Clockwork Planet (First Impressions – Episodes 1 to 4)

Author: Himana Tsubaki, Kamiya Yuu (榎宮祐)

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy

Episodes: 4/12

Production Studio: Xebec

 

Introduction

So far, what I can gather is that Clockwork Planet is about a clockwork maiden falling from the sky and crashing into the living quarters of Naoto Miura, the ultimate clockwork nutjob who is also a kid. It’s based in a world that should’ve ended decades ago but was rebuilt by a great clocksmith. My first impression upon hearing the very name of this anime was that it seemed very promising but as I watched, I heard my hopes shatter like fragile glass and here’s why.

*Before proceeding, bear in mind that content from here on out will contain a fair amount of spoilers*

 

Storyline Premise

As I’ve said before, clockwork maiden falls from the sky into Naoto Miura’s home. Naoto can’t seem to fix normal clocks with his talent but is able to fix an automata that a clocksmith family, well-known for being the best in the world, couldn’t for 206 years. Did I mention that the said automata also comprises of around 4,207,600,008,643 gears? Yeah, we’ll get into why in the characterisation later. Meanwhile, Marie Bell Breguet, a member of the Meister Guild and said clocksmith family, was in conflict with the military and rival family, the Vacheron. The Meister Guild is comprised of world-class master clocksmiths, as described by Naoto. If there’s something I really want to point out, it’s the fact that the authors named the system of calendars for the time, Sprocket. A lot of aspects seem to be based off real-world objects and people that relate to the history of clockmaking.

Verdict: Great plot overshadowed but mounds of fanservice such as Naoto’s terrible reasons behind his decision making. Very well thought out in terms of facts, naming and actual clockwork stuff.

 

Animation and Art

Great. That’s all there is to say about it. The animation is super smooth other than for characters distant from our point of view and lip movements. The gears were especially well animated. The moving, the turning, just watching them mesmerized me. I can’t possibly describe how this amazed me so I’ll let you have a peep.

The art reminded me of those older anime art styles. Eyes placed a little too far apart, details drawn in really heavily but kinda mixed in with today’s moe art style too. This anime was released this year after all.

Verdict: Animation is fairly smooth, except for the gear scenes (those are amazing) and nostalgic art style.

 

Sound and Music

The OP, named Clockwork Planet by fripside, has a really old-ish feel much like the art, or maybe that’s just me. It goes super well with the scenes that play for the opening sequence. I want to mention the use of plants in the opening sequence though. I didn’t notice any greenery in the anime itself so if I do find out what this symbolism stands for, I’ll bring it up for sure in the next article.

The ED, Anti-Clockwise by After the Rain, is perfect for the ending, it starts off slow around the beginning and gradually gets much more intense not long into the song. I think the voices are also very unique, almost androgynous. I personally like the ED a lot because of the music and 3D elements incorporated into the ending sequence. The voice acting is the usual, it’s not all that great but not all that bad either. It’s what you’ll usually hear in every other so-so anime. I think the sound effects are great, however. It aids the fight scenes and gear scenes very well.

Verdict: OP sounds like something out of a 2011 anime. ED is really nice, and really works itself into your system and makes you like it. Voice acting is average at best, but sound effects are well arranged.

 

Characterization and Powers

I’ll be writing about the two characters I find most prominent which are Naoto Miura and Marie Bell Breguet.

Let’s play a game of guess who the main character is. Yes, the one with unusual blue hair that sticks out like a sore thumb. That would be Naoto Miura except, he doesn’t look past 14. So far, he is shown to be a perverted little bastard that seems to have a thing for clocks and gears. I dare say it goes far beyond obsession. I personally find his character very annoying because of the way he bases his decision making off his perverted tendencies. He’s the type of person where if he had to choose between his basic needs for living and a hot chick, he’d probably say the hot chick is his basic need for living. He has a special talent however, one that allows him to do what the Breguets couldn’t. His amazing sense of hearing. He was able to hear what went wrong within the automata and locate the error. Not bad for a pervert, eh?

Marie Bell Breguet, a member of the Meister Guild. Determined, never gives up, has a sharp tongue and doesn’t really think things through. Pretty much summed her up already. She’s still no doubt a genius clocksmith that is determined in saving of Kyoto from ‘The Purge’. She has slight anger management issues but that’s what her bodyguard is around for. She is able to fix gears that are far from reach by expertly aiming and throwing her tools to turn screws and what not. Not forgetting her amazing agility!

A small trivia, did you know that Naoto and Marie are the personified definition of perfect in the eyes of Kamiya Yuu and Himana Tsubaki respectively? That explains why they give out this mary-sue vibe!

Verdict: Unique concepts for these specific characters.

 

Conclusion

The general concept of this anime is seemingly genius but the execution and direction it’s taking isn’t allowing it to grow into it’s full potential in my honest opinion. Other than that, animation and art is great, and so is the music. Characters are developed with unique concept. I personally don’t like the way it’s going so far but I’ll be sure to update on the full review of Clockwork Planet. ‘Til then!

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