Home Metallic Rouge Episode 1 - The Most Confusing Premiere of the Season

Metallic Rouge Episode 1 - The Most Confusing Premiere of the Season

Metallic Rouge episode 1 was undoubtedly the most confusing anime series premiere I may have ever watched. Visually great, yes. The writing? Not so much. A lack of any sort of decent exposition made it feel as if fans jumped right into the middle of a season and we missed out on five or six episodes. For an anime original project that was to celebrate studio Bones’ 25th Anniversary, this premiere was disappointing in more ways than one.

What The Hell

Even after a re-watch of the episode, I’m still confused about most of what’s going on. The main fight towards the end had not just zero emotional attachment, but it garnered no interest whatsoever given it had no proper build-up to it. Some series do start by throwing viewers into the thick of things, but that’s right at the very beginning and leaves us with a “you’re wondering how it got to this point” scenario. The Metallic Rouge season premiere? Nope.

With zero explanation of anything or anyone, I was left with my shoulders shrugged, my hands out, and me constantly saying to myself “What the hell did I just watch?” There’s really no coherent thought that crosses my mind after watching this episode. I feel like Patrick from Spongebob Squarepants when he said, “The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma,” only to show a carton of milk spilling.

I tried to really get a grasp of things and make sense of something, but there was nothing. It was like trying to solve a puzzle where only two pieces fit together while the other 998 don’t. The only two things that were really established are that Rouge wants to hunt down the Immortal Nine and that there’s a distance between humans and Neans.

Rouge’s fight with Viola had no merit. We saw how she and Rouge met. Then we had a backstage moment with the two since Rouge is her personal assistant and they made on a bridge. Then, they fight each other to the death to end the episode. Usually, when a main character sets the course to hunt down a group of people, there’s some proper rising action to such. Here, it was just all thrown in our faces right away.

Giallon betraying Viola also meant nothing because we just got introduced to both of them in this episode. The same goes for Rouge and Naomi. One minute, Rouge has no idea who Naomi is when they first meet. The next, they’re both teaming up to fight Viola like they’ve been a tag team their entire lives. Not to mention, we only get little tidbits about Nectar– it’s highly valuable on the black market to humans and Neans need it to live. The writing was just all over the place.

The Pros

I think my favorite scene of the entire episode was the very beginning. The sequence looked beautiful. It had a Blade Runner 2077 look to it. The soundtrack is also something you’d expect to hear when the setting is taking place on Mars. Even the soundtrack that was playing during the fight between Viola and Rouge was great.

The animation and artwork both looked solid. I’m kind of back and forth on Rouge’s character design, but Naomi’s looks great. Giallon’s character design looks like Vash from Trigun got into drugs and spent some time in Arkham Asylum with the Joker. I can’t look at him without thinking of Vash.

I think the world-building was semi-decent in this. I’m a sucker for planetary world-building and the sci-fi elements to everyone’s surroundings caught my attention throughout the episode even though some of the stuff in this episode is kind of cliche. Outside of that little bunch, I can’t bring myself to talk about many pros for the series premiere.

If I were to just consider the visual aspects and music then I think it’s one of the best premieres of the Winter 2024 season. Hiroko Umezaki’s color design work to set the mood throughout the entire episode was wonderfully executed, while Art Director Takuya Ebisawa’s touch on the art comes as no surprise as someone with experience in background artwork in a sci-fi setting.

Metallic Rouge Episode 1 Wrap-Up

There really isn’t much more to say about the episode. I was definitely excited to see another original sci-fi anime coming out and to start the year no less. Hopefully, the series levels out with its writing and gets a little better in the plot development department. But with a total of 12 episodes and establishing an order called the Immortal Nine that Rouge seemingly wants to take out, that’s a lot of events needed to occur in such a short time frame, unless for some reason Bones already planned for this series to be more than one season.

Episode 1 rating: 5/10

If you enjoyed Metallic Rouge episode 1 then vote for it in our weekly poll! Episode 2 of Metallic Rouge will air on Wednesday, January 17. Crunchyroll is streaming the anime with English subtitles.

Images via Crunchyroll
© BONES, Yutaka Izubuchi / Project Rouge

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