Thanasis is a writer, editor, and professional geek. He usually writes about what he thinks he knows about the struggles of studying languages, surviving as a creative soul, and socializing as an extroverted introvert.
‘Qualidea Code’ (クオリディアコード Kuoridia Kōdo) is a multimedia project by Shueisha’s Dash X Bunko imprint, Fujimi Shobo’s Fujimi Fantasia Bunko imprint, Media Factory’s MF Bunko J imprint, Shogakukan’s Gagaga Bunko imprint, and Shueisha’s Jump Square magazine.
Speakeasy, the name of a team of writers that includes Kōshi Tachibana, Sō Sagara and Wataru Watari, teamed up with Marvelous to develop this original concept that started in 2015 with several light novels and continued in 2016 with a serialized manga in Jump Square.
The anime is produced by A1 Pictures. Many anime enthusiasts hope that the anime version can break free of the influences of the light novels that preceded it.
Sometime in the future, humanity is at war with an alien race they call Unknown. Probably because they know practically nothing about them except the fact that they have a particular love for the color pink and for cute spaceship designs.
During their first invasion they managed to destroy whole cities. At some point, many of the children that survived were put in a cold sleep set to wake decades later with superpowers called Sekai (世界、The World).
They are assigned to different Japanese regions and are tasked to protect the country from the constant alien attacks that originate from a certain point just outside Tokyo Bay.
The episode opens during the first invasion by the unknown pink alien invasion force humanity dubbed as the Unknown. The first survivors we meet are the protagonists of the show, Ichiya Suzuku and Kanaria Utara. They share a sibling bond (without any biological connection) because of their traumatic experience.
During the war, all children were put into a state of suspended animation set to wake up when they are teenagers. The Earth is still under attack from the alien invaders, but the children are now equipped with certain powers called ‘World’, powers we have no idea how or from where they were acquired. All the children seem to be proficient in using them, to the point where the kid-soldiers are given the incentive of a ranking board: the more aliens you kill the more points you get, and the more points you get the higher your rank and your privileges.
During the first episode we are introduced to the main characters, the way ‘World’ works, and the aliens. Some of the background story is explained, but not nearly enough, something that makes you wonder if it was done on purpose to keep the viewers hooked.
I am sure that the plot holes that made this episode look like Swiss cheese are going to be filled later on.
Each of the main prefectures that take part in this war has its own theme while each character has his own special ability:
Tokyo has a magical theme. They carry flying brooms and shoot magical orbs to their enemies. Their powers have to do with manipulating gravity and revitalizing their comrades.
Chiba use their magic to manipulate guns and ammunition, and Kanagawa are the honorable sword wielders.
Since this is the first episode, we have to give proper credit to the creators and contributors. This is Manga.Tokyo after all; a place dedicated to otaku and creators alike.
The show is directed by Kenichi Kawamura, best known for his work in ‘Parasyte: The Maxim’, ‘Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust’, and ‘Hajime No Ippo’. Original character design is credited to Matsuryu, and Character Design to Hisayuki Tabata.
The story was written by a team of writers known as Speakeasy (Kōshi Tachibana, Sō Sagara and Wataru Watari.)
The music is credited to Taku Iwasaki. I was extremely pleased to see that my favorite LiSA sing the opening theme “Brave Freak Out”. The show will have two ending themes: “Gravity” by ClariS, and “Yakusoku -Promise Code-” (約束 -Promise code-; Promise -Promise Code-) by GARNiDELiA. You may already know LiSA from their hit SAO opening ‘Crossing Field’. Right from the first episode you realize that the highlight of the show is going to be the soundtrack. The mix of electronica, dubstep and voiced tracks made the boring bits of the episode seem almost appealing. The main protagonist is singing ‘live’ during the episode since her superpower is to lift her comrades’ spirit though her songs. Canaria is to Qualidea Code what Minmay is to Macross.
The music aside, there are many things that seem wrong with this show. The characters seem to come out from a pre-determined set of stereotypes without any real depth: Ichiya is a guy who is unable to link with his emotions but seems more like a jerk that a traumatized little boy. He is overly protective of his ‘sister’ (not related) Canaria who is the complete opposite; she is upbeat, silly, and totally goofy. The rest of the characters fill the roles of the commanding officer, the protective guardian, the righteous warrior, the gunslinging chick, and the confronting nemesis.
Yet, I like that the show points to a different main villain. It’s not the aliens; the main adversary is themselves.
The aliens are too easy to win. It feels like the children are on a happy-go-round when they go to battle, much like an amusement park where they have to kill unknown enemies to get points and be the coolest kid in school.
I’ve never felt any real danger, any struggle from their part. It’s just a big videogame for them. It’s all about the points. And that’s where the real struggle is; that’s where the real danger lies.
I am confused. Even though the characters are uninspiring and trivial, the world of QC seems interesting enough to keep my attention. The only thing I hope is that there is some serious character development in the works.
NEXT EPISODE: “Deep Blue Caricature”, “Konpeki no Karikachua” (紺碧のカリカチュア)