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Release the Spyce Anime Cover

Score: 7.00/10

Synopsis

Momo Minamoto is a shy teenager who simply wants to do good in the world. Her dream is to follow in her police officer father's footsteps and support law and order. And just like him, she has a very unique ability: her senses are much more refined than those of any average person. A simple lick will enable her to determine what someone is feeling. One night, as she admires the landscape, Momo sees suspicious shades moving in the distance. After learning that those shades were spies, she is recruited by their captain Yuki Hanzoumon, a senior at her school. The members of their secret agency, called the Tsukikage, also have the power to gain strength after ingesting spices. Release the Spyce is an action-packed spy series about the Tsukikage's missions as they fight in the shadows to protect the city from crime while keeping up with their high school life. [Written by MAL Rewrite]

Release the Spyce can be a serious competitor for the cartoon “Totally Spies” from Western and Princess Principal (I still consider the latter better). The main difference, the type of missions and the main characters. There is a mysterious taint created during all the episodes. Also, the bad commentaries do not give merit to the show and it deserves some praise. It is not that abysmal, and it is more entertaining than some shows of the same genre and it is highly better compared with some disasters from the season .. Gob..

On the other hand, the series at the beginning has a cartoonish behavior. For example, the heroines defeat the bad guys with some easy tasks, gadgets, skills gained from the spice, and they are ready for the next mission like the American toons. Lucky for all, the story revealed a very significant twist, and the outcome improved the whole show.

–The story–

The story is too easy to follow. A group of heroines (Tsukikage) has a unique goal of protecting their beloved city (Sorasaki) from any criminal, including the organization called Moryo. One day, a Momo high student is involved in a Tsukikage operation and is recruited. This group has the Master and apprentice scheme. Momo is assigned a Master (Yuki) who trains her in martial and sword arts. There are other members of the group, for example, Mei and her student Fuu. Each pair had different skills, techniques and combined they are robust against criminals. These spies are young girls who use their student status as a cover. When duty demands, they become an active group with one unique goal. The city of Sorasaki is the center where the plot is developed, but some actions outside it affect the plot directly.

One of the issues found, in the middle of the show the plot could be seen as too fantastic, cartoonish and focused on children where the good guy always wins. For example, I am the good spy, I throw a kick, and all the villains fall into the ground, easy, right?. This kind of outcome could be annoying for a more mature spectator seeking for some entertainment. However, as the plot advances, the mysteries are more prominent, and there is a breaking point that surprised several of the spectators, it creates a mysterious and dark atmosphere that you will love.

Lastly, the pacing is acceptable. The plot advances constantly. Some details will hook the spectators even more. However, in certain parts, I think they beat some villains very easily. No idea if it is because they needed to rush the plot, but it was too easy and leaves you the impression that the show lacks something but is not a big issue. Overall, Release the Spyce is one of the best shows that I have seen in 2018.

–Characters—

The story has heroines and villains. The Tsukikage group are the heroes and has six members:

Momo aka the noob aka tongue. She is the main character. In the beginning, she is insecure, weak, coward. She wanted to protect the city because her father was a police, but she does not have the courage. After she was recruited, her character evolved and thanks to Yuki, she surpassed her fears. She has a unique ability that is helpful under some circumstances.

Yuki aka badass with a sword. She is strict, hard worker, intelligent, and very skilled with a sword and martial arts. She trains Momo, and for me, she is the leader of Tsukikage. However, there is something weird in episode 10, but I cannot give details.

Mei aka cheerful. She is my favorite character. I love her personality. She is positive, very vivid enjoys life and …. never mind. She is the most agile member and is skilled in knives, espionage, etc.

Fuu aka mask. A master in disguise, I consider her like a ninja. She is like Mei, well she is her Mentee, but I think she is obsessed to be accepted.

Hatsume aka brain. She is the brain of the group. Hatsume is very calm, friendly, recursive, very skilled with gadgets and with a spear. However, she thinks that even the villains can become her friends and she tries to change them during the series.

Goe aka muscle. She is Hatsume disciple. She is a powerful girl that in the deep could fear her strength but tries to be calm and loves her Master deeply.

The other characters are the villains, I cannot give details because I could spoil the plot.

–Art and Sound—

The animation quality is good. I wasn’t expecting a good animation from this show but it is acceptable, and the battles are good and pleasant to the eye. There is a combination between action and sound that fulfills the scene. The camera angles help to maintain the visual in the crucial elements. The show uses a combination of a bright and dark color palette. This technique helps to contrasts the slice of the life and the action events.

The sound is acceptable. It does the job and helps to boost the sequences. The OP and ED are good. The OP has a lovely rhythm, catching, and you could end hearing it a few times.

