M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

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**Japanese names in this blog are written in the Japanese style, which means last names come first except for characters listed in the voice actors’ work history (because I’m lazy).

 

So, I just started watching this new anime called M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane. I thought the artwork was cool, it had mechas and the synopsis sounded pretty interesting. So, I decided, what the heck, I’ll check it out. I guarantee you, I was not expecting what I saw.

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The anime starts out showing this guy (the main character) named Saginuma Akashi who ends up in the middle of a fight between a mecha pilot chasing after this thing called an “admonition”.

m3-sono-kuroki-hagane-0506 So, apparently, these things are the leftover emotions of people who have already died. It’s an interesting concept, but I feel like some things about the general storyline are confusing. Later on in the story, there is this research faction of the government that recruits a group of kids that seem “compatible” with each other, including Akashi who happens to be the best mecha training pilot at his high school, and decide the kids are going to defeat this thing called “the Corpse”. That apparently is the end goal, so far as I can tell, but the details are hazy. Included in this group of special teenagers is one named Isaku Heito, who also happens to be an escapee from the psych ward of a mental hospital.

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There are a lot of creepy occurrences in this anime and many of the characters suffer from mental disorders or some form of terminal disease for rather dubious reasons (but rest assured these are explained much later). Many of them also have attitude problems and secret, creepy hobbies. It seems as though a lot of jealousy and vague pettiness create an underlying theme throughout the anime.
The characters have all met at some point in their lives, a point which was wiped from their memory and they all start the process of technically regaining those memories as they fight alongside each other. All of them have this special connection to each other, not just from the memories, but from having a telepathic connection to all the others in that group. This telepathic connection also allows them to hear the thoughts/feelings of what is keeping the admonitions in the realm of the living. They have to eventually bring the fight to the place where the admonitions are formed/live (that is still sort of dubious and not really explained all that well in the plot in the beginning) which is called the Lightless Realm. The plot, artwork and general aura of this anime is very dark, and gives off a feel of helplessness and hopelessness in their situation, like they’re struggling against a wall that cannot be moved.

M3 Sono Kuroki Hagane - OP - Large 02
Several people die in the beginning of this anime, but it’s not really labeled as “tragic”, so I don’t really think this is one of those “no one is safe” plots. I believe certain people are meant to stay alive, and I would be somewhat shocked if certain main characters died. But that remains to be seen and I will not make any serious assumptions on that right now, because with the uncertainty of different elements in the plot so far, the storyline could completely take a 180 degree turn from my expectations.
The anime is interesting enough to keep me watching and it has a good amount of action in it. I love the OP/ED theme songs and some of the background music. The voice actors do a great job portraying the characters and their behavior/emotions. The only thing I find some issues with is the plot. I am confused as to where they are taking it. I found a blog reviewing episode 2 that I basically agree with. The review was perfect and expressed the same sentiments I felt while watching it. The criticism is a tad harsh, but it does make one think about what has been seen so far. You should check this out too.
http://otakuness.wordpress.com/2014/04/30/m3-sono-kuroki-hagane-02-review/

I do not want to go further into the explanation of what I found in the plot line, but it is slowly unraveling itself. This is an anime you have to stick with to get the main part of the plot and for it not to be as confusing as it starts out to be. The blogger who I included above decided to drop this anime at episode 4, but I am continuing to watch it so I can give you a more accurate view of the entire storyline. If you continue to watch it, your questions eventually get answered. I think the main problem with this anime was a plot pacing problem as opposed to the storyline actually sucking. The action sequences are also really good, so if you have patience, you should watch this. ^_^

 
The Voice Actors
So, despite the dubiousness of the plot, this anime has a great cast, filled with epic voice actors who have had some great roles.

The main character, Saginuma Akashi, is played by Matsuoka Yoshitsugu. A short list of other great roles he played are:
Sket Dance: Shinji; Campione!: Godou Kusanagi; High School DXD: Freed Sellzen; Sword Art Online: Kirito/Kazuto Kirigaya; Strike the Blood: Kira Lebdev Voltisloa; Diamond no Ace: Shinji Kanemaru; Yowamushi Pedal: Hajime Aoyagi; The Comic Artist and Assistants: Yuuki Aito; Eden of the East: AKX20000

 
Other characters include:

Hikasa Youko as Hazaki Emiru
K-On!: Mio Akiyama; Toradora!: Female Student A; WORKING!!: Izumi Takanashi; Is This a Zombie? (Kore wa Zombie Desu Ka?): Seraphim; Beelzebub: Azusa Fujisaki; Campione!: Erica Brandelli; Danshi Koukousei no Nichijou: Literature Girl (Yassan); High School DXD: Rias Gremory; Hyouka: Quiz Study Group Chairman; Inu X Boku SS: Nobara Yuki no Kouji; Btooom!: Hidemi Kinoshita; Karneval: Tsubaki; Free!! Iwatobi Swim Club: Rei Ryugazaki (young)

Koiwai Kotori as Izuriha Sasame and Tsugumi
Blue Exorcist: Yoshikuni; Joshiraku: Kigurumi Haroukitei

Maeno Tomoaki as Namito Iwato
Naruto Shippuuden: Nagato (child voice); Nyan Koi!: Kota Kawamura; Sekai-ichi Hatsukoi: Kou Yukina; Uta no Prince-sama: Camus; Another: Naoya Teshigawara; Daimond no Ace: Masatoshi Harada; Karneval: Kiharu; Log Horizon: Naotsugu; Yowamushi Pedal: Juichi Fukutomi

