Review by: Brenda Gregson
Publisher: FUNimation Entertainment
MSRP: $64.98 US
Running Time: 300 minutes
Rating: TV MA
Release Date: Available Now
Welcome to the academy of the best bug exterminators around.
Chrome Shelled Regios is one of those series that plays up the action well enough but its strength can be found in its characters and the healthy dose of comedic moments that makes this series something of a surprising treat. Part One of the series introduces us to a world overrun by an infestation of insect-like monsters and the people who fight them and trust me when I say that you’ll find a lot to like about this series.
In a world that has become a desert wasteland where people are forced to live in cities that shield its inhabitants from the lethal air of the wastes, we find a group of men and women who fight monsters known as Contaminoids. They are the Heaven’s Blade who are testing a young new recruit who possesses a talent for fighting as well as a power that impresses the very Keepers of this organization. It is this young man of mystery who rips into the swarm in a swift movement that almost makes him seem as though he were gliding through the air.
Suddenly, we are whisked away to another time where a beautiful young Military Arts academy cadet is nearly killed during a supervised mission. She is Nina Antalk, leader of the 17th Platoon, a headstrong young woman who – at the moment – is now looking for a new member of the squad. It is on a warm day in the walking city of Zuellni (I’ll explain later) that a handsome young man named Layfon Alseif walks into the academy and becomes a part of the 17th Platoon after Nina witnesses Layfon rescue a girl from two fighting students.
Layfon discovers that the 17th Platoon is made up of some talented cadets that include a hunky sniper named Sharnid Elipton, a gear head named Harley Sutton and a cute white-haired Neni Operator (a kind of telepath) named Felli Loss. He also befriends three girls with one of them – the shy May-shen Trinden – becoming instantly smitten by him after having been saved by Layfon that very day he arrived. He seems to be a perfect fit for the squad and the Zuellni Academic city.
However, this isn’t the case as far as Nina is concerned when she comes to find out that Layfon is a lot more powerful and skilled then he originally let on when they first met. He proves himself during an academy competition against another platoon as Layfon unleashes a power he chose to keep hidden. As a result, Nina finds herself at odds with this mysterious young man and even though they even work together outside of class, she feels that he’s unique and maybe even superhuman.
We also meet a girl named Leerin Marfes who, in another city, continues to write to Layfon. She is the link to the young man’s past but she’s more than that as a sexy older woman named Shinora Aleisra finds out. You see, this pervy boob-grabbing woman is a Queen connected to the Heaven’s Blade. Exactly what she wants with Leerin (aside from groping the poor girl) is not yet clear but it makes it clear that Leerin is being targeted by enemies also linked to Layfon.
Meanwhile, Layfon finds himself dealing with being something of a star thanks to his performances during each competition. He also takes part in everyday life in the city that includes hanging out with platoon members like Sharnid who takes him to a maid café where Felli works. Speaking of Felli, Layfon becomes comfortable speaking to Felli and hangs out with her so often that it becomes obvious that the girl develops a crush on him. At the same time, May-shen tries her best to overcome her incredible shyness as her two friends try to help her win Layfon’s heart.
Of course, not everyday is a fun day at the academy, although there’s a pleasant trip to a resort spa that is more an excuse to see all the female characters in bikinis. Still, since Zuellni is a city built on support beams that bend to make it a moving city, there’s a massive Contaminoid swarm that attacks the very support beams and thus threaten the entire city. However, Nina becomes aware that the heads of the academy have sent Layfon to slay the Contaminoid mother all on his own and this doesn’t sit well with the 17th Platoon’s leader.
When a young man named Gorneo and his subordinate from the 5th Platoon join the Nina and the others on a mission, Gorneo reveals the truth about Layfon’s past and why he’s in Zuellni. We also discover why this man despises Layfon so much but – during their mission – they all find out that there are bigger problems ahead of them such as the robed assailants looking for the spirit of a deserted city.
There’s more drama as the 17th Platoon also prepares for another competitive battle, this time going up against a platoon that knows Sharnid well. The series handles the drama well and the action scenes are actually exciting and bloody. What makes the story all the more fun to watch, though, is its good sense of humor. Felli is the source of much of the comical moments in the series.
Part One of Chrome Shelled Regios introduces us to an action series with a lot to like including a solid cast of characters and a good sense of humor that keeps things fun. Sure, it doesn’t do anything we haven’t seen before in other series like it but if you’re looking for a guaranteed good time then Part One will certainly not disappoint in that front. Thankfully, FUNimation also released Part Two simultaneously because if it’s as good as Part One we can seriously see ourselves considering it a new favorite.
DVD REVIEW BREAKDOWN
In a world that is overrun by monsters called Contaminoids; the moving city of Zuellni welcomes a young man named Layfon who joins the 17th Platoon of the Military Arts academy. Little by little, the members of the platoon begin to realize that there’s more to Layfon than meets the eye as the young man displays a power that makes him seem almost inhuman. Meanwhile, the competition heats up for the 17th Platoon and Layfon and his squad mates start acting like a real team.
VIDEO QUALITY: B+
The animation isn’t anything new but at least it handles the visual comical bits perfectly and the action does come off as intense and somewhat bloody at times. There’s also some fan service moments as well.
AUDIO QUALITY: A
The Japanese voice cast is top notch and makes for a very enjoyable viewing experience and even more so seeing as Mai Nakahara, Ayahi Takagaki and Mikako Takahashi also lend their voices to different versions of the closing theme songs. The English dub is not bad at all thanks to talents like Brina Palencia and Todd Haberkorn. There’s a great soundtrack as well with cool opening and closing theme songs.
The extras consist of FUNimation trailers, the textless opening theme song and all five textless versions of the closing theme songs. That’s about all you can expect from the extra features.
While it doesn’t push the genre to new heights, Part One of Chrome Shelled Regios is still a solid action series that actually has a good sense of humor and a collection of amusing characters that make this an action anime series worthy of viewing. Part One is actually a good start to this series so we’re glad FUNimation decided to release Part Two at the same time.
Review copy provided by FUNimation Entertainment