Asura Cryin Season One

Asura Cryin is a show in need of an identity. Is it a comedy, a drama about high school life, a mecha fighter, or what? While it includes a little of everything, I think it's a plot convoluted harem anime at its core, but the pieces don't really fall into place until three quarters through the first season (13 episodes).

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What's kind of cool about this show is that it throws a lot at you at once, and the only people who are unaware of what's really going on are the main protagonist, his ghostly companion, and you - the audience. Everyone else is completely knowledgeable, and only scraps of the big picture are given out to us each episode. If you have the patience, it's really interesting to watch the story unfold.

It all starts with the central character, Tomoharu Natsume, and Misao, a female ghost that follows him around. In the first episode, you get a vague sense that his brother is someone important and that suitcase given to him to safeguard carries some sorta secret. That secret is that it contains a giant mecha that binds to him, and the good times roll on. More details get revealed about how these mechas work, and there's an ominous mood that pervades the attitudes of all the characters that get introduced from then on.

The characters seem to have good depth, and their stories get flushed out over the course of the series, but it seems to me that their personalities are very fickle. Despite the fact that most of them attend the same school, in one episode, they will be plotting each other's deaths, while in another, they are enjoying friendly conversions at a beach. It makes very little sense to me, but o well.

Pros: Plays out like a sci-fi mystery novel.
Cons: The characters have short memories I guess; enemies become friends too quickly.

Kenholic rating: 5 out of 10 (Nothing extraordinary, but not bad either.)