Thursday, January 16, 2003


Genre: Action / Mecha
Parental Guidance Recommended
2001 Goro Taniguchi, Sunrise, TV Tokyo

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Manga (Tokyopop) Description:
Kazuma, an Alter who uses his powers for mercenary work and the occasional heist, keeps himself out of the spotlight, providing for himself and his ward, Kanami, in the wastelands of the Lost Grounds, away from the fledgling cities that have begun to sprout from the ruins of the former Yokohama. But when he crosses paths with one of the most fervent officers of HOLY, Ryuhou-an Alter himself who has decided to help bring other Alters into HOLY under the auspices of order and justice-Kazuma becomes enraged with the organization's self-righteous attitude. He has no love for Alters that sadistically abuse their powers, but he also feels that HOLY has overstepped its authority.

As he witnesses greater abuses by this special police force, Kazuma becomes consumed with stopping HOLY. Alter User Kazuma Torizuna may be the only one able to defy HOLY in search of the truth.

(26 episodes)

The ending ruined it. >>> by skysenshi (01.16.2003)
After all the hype that had me buying this series, I expected an anime that would pull me out of my current high over the soap operatic Hana Yori Dango. Mecha would be a great genre that would relieve me off the spell.

True enough, Scryed looks very good. From the very first episode, the artwork, animation, and character designs will do no less than keep you in Scryed's grip. The work is definitely nothing short of superb. Much more intriguing is the concept of having characters with the innate ability of altering matter to fit their fighting styles-thus the name Alter Users.

The story is rather unique. Two men live in lines parallel to each other. One is a boy, Kazuma, who enjoys doing whatever it is he wants as long as he thrives in his freedom. On the other side of the wall is Ryuhou, a man who knows only luxury and fighting for the sake of his duty. While distinct from each other, due to their obvious difference in personalities, the two are innately alike. They have the same dark and blurry pasts and women who are willing to stand by them.

The characters are amazing! The supporting ones are all well developed and one can't help but feel sympathy for each of them. The figures that strike me most are Cougar, that flashy Alter User who prides himself in his speed (and his penchant for running off at the mouth), and Sherris, the young sidekick who harbors a childish infatuation with Ryuhou. We also have the two leading ladies: Mimori, a compassionate doctor who has always been fascinated with Alter Users, and Kanami, a little girl who's almost like a lover and a younger sister to Kazuma.

What actually makes the plot unique is that for the major part of the conflict, there really isn't any bad guy; just two men who clash because.well, they happen to be similar despite their adamant protests. You basically have a lot of contradictory ideals-nothing too grand or painfully overdone like world domination-complimented by breathtakingly dramatic battle scenes. For the most part, anyway.

Sadly, this exciting package dwindled to mediocrity at the end. An ambitious whatsisname enters the scene, using the opposing ideals to create a chain of tiresome whodunits with constantly confused supporting characters that cannot decide which side they're on. This bedlam results in a bittersweet battle that should've ended at episode 24. Unfortunately, the creators had other ideas and decided to stretch the series to fit the traditional 26-ep pattern. What you now have are two unnecessary extra episodes that contain an equally unnecessary battle sequence and absolutely zero resolution whatsoever. I'm not going to spoil it for you by telling you what has not been resolved. Let's just say I love action long as they don't drone on forever. As long as they have a purpose in the general scheme of things. As it is, I already have difficulty clamping down the yaoi thought that lingers in my mind as I watch Kazuma and Ryuhou relieve sexual tension through that pointless battle.

Really. They should've just left it at episode 24.

Individual Rating: Art: 9; Story & Plot 9; Characters: 10; Sounds: 8

"Reckless Fire" indeed! >>> by MarkPoa (written ??.??.2004 posted 01.29.2005)
he premise of this series is not that hard to follow: two men fighting for their ideals on different sides of a conflict. On one side, Kazuma is your good-hearted brash anti-hero type; nonetheless, he fights to correct injustices perpetuated by those in power. On the other side, Ryuhou fights for justice, as a member of and, subsequently, against HOLY.

Scryed is your typical hot-blooded shonen adventure anime with cool psychic (called Alter) powers, nice mecha, and awesome fight sequences. The character designs are great and the animation is smooth. However, the designs of the Alters (the physical manifestations of the Alter Users' powers) are a mixed deal. While you get cool designs like Straight Cougar's car and Maxwell's Super Pinch (boy, did *that* made me laugh out loud), you also get Ryuhou's lousy final armor design and Kazuma's "lion-hey-did-I-see-that-from-Saint-Seiya" armor. Seriously, the main characters' final armor designs looked dumb in comparison to their lower-powered powers.

Strangely enough, while most of the character development focused on the two leads, the supporting characters were often more interesting than the main characters. I couldn't help but feel sad at Sherris' one-sided devotion to Ryuhou, chuckle at Cougar's antics, and wonder constantly on what's happening with Kanami. The fact that the motivations of these characters are clearly laid out helped to make me symphatize with them.

That doesn't mean Ryuhou and Kazuma are uninteresting characters, however. The series' plot twists and turns serve well to show their individual personalities. Ryuhou, in fact, started out as a gruff, revenge-driven serious fighter who acts like the good soldier for HOLY, no matter what others say. He grew out of his self-erected shell towards the middle of the series, as he was exposed to the people he used to think nothing of during his stint in HOLY, and started to fight for real justice. It was engaging to watch his transformation into someone you would love to loathe in the beginning to someone who could earn Kazuma's respect by the end of the series. If there is one thing that may be proved by his constant enmity towards Kazuma, it's that a person would usually hate someone who is too much like himself.

My favorite feature of the series, though, is definitely the opening song, "Reckless Fire", a very, very appropriate song for this hot-blooded anime.

Maybe Scryed caught me at a good time, but I had a lot of fun watching this series. While it might not rate a place among my all-time faves Dragonball Z and Yuu Yuu Hakusho, that is only because its length did not give it the status of an epic series.

Individual Rating: Art: 8; Story & Plot 8; Characters: 8; Sounds: 9

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