For me, watching adaptation can be a rather tricky, especially when I’m familiar with the source material. Even more especially if said source material is a video game. I said this because, at times, it almost impossible for me to judge an adaptation solely on how its well adapted and how it was presented to the newcomer of the franchise, should they decided to stay faithful to the source material. Any good points I thought the adaptation have is either reflective of the source or just my prior emotional investment/engagement to the video game, most of the time. However nonetheless, its always an interesting to see newcomers reaction to it.
Case in point: The recent God Eater adaptation. There’s always a certain worry in me for how all of this going to down. Is it going to look ugly? Are they going to butcher the story? Are the characters going to be well presented? Of course, there’s only been first episode aired so its still too early to tell which one’s going to come true or not.
And judging from that first episode that I saw, well, I’d say it does a decent job on things. Renka isn’t much of a protagonist right now,, though there’s potential for him. The aesthetic is something that I still getting used to, but it does capture a sense of “dark” atmosphere. Although the direction choice, namely the freeze frame, is honestly seems like the director try to look cool but ended up distracting instead, the action are quite cool enough.
But, the second I turn around to twitter however, much of the respond turns out on how either the story isn’t doesn’t quite held up or just don’t really make sense.
Now, I’d argue you could pretty much follow God Eater’s actual overarching plot quite easily since in summary its pretty much almost like Attack on Titan but with several nouns replaced. Titan = Aragami, The Military = Fenrir, and Soldiers = God Eaters (also they both feature humanity on the brink of collapse). Unfortunately, the series terminology is proving to be a challenge to know what’s going on which, in retrospect, yeah, I thought the anime is pretty bad at explaining. The setting itself are also poorly establish. The intention it seems was so that either the anime could jump immediately into the action and plot or the anime are just going to target pre-existing fanbase. Exposition may not always be pretty (though that depends how you go around it), but is necessary to understand for both set up and laying out what’s at stake, and what little the anime have is restricted to flashback scenes and images that really have no context whatsoever. 😦
So, I decided to take it upon myself to explain all the basics of it. While i’m pretty sure newcomer to the anime are pretty much minority, regardless, I’ll take a leap if there’s ever a slight chance anyone wants to understand more about the setting of the series. Plus, I think its interesting to share.
Don’t worry though, the world-building jargon aren’t as heavy or complicated like in the Nasuverse or the Blazblue franchise.
Alright, lets start with the terminology on the synopsis. Aragami: They’re the monster that our heroes oppose. Instead of the regular biological cell living being has, they have
Oracle Cell: A mysterious cell that sole intent was to devour other cell in its wake, both biological and non-biological. Also, they’re capable of regenerating themselves, so the only way to kill Aragami would be to take their “core”. What’s interesting is for each substance they’re devoured, the Aragami themselves also evolve into variety of form (think of it like Digimon). One even has the form of a frickin tank!
Okay, so if Oracle Cell is capable of devouring anything, what stop them from devouring one another? That would be the job of
Bias Factor: A biological mechanism inside Aragami in order to prevent such case. For convenience sake, think of it as an antivirus.
So at this moment, human beings thought to themselves, “Why don’t we try to take the core inside and convert them to a weapon for our cause?”. And that weapon is
God Arc: Which is the blade and gun thingy our heroes carry around, crafted by using Aragami’s Oracle Cell Core. The only way to control the God Arcs is to administer Bias Factor on to our heroes. But, not all of human are compatible with it, which is why there’s a need to conduct adaptive test (the one our protagonist went through in the early parts of the episode). Those who succeed in the test are given a bracelet which regularly inject Bias Factor (which also enhance your physical capabilities) and becomes God Eater. So if its busted, the Oracle Cell inside the God Arc will started devour them.
Okay, so what’s with all of the New-Type fuss going on with our protagonist? Well, usually a God Eater’s God Arc can only be either a gun or a blade. But, there’s a new form of God Arc that can change form between both, but the ones compatible with such God Arcs are a rare breed. Hence why, those who do compatible are called New-Type.
Welp, I think I cover the basic. Hopefully, this will help in understanding the setting more for newcomer who are interested in the anime. Even more hopefully though, the anime will start to make itself understandable in the future. ^ ^