Another week, another “meh” Luck & Logic episode. This time the star is Veronica, that woman who gives the orders most of the time. She had a senpai who’s stuck in suspended animation, and she has to get over a grudge against a foreigner got him there.
So we open up on… Hyrule?
Seriously, tell me that isn’t a Triforce! And if that’s not enough, here’s five more!
Some scientist-looking dudes are transporting a comatose man named Ash Paxton, Veronica’s former teacher, and I guess he has the Triforce of Power or something, because his presence immediately wakes up Ganon (pictured here
from the 60s). Ganon breaks out of his cell off screen, because apparently all Logicalist bases have terrible security, and begins climbing a massive tower to get to Ash’s body.
Veronica goes rogue by going to stop the foreigner, much like a mailman going rogue by delivering mail, and apparently it’s at least a patient and polite monster, because Ganon gives her however much time it takes to get from Tokyo to… I don’t know where this is supposed to be set; the North Pole maybe?
Yoshichika and Athena, and Yukari and her lizard partner, are sent after Veronica to make sure she doesn’t kill the foreigner, even though until now killing foreigners hasn’t really been a big deal- Alright, if I keep pointing out every inconsistency, this will take forever. Long story short, it was Ash’s idea all along to risk his life in an Over Trance with Ganon, and Ganon’s not actually evil, he just wants his Triforce- err, Logic Cards back from Ash’s body.
Yoshichika manages to explain this to Veronica before she finishes Ganon off, and convinces her to show mercy.
There’s also some subplot about some corrupt dude who plotted all this. I still don’t know why that exists.
So in terms of story, this is a decent episode. Not great. And if it wasn’t for the fact that I’ve already kinda committed to this series for TAH this season I doubt I’d still be watching for this. But overall, it’s one of the ones that doesn’t suck.
But again we’re having to suddenly care about a character who, until now, we haven’t been given any reason to care about, which seems to be the underlying problem with Luck & Logic. If you’re going to develop your characters episodically, you have to generate at least some interest in each character first. Otherwise viewers have nothing to latch onto at the start of the episode, and any characters they might get invested through are already being shoved off to the side.
I don’t care about Veronica. Until now, I saw her as a plot device, a cog in the Logicalist organization machine, rather than a character. And I can’t see how this episode about her furthers anything else in the story that I would care about.
I guess we get some insight into Over Trance, but we were already told all about the risks back in the Mana episode. Is the whole series really banking on this Over Trance stuff so hard that everything else is just build-up to when it happens? I mean, DBZ spent a good chunk of a saga building up Super Saiyan, but it had two whole sagas before that to get viewers interested in the story and characters, and even then Vegeta was the only one who talked about Super Saiyans.
All Luck & Logic is giving us to invest in is a power-up. Not the foe it’s going to be used against. Not the people it’s going to save. Just the flashiness of the power-up. Exactly what you’d expect from a show meant to be a commercial for a trading card game.
So the animation direction on this series has been a sticking point of mine since episode 1, and I finally decided to do something I find even more dangerous than Over Trance. I researched! And I was baffled to find that the Director, Animation Director, and Key Animator for Luck & Logic all have experience on a lot of shows, including Urusei Yatsura and Detective Conan films, Rurouni Kenshin, several Gundam series, Full Metal Panic, Gurren Lagann (not episode 4), Naruto, Future Diary, and InuYasha, There is a ton of experience between these three! So then why does Luck & Logic still look like shit?
This episode does finally have an unavoidably interesting battle setting, with basically a giant radio tower.
Too bad they still avoid making it interesting.
Or how about this shot.
I’ve highlighted one of the planes in red. That plane crashes into Ganon. Not, “That plane is killed by Ganon” or even “That plane is attacked by Ganon.” The pilot just voluntarily flies into Ganon’s mouth, without even launching some kind of attack.
It’s like that scene in King Kong; the Empire State Building scene, with the planes flying around and Kong struggling to reach them. Yeah, imagine that, but Kong actually doesn’t do anything, and instead of strategically circling and firing at the giant ape, the planes just fly into him without using their guns or anything.
I still don’t think the CG is what went wrong with this series’ animation. I still think this quality of CG has a lot of potential for action scenes. I know I already showed this shot, but let me just show it again here.
What I think went wrong with this series is that the CG was used to replace hand drawn animation in battle scenes. CG should be used to compliment hand drawn animation.
The CG is good at making the characters move fluidly and naturally. A lot of actual animation and camera manipulation can be done without blowing an entire series’ budget, and in some action scenes in Luck and Logic it is used for that.
But you need good battle choreography, which means you need to use the environment around the characters. Characters are easy(ish) to animate in CG, but environment and structures aren’t. So, until now, most battles have taken place in static, unmoving environments, which means fighters can’t actually manipulate the environment in interesting combat.
Then you have this scene, where the story calls of a piece of the environment to collapse. And since that couldn’t happen in CG, it ended up being done in this terrible, rushed, someone pulled out pencil-crayons and did this on the bus that morning quality.
I don’t think this is the fault of an incompetent director or artist. Like I said, the staff on this have the experience. But this is one of hiccups that comes with a new technology. CG is still used pretty sparingly in most anime. Not many shows have done what Luck & Logic is doing, making a full action series in heavy CG. So, probably nobody realized exactly what its weaknesses were.
Luck & Logic still kinda sucks, but I’m happy it’s around. Hopefully it can be a lesson to animators on where not to use CG, and maybe next year we’ll get something better. Until then,
Don’t Lose Your Way.