Ben Moscrop hasn't written a profile yet. That's ruddy mysterious...
Noein Vol. 2
Distributor Manga Entertainment
Sci-Fi stories dealing with time travel and alternate dimensions are usually very dangerous endeavours. They’re either full of brilliantly cunning twists or catastrophic victims of their own grand ambitions. Which side Noein will fall is still unclear at this stage but nevertheless, it’s really quite interesting and a damn pleasure on the eyes.
After squinting through most of volume 1 trying to figure out what in the hell was going on, volume 2 begins at a slightly more agreeable pace. We’re introduced to the future dimension that Karasu and the other agents (known as the Dragon Knights) are from, called La’Cryma and during Haruka’s captivity here, we learn that some of her abductors are actually future alternates of her high school friends; Probably the most significant of which is that Karasu is in fact (if you hadn’t guessed from Vol. 1) Yu.
And so the pieces begin to come together, kind of...
The first couple of episodes are actually superb and probably the best out of the two volumes so far, with some fantastic visuals of the Dragon Knights battling some beautifully rendered creatures from a dimension known as Shangri'la. Exactly who (or what) these creatures are and why they’re attacking is still unknown but it’s obvious that the Dragon Torque (which we’ve learnt at this stage is Haruka) is key to stopping their inter-dimensional wave of destruction. It’s all very ‘end of the world’ stuff and bears more than a slight resemblance to Evangelion in many ways.
Unfortunately, the other two episodes are nowhere near on a par with the beginning of the volume. We learn nothing particularly significant about the story and there’s no action to keep you gripped. Instead, the focus is brought back to Haruka’s unbelievably miserable and depressive friend Yu and his identity struggles with his overbearing mother. Personally, the prospect of having to sit through another series, listening to *yet another* angst-filled, whiny teen doesn’t fill me with a huge amount of joy. On the flip side, we do get to see some history into why his mother is the hateful cow that she is, so perhaps I’m being harsh.
If that wasn’t enough for the poor kid, he’s also forced into a meeting with his future self which leads to some heated words and more... well, whining. (Now I’ve watched enough Back to the Future to know that this can’t be a good thing but I suppose time will tell!)
All in all then, it’s a bit of a mixed bag. I’m certainly not put off just yet and you shouldn’t be either. It’s really a great looking anime and has all the hallmarks of a great Sci-Fi action show. If the story can keep itself together (and Yu can keep his whingeing to a minimum) then we could have a winner.
Just some trailers for more of Manga’s catalogue; Naruto, Hellboy: Sword of Storms, Gits:SAC, Karas and Highlander.
Some of the best initial episodes so far but the last two are a bit of a let down. Still worth persevering though.