Thoughts on Level E

I watched and finished Level E in the span of a few days. Being an excellent show, I found two interesting things about it:

First, it completely went under my radar. Level E had a very unassuming writeup in those numerous season preview charts, and the name of David Production immediately brought up some raised eyebrows. I had had experience with them through Ristorante Paradiso (decent show with adult characters and issues), and I found them pretty good, if a bit incessant with the CG use.

I just didn’t find it promising to pick up.

However, fans seemed to like it, and a close friend was completely loving it. Since I was following a handful of shows last season, I just resolved to marathon the whole thing when it finished.

And I did. Shit, what was wrong with me? There’s really nothing special about Level E production-wise, but it looked reasonably well and had no noticeable drops in quality. The writing and characters, however, were superb. It was just thirteen episodes worth of genuinely funny story arcs.

In this expectation-laden environment we anime fans thrive in, that was such a surprise, wasn’t it?

Second, I was shocked to learn that the Level E anime is an adaptation of a manga that was serialized from 1995 to 1997. I mean, why just now? And it wasn’t even a particularly well-known work!

(As an aside, I tried reading the manga and the art is nothing like the anime’s. David Production updated the character designs quite neatly.)

I’m very curious as to how the anime happened, but that doesn’t change how much fun I had with the show. To me, Level E is a bastion of hope for all those wonderful works that still haven’t gotten the anime treatment. Because a good manga is a good manga any time of the day.

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8 Responses to Thoughts on Level E

  1. Shinmaru says:

    The writing really stands out in Level E — the twists always have maximum impact, even when the audience learns to keep on its toes because neither Baka nor the narrative can be totally trusted. I especially loved the finale; it’s perfectly paced and written, and the final reveal practically made me break out in applause. So awesome.

  2. >>Second, I was shocked to learn that the Level E anime is an adaptation of a manga that was serialized from 1995 to 1997. I mean, why just now? And it wasn’t even a particularly well-known work!

    It’s from the same author as Yu Yu Hakusho and HunterXHunter, two of the most popular shounen series ever, that’s why!

  3. sadakups says:

    The only reason why Level E was animated only now is because Togashi needs some money.

    Not a lot of people actually watched it because a) it did not have moe and/or lolis; b) it did not have fanservice; and c) it looks old

    In any case, glad to hear you liked Level E. The middle episodes weren’t as good as the first three and the last two episodes, but it was still fun to watch at parts.

  4. sadakups says:

    Paragraph two had tags on it. It just did not appear. 😛

  5. Matt Wells says:

    Level E is easily the best thing Togashi has ever done, if only because he’s forever dragging his heels with Hunter X Hunter, and I doubt he’ll ever finish that series. It allowed him to tell the stories he REALLY wanted to do rather than another Dragonball knock-off, so he got away with doing horror, mystery and sentai parody in Shonen Jump!

    This adaptation was rather well done, and I thought they really dealt with the pacing issues in the manga to a great degree. My only complaints would be that the slow, creeping dread episode 4 is supposed to evoke worked far better in comic form than as a 24 minute cartoon, and I think they missed out the great manga epilogue, where the galaxy’s biggest troll and his faithful wife take out a squad of hired mercenaries just by smiling at a swarm of insects…makes sense in context.

    Adored the Colour Ranger theme song! Tatakaieeeee…COLURRRR RANGAAAA….

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