Given the pedigree behind Metallic Rouge I feel like I have to give it a longer leash than I otherwise might, And truth be told, this episode was certainly better than the premiere. And annoyed me less. Which is not to say there was nothing in it that annoyed me, because there certainly was. But it was a little less preening and posing than the first episode, which I guess you have to call progress.
What bothers me is that I can’t shake the feeling that this is all very prefab, like a kit house – a Bones mecha series as designed by ChatGPT or