When it comes to anime and CG, the two often go together like oil and water. They produce some decidedly off-putting results that lead to tense viewing. Exception Although it is an interesting case. It features character designs by one of the most established artists in the world of games and anime, Yoshitaka Amano, except he doesn’t use traditional animation to bring them to life. Instead, this sci-fi horror thread relies on animation reminiscent of the Flash or the newly animated Arcane for weird, hyper-stylized humans in a spaceship looking for a suitable replacement for Earth. In this case, the weird aesthetic works in the show’s favor, and an intriguing first episode and stellar voice cast make it one to watch.
EXCEPTION: TRANSMIT IT OR SKIP IT?
Opening shot: We see the infinity of the universe, black, still and full of stars before a meteor flashes across the screen, revealing a cacophony of colors and zooming in on what appears to be a massive star or planet. Its light is blinding as it hits the screen in a white flash.
The essence: In the distant future, humanity has been forced to abandon its home on Earth. The entire population must move to a different star system, one where there is a planet suitable for terraforming. The crew has been recreated from what appeared to be living, breathing humans prior to their journey through space.
Their new bodies, created with a biological 3D printer called The Womb, retain the memories and DNA of their former selves, but neither Nina (Ali Hillis) nor Mack (Robbie Daymond) are deluded into thinking they are the “same” people. they were when their memories were backed up, just recreations. However, the similarities are impeccable, and his teammate Oscar (Eugene Byrd) is especially impressed with his new body since his cavities have disappeared.
The crew heads to Planet X-10 on a journey that took about a week to start, but will end up taking much longer to complete the overall mission. Interestingly, the “real selves” of the crew travel on a migrant ship from Earth in cryosleep while their copies work on the spaceship. One by one, the team members are recreated: Nina, Mack, Oscar, Patty (Nadine Nicole), and then Lewis (Nolan North).
While Lewis is in the middle of printing, the ship encounters a devastating solar flare that disrupts the printing process and causes some problems. When all is said and done, it is revealed that the system malfunction has caused the final member, Lewis, to come out disfigured. The crew must decide whether to sacrifice him and start over for the good of the mission, or grow new cells and confront Lewis as he is…until things go wrong.
What shows will it remind you of? it is difficult to compare Exception to other anime series, because it really seems to stand on its own for many reasons. There are parts that bring back the fantasy sci-fi movie from the 70s. fantastic planet to mind, as if mixed with a little Heavy metal either metal hurler with classic Final Fantasy designs, to By hand.
Our take: This sci-fi vignette sets the stage for one of the most original stories we’ve seen from the genre in a long time. It comes straight from the pages of your favorite classic sci-fi novel, and revels in its weirdness. Just when you think you know what’s going to happen, he surprises you with something you didn’t expect.
For example, it’s easy to assume that the ship’s crew were recreated because the original humans died, but the added wrinkle that their true selves are alive has disturbing implications. Are these living, breathing people going to die when the migrant ship reaches its intended new planet? What is life and who can decide where a clone can live? These are heady questions that Exception presents, but it doesn’t compel the audience; however, they will be in the back of your mind as you go.
Further away, Exception it is a visually striking party. It may not look anything like what you’re used to in the anime world, but it’s a treat for the eyes and infused with non-traditional design. Everything about Exception It’s otherworldly, top to bottom. Most of it is due to legendary character designer Yoshitaka Amano, who was responsible for bringing the cast to life, but there is a haunting unease that permeates nearly every part of the series.
It’s kind of a fun weirdness that we don’t see enough of in western or anime series, and I’m glad to see no effort was made to bring this story to fruition.
Sex and skin: None to speak. Just some spooky space and sci-fi drama here, with a deformed 3D printed person. Nothing to worry about.
Parting shot: We see the huge dragonfly-shaped spaceship with its glowing wings flying through space as a new impression of Nina emerges, saying “I’m human.” Where will things go from here? It’s hard to tell, but it certainly won’t be boring.
sleeping star: Nadine Nicole as Patty is a welcome and refreshing voice with a touch of uniqueness that you don’t hear enough of in anime. In an industry where we hear the same actors over and over again, Nicole brings the sci-fi believability of her role in The Expanse a Exception in a way that feels like a natural career progression for her. . She acts as a dissonant voice on what the team should do with the Lewis that was printed in “mistake,” which also adds an interesting twist to the story.
Most of the Pilot-y line: “We were chosen and given special permission to be imprinted by the Womb,” Nina says of the team that exists alongside her “real” self. “We were selected because we were the most qualified. So we have to make Planet X-10 a comfortable place to live before [the migrants] arrive.” That’s Exception in a nutshell, at least before the complications start.
Our call: TRANSMIT IT. Take a look, Exception it might be a bit strange to some based on its aesthetic alone. But it has an extremely compelling premise, a great cast of veteran voice actors, and Amano’s magic to tie it all together. It will disturb you, captivate you, and most importantly, make you think. And that’s what all good science fiction should be doing, after all.
Brittany Vincent has been covering video games and technology for over a decade for publications like G4, Popular Science, Playboy, Variety, IGN, GamesRadar, Polygon, Kotaku, Maxim, GameSpot, and more. When she’s not writing or gaming, she collects retro consoles and tech. Follow her on Twitter: @MolotovCupcake.