–Enjoyment—

I liked the show, but there are some “childish” parts as I already explained. The anime can be improved, it can be a bit darker, but the outcome is acceptable. There are some boring episodes but it is not a reason to bury the show. Lastly, you should give it a try at least you can be entertained for a few hours.

PS: Now I need to wait for the game in 2019.

Anime about spies and espionage doesn’t appear too often these days on screen, or at least not popular ones these days. We live in a world where cute girls doing cute things has become part of the norm. So seeing an original show like Release the Spyce is rather refreshing. Actually, there was another show called “Princess Principal” that had similar base concepts. Yet, Release the Spyce stands out very much on its own as an action spy thriller. When we think of a franchise about espionage, the most famous one that comes to mind is James Bond 007. That franchise is not an anime but pretty much anyone who doesn't live under a rock knows who James Bond is. When I began watching Release the Spyce, it made me curious if this show had what it takes to capture the thrill of a spy-espionage. Granted, the first few episodes establishes the show’s core concepts as we are introduced the action girls consisting of a group known as the “Tsukikage”. They use a substance known as “Spyce” to enhance their fighting abilities and hence, we get cool girls doing cool things. The main storyline details of their conflict with the Moryo, a mysterious corporation with their own dark agendas. You should probably guess that with these expected concepts, this show can get quite complex. But not really. If we just examine the show on the surface, it actually feels like a slice of life at times when detailing the characters’ everyday lives. Momo Minamoto is a typical high school girl with nothing out of the ordinary and until the day she meets Tsukikage, she’s a rather normal person. In fact, Momo is so normal that a lot of the things she is introduced to often makes causes her to react in hilarious ways. But for the most part, there’s nothing out of the ordinary at first glance until you realize what this show is about. Once we are introduced to the other main characters, it’s pretty easy to say the series capitalizes on its storytelling and character chemistry. To be honest, the plot’s pacing feels just perfect as the first half consists of getting the viewers familiar with the creators’ ideas. The remainder half consists of episodes that builds into the climax with plot twists and revelations. Most prominently, character chemistry is something that really shines throughout the series that begins from the very first episode to the end. Momo’s character relationship with Yuki plays a big role and motivator for her to succeed. Throughout the series, she sees her as a role model and may even have developed a sense of romance towards her. It’s not really yuri or even shoujo-ai but the show does drop in subtle romance hints from time to time. This extends to other members of Tsukikage such as with Mei and Fuu. Character relationships stands out not just for their connection but how each influences each other. It’s especially important in later episodes as we see the length certain characters goes through to prove themselves. At some point, I even find the character relationships to be emotional; not in the tearjerking way but more of a meaningful way. On the other side is the mysterious Moryo. Much less is known about them although it’s clear that their intentions are malevolent. However, I would say that their characters are far less intriguing compared to the main cast. Characters like Kurara and Byakko are not fleshed out well enough to make fans care about them. Their existence seems to serve only as adversaries against Tsukikage. Even characters like Theresia Ray isn’t too well established with her relationship involving Hatsume Aoba. In respect, Moryo is more known for their actions rather than themselves. But hey, maybe you’ll be caught by surprise by a certain plot twist later on. Watch now, later, or never touch? To me, this show is best to watch when you’ve decided the first three episodes are ready for you. While the show’s story may get more complex later on, the first half doesn’t do too much to make itself distinctive. It can actually feel deceptive at times with the character designs. Let’s face it, these girls hardly look like spies. It’s also no surprise that their look resembles characters from Yuru Yuri considering some of the names attached to this project. But on most parts, I think the look and feel of this show is faithful to what it advertised. It’s essentially an action girl series with spies that stays closely to its premise throughout the course of its run. The action is also thrilling with vibrant chereography and style. It even adds elements of disguise and stealth to make the role of spies look more credible for some episodes. Yet, it also has time for lighthearted moments to make humor with some of the characters’ exaggerated expressions. Thanks a lot, Momo. While Release the Spyce doesn’t have much risks, I would say that it definitely had some with the voice acting. Given the premise, it may feel hard to take seriously at some of the character voice mannerisms. Momo stands out in particular since she sounds far too much like a stereotypical schoolgirl. But as the show evolves, you can see that she matures more and become a stronger person. Other characters all define their own personalities thanks to their voices. I could also say that a certain character from Tsukikage really manages to play her role deceptively to the point where it’s almost unbelievable. Oh and before I forget, who can forget that energetic OP theme song performed by the voice actresses themselves? It’s fabulous. Spa pa pa parapa 🎶 Spapapapaparapa Spa pa pa parapa 🎶 Release the Spyce is a show that may have turned some people’s heads away at first glance. Hell, this looked like Yuru Yuri but with action girls on the surface until you realize what’s really about. I have doubts this anime will be a big talk of the year but it definitely managed to capture the magic of how a spy espionage anime should be. It sets the example of badass action girls doing cool things, something that I need more of. Emphasis on the badass. Helpful

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