Big Order is the anime adaptation of Shounen Ace manga by Esuno Sakae that began printing in last year. The adaptation is being handled by studio “ Asread “ who have most notably made “ Mirai Nikki ( Future Diary ) and I mention that because you’ll start seeing the similarities soon enough.
To save you some time I’m just going to say this..don’t watch Big Order…it’s bad and it screws up every single good idea it starts up with. There you go now you are free to go pick out something better to watch.
“Ten years ago, a child wished for the destruction of the world. Now, a group of people has the ability to grant their wishes depending on their power. They are called “Order User.”
Before these great people who have the power of “Order,” one person excels the most with the ability to rule and conquer the world and turn people into puppets when it is in his jurisdiction. This power belongs to Hoshimiya Eiji, who is also responsible for the destructive phenomena that happened exactly ten years ago.”
Now the story starts up with a flare of potential , but don’t worry it’s smothered out quickly enough. First off the powers are rather cool , based on people’s innermost desires they are all rather powerful , for example being able to resurrect yourself or to stop time completely. Now the problem with every character having such a strong world breaking power is that there is no way for them to have reasonable conflict. This shows up in the very first episode , how are you meant to fight someone who’s’ immortal ? Well the writers didn’t have a good solution for this so almost everything in this show is solved with luck and ass-pulls.
The tone is all over the place and frankly has no middle ground either we’re full on screaming , gore and dark colours mode or otherwise it’s jokes about how the MC can’t get a girlfriend. There’s attempts at a bit of everything , some mystery here , some shounen there and some psychological warfare over there. However all these are incredibly weak and it’s impossible to care about something that can’t stay stable for ten minutes.
Conversations haven’t got a shred of realism nor nuance. Everything is spelled out for us in the most obnoxious way and all the villians share that irritating quirk that really grinds me where they say the MC’s full name every five seconds without fail. And who is the wordsmith behind this ? None other than the famous Takayama Katsuhiko ! The man who wrote…Boku no Pico.
What it had going for it was the interesting perspective of the being on the other side of world domination and basically rooting for the villains. But because of the lack of focus and strong sense of narrative this breaks down rather fast.
The soundtrack is good but misplaced. I enjoyed the large scale orchestras and choirs but not when in the middle of a tense chase there’d be a jazzy sax riff playing. The OP is very strong visually.
In terms of visuals Big Order is a very mixed bag. A lot of scenes particularly flashbacks or exposition are quite gorgeous with surreal editing and inverted and bright colours. But there’s also a lot of shots that are obviously meant to make the watcher think “ wow , what does that mean , it’s so deep “ but when you actually analyze it there’s nothing but a cool visual. Now a strong visual is good but not when you try to pawn it off as deep symbolism. The next point also applies to the settings ,where in large scale establishing shots are mesmerizing and creative , but the mundane background that are shown 90% of the time are bad. It jumps from creative and stylized visuals to static undetailed animation with just plain walls for the background.
Shot composition and direction are very well done but once again way too in your face and blatant. The point of analysis is you have to look and think what something means by how it is shown. Not that you make a smart shot and then deliberately play it up and shove it down our throats to make sure absolutely no one missed it.
The main duo in are extremely bland and if I didn’t know any better I’d say that they were directly ripped off from Mirai Nikki to create a familiar feeling. The other Orders all have varied designs but their characters scrape the very barrell of boring. Our MC could have been an interesting anti-hero struggling with a an inner conflict but in fear of making him too cruel they chose the safe choice and made his actions and drive as boring as possible. A character is a character because they choose to do something and that has an impact , not that they are forced to do it. Rin his pink haired psychotic sidekick/reluctant wife is separated from Yuno ( the tsundere poster girl ) only by the fact that she wants to kill her Bf rather than kill for him.
Character animations are very drab and slow to react to things with jerky movements. When they’re in the background they stand completely still until it’s their turn to speak up. I often comment on characters eyes and facial expressions since it’s a large part of how people emote in real life (93% of all communication is nonverbal ). As you should expect by now Big Order took this concept and went completely overboard with it , it’s a common visual to have a anime characters eyes shudder a little when they are scared well in Big Order when our MC get scared his pupils fly around his face like pinballs. There’s just no way to care for any of these characters since they don’t feel remotely human.
Big Order is an unfocused mess which has no idea what to do with itself and take every single good thing going for it and smothers it with both hands with eagerness. Do yourself a favour and give this one a pass. Due to the high amount of negative feedback and criticism I doubt the chances of Big Order getting a second season , and I’m…okay with that.