A.I.C.O. Incarnation

A.I.C.O. Incarnation (2018)

Netflix has allowed me access to a few newer shows in a timeframe that’s about 50% faster than my usual average of something like “2 years after a series even hits DVD” – and so this time around it’s nice to only be about 1 year (give or take) behind everyone else 😀

And thus, I’ve now also seen A.I.C.O and a few others on the platform and they’ve each been typically high quality in terms of animation (and this one by Bones is no exception there) but the series didn’t blow me away.

Nor did I feel it was ‘bad’ at all. There were a few elements that maybe didn’t match the level of the animation for me, but the show was still compelling and even tense, at times. (They even split the fan service kinda evenly across the male and female characters).

Where A.I.C.O. Incarnation drops a little for me is the lead character Aiko’s passivity – to some extent, she’s kept in the dark for a lot of the series (so the audience can be placed in a similar position of course) and though she’s generally cheerful and at times full of resolve, it was a shame she didn’t get to take control much.

There were a few times where I imagine the manga did a better job of introducing some of the supporting cast and world-building, and perhaps there was also missed opportunity to go a little further into the central conflict of personhood.

On the other hand, aside from the great animation, Aiko herself has a design that seems usually reserved for antagonists/creatures, with her red eyes and dark hair, which was an interesting tweak I thought. The other stand out for me was the Beetle, which is pretty ace – the design of most of the vehicles has a really flexible sorta structure actually, which is a nice bit of attention to detail re: the kind of terrain the characters must traverse in order to save Japan from the encroaching ‘matter’ that threatens them all.

In the end I thought A.I.C.O had a great mix of moe elements, action sequences and twists but also character/weapon/vehicle design, so it’s a good near-future sci-fi if that’s your kinda show.

3 Stars

(Director Kazuya Murata has been involved (in one way or another) in a fair few great projects over the years, from Ocean Waves, Beserk, Eureka Seven, FMA (2011), Porco Rosso, Gunsmith Cats, Xam’d and even Shemnu II for the Dreamcast :D)

5 thoughts on “A.I.C.O. Incarnation

  1. I didn’t know the director worked on Gunsmith Cats and Shenmue II. Wow! I did see this anime floating around on Netflix, but I haven’t seen it. That’s a bit of a bummer how it’s not one of Bones’s better works out there. It’s been a long time since I watched anything from that studio, but one series I might check out again would be Kurau: Phantom Memory.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes! Sometimes those connections are part of the most fun, huh? I’m thinking of doing a ‘Sega Anime’ post one day, highlighting a few things they’ve been involved with over the years 🙂

      Maybe check this one out, especially as it’s already on Netflix and won’t need to be hunted down. And I actually started Kurau: Phantom Memory a couple of weeks ago, enjoying it too!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I know, right? That’s a fun thing for me to research these things and I usually incorporate them into my fun facts section. Sega anime? Ooh! That could be fascinating. You could have the first Sonic movie, Gungrave, Virtua Fighter, or the Sakura Wars series to kick that off. Speaking of Sega, I’m still surprised they helped make Patapata Hikousen no Bouken even though it’s not a game nor did it ever become one. I owned a Genesis (or Mega Drive as it’s called in most places outside America) and Dreamcast as a kid, so that company does have a history with me. Haha!

        Sure thing and you’re right about that. You’re watching Kurau, too? Wow! I swear we know a lot about the same anime and have similar tastes. Hahaha!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Been meaning to come back to this thread for a while now, sorry!

          I feel like they were almost stealth-involved in a lot of things I’ve missed, I think they even helped out with NGE a little? And yes! I remember the Megadrive, it felt like such a massive leap up after the Master System. Sonic 2 was insane to my 10-year old’s brain 😀

          I wish the Dreamcast had survived longer though! And yes, I stumbled across ‘Kurau…’ and saw the first episode or two before getting distracted but was definitely enjoying it 🙂

          Liked by 1 person

          • It’s alright. I understand.

            That sounds right about Sega. I think they’ve helped out in anime more than people give credit for. Haha! NGE, too? Really? I would’ve never guessed. I never played the Master, but I certainly played the Genesis/Mega Drive a bunch. Same here with the old-school Sonic games. Sonic used to be one of my favorite game characters, and I watched the old cartoons and read the comics.

            I know, right? There were so many good games on it and it was way advanced for it’s time with the graphics and for being the first system to support online gameplay before it became standard for the industry. If Seganet was still a thing, I’m sure you would still have people playing Phantasy Star Online or maybe Chu Chu Rocket to this day.

            I see. That would be something I could rewatch. I felt like it’s unknown as far as Bones’s work is concerned.

            Liked by 1 person

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