Anyone that has been following me for a long time you know that I have a complicated relationship with the Raildex franchise.
It was a franchise that both intrigued and disappointed me.
I found the setting of academy setting to be engaging as filled with mystery and lore in it.
It’s such a shame that the main series A Certain Magical Index did not deliver as it promised.
It chose to meander around with annoying cliches and tropes instead of focusing on the story and characters.
Then again Index was cursed from having a bad director who did not understand the complexity, charm and structure of the Light Novel thus it was bad adaptation rather than a bad anime.
Thankfully A Certain Scientific Railgun director Tatsuyuki Nagai picked up the slack with as not only was a fantastic series but it perfectly captured the setting of academy setting well.
Due to my happiness towards A Certain Scientific Railgun series, I was excited for Kazuma Kamachi’s new anime project being Heavy Object.
I expected to just as good if not on par with Railgun and lucky for the most part it ended up being a fun but flawed experience.
Now I usually talk about the things that I liked first before talking about the flaws, but this time I have to do the opposite because Heavy Object outside it’s entertainment value is a deeply flawed show.
Let’s not beat out the bush the first couple episodes are not that good as they were filled with tropes and clichés that I grew to dislike from the action/sci-fi genre.
Ham-fisted info dumping, awkward character introductions, pointless fan-service heck the first episode had a cringy moment where our main lead Qwenthur which I grew to like look like an idiot just because he doesn’t to touch a girls breast even she could suffocate to death.
These first set of episodes left such a bad first impression that it made me wonder if the series was every going to improve. Thankfully after enduring the mediocrity Heavy Object drastically improves in overall quality.
Heavy Object story structure is pretty much identical to A Certain Magical Index.
There’s a new story arc every 3 to 4 episodes where Qwenthur and Havia are doing missions to investigate and take down over objects that are used from other organizations, however unlike all seasons of A Certain Magical Index story structure.
For one these arcs it has a true sense of goal without rarely wish-fulfillment meandering that get’s in the way.
Sure it has a decent chunk of fan-service and humour, but I feel their spice up the cheesy over the top campy writing that Heavy Object has.
Speaking of cheesy over the top writing Heavy Object has a strong sense of self-awareness.
There are a lot of dumb stuff that happen over it’s 24 episode run, yet it still managed to be charming thanks to the well executed witty humor which never failed to make me laugh.
Coupled that with competent world-building that gets you invested with the setting and you end up with a gripping fun ride of a story that will keep you entertained.
The characters in Heavy Object were a lot of fun.
They may lack character growth but they brilliant character chemistry more than not makes up for it.
Owenthur is a what a label as a unique sci-fi/mecha protagonist. Instead of a being a typical mech solider he’s a simple engineering student that has to use his technology brains to win battles. It’s refreshing to see a protagonist that uses knowledge as a weapon instead of brute force.
Havia is the typical best partner/friend character that supports and compliments the main character.
They have excellent chemistry with each other to a point where they feel like brothers in arm soldiers that will support each other until death. Unlike Owenthur, Havia doesn’t much knowledge of the objects and as a result he becomes a brawn of the duo while Owenthur becomes the brains.
Milinda is, unfortunately, the most disappointing character in the show.
She had a lot of potential to be a compelling as she’s the one that pilots, the Baby Magnum, but the show didn’t capture that potential thus she ended up being a plot device half of the time where’s she’s either used as fan-service or a chess piece for Owenthur to use in battle.
Frolaytia was the highlight of the anime for me.
She’s acts like a sadistic sis for the main duo where she lechers them for goofing off and despite her attitude she cares for her soldiers safety especially the main duo. She’s also has a flirty side where she exploits herself to tease the boys.
Remember when the said that the characters lack development well Frolaytia is the exception as she’s the most fleshed out character in show as she grows a strong bond with Owenthur.
The rest of the characters were decent for what they were, but don’t expect complexity to come out of them especially the villains.
For a show that was done by J.C Staff that same studio that gave us Raildex, Shakugan no Shana, Toradora and Food Wars I found the show’s visuals to be somewhat off. Granted it wasn’t a visual nightmare like Index III and Food Wars S3 onwards but I expected more of J.C Staff.
Character designs are distinctive and colorful, my favorite being the designs for Owenthur and Frolaytia designs, background scenery is very appealing to look at. That’s all and good but the animation is where things starting feeling off.
I found the fight choreography at various points to be rather choppy as it has plenty of animation shortcuts as well quite unhealthy use of the shaky cam to simulate movement when the characters aren’t movie.
To it’s credit it have some amazing every now and then especially in the final 2 arcs but generally the animation is the mixed bag.
What wasn’t a mixed bag, however, was the CGI used for the object models which is very good as it mostly blends in the 2D scenery well and choreography for the Object battles to be rather impressive.
Heavy Object soundtrack was fun and exciting, Featuring a loud, bass, electronic and dubstep score that fits the explosive nature of the anime.
I loved every single opening and ending of Heavy Object. Both openings especially the second one were super exciting and hype me for each episodes while both ending themes are clam and upbeat.
Voice acting is very good in both languages. The voice actors for both the sub, and the dub did a splendid of bring these characters to life. Out of the two versions, I preferred the dub slightly due to the wacky humor sounding better in the dub.
Regardless of that Heavy Object is enjoyable in both languages.
My experience of watching Heavy Object is watching a low budget campy B movie.
It’s cheesy but has a lot of charm in it that prevent from being mediocre. It’s a fun ride that has a hilarious main cast and nicely crafted humour. Heavy Object may not be the best anime from J.C Staff, but one of the most fun show’s that the studio has made and I wouldn’t have it any other way.