First Impressions: Rusted Armors

A videogamey evil army enters a dangerous yet somehow flat forest. Everyone does the exact same movements. “There are supposed to be demons in the Saika forest”, Evil Guy I tells Evil Guy II. “Demons?” “Yeah. Troops have been stationed there before us but apparently none of them ever make it back alive.” “Are you freaking kidding me?” asks Evil Guy II, echoing my own thoughts. But Evil Guy I is not exaggerating, and you all would do well to heed his warning. As Evil Commander III scolds them, eight characters who may have escaped a SEGA Genesis console attack the army and annihilate it to the last man, even those fleeing, while making all sorts of humorous remarks. It’s barely an inconvenience, gifted as they are with prodigious superpowers that include being part machine-gun and having super-speed, super-strength, mental control and cool poses. One of the warriors has even brought his kid brother, who’s also killing left and right, though sometimes a bit recklessly. After the battle, there’s time for a hot bath, where we witness some interesting conversations. “What is wrong with calling someone stupid stupid, stupid?” “Hey, you just called me stupid three times!” Friendship and harmony, as you see. Only, it’s not. A good four out of the eight warriors are thinking about abandoning the rest. For his part, our Naruto-haired protagonist, isekai’d from another world, loves the independent spirit of the villagers, and will stay if he can. But a new army led by a dark samurai who breathes heavily (I kid you not) comes out of the forest. As the new troops prove that they are more resilient than the previous ones, our warriors, to their horror, will have to actually fight someone.

The ending song, “Tie and Tie”, was nice and evocative, epic even, with an obscured protagonist dancing with his sword in the dark. Other than that, I’m afraid that Rusted Armors is really, really bad. The 2D lacks detail. The 3D would be baffling even for a videogame. You can tell the same soldiers with the same movements have been copied and pasted all over the place, and the protagonists are animated so differently from their own weapons (not to mention the backgrounds and other characters) that it is very hard to pay attention to what is actually happening. When we do, it is even worse. Picture, say, the Avengers, killing hundreds of enemies without powers and with a flippant attitude, then afterwards taking a hot bath, making terrible jokes, getting drunk and speaking ill of each other, and you might get an idea of what this is about. The dialogue is all over the place, which means that the characterization suffers a lot. Everything feels very forced, and referencing Darth Vader so directly wasn’t a good idea either. In short, I’m confident that these concepts and techniques could be used to create an interesting anime (say, a Kemono Friends, a Naruto-with-a-twist, or a good videogamey action show) but this falls short in every respect. There’s a long road ahead for this team.

Rusted Armors can be streamed on Crunchyroll.

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