Series Review: Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse (9/10)

Instant Summary: A Japanese-American pilot of giant alien-killing mechs transferred to a Alaskan Military base, and goes under the command of another Japanese elite pilot.

The Muv-Luv title begans with an eroge, and the very brief trailers and promotional pics leave only one impression: that the title is full of girls with HUGE tits in skin-tight jumpsuits. Naturally, I had the impression that this is a fanservice title with a mecha twist.

The image was shattered with the first two episodes. Total Eclipse is a bloody, gruesome title with tons of violence, blood and actual character deaths. So yeah, it's way darker than the name and promotion suggests. But at the same time it's what made the show fantastic. The level of violence is on par with some of the top mecha titles, and they actually made the battles and actions look really pretty, although the aliens can look awkward sometimes. There's a lot of emphasis on serious combat and realistic strategy, so yeah, you're not going to expect a fun-and-games Bootylicious Space Pirates. Which was shit.

To be honest, the early episodes kinda sucked, because we know little to nothing about the most important characters (like Inia and Cryska) and everyone is a complete dick to each other. The good thing is that the characters and story soon flowed to what Muv-Luv is really all about: harem, fanservice, blushing heroines, uncontrollable teenage romance (although none of them are really teenagers anymore). The amount of character development is a little surprising because no one really cares about it anymore these days. Together with the kickass action, it all makes a fabulous combination.

And there's surprisingly little focus on the fanservice. Well, they're not totally pandering it anyway. But they did make almost all the girls extremely HUGE and clad them in the skin-tight suit half the time. I suppose you'll call it subtle.

With a bit of research, it seems that the universe and story of Muv-Luv Alternative is as big as their bre- I mean, pretty fucking huge as well. I can't wait to see their next installment of Muv-Luv Alternative, even if they're heading for another side of the story.

Plot/Concept: Huge, expansive and a fabulous combination.
Story Style: An old-school harem development that actually worked out really well.
Audio/Visual: Fantastic VA work and action scenes. Animation can get a little wonky at times, but forgivable.
Value: 9

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