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Erik Scott Kimerer,
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Swords and sorcery meet high technology on an alien planet.
This anime series is set on a planet that is not Earth. Most of the planet is desert with poisoned air. There are nomadic cities (called Regios) that travel across the deserts searching for minerals and water. Cities are all walled and fortified, but some have large, skilled military contingents; others do not. The cities share the desert with Contaminoids (Funimation's translation of 'filth monsters' in the Japanese), which have three life stages, and seem to enjoy killing any normal organic life.
Layfon was a Keeper of the Heaven's Blades in the military city of Glendan. That is, he was one of the most elite fighters in a city dominated by the military arts. He leaves Glendan (in disgrace, we later find out) and moves to the academic city of Zuellni. He hopes to found a life for himself in business, and never do any military activity again.
Unfortunately, Kalian Loss, the president of the student council, dragoons Layfon into the small military arts section of the university. As much as he tries, Layfon cannot hide his facility at using all three types of the magical energy kei: external (projectile weapons), internal (for rapid healing), psychokinetic (for telepathy, clairvoyance, and telekinesis).
Layfon is inserted into the 17th platoon. To help with expenses, he works at night cleaning and maintaining some machine works with Nina Antalk, who is also his platoon's leader. Kalian's sister Felli is an adept at using psychokinetic kei, and Layfon has many interactions with her.
Over the course of the series 24 episodes, Layfon and Nina get to know one another; Felli and Layfon do as well. The 17th platoon gains status as Layfon merges into the team and starts to show his talents. The Contaminoids wreak all sorts of destruction, including killing every human in one of the Regios. Extermination of a city releases the 'electronic spirit' associated with the city; the spirit is then called a Fallen One. The Fallen Ones create all sorts of destruction.
In Glendan, the Queen charges Leerin (Layfon's childhood friend from a common orphanage) to take a Heaven's Blade to Layfon. Leerin is monumentally bad at doing this.
So...do the romances (Layfon and Felli, Layfon and Nina, Layfon and Leerin) get anywhere during the series? Will the Fallen Ones be helped to find rest? Will the Contaminoids destroy any more cities? Will Layfon stay in Zuellni, or return to Glendan?
Art: 8/10 The episodes consistently look good.
Sound: 3/10 Oh, ouch! One needs to crank the sound up to hear the dialog, then return it close to mute to survive the music during the opening and closing credits and the mid-episode inter-titles.
Voice acting: 7/10 The voice performances for Layfon, Nina, Kalian, the Queen of Glendan, and the Queen's agents were rather good. However, many of the lesser female characters had annoyingly screeching voice registers, and were hard to understand. I recommend using subtitles, even if one has an English version playing.
Story: 6/10 There are several themes in the series that I did not refer to above, and at least two dozen named characters. Some of the themes basically went nowhere, either because they were abandoned or because they were underdeveloped. It also seemed to me that there were entirely too many characters.
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