E's Otherwise Vol. 1
Lately ADV has been putting a lot of anime on the market, and one of their newest titles is E's Otherwise. This show seems to have a lot of potential, but can it pull it all together to make it stand out from the crowd?
One thing that's easy to notice from the first volume of E's Otherwise is that it comes off as being very much like S-Cry-Ed. Now this could be a good thing for people who liked S-Cry-Ed, because you're going to be seeing a show that seems quite similar, but this could also hurt it by people clumping it in as a rip-off. Now don't think that you're going to get the exact same show though; there certainly are plenty of differences in the two.
At the beginning we see our lead character Kai being revived in this laboratory for some reason. From there the show does a good job of setting up the world of E's Otherwise for the viewer.
It's the near future and the world is run by twelve powerful corporations instead of governments, because we're told that the governments were not capable of running society anymore. Ashurum, one of these corporations, is a military contractor, and they own the laboratory where Kai awakens. We find out that he is one of a growing group of people that have psychic powers. Kai can convert thought to energy, and he seems to be adept at this ability, so he is used by Ashurum to fight others with psychic powers that the military cannot handle and to deal with situations that are too dangerous for ordinary people. These people with special powers are called E's or AESES. Outside of Ashurum, they are persecuted for being different and a threat to people, so many of these AESES harbor a grudge against society.
The first volume is a good start to the series. We are introduced to the other psychics that Kai works with, and we get a look at his training for Ashurum. We also find out Kai's reason for working at Ashurum. His sister is very ill and Ashurum has taken care of her ever since their mother died. This is Kai's way of repaying what he thinks is his debt for the generosity that this corporation is showing. However things aren't as easy as they seem here. It turns out that Ashurum might be keeping Kei's sister around because of her potential psychic abilities. It also seems as if Ashurum might not be on the up and up, and that they might be holding and training the AESES for their own interests. Some of the other corporations do seem to be suspicious of the fact the Ashurum is collecting all of the AESES for themselves. This could potentially lead to danger.
Things quickly change as one of the AESES' missions runs into problems, and Kai's soft side conflicts with his job at Ashurum. Here is where we get to meet Yuuki. He is for the most part a freelancer for shady underground organizations, but through him we're introduced to the overlying plot of E's Otherwise. He is asked to recover The Sacrament, but the name is all that we know. It's easy to tell that this will be important later on in the series. After the problematic mission, Yuuki finds Kai, and from the way it looks these two will quickly become a team to be reckoned with.
The first volume of E's Otherwise was entertaining to watch. Its resemblance to S-Cry-Ed was hard to get out of my head, but the show does offer enough to make it unique in its own way. A good way to describe the first volume is that it has potential. This show seems to have the ability to go in a great direction, rewarding its fans with a great story. The story is compelling, but the first volume did leave me wondering in what direction the show will proceed. This can be taken as a good thing, however; E's Otherwise might not be a typical and predicable series.
The cityscapes in the backgrounds and environment of E's Otherwise look great. The show does not lack in the art department at all. You have your typical, but nice looking characters, good-looking battles and backgrounds that really seem to pop out.
Even though it's hard to pin down what direction that this show will go in, you do have your typical "torn about what's right and wrong" lead character that if you've seen once, you've seen a hundred times.
Both the subtitles and the dub of the show offer mediocre voice acting, except for the voice actress for Kai's sister, who could be the worst dubbed voice that I've ever heard. As far as the music goes, I guess the best way to describe it would be as forgettable, but it doesn't detract from the show.
I have to praise ADV for one thing in particular, and that's putting five episodes on this volume. Now I know that this might not seem worthy of praise, but after seeing far too many anime series that have three episodes per volume or even two (poor Gantz), I am grateful for any volume with five episodes. You get your standard selection of extras on the DVD as well.
The first volume of E's Otherwise was certainly good enough to get me interested in the show and eager to see future volumes. The show doesn't have the most original concepts, but it's nicely put together and entertaining. I would not hesitate in recommending it to almost any anime fan.