For those of you who don’t know who Togashi Yoshihiro is he is the mastermind behind Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter, which two of the finest shounen series you will find around. He is also none other than the creator of Level E, a series that ran in Shounen Jump from 1995-1997 in between those two respective titles. Since this series originally ran in the mid 90’s it should give this anime a cool classic feel to it and it will also give this anime an end point so we don’t have to get the annoying open ending that most current anime seem to leave us with. Level E focus’ on more comedy than those shounen battle manga, which gives Level E a much more unique feeling to it. I haven’t read the manga, but being a huge fan of Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter x Hunter, I am excited to see how this sci-fi comedy runs its course.
The first episode starts off with introducing us to a rare bread of protagonist, city boy going to the rural country side. While I find his character interesting an unique in that prospective, the show doesn’t really start until we meet Prince, the alien that invaded his new apartment, whose name isn’t actually mentioned. Knowing practically nothing about the show this encounter thew me through a loop. I was not expecting there to be so much comedy, but it felt so natural I couldn’t help but enjoy every minute of Prince and Yukitaka’s interactions. Doing the fake alien voice was something I haven’t seen in many years. When Yukitaka started playing with the device, ultimately blowing up the space pod, I couldn’t stop laughing. Following straight into an overly exaggerated funeral of some random Japanese Self Defense Force soldier gives us a good base line for the great comedy we will most likely find in the anime.
As the episode progresses and Yukitaka starts to believe that this is really true, the show gets much more interesting. Story wise I am curious to see how it evolves. I don’t know if it will keep on its current comedic route or blend into an X-Files x Men in Black route and have more aliens come into the mix, but so far the story holds a lot of weight. Even if it keeps on its current course, I think this anime will be tremendously funny. However, the ending added a stark realism to it when we saw his original form, which took away from the usual human-type aliens we tend to see.
Level E is set to be 12 episodes, and while I haven’t read the manga, the opening episode was very promising. This anime is literally a blast from the past and I would expect a lot of old school sci-fi references, like ET. This sci-fi comedy is unique and should offer a very original experience that might very well be the best anime to air during the Winter 2011 anime season. I mean come on, any show that stars a psychotic puppet wielding alien is bound to be absolutely hilarious.