Friday, July 27, 2001

Star Ocean EX

Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy
General Audience
001 Studio Deen, TV Tokyo. Hiroshi Watanabe (director).

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Game Cover Description:
In an endless sea of stars, at the edge of the universe, a single fateful encounter is about to take place...For the gods have hurled a deadly meteorite into an unsuspecting planet, unleashing powerful mysteries and sudden chaos. Now, two people from different worlds will collide into a journey so deep, they might not ever make it back.

(26 episodes)

There are no ugly guys in this anime. >>> by skysenshi
The opinion title best describes the difference between Star Ocean EX and Star Ocean 2 the PlayStation game. The first thing I noticed here is that the so-so looking characters in the video game suddenly became heartthrob material. Claude, Ashton, and even the geeky looking Dr. Bowman transformed into potential WeiƟ Kreuz members. Heck, the brat Leon looks like a future member of the Backstreet Boys! So those who have played this game and knew Dias, the only handsome party member there, could probably expect the unexpected: that Dias would be ten times more bishounen in Star Ocean EX. I never thought that he could get any hotter, so I was pleasantly proven wrong. Another itty-bitty detail I observed is that all the men here seemed to have grown their hair long. Must be a trend. The only downside to this is that my favorite "couple", Ashton and Precis, now appeared so unsuited for each other. Ashton, despite his clumsiness, could imitate a dashing debonair. To pair him off with Precis, who has retained her child-like status in the anime, just seems positively illegal.

Surprisingly, Star Ocean EX is one of the few video game-based anime that is loyal to the storyline, albeit only PlayStation disc 1 seemed to be present in this 26-episode series. You wouldn't meet any characters from disc 2 here, that's for sure. There are a few twists here and there and episode fillers that aren't in the game, but it only makes the Star Ocean EX a little spicier since a viewer, especially an avid RPGamer, would definitely appreciate being surprised once in a while. Some of the sub stories delve deeper into the lives of the cast, giving us less back patting and more depth. It also helps that their fashion sense improved tremendously, paving way to more insight into their actual personalities. We learn that some of them are hopelessly romantic, some are accessories conscious, and some have the worst kind of fetish imaginable. In short, they seem so alive!

The only irritant here is how Claude seems to learn his sword skills so easily. I call it, insta-skill. Just add a little hot water, let sit for ten minutes and voila! I deeply resent it, because I remember having developed those skills a long time before I mastered them in the game. Here, he just stares at Dias while the latter does an Air Slash and then he learns it. Is that any fair? You would at least anticipate that he'd go through a lot of difficulty first before turning into such a cheesy figure.

Another unfavorable factor here is that they made the ending inconclusive. Well, of course, you can always imagine that our heroes would have won the battle.but how? After 26 episodes, after sitting there the entire day doing nothing but watch Star Ocean EX , the least they could do was give me a good, sigh-inducing ending. Oh, well. That's that. Just play the game, since Star Ocean 2 has actually more than 80 endings anyway.

Individual Rating: Art/Animation 9; Story 7; Characters 8; Sounds 9

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