Anime Meta-Review


Saber Marionette J to X


By Date




Title Info

  • seen: 1-10 of 26
  • type: TV
  • grade: flawed
  • people: Hayashibara
  • made: unknown
  • Review created: Recently, but I didn't record the date.
  • mod: none

Yes! It's more wacky fun with those crazy saber-marionettes and their long suffering master Otaru. Watch as those crazy mechanical girls get into one humorous predicament after another! Watch as a successful anime series spawns a pale shadow of a sequel...oops, got honest again there. This show carries on the world of Saber Marionette after the events of Saber Marionette J and Saber Marionette J Again. The first female clones are growing, and some villainous types want to either steal or destroy them, but by and large everything is peaceful. Thus we get a number of stories which attempt to explore the characters, and their reactions to life in Terra II.

This was an element of the first SMJ series, but the difference is quite profound. In addition to generally weaker writing it must fight with the fact that none of it matters. In SMJ the exploring the world aspect was vital to the growth of both the marionettes and the plot. Meanwhile the story began to wind up to an epic scope. Here the marionettes have matured, achieved the aim they were made for, and brought peace to the why do we still care about their daily lives? Thus both the individual stories and the deeper plot fail to have too much effect. Perhaps a cool plot does develop, but given that there is little sign of it 10 episodes in much patience is required to find out. The plot also feels fairly artificial, as there are many ways the characters could make the plot irrelevant. Indeed all the characters appear to have regressed from the state achieved during SMJ, probably due to the poor writing. The show is also quite willing to allow illogical story elements, or elements that conflict with the earlier series, in order to try to hammer home a story...which doesn't work. As an example Cherry breast feeding a child is very sweet as an image, but mind-bendingly illogical from any other angle.

Likewise the animation, production quality and action are all significantly reduced from SMJ. The unusual technical, world and character design lingers on, but isn't really used well or maintained by this series. Indeed the action, which used to be a good part of the fun (the marionettes are way tough) is both reduced in scope, power and visual impressiveness. There is some use of computer graphics in places, which is almost always unsuccessful to the point of being unsettling. The attempt to do touching and cute stories is greatly harmed by the less impressive character animation and some dodgy dialog. The voice actors are good (inherited from the other series) but not used to best ability. The music is fine, but nowhere near as catchy. In essence this is watchable, but you'd be much better off just watching SMJ again.


Words by Andrew Shelton, Web by Ticti, Last Compile: Wed Aug 5 12:39:24 WST 2009