Scarlet Nexus is the brand new anime adaptation of the equally brand new video game of the same name. I was genuinely surprised to see a game receive an anime adaptation prior to its own release, but I suppose advertising is a necessary and powerful tool if you have the funds for it.
A Premiere Lacking Substance
The first episode of Scarlet Nexus gave us a lot of details about the world and characters in its short run time, surprisingly without making it feel jarring. We’re first introduced to our protagonist and brand new Other Suppression Force (OSF) recruit Yuito Sumeragi, who apparently is more important than he looks. Not only is his father one of the city’s leaders and his brother the chairman of the OSF, but his family are also descendants of the city’s founding forefather. This can’t be easy for Yuito, who chooses to be in a military position solely because one of the OSF’s members saved his life as a child. His motivation is obviously flawed and feels a bit forced, but I suppose any plot instigator is good enough.
Unfortunately, the premise isn’t the only thing that’s basic about the Scarlet Nexus, as the anime also suffers from tropey cookie-cutter anime characters. One such is the unfortunate best friend Nagi, who’s used as a tool to hype up the main character. Then there’s the kind-hearted pseudo-love interest seen in Naomi, the earnest, stoic badass main rival seen in Kasane (who, funny enough, is actually a protagonist herself), the ditzy Arashi who’s used as comic relief, and many more.
The first episode also shows us how every recruit and member of the OSF has psionic powers like clairvoyance precognition, levitation, pyrokinesis, cryokinesis, electrokinesis, psychokinesis, hypervelocity, teleportation, and more (Yup. It’s a lot). While these many powers alongside their wielders are introduced in a very rushed manner, it’s hard not to point out how cool their introductions were regardless.
As for the production quality, Scarlet Nexus’s animation surprised me by not being terrible. While the visuals aren’t overtly eye-catching, they were very loyal to its source material, akin to anime adaptations like the Persona series and opposed to a much more mediocre adaptation like, say, Sakura Wars: The Animation. The character designs in both the game and the anime really stand out thanks to each character’s clothing; an interesting and fashionable mix of gothic punk and Sci-fi. The anime’s cast (who also voiced the characters in the game) does a good job instilling life into the characters and fleshing out their personalities.
Game vs Anime
If you were wondering what the differences were between the anime and game, I’d say it’s surprisingly complicated. Some parts in the anime happen earlier in the game, while some parts of the plot are more fleshed out in the anime but play out slightly differently. For example, in episode one, Nagi and Yuito meet Kasane and Naomi much earlier in the game. In the anime, Yuito meets Arashi and participates in the ‘capture the flag’ game (which plays out much differently in the anime) much earlier than in the game. Overall, the differences between the anime and game are a bit all over the place.
These differences are most likely a result of trying to blend both Yuito and Kasane’s story route from the game into the anime. So if you intend to play the game, I advise you do so before watching the anime as otherwise, not only will you be heavily spoiled as most of the plot points are quite rushed, but you also won’t understand most of what’s happening due to the scattered pacing.
All in all, I’m currently really enjoying the game so far. As a result, I most likely will keep watching the anime despite how disorganized it is. Probably after I beat the game.
Scarlet nexus is available to stream now on Funimation
Have you seen or played Scarlet Nexus? If so what are your impressions of it? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.