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Metallic Rouge – A Cyber Noir Anime with Blade Runner’s Aesthetics

Metallic Rogue charges onto the scene with a compelling sense of urgency and a vibrant exploration of its world. As the latest original anime by Bones, the studio behind Mob Psycho 100 and My Hero Academia, this series marks a milestone for them as they celebrate their 25th anniversary. Metallic Rogue pledges a dense lore, featuring mecha-inspired designs and cyberpunk aesthetics reminiscent of Blade Runner imagery.

In its premiere, Metallic Rogue immediately grabs attention with its vivid world. The anime unfolds against scorching pink landscapes and showcases mecha suits saturated in reds and purples. Futuristic cityscapes add to the visual spectacle, underscoring the anime’s commitment to a striking aesthetic. Although the initial steps heavily focus on exposition, the premiere invites viewers to acclimate themselves to the intricacies of this new world, guided by intriguing characters.

From the use of contrasting color palettes to the captivating mecha designs, Metallic Rogue commands attention, even in the tentative early stages of world-building.

What is metallic ROgue About?

In a futuristic post-war society characterized by the coexistence of humans and androids, Metallic Rouge unfolds the narrative of Rouge Redstar, an android girl, and her partner Naomi Ortmann, as they undertake a mission to Mars. Their objective is to eliminate the Immortal Nine, a faction of rebellious androids posing a threat to the government. The series promises a deep exploration of themes such as AI ethics, rebellion, societal treatment of androids post-war, and the world’s dependence on a critical resource known as nectar.

Masahiko Minami, the producer and president of Bones, highlighted the series‘ appeal to fans of Blade Runner. In a conversation with TV Insider and members of the press, he emphasized the thematic richness of Metallic Rouge. The show uses the youthfulness of its main characters to weave a budding relationship and inject humor, but at its core, it delves into the essence of what defines a living being as human and our intricate relationship with technology.

Having been in production for over six years at Studio Bones, Metallic Rouge stands as a flagship original series for the studio’s 25th anniversary, echoing the significance of its initial series, Hiwou War Chronicles. Minami shared insights into the creative process, expressing how placing the story in a sci-fi setting allows the exploration of complex themes that might be challenging to address directly in contemporary situations. He sees this genre as a canvas for tackling social issues such as culture aspects, prejudice, segregation, and more.

Minami also revealed plans for potential spin-offs set in the world of Metallic Rouge, contingent on the series‘ success with audiences. He underscored the sci-fi genre as an ideal space for unleashing imagination and discussing societal challenges in a nuanced and thought-provoking manner.

Metallic Rouge Episode 1 Review - Visually Captivating

Directed by Motonobu Hori, the inaugural episode of Metallic Rogue immediately thrusts viewers into a futuristic society where humans coexist with androids known as Neans. Threatening this harmony are the „Immortal Nine,“ a group rebelling against the Human-Nean society. The narrative follows Rouge Redstar (Yume Miyamoto), an android undercover as Metal Rouge, and her human counterpart Naomi (Tomoyo Kurosawa) as they embark on a mission to Mars to hunt down these rebels and maintain order.

A notable feature of Metallic Rogue Episode 1 is its striking vibrancy and masterful use of color. Renowned for their expertise in bringing original anime to life, Bones, with character designer Toshihiro Kawamoto (known for Cowboy Bebop), crafts visually captivating main characters with distinct traits.

The episode establishes the world as Metal Rouge works undercover, unveiling a narrative foundation that involves intricate plotting. Although the premiere struggles to fully articulate the goals and stakes within its 20-minute timeframe, Metal and Naomi remain enigmatic figures, paving the way for potential exploration in a mission-of-the-week format.

While the premiere touches on profound thematic ideas regarding the existence of androids and artificial intelligence, the narrative somewhat stumbles in conveying these concepts delicately. Despite initial muddiness in world-building, the story’s intriguing core is evident, exploring themes of humanity’s struggle to coexist and the consequences of limiting lifeforms.

However, the production’s visual allure steals the spotlight. Prioritizing POV shots and delivering ground-shaking action, Metallic Rogue Episode 1 features mechas with Evangelion-style influences and a score by Taisei Iwasaki that adds excitement to the proceedings. The visuals, especially a bridge against an orange sky, stand out as must-watch moments, conveying the world’s instability through detailed elements.

While Metallic Rogue Episode 1 faces occasional setup challenges, its artistry rescues the series start. Despite the need for further immersion to establish an emotional connection with the characters, the episode captivates with lush visuals and animations, ensuring a visually stimulating experience where every frame holds something captivating, even when the narrative falters.

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