Yahagi Sayuri as Kasumi Raika
Asura Cryin’: Ania Fortuna; Bakuman (all 3 seasons): Kaya Miyoshi; Gurren Lagann: Girl (episode 1); Hayate the Combat Butler: Izumi Segawa; Karneval: Tsubame; Kuroshitsuji: Ran Mao; Rosario + Vampire: Waitress (episode 11); Rosario + Vampire Capu2: Tonko Oniyama; Shugo Chara!: Mashiro Rima; Sword Art Online: Sakuya; To Love-Ru: Haruna Sairenji

Kakihara Tetsuya as Maki Minashi
Ah! My Goddess: Male student (episode 22); Black Lagoon: Rico, Ronnie, Ricardo; Minami-ke: Fujioka; Romeo X Juliet: Mercutio; Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann: Simon; Zombie-Loan: Lyca; Kannagi: Meguru Akiba; Nabari no O: Soro Kato; Bleach: Ggio Vega; Fairy Tail: Natsu Dragneel; FMA Brotherhood: Kain Fuery; Kaichou wa Maid-sama: Gouki Aratake; Ao no Exorcist: Amaimon; Sket Dance: Masafumi Usui; Brave 10: Sarutobi Sasuke; K: Colorless King, Adolf K. Weismann; Amnesia: Shin; Yowamushi Pedal: Toudou Jinpachi; Log Horizon: Rundelhaus Code

Fukuen Misato as Yuzuki Maamu
Darker than Black: Yin; Devil May Cry: Patty Lowell; Rosario + Vampire: Kurumu Kurono; Soul Eater: Eruka Frog; To Love-Ru: Golden Darkness; FMA Brotherhood: Elicia Hughes; Durarara!!: Saki Mikajima; Blood-C: Nene and Nono Motoe; Accel World: Cobalt Blade; Another: Takako Sugiura

Murase Ayumu as Isaku Heito
Sword Art Online: Recon; My Teen Romantic Comedy SNAFU: Taishi Kawasaki; Fairy Tail: Uosuke; Mahouka Koukou no Rettousei: Shinkuro Kichijoji; Nobunaga Concerto: Mori Ranmaru

Tobita Nobuo as Natsuiri
Accel World: Black Vise; Beast Wars: Terrorsaur and Quickstrike; Bleach: Narrator, Kurodo, Michel; Code Geass: Clovis La Britannia; Cyborg 009 (2001): Albert Heinrich/004; Digimon Xros Wars: Mad Leomon; FAKE: Randy “Ryo” MacLean; Fushigi Yuugi: Tomo; Gankutsuou: Baptistin; Inuyasha: Fire on the Mystic Island: Kyora; Naruto: Ebisu, Zetsu; Okane ga nai: Kaoruko Someya; One Piece: Pekoms; Yu-Gi-Oh!: Kiwami Warashibe; Yu Yu Hakusho: Suzaku

 
There were several others featured, and I am sorry I didn’t get all of them, but if you would like a list of the full cast, you can always google the anime. This was just to give you a view of how great the cast was for this anime.

 
Hope you enjoyed this. Send me a comment if you think this helped you in choosing (or not choosing) to watch this anime. ^_^

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2 thoughts on “M3: Sono Kuroki Hagane

  1. M0rg0th says:

    Thanks for mentioning one of my reviews for this series 😉 . You’ve written a good summary for this series as an introduction to it.

    As for the series’ problems… I had a few more caveats to criticize than just the pacing, although the pacing of those four episodes I’ve watched WAS dreadful. More than just developing things slowly, the series acted like one bit of development (going into the Lightless Realm) was just around the corner and yet the series continued to extend the training without giving any indication of that any progress was made. During the four episodes I’ve watched the series mostly just walked in circles doing the same story-beats again and again and again… The little incidental developments that were there didn’t really stop the overall story from resetting itself every episode with another training-session.

    And the characters…! It’s one thing to have bland characters but this series had characters that actually managed to be annoying. And one shouldn’t forget that the series had a teacher sexually harassing the female students of this group of teenagers – and the guys of the group just stood by! This wasn’t some pervy harassing-moment played up as a joke (which is a different kind of bad), this stuff was straightforward and kinda aggressive in its bluntness. Well, at least the guy died… and then was immediately forgotten by the series because why not, right?

    Also, the whole Lightless Realm thing seemed way less threatening than it should’ve been from what the exposition told the audience.

    But oh well, I hated it and that’s why I’ve dropped it.

    • tonisenpai says:

      Cool! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not upset that you dropped it, you had every reason to. I just felt at the time that since I had already invested that much time into the anime at that point, that I might as well watch it all the way through. You probably would not have liked the purpose and reasoning behind the main part of the plot (when they actually got to it)…most of what happened was created by the kids and all the attacks were because of a grudge one of the kids was holding. I’m still watching it, but I’m not happy with the pettiness as an underlying theme. The chick who is holding the grudge, it feels to me like her conscious mind has not evolved with her age, like she is still stuck as a child in the body of a teenager. She also develops an obsession with Akashi…actually everyone does, which is somewhat creepy, lol. But, oh well. I am happy you enjoyed my blog though. ^_^

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