Boy I sure can’t wait for all the people saying how much this adaptation sucks in comparison to the source material and how they are clearly an expert on how good the source material is because they read a fan-translated Let’s Play of the game released sporadically on an internet forum. Because that’s clearly the sort of person I should be listening to for quality judgements on the game.
(Yes yes I know, there was recently an English patch released for the game, but you can’t seriously tell me all you guys actually bought a PSP back when it was in stock)
Before I get into the meat of the episode, let me just say that the opening scene is fucking great. Weird 2D monobear giggles silently to itself and it locks a kid tied to a chair into a rocket, blasts it up into space alongside cardboard cut-outs of the moon and the stars, crashes down again to reveal a cartoony pile of bones as the bear continues to shake with glee. Sets the tone perfectly for what’s about to come: A ridiculous cartoony version of Saw.
What I dig most about the show is how much they boil character traits down to the purest form. It’s a great example of how design fits the narrative. They essentially built the entire story around bringing in the biggest stereotypes in every division, then exaggerating their stereotypes even further in every way they could think of. I really love how silly the character designs are, and not just because it makes them easy to tell apart for once. One look at the biker dude and you’ll never forget who he is or what his shtick is. Same with the man who looks like he swallowed a hot air balloon, or the girl who wouldn’t look out of place in Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure. It’s weirdly fascinating on an intellectual level to build these purified forms of stereotypes and then pit them against each other.
The actual plot is cliche’d as hell, but it serves the purpose of pitting the characters against each other in a way that involves their personalities clashing. It’s a clever format that suits what they’re going for. Stick them on an island, Battle Royale style, and it wouldn’t force them into the close confines their current situation does. From reading people’s impressions of the
game fan-translated Let’s Play posted on a forum, I find it bizarre that folks apparently get genuinely attached to these characters. They’re not even people, they’re just representations of archetypes and single personality traits. It isn’t designed like a traditional story at all, and I’m struggling to see how you could get attached to anyone. But eh, we’ll see on that front. I’m pretty stoked by this first episode.