Juushinki Pandora Review: Science saves the day

Leon runs the numbers

I tend to have my fun watching the standalone mecha show of the season, and this series did pretty well comparatively. It's a show with an incredibly heavy science focus set in a post-apocalyptic world...with robots. It also have a strong Chinese influence in the setting, which is cool for me. The basic premise is that the humanity has been pushed to the edge of survival by an experiment gone wrong. The result is an acceleration of evolution in non-human animals resulting in a deadly world filled with animal-machine hybrids called BRAI.

Leon helps develop a new energy source

The main character, Leon Lau, is one of the scientists responsible for causing this catastrophe, and he spends his life working on a solution. He creates a hyperdrive capable of tapping into other dimensions to fight against the BRAI, turning standard combat vehicles into humanoid battle robots. He joins the nearby city of Neo Xianglong to help defend the people living there while trying to eradicate the BRAI for good.

Leon ponders his research

This series has quite a lot of good things going for it. For example, the basic concept behind the premise is quite interesting. It highlights the idea that modern humans have largely defied evolutionary guidance by specifically excluding them from the process of becoming BRAI. It's essentially focusing on the human tendency to think of themselves as being superior to animals, which is an idea that I like.

Leon gets the hyperdrive working

The series also has a very strong character focus. With the human population at an all-time low, we get a lot of time to learn more about the few that are left. They're all vastly different people, but they have to work together for the good of everyone else. I do wish that more people could have used the hyperdrive, but each character has their own role to play in the end.

Quantum blade

Despite the science focus, I do think that the series tends to bog itself down with the jargon. A lot of the developments are powered by heavy quantum technobabble that could just as easily be magic. Additionally, the concept of evolution that's generally used in the series is a common misconception on how evolution actually works. The idea that animals all evolve in effectively the same way doesn't really make sense in a realistic model. That's later explained in the story, but I still think it leaves the wrong impression.

Leon installs the hyperdrive

Finally, I was largely annoyed with the villains in this series. The series has some great moments, bringing up interesting arguments with its setting. For example, there's the idea that humans should cede the world to the BRAI or that we should subjugate them as weapons. However, the antagonists themselves are fueled by some generally boring motivations, with simple revenge being a common theme. I get that the main villain, Sieg, is meant to tower over them all, but he's often too confusing to really ponder.

Schrodinger's cat strikes again

All in all, I thought this series was mostly average. Mecha fights are heavily CG, but I didn't have any problem with how the fights themselves looked. The show brings up some cool ideas that it explores well, but I do think it's ultimately a bit too confusing for its own good.

Overal Score: 7/10

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