The Nihon Review - Anime Reviews & Editorials

Scryed

Title: Scryed aka s.CRY.ed
Company: Sunrise
Genre: Action
Format: 26 episodes
Dates: 4 Jul 2001 – 26 Dec 2001

Synopsis: 22 years ago, a disaster in the Kanagawa prefecture area caused it to split off from mainland Japan. Now, it is a “Special Economic District” known as the “Lost Ground” where lawlessness abounds. Things are made even worse by the 2% of the population known as “alters.” These alters have the ability to manipulate matter into a new form unique to the individual and most of these forms are capable of great destruction. Kazuma, an irresponsible mercenary, is one such alter who lives only for fighting and money. After a run-in with HOLY, a police force of alters that tries to maintain peace in the Lost Ground, Kazuma vows to expunge HOLY from the Lost Ground to protect the safety and freedom of his homeland.

The Highlights
Plot: Surprisingly good.
Action: Creative and have few re-used cells.
Characters: Aggravating and one-dimensional.
Pacing: Well paced, but the last two episodes feel tacked on.

The word “s.CRY.ed” was created by Kuroda Yosuke and basically means, “How people act when put in their most natural, primitive state.” Despite this seemingly intelligent title, Scryed only pretends to be intelligent by repeating the same few basic philosophical and psychological thoughts over and over again. This should not keep you from enjoying Scryed as it is a very entertaining action anime the likes of which we are rarely blessed with.

Perhaps Scryed‘s most entertaining feature is its plot. This is truly a breath of fresh air, seeing as how most purely action anime use their “plot” as nothing more than a convenient way to power up their characters and set up battles. Scryed avoids these pitfalls with ease with a plot full of conspiracy, twists, and turns. When the characters do make a dramatic increase in power it does not feel forced or all too convenient like it does in Dragonball Z. The plot paces itself nicely from the first episode and wastes no time until the conclusion. And what a climactic conclusion it is!

Now you’re probably wondering how I can say the plot wastes no time when I said that the last two episodes feel tacked on. The main plot ends in episode twenty-four (if you want to be technical, the first few minutes of episode twenty-five) and as a result the last two episodes add nothing of great importance to the series. Instead of letting Scryed end with the resolution of its climax, the directors used the last two episodes to end the series with a mellower, optimistic tone. This change was completely inappropriate for the series, and weakened an otherwise strong ending.

Plot may be Scryed‘s greatest strength, but the action is no slouch either. There are almost no reused cells, and the explosions of color and energy when alters clash with each other are beautifully drawn. The battles are full of brutality and movement which makes them fun to watch. A certain element of surprise exists as well, because you don’t always know what each alter power is capable of from the onset of the battle.

What makes the battles not fun to watch is the aggravating and repeated witless banter between the shallow characters as they fight. Kazuma and Ryuho are the absolute worst in this department, saying basically the same thing to each other in over half a dozen fights.

“Blah blah blah, get out of my homeland!”
“Blah blah blah, you’re unprincipled and uncivilized!”
“Let’s fight! Kiiiyaaa!!”

Charming, isn’t it?

These lines are made even worse by the fact that all but one of the characters have one or two personality traits. These soulless characters never develop or change throughout the entire series. It’s as if the creators wrote down a bunch of character traits on little pieces of paper, put them in a hat and assigned them to the characters by random choice, never thinking to actually make the characters seem human.

If you have a taste for action, you will like Scryed. Despite its numerous flaws, Scryed has an equal number of strengths which overshadow the weaker moments. Those who love mindless entertainment will be pleased, and so will those who insist on having more than just fighting in their action anime. Just don’t mistake this anime for being intelligent; it’s not the least bit smart.

The Rating: 7
7/10

Reviewed by: Kuma

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