So. EXARM. Its one of the most talked about anime of the Winter 2021 season a season which has otherwise brought out some of the most highly anticipated sequels and high quality shows in recent memory. And then there was EXARM. Right from the trailer for this show it was clear it would be a monumental moment in anime history. Immediately one may have been turned off by the shows quite frankly abysmal CG animation and its rather shortsighted claim that it would be declaring war against all of the SF series around the world Despite the ringing alarm bells warning those who dared view the trailer curiosity got the better of me and a group of friends who decided to watch this show weekly in a group of watchalong Discord calls. Even louder alarm bells were ringing for those who checked the staff who worked on EXARM. The director Yoshikatsu Kimura had never worked on an anime previously instead working in live action and stating that his experience in doing so would allow for a better understanding of a 3D space. Complete tosh but OK.The studio had also never worked on anime previously instead they majorly worked on designing landscapes and environments for games. Episode 2s storyboards were done by an IT support company. What. Well it was clear that we were in for a shocking experience. With the lack of experience from the staff and the absolutely abhorrent CG animation EXARM was already looking quite poor. But hey Beastars was CG and that show rocks. It can work. So does EXARM compare to the other SF series around the world? Will it make fans of Psycho Pass and SteinsGate shit their britches? Short answer is no not at all. Lets go by different factors. Story: 1/10 The first few episodes of the show are where the story is the most comprehensive. Our main boy Akira is vibing and living his best life. Then he gets run over by a truck. Instead of waking up in a fantasy world he wakes up on Earth in 2030. But hes a brain called an EXARM. He wakes up to 2 beautiful pfffft girls beside him Alma and Minami. Thats about all I could make sense of in 12 episodes. Sure the story remains quite solid and consistent throughout the first few episodes but by the latter half of the show it becomes so nonsensical it gives Lain a run for its money. The last episodes feel like such an absolute fever dream its unreal. I could not recall anything that happened storywise apart from some character moments. I constantly forgot what was happening every week. Things just kinda happen and youre strapped into the rollercoaster but the rollercoaster crashed and youre dead. Additionally the story takes bits and pieces from all kinds of much better influences such as Ghost in the Shell Psycho Pass Evangelion and tries to weld them together. It doesnt wear its influences on its sleeve as much as it vomits its influences all over the carpet. Not helped by the story is the characters. Having not read the original manga I imagine the story would make a lot more sense as a scifi police type thing with heavy influences from better works but the absolute failure of capturing the story in the adaptation is almost incredible. What makes it worse is the little shots of a potentially decent if generic story are completely overshadowed by the animation and many other factors which makes this show worthless. This story is not helped by some lameass characters. Characters: 1/10 The majority of the characters in this show are completely bland piles of randomass dialogue with models attached. They make so little sense its like the writers were trying to ruin them. Nothing anyone says sticks out in my mind. And then theres Beta who may be the single most obnoxious anime character of all time. If you can stomach listening to that voice for longer than 3 minutes you have a will made of iron. I feel really bad for the voice actors trying their hardest to put something into these characters but ultimately it just amounts to nothing. They do things seemingly at random its like observing a rogue AI desperately trying to make a scifi series. After you laugh at the poor animation once you get used to it you realise just how awfully written and nonsensical both the characters and the main story are or have adapted to be. I tell you watching this show weekly made me go through the 5 stages of grief but I got stuck at stage 3. I was in denial at how bad it was and laughing my ass off it made me angry that this show existed then it just got depressing. Especially considering that the careers of the mangaka and the voice actors will forever be tainted by this travesty. Animation: 0/10 Its not just about the godawful amateur firsthourusingBlender CG. Its the rigid uncomfortable fight scenes the empty gazes from the characters the mouth movements which are literally just them moving the mouth up and down and the fact that they have both 2D and 3D characters together sometimes within the same environment. It works in Beastars because of the decade of experience of the compositor in that show. Naturally in EXARM it goes together about as well as Skittles and gravy. All the expressions and subtleties of the original manga are completely lost in this work. Theres some sections which the animators clearly just could not be arsed to do so they are left blank or for story reasons do not occur. Bizarre layers of stock smoke jpeg explosions jagged movement terrible if hilarious faces physicsdefying characters and the reuse of that one shot in the city so many times it becomes a running gag. Sound: like a 2? idk/10 The voice actors do an acceptable job especially considering what they were given. Everything else soundrelated though? Theres missing sound effects mismatched sound effects and just bizarre sound effects all over. Musically theres basically nothing to this soundtrack as again it was done by somebody with no prior anime experience. And as for the opening and ending? HELLO HELLO IM FEELING LONESOMENESS AGAIN LIKE A THOUSAND MILES AWAY I HEARD SOMEONE SAYING WAKE UP AND IT BRINGS BACK NOSTALGIC It sounds like Sum 41s spacker cousin Stroke 69 is performing the song. Initially I laughed at how awful of a song it was and its Enrgish vocals but by episode...3 it was just painful to hear. The ending also has Engrish. Whoopee. Conclusion: 3/10 To conclude EXARM is the fucking omnishambles. A disaster which was doomed from the very beginning a mangakas work and name forever ruined and perhaps the worst directorial debut in anime history. Watching this show weekly was amongst the worst mistsakes of my life thus far. Its the lowest rated TV anime on MAL for a damn good reason. I wouldnt even say watch it for a laugh. Maybe like the first 2 episodes? But thats all youll need. This is my first time writing a review so if I cocked up anywhere let me know. Thanks.
1 /100
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