Is Cygames a Mark of Anime High quality? – This Week in Anime

Advertisement: Click here to learn how to Generate Art From Text

Identified primarily for his or her involvement in cellular video games, Cygames has quietly been producing a few of the finest, most farcical anime of the final decade. Steve and Chris look again on Zombie Land Saga, Uma Musume, and this season’s Courageous Bang Bravern!

Courageous Bang Bravern!, Zombie Land Saga, Uma Musume Fairly Derby, Princess Join! Re:Dive, and The Marginal Service can be found on Crunchyroll. Akiba Maid Conflict is accessible on HIDIVE. Rage of Bahamut Genesis is accessible on Funimation and Uma Musume Fairly Derby: Street to the Prime is accessible on YouTube.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by the contributors on this chatlog will not be the views of Anime Information Community.
Spoiler Warning for dialogue of the collection forward.


Chris, at the start of each new anime season, amongst all of the blockbuster shonen variations and different flashy identified portions, there’s all the time a minimum of one darkish horse competitor that vies for the title of The Greatest Premiere. And generally, that darkish horse arrives fashionably late as an enormous homosexual robotic.

They’re right here, queer, and in a position to face up to the tough vacuum of area. There is no scarcity of angles to assault the boisterous Courageous Bang Bravern! from, however as we speak, we need to deal with a single identify that may be discovered highlighted within the credit. For higher or worse, you are in all probability acquainted with it.

Proper outta the robot-riding gate, that little emblem was the rationale the viewers in all probability ought to have predicted that Bravern could be a wilder trip than its promos have been initially presenting it as. You may put all of the gritty, grounded, “actual” robots within the trailers you need, however the involvement of 1 Masami Ōbari would make that suspect sufficient. With Cygames in manufacturing, many weebs have been skilled to count on the surprising.

So, only for some background, Cygames is a recreation studio finest identified for its cellular titles, and amongst these in all probability finest identified for collection like Granblue Fantasy, Princess Join! Re:Dive, and Uma Musume. You would possibly discover that these are all profitable gacha video games, so you may additionally guess that Cygames has a cash vault that might make Scrooge McDuck envious. As with every firm that collects extra coinage than they know what to do with, they diversified lots over the previous decade, and a part of that diversification included a deal with producing anime.
It is hardly a distinguishing maneuver; firms like Bushiroad are additionally doing it. However in lots of different instances, that anime manufacturing relies on seeding IPs that may develop into profitable new multimedia/gacha properties. Cygames, alternatively, has made a behavior of simply driving dump-truck a great deal of cash as much as offbeat tasks that they don’t have any intention to market or concept the best way to market as franchises.

It is fairly an thrilling—and bumpy—rollercoaster of titles, and I did not even notice the extent of it earlier than I began researching for this column. Thoughts you, they’re going to have been within the anime recreation for a full decade this 12 months. And that makes me really feel further previous as a result of I bear in mind being wowed by the primary present that credit them as a producer, Rage of Bahamut Genesis.

This wasn’t an unique however based mostly on one among Cygame’s earliest titles, Rage of Bahamut. However I feel most individuals (myself included) have been anticipating a card recreation commercial and never a corker of a premiere with rooftop horse chases, swordplay, and different skullduggery.
Even being the primary one and a cellular recreation tie-in, Genesis nonetheless instantly set the usual for what viewers would regard because the “Cygames premiere”—a (just about) unique manufacturing successfully rooted in a standby style or two, however bursting with sufficient character and wild swerves to get everybody speaking about it after it aired, regardless of little buzz earlier than.
This was additionally animated by MAPPA again once we all had stars in our eyes and hope for the way forward for the business. Had been we ever so younger? And to be clear, they animated the hell out of it. Plenty of enjoyable, a number of polish. It is a gap assertion to recollect.
It makes it an absolute crime that Rage of Bahamut Genesis has been buried underneath a number of layers of defunct streaming companies since. However youngsters, in case you’ve nonetheless received an lively Funimation account and need to see what MAPPA appeared like earlier than Yuri!!! on Ice and afforded what was, in accordance with legends on the time, an “limitless finances” by their mobage sugar daddies, completely give it a glance.

