Souichiro Hoshi** as Caris / Carisford Radflicks
Yukana*** as Lotti
Jouji Nakata*** as Dyufalj
Mugihito* as Claiven

* =
** =
*** =
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Old 2006-10-28, 06:51   Link #2
Sonhex
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For some reason I pegged this as 'Rozen Mecha' due to the imagery on the website, but I watched the trailer and was intrigued by what I saw. The mecha design is quite elaborate, reminds me a little of Zegapain, probably due to the combo of luminescent colours and CG. Good cast by the looks of it, Ayako Kawasumi (Shizuno in Zegapain incidently) and Yukana (Dominura in Simoun, C.C in Code Geass) in particular.

Here's hoping this will fill the 'mecha lite' gap left by Zegapain and The Third.

BTW it airs 02.11.06 at 12 am, takes over from Innocent Venus.
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Old 2006-10-28, 17:43   Link #3
Sinestra
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So its Rozen Madien meets Zegapain with a bit of Vandread thrown in the mix alrighty im game for it. the trailers sparked my intrest a bit. It looks like it has a pretty good budget from what animation looked like.
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Old 2006-10-28, 18:24   Link #4
DangerMouse
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The trailer definitely gives me a very welcome Vandread kind of vibe, as that became one of my favorite shows among my many years of anime watching despite my initial fears that it would focus on more of a harem-type show and instead became the awesome scifi action/drama/comedy it was with just enough
Spoiler:

Looking at the ANN page for the series makes it more clear to me as to why the CG sequences of the trailer have me hooked already, if they are accurate. Two very key members of the 3DCG mechanics staff from Vandread appear to be working on Strain in extremely key positions. Those guys did such fantastic work particularly on the second season of Vandread and I can already see some of their style in the elaborate (as was said above) CG ship designs and space sequences of the trailer. This show just shot up several notches on atleast my radar.

Last edited by DangerMouse; 2006-10-28 at 18:40.
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Old 2006-10-28, 18:54   Link #5
Orrin
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Quote:
Because they lost their parents when they were quite young, Sara thinks of her bother as a guy dearer than a sibling, and she lives for their reunion.
Sounds like a sci-fi incest drama, i will most likely watch this.
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Old 2006-10-29, 16:29   Link #6
Sinestra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DangerMouse View Post
The trailer definitely gives me a very welcome Vandread kind of vibe, as that became one of my favorite shows among my many years of anime watching despite my initial fears that it would focus on more of a harem-type show and instead became the awesome scifi action/drama/comedy it was with just enough
Spoiler:

Looking at the ANN page for the series makes it more clear to me as to why the CG sequences of the trailer have me hooked already, if they are accurate. Two very key members of the 3DCG mechanics staff from Vandread appear to be working on Strain in extremely key positions. Those guys did such fantastic work particularly on the second season of Vandread and I can already see some of their style in the elaborate (as was said above) CG ship designs and space sequences of the trailer. This show just shot up several notches on atleast my radar.
Totally agree with you Vandread remains in my top 10 animes the show a little bit of everything and im so glad it didnt turn into a harem anime which would have taken away fromt he kick ass action. Also the final battle is still one of my favorite large scale battle scenes ever if this series did something like that i would love it
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Old 2006-10-31, 01:27   Link #7
DangerMouse
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Yeah, I don't particularly like harem anime so the way they executed the show was outstanding especially with such strong scifi material and the inherent comedy/drama/character interaction in the men/women setting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sinestra View Post
Also the final battle is still one of my favorite large scale battle scenes ever if this series did something like that i would love it
Yeah, that battle was totally thrilling. The scale of those fleets just gave it a truely epic feel. Great stuff. The tension was kept up very well and I loved the direction (the things they chose to show and the angles and the mixed in character stuff and especially the stylistic touches like the flourescent light trails which they had always used were amazing with the larger number of Dreads.
Spoiler:


I would love to see this show get that epic.
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Old 2006-10-31, 07:11   Link #8
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Looks like the first two episodes will air on thursday, back to back in a one hour special. Some small screens from the first two eps can be seen on WOWOW's Soukou no Strain site.
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Old 2006-10-31, 10:27   Link #9
DangerMouse
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Cool, thanks for news on the update of the WOWOW page. Looks like some interesting shots, I like the large cast size. That's pretty neat that they are going to air the first two eps back-to-back for its premiere. I hope it turns out to be a good show since sci-fi is my favorite genre and now's a perfect time for one. I hope that it will have a similar primary dedication to the action, plot and character exploration and not let any "relationship drama" out-shadow the sci-fi storyline and the characters.

Heh, for another Vandread parallel, I hope it turns out good and that the story has a lot of scale and can potentially expand to a second season. It looks like the show is planned for 13 episodes. I'd rather it be longer but since it's currently 13 rather than 26 I hope that they'll take advantage of the pacing/budget that probably gives them just like that other series did in it's 13 part seasons.

Last edited by DangerMouse; 2006-11-01 at 09:55.
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Old 2006-11-01, 11:20   Link #10
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Here's a few screens from the first ep found on 2chan. Nothing too spoilerish.

Spoiler:


I never saw Vandread, but that Deague STRAIN (4th pic) reminds me of the Anti-Zega from ZEGAPAIN. Well, certainly looks interesting from these.
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Old 2006-11-01, 11:27   Link #11
Guido
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Just like DangerMouse commented, having watched the pics, the CGI animation and mecha design draw a lot of comparison to the Vandreads.
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Old 2006-11-01, 17:24   Link #12
DangerMouse
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Nice. Seeing them use their style again on new designs reaffirms that I really love their design work. Now someone needs to sub this

Somehow I know I'm going to end up downloading the raw just to see it in action despite that I won't be able to understand anything lol.

Last edited by DangerMouse; 2006-11-01 at 17:44.
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Old 2006-11-01, 18:33   Link #13
kari-no-sugata
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Just watched the double-bill opener.

Wow... I like!

The story-writers here certainly have guts. I like the mecha. The story and setting seem interesting too. The animation is great (so far). I certainly hope they can keep this up.
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Old 2006-11-01, 19:16   Link #14
DangerMouse
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kari-no-sugata View Post
Just watched the double-bill opener.

Wow... I like!

The story-writers here certainly have guts. I like the mecha. The story and setting seem interesting too. The animation is great (so far). I certainly hope they can keep this up.
Sounds great, I'm glad the animation is coming through (hopefully it'll keep it up in both types), and the general comments about the story, particularly the gutsy writing comment, sounds excellent. I continue to hope that the show will focus primarily on the story plot, action, and characters/character growth and not let any potential romance/flirting plotlines dominate too much when they no doubt show up.

Last edited by DangerMouse; 2006-11-01 at 20:14.
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Old 2006-11-01, 19:57   Link #15
blitz1/2
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Rozen Maiden + mecha?!

I will definitely watch this!
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Old 2006-11-01, 23:58   Link #16
Shouta
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Whoa, quite impressed with the first episode for sure. The second half of the first episode was quite intense and unexpected. Gotta check out episode 2 now.
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Old 2006-11-02, 01:15   Link #17
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The mech design reminds of the ones used by the Zaibalch empire in escaflowne.
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Old 2006-11-02, 01:23   Link #18
DangerMouse
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I'd rather post short, but since I can only judge the superficial stuff I guess I'll have to make do >_<

Unsurprisingly (LOL) I didn't even try to fight the desire and skimmed the raw since I can't really understand the dialogue. Wow I agree on the impressive event scripting so far.

Even though I can't really understand what's being said, other than certain things I've heard in countless anime, one of my favorite aspects of this type of scifi show appears to be heavily included in the planning stages of the show, that being the world-building by the design staff, with the setting and tools and things all being rather thought out and integrated together.

As I'd hoped given the staff I'm indeed drooling over the CG design and animation and direction of the "dogfight" scenes. I was unexpectedly very impressed with the traditional animation (Gonzo's slick work on the colorful cast of Vandread from Kuroda will be hard to consistently match ofcourse), the designs are very good and I love the vibrant colors and the attention to detail like the ways the tears came or the various expressions, not to mention the various military and pilot uniforms. The small glimpse of actual space background during one of the launches reminded me of the second season's more awe-inspiring space environment instead of the pure-black of season one, but it's a bit premature judging anything in space yet.

I also liked how a lot of the air combat sequences weren't just one-on-one but groups, something that made for great space battles in Vandread with often larger scale dogfighting going on around the "bigger" battle.

Looking at his credits I should have expected it (What I've seen of Kino is awesome with a very fitting score), but I really liked the music, particularly any of the fast paced tracks I really got into. As for the other music, I liked the OP better than the ED although I found the OP, while a nice song, perhaps a bit too relaxing for this type of show. It would make a really nice ED track if there was something little "bigger" (not necessarily faster) for the OP, though I'm glad it's more unique than a pop-type song.

Emily's character design does remind me of Rozen Maiden's character designs, obviously the clothes too (like in the main image on the site).

Last edited by DangerMouse; 2006-11-02 at 01:45.
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Old 2006-11-02, 04:52   Link #19
Kaoru Chujo
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I generally do not like mecha, but I liked these first two eps. Well paced, with good voices (Kawasumi Ayako as Sarah and Yukana as Lotti, the crafty little redhead, in particular), good characters, emotion, and interaction, and interesting plot twists. I even started to appreciate the flight and fights. I still don't know why we need old-fashioned military uniforms and school buildings in shows set in the future, but whatever.
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Old 2006-11-02, 11:05   Link #20
DangerMouse
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I don't necessarily mind the old-fashioned military uniforms, since the space uniforms commonly seen in episode 2 are more what I expect from scifi, so I think it was interesting that episode 1 had people in both old-fashioned military uniforms and the space military uniforms (Both styles of the pilot suits so far are suitably scifi so I'm happy with them), but I very much agree with you about old-fashioned school buildings in scifi shows.

Last edited by DangerMouse; 2006-11-02 at 11:53.
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