I am sorry if it feels like I have taken a break from anime reviews. Honestly, it is not that I have stopped watching anime all together, it is just that I haven’t really seen much new shows that I wanted to rave about. This happens to me every so often– I get into a rut of sorts where I have watched a bunch of shows but nothing is grabbing my interest. But my recent trek to Anime Milwaukee, a local anime convention that has been around for just under a decade and had over 9,000 people in attendance this year, introduced me to some shows I have not seen! So here is a review for the new Funimation show, Dimension W!
Dimension W takes place in a world where a scientists discovered the existence of a fourth dimension, known as Dimension W, and said dimension is found to have an unlimited power supply that can be harnessed by our own dimension. Governments around the world create massive fusion reactors called coils which take the energy from Dimension W and shift it to power plants. This allows the world to have an unlimited energy source and makes older tech like gas-powered cars obsolete. However, eventually the coil technology becomes monopolized by a company called New Tesla. An unforeseen backlash to this monopolization is that there begins to be a heavy increase of illegal coils in the market that are unregulated and unstable. Unable to stop the rise of illegal coils, New Tesla hires ‘Collectors’ (essentially illegal coil bounty hunters) to track them down. But one collector, series protagonist Kyoma Mabuchi, stumbles upon the incredibly advanced android of the inventor of the coil technology and together they set out to hunt coils together and they find out about the shady dealings of New Tesla along the way.
What initially piqued my interest was not the story as much as the artwork. The animation is extremely clean with a wide range of colors that stand out. Additionally the artists of the show choose, in a lot of close up scenes, to give the character a dark background with a slightly lighter rigid shadow. I’ll include a photo because it is hard to explain, but this subtle details looks really nice on-creen and it is quite pleasant seeing the animation switch from scenery to that. I am sure it saves a lot of time not needing to draw an overly detailed background– but it is also a small quirk of the show that makes it stand out. However, it is during the fight scenes where this show truly shines. Many shows tend to either make their characters look wooden while fighting or, conversely, make the fight scenes look messy and unrecognizable. But in Dimension W you are treated to some really strong animation during action sequences and I get the sense that budget really wasn’t an issue with this production. Lastly, in terms of animation, there are some really gruesome ‘cronenbergian’ type scenes that look gruesome but also really well animated. They freak you out while still looking impressive– trust me.
This show has a solid amount of characters, but the two main characters is where the focus lies and, I have to say, together they work better during the second half of the first season more than in the first. Kyoma gets partnered with an android that is powered by coils, for some unknown reason he HATES coils, so their working relationship isn’t all that…well… graceful. However, as the season progresses we are treated to a change is Kyoma’s disposition toward the android known as Mira and we even get to, slowly, discover why he is so bitter. So as we discover he back story as the audience, we slowly get to see a shift in his character that you sort of always knew was there. After all, he seems nice and admirable to people around him, with the exception of Mira, so it is nice to see him warm up to her… and trust me he has good reason to really reject her at first– you just have to watch to find out why.
And Kyoma in general is a fairly bad ass character. Part of his backstory is that he belongs to a military unit that was a sort of anti-android unit. Unlike the regular military that fought with coil enhancements or compared to the robots themselves, Kyoma’s unit was trained to fight the old fashioned way. He is physically extremely gifted and most people in the show would have a tough time even landing a punch on the guy. The military program he belonged to was known as Grendel (as in the man-eating beast in the Beowolf myth/poem) and he, therefore, is known as a “Beast of Grendel”. I don’t know about you, but this adds a layer of pure bad ass to his character that wouldn’t have been there before. Many anime would have just been fine with him being a bad ass (like in Problem Children) but they give Kyoma solid character motivations, a rather likable, if not completely agreeable, disposition and he IS a bad ass to boot. And before I forget to mention, Funimation has the rights to this show and is currently dubbing it! I don’t know the entire voice cast but Christopher Sabbat, voice of Vegeta in Dragon Ball Z, is doing the voice for Kyoma and, based on episode one, his voice works pretty well for this Beast of Grendel. It is one of the few shows that I would actually recommend the dub once the entire season is released.
But if I had to give this show one negative remark, it would be that the first five episodes feel a bit wasted. Not all of them, but there is a certain arc that, given what happens later in the season, feels out-of-place. Not much happens and it had some trouble holding my attention for these episodes (I believe they were 3-6?). However, once they get into the Island-arc, this show is friggin’ amazing and well worth trudging through those middle episodes. But Funimation appears to be pushing this show pretty hard this season, and for good reason! It’s a great show with solid animation, a good dub, great action and an extremely interesting storyline. I definitely recommend giving this show a shot! Also! I do believe that Toonami has rights to the dubs even before funimation’s app– so you can catch the show’s simulcast on Toonami!
Have you seen Dimension W? If so, what’d you think? LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS!!