The opposite crime is that the sequel season to Genesis turned out kinda awful, however look, they seem to be a gacha firm, which implies you’ll be able to by no means actually know what you may get.

Regardless of this dialogue’s general timbre, I need to be agency about this: by no means do it’s a must to hand it to Cygames. Gacha cash is evil. However alternatively, when you’ve got a pile of cursed quarterly earnings, there are worse issues to spend it on than cool anime.

You and I’ve beforehand mentioned the double-edged sword of mobage cash. However for all of the ill-gotten nature of these beneficial properties, the hit ratio of Cygames‘ legal nook of it stands out. As with Rage of Bahamut, this is applicable to lots of their recreation tie-in productions. Uma Musume continues to be one among my favourite collection in recent times, and the Princess Join anime was method higher than anybody fairly would’ve anticipated from one thing that was each a gacha industrial and an isekai.

The latter additionally stands out as a kind of premieres that caught everybody off-guard in its season.
A “producer” function in a giant firm like Cygames is nebulous sufficient to imply something from a giant money injection to a extra hands-on logistical method. So, I do not know precisely who to credit score for getting the KONOSUBA director to decide to this undertaking, however they’d the imaginative and prescient.

Fewer characters getting primary stuff like stat sheets and abilities defined to them, please, and extra of them getting even basic items defined, like that cash could be exchanged for items and companies.

Additionally extra ladies with big appetites.

Uma Musume equally qualifies in that regard.
These horse ladies eat like, effectively, you already know.

Fairly so.

Uma Musume is without doubt one of the uncommon examples the place I particularly bear in mind the commercial. This was years earlier than the anime materialized, however this teaser precipitated a stir on the time, and a quick second the place all of us questioned if this is able to be the fabled Yuri!!! on Ice.

Cygames‘ advertising methods would ultimately turn into a complete separate side. As a lot buzz because the preliminary advert received, I do not recall the premiere of Uma Musume‘s anime itself being fairly the showstopper as different examples. There was respect for its shocking dedication to its technically weird world-building, however in any other case, a good quantity of befuddled staring (admittedly, that was primarily on the Western aspect).

It feels prefer it took a minute for it to develop into the form of infamous moneymaker you’d count on from the illicit convergence of horse racing and gacha video games.
I do not suppose the anime absolutely got here into its personal till the second season honed in on the inherent tragedy of horse racing and managed to transmute that right into a bizarrely compelling sports activities narrative about extradimensional horsegirl avatars. So yeah, it isn’t the strongest instance of a Cygames stunner. However with regards to lengthy distances, with three seasons, an internet OVA, and a forthcoming film within the works, Uma Musume has proven extra endurance than another Cygames-produced anime.
And it is the constant success of collection like Uma Musume and slightly franchise you would possibly’ve heard of known as Granblue Fantasy that has seemingly let the corporate transfer into producing collection with out-of-nowhere reputations. Additionally, one for premieres that function outlandish, incongruous musical numbers.

Let’s get into the “great things,” by which I imply the gonzo unique tasks which will very effectively exist solely by the general public’s willingness to pay premium {dollars} for shiny jpegs. I salute you, and extra importantly, Tae Yamada salutes you.

Effectively, she’s making an attempt her finest.
Zombie Land Saga was the one that actually hit that “The place the hell did this come from?!” response the way in which Rage of Bahamut had years earlier, then turned the amps as much as eleven. Particularly given the query of what to anticipate from a present about zombie pop idols produced by a gacha recreation firm and animated by…MAPPA, once more?

They know the best way to make an impression.
Gentle idol satire with a splash of the macabre. I really like this present for lots of causes, however its humor is a giant one. The premiere particularly is tremendous punchy, and Mamoru Miyano‘s ridiculous efficiency sends it over the sting.

It is wonderful how effectively that first episode sells itself with solely two members of its important solid even acutely aware, although one among them being Miyano at his Miyano-est actually helps. By the point you get to the tip with its screaming head-banging zombie idol death-metal live performance, you get a way of how this weird monster amassed two seasons, a mess of tie-ins, and a visitor look within the UK Parliament.

Somebody someplace whaled for a Granblue character as soon as, and later Lily Hoshikawa grew to become a world trans rights icon. It is the butterfly impact however based mostly.

The place’s that domino meme once you want it?

I’m glad Cygames by no means made a Zombie Land Saga recreation. Whereas we will not cease the ladies from popping up in collaborations, I feel turning Franchouchou right into a gacha would diminish the irreverent spirit of the present. Grasping as Cygames could also be, they a minimum of perceive that. Or they have been too busy printing cash elsewhere—both method.

It is presupposed to be a collection about selling the prefecture of Saga itself. Although how effectively it is marketed within the space could be…debatable. Regardless, there’s that sense that the Cygames fits behind Zombie Land Saga weren’t too fussed about how they might or ought to monetize one thing prefer it. As a substitute, they’d lean into that entire “What the hell is occurring right here?” side when it got here to selling reveals like 2022’s Akiba Maid Conflict.

Man, my affection for Akiba Maid Conflict has solely grown prior to now 12 months. I am unable to imagine this present is actual. I am unable to imagine it is this good. I am unable to imagine it has but to spawn a dozen copycat anime about maids of their mid-thirties.

I recall you, Nick, and I all itemizing Akiba Maid Conflict amongst our most anticipated anime of the Fall 2022 season simply off the again of that mystery-box trailer. The collection does not deal with you want an fool; it makes its true, violent nature obvious from the very starting of its premiere. However even then, the complete energy of that first episode was sufficient to get a complete bunch of my circle speaking (and dancing).

The extent to which it’s, toe to tip, a yakuza movie dressed up in a maid cafe uniform is wickedly humorous. If it have been a single ounce much less dedicated to the stupidity of the idea, the entire thing would collapse, however Akiba Maid Conflict performs it deadpan and blood-soaked.

Typically, easy is finest. Akiba Maid Conflict has a good quantity in widespread with Zombie Land Saga, being a juxtaposed style mash-up and even repeating the gag of getting a non-verbal character who’s later revealed to be performed by a legendary veteran seiyuu.

This one swaps out MAPPA for Cygames‘ earlier Uma Musume collaborators P.A. Works. This inadvertently makes me marvel if Akiba Maid Conflict technically counts as a part of that studio’s overarching collection of working girls anime.
This seems to be like exhausting work to me.

And such as you mentioned earlier, capping the premieres of each this and Zombie Land Saga with a left-field musical quantity drives dwelling the ridiculousness in a enjoyable and inventive method. That is the way you stick a touchdown and wrangle an viewers. Whereas Cygames will not be instantly answerable for these artistic choices and executions, there are some folks in that workplace who’ve a watch skilled to look out for bizarre pitches that I need to watch.
What makes Akiba Maid Conflict, together with Zombie Land Saga earlier than it, work so effectively is having fairly critical legs past the sturdy shock-value opener. Significantly, in case you’re a reader who watched the start of this present for the memes and by no means received round to the remainder of it, I implore you to take action. It turns right into a genuinely worthy crime story, with one among my favourite endings in current reminiscence.

Which means I am additionally bullish about one other newer Cygames-produced present having legs past the flamboyance of its opening assertion. And yeah, I suppose having the legend Masami Ōbari within the director’s chair helps, too.

It isn’t all the time a positive factor. The way in which Zombie Land Saga and Akiba Maid Conflict landed appeared to encourage Cygames to play up the mysterious factor of their unique productions as a matter in fact. And yeah, I used to be a minimum of slightly thinking about 2023’s The Marginal Service based mostly on these previous successes and its obtuse early promo pics that simply appeared like this.

However all of the strategic nudity on the earth is not going to matter when the anime you finally premiere lacks any of that word-of-mouth impression and is as an alternative a reasonably commonplace supernatural cop present that appears like a less-cool Males in Black.

Then once more, this present is up for a Crunchyroll Anime Award, so what do I do know?

I had wholly forgotten that collection existed earlier than you talked about it. I am unable to even bear in mind anyone speaking about it final 12 months. I do know “marginal” is within the title, however they did not must get so literal about it.

Not each pull goes to be an SSR. Fortunately, Courageous Bang Bravern! appears to have averted being consigned to that type of dustbin, if the way in which my social media feed lit up final Thursday was any indication. Even Crunchyroll cruelly delaying their launch of the present does not appear to have harm it. Maybe as a result of that meant we received two episodes dropped directly, with the second being the place the actually great things began.

Like Zombie Land Saga and Akiba Maid Conflict, Bravern is unapologetically itself and intensely further about it. We must also notice that Bravern is animated by Cygames Footage, i.e., the animation studio Cygames based in 2016. That is an additional diploma of involvement past producing the present.
It is the studio they used to animate the equally further Uma Musume: Street to the Prime ONA final 12 months. That setup let director Cheng Zhi Liao and her crew minimize free on one among Cygames‘ flagship franchises. Hopefully, the identical situations bode effectively for permitting a grasp of the mecha craft like Obari to work his magic on Bravern.

Hopefully! It is a small disgrace that Bravern and his alien enemies aren’t hand-drawn, however such are these occasions. And nonetheless, the animation, each conventional and CG, has appeared fairly darn good thus far. They have been going out of their option to make Bravern seem moe, so you’ll be able to inform the animators have their priorities straight.

Years of coldly stern faceplate mechs imply the youths have missed out on the good-looking facial options of Obari’s Courageous ‘bots. It is about time they realized.

Additionally they embody the robotic ending enemies off with an explosion earlier than turning round and reworking with a inventory sequence in entrance of an enormous sigil, so I feel it is protected to say Obari and the crew know what they’re doing in spite of everything these years.

And by no means worry; the important male nipple can be right here.

Obari is loads of issues, however he is by no means been a coward. A lot as Bravern singing his theme track on the finish of the primary episode suits the invoice of the Cygames Musical Quantity™️, the debut of the present’s ending theme marked it because the true heir, if the quantity of excited posting I noticed of it was any indication. My very own included.

It is actually good! Like, even in case you ignore the overt homoeroticism (which you should not), the primary two episodes have been a standout train in silliness prepared to push the boundaries of fine style. And sure, I am speaking about Bravern’s homosexual pining being intercut with a scene of the US army waterboarding Isami. That is an insane option to edit that episode, and I help it.

This present’s received our quantity.

It really works so effectively that I used to be enthralled watching it, even when the additional week delay meant I used to be spoiled on the “Tremendous Robotic crashes a Actual Robotic anime” style twist. That is an indication, like Rage of Bahamut, Zombie Land Saga, and Akiba Maid Conflict earlier than it, of getting sturdy fundamentals with the fabric it is also subverting.
Thus far, Bravern is a worthy successor to the oddball spirit that inexplicably connects these numerous Cygames-produced anime. Once more, I do not need it to sound like Cygames is answerable for all the things that made these reveals good. Nonetheless, it’s curious how a lot synergy could be discovered between these collection regardless of the totally different franchises, sources, studios, and artists engaged on them. Even when we will not quantify it, one thing is being achieved proper, and I hope it retains being achieved proper.

Look, so long as Cygames needs to maintain giving creatives like Obari a lot leeway he can name up his favourite beer firm to ask them to let him embody a cameo in his queer robotic cartoon; I am inclined to allow them to. Shilling gacha is reprehensible. The place it is at is advertising the crisp, refreshing style of Kona Brewing Co. beer!*

*Please Get pleasure from Responsibly

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *