In the distant future, a polluted world has been overtaken by creatures called contaminoids. Humanity must live in isolated mobile cities called Regios. We follow a mysteriously skilled fighter named Layfon Alseif, who enrolled in the Academy city of Zuellni and is immediately noticed by Nina Antalk, leader of the 17th Military Arts Unit. He then reluctantly joins her squad, uncertain of what future awaits him amidst the impending dangers of his past and of a plagued world.
Story – 4.1
The first episode certainly had its ups and downs. The beginning had you following a strange fight scene with a boy (who later turned out to be Layfon) and several other knights against a large grotesque bug, while at the same time you also watch a college kid named Layfon who is attending a military school. There was a lot of info being thrust on the poor viewer. But as the dust settled, the beginning proved exciting and when Layfon is introduced to Felli, the show took off without very many hitches.
Our story centers around the reluctant Hero Layfon and his desire to get away from fighting. Not exactly a unique story line in Anime, and Chrome Shelled Regios (even more so) didn’t hit deep chords on this statement of the Main Arc. Perhaps that’s because Layfon’s reasons were somewhat noble, and that his only crime was getting involved in gambling of sorts for this reason and striking the man who caught him short of death in an arena fight.
I think what made the most impact is the lower lesson of being honest to others, which Nina thrusts at our Hero. Not that you have to reveal everything to your friends, but when it does concern them (and to close friends it usually does), let them be a shoulder to lean on. I felt this aspect of the story hit some nice notes, and proved valuable what really many harems seem to miss in their stories: that the characters don’t improve enough where it matters.
One point that proved a mistake was the the Queen. When we first meet her, she’s pretending to be a commoner…and maybe a lesbian? I was so confused at first. No, she definitely isn’t a lesbian, but the whole giving points to how “soft” Leila is, was as awkward as it is writing about the whole thing. Worse, almost every scene with the Queen and Leila has Leila getting fondled this way, and it gets really annoying, even if it’s under the guise of being cute.
As it does turn out, the Queen has a decent reason for being weird that made up a lot of ground (I won’t divulge what it was, as that would be a spoiler). I suppose I should be complaining more, but seeing as outside of the queen the fan-service is quite subdued (not counting the brief spa scene with Nina), I won’t hit the rating too harshly here.
For a show that is presented pretty well overall, it certainly had another glaring flaw: As we follow along the story, you can’t help but notice a huge flaw in the show’s story-telling technique. Appearing randomly (and sometimes even anti-climatically), we see what looks like some TV show with a man and a strange woman who isn’t quite from the universe. Yes, there actually is a point to the mini series inside Chrome Shelled Regios, and even relates in the end with some important details. Although, dont expect to really understand much here, as Chrome Shelled Regios ends with a bunch of strings left hanging.
Since I mentioned the ending, let me explain it a little:
First, as I said previously, the show ends in a cliff-hanger of sorts. While the main arc is finished and Layfon finds an answer for his troubled past, I thought the new characters we have been seeing in the intro OPening song the whole time were hastily thrown in there. I mean, we barely get to meet the other Knights when the show ends. Adding the villain who briefly enters and leaves after getting beaten handily (though it looked cool), It was a little confusing. Honestly, you could tell there was so much more to the story left.
That being said, all the questions you might have relating to this arc were answered quite well (including the Queen’s motives) along with what looks like one of the harem following Fon Fon have given up. I thought that it was exciting and well scripted even at the last scene with Felli. The ending certainly made you excited to see who the romance would get to blossom for in the next series.
Sadly, not since the last Novel was written in 2007 has there been any new literature. It seems like poor Chrome Shelled Regios met its end while still in its prime. This kinda sucks especially hard as you really got into Fon Fon, Felli, and Leila’s futures. Still, I thought the show was great and employed a lot of fun material to keep your interest
Emotional Draw – 4.3
Chrome Shelled Regios is a classic example of why many people like romance comedies. Witty and with lots of slapstick humor (via Felli’s foot), and a romancing which appeals to everyone (even young teens). I particularly liked the way the characters were presented, from Felli’s over-analytical nature, to Nina’s uber competitiveness. Many of the empathetic scenes were great (with Nina in the English Dub being the only exception) and hit the right notes (even when silent) when it needed to.
My two disappointments were Nina and the last battle. Nina has a significant role in the story. It’s she that really gets Layfon involved and it is she who unleashes the spirit android that hastens the ending. Despite being around Layfon enough, I felt in the English Dub that her really more empathetic moments all hit flat, try as I might to get into it. The ending battle also was a little rushed via convenience, and missed knocking your socks off by that much.
Speaking of Harems, Chrome Shelled Regios’ female cast is a lovely one at that both literally and figuratively. From Nina, to Leila, to Felli, and (reporters friend), there is a lot of delightful tension going on that comes off innocently. My favorite episode is when Felli wants to learn to swim. Her hidden jealously was funny to watch and Fon Fon (Layfon) was rightfully a gentleman in how he treats all the girls. It really felt like a bunch of friends at the pool and I thought this made a huge impact on how much the viewer was able to feel like he could be there too. As with all good shows, people of best interest are clothed and act modestly, making it hard whom to pick sides for. Especially when Felli gets that job (Totally a spoiler if I say)!
I felt that every episode had its charming moment and that as we near the end of the story, stories like Nina’s dilemma or Felli’s feeling left alone hit very well. When Leila returns and meets Fon Fon, all kinds of really neat and powerful feelings are exposed (visibly or implied), really making that ending great. Another one of my favorite scenes was (Felli’s getting a piggyback ride). Fon Fon was so funny and Felli’s obvious jealousy was very touching (and funny). But perhaps of all my favorite scenes, I’d still have to say its when Fon Fon first meets Felli. Her serious mood as she’s fake cursing into the water dome makes me laugh just writing this. Ha Ha!
Ah! Chrome Shelled Regios is innocent fun.
Characters – 4.1
Layfon (Or Fon Fon as I prefer) – 4.8
The main character in the show, Layfon’s voice acting is comfortably well done, and he particularly hit off well with Felli. Throughout the show, Fon Fon’s thoughtful personally hit off very nicely, like when he finds out who gave him those snacks he eats, and probably made his chemistry with the girls that much better. I liked his consistent character throughout the show and I felt he made for one cool Hero. Especially since he doesn’t like fighting!
Leila is an oddball. Clearly she’s in love with Layfon, and her personality was fairly consistent throughout the show. While I thought her character slightly marred at the end, Leila fit well the childhood friend who thinks she has a sweetheart.
Nina – 3.2
Probably closest to how a feminist see of themselves, Nina comes off energetic and serious. Her tom-boyish personality comes off very telling when she flowers half way in the show, and I perceived her moment of confidence in this came off very powerful. You really get into her character after this point and her story I thought rewarded the viewer very nicely. A well done heroine.
Felli – 5.0
From the first moment I met Felli, I was instantly attached to the show. Her ridged expressions from too much information being crammed in her head instantly grabbed your empathy. I like how she struggles to find her identity as a woman while at the same time deal with her brother’s attempt to use her and Fon Fon. Those things made a compelling, yet sad, look at the gifted, and she drew a very nice look at how romance should be presented: sane and proper. A well done character for a very fun show.
Creativity – 4.7
Chrome Shelled Regios follows a Shonen feel in making everything grand. However, I feel that some people might lose interest by the whole bug-fight in general as they did appear sorta dorky. That being said, much of the choreography was excellent and the fighting quite fun to watch.
Bugs are gross in general, and these are over sized cockroaches that also have special abilities. Eeww. It certainly made you understand why some people would be terrified of the creatures. Overall with the desolate landscape, the show presents a simplistic tragic world, while spending gratuitous time on the elements inside the Regios and any of the living things in the world. Very nice to look at and I loved the silly drawings to make the characters cute as they helped nail the emotions of the scene (whether pure humor or not).
The weapon DITE (small transformable devices when unused that turn into a weapon upon the user activating it by saying “Restoration”) was also an interesting idea, and kinda reminded me of lightsabers…and who doesn’t like a good lightsaber battle? I thought the choreography was fairly decent and didn’t hurt the show much. Definitely over time the fighting scenes had more thought and that ending episode was pretty sweet.
The music was especially good for a show, and I felt that this helped those moments of empathy hit off very well. In particular, some of the ending songs (or ED) helped finalize what you saw. Fight music was fittingly retro, almost a 90’s feel, and made the heroes using those cool swords seem that much more legit.
Each of the Regios have their own Electronic Fairy which besides controlling the motions of the Regios apparently can not only think somewhat independently, but can also take grudges when its home is destroyed. Not exactly explained, but the idea was cool enough to give the story a boost early on (they might be related to the alternate universe we are briefly introduced to. Although this is just a guess).
Grade Overall – 4.26
(Chrome Shelled Regios is a great romantic comedy that adds great fight scenes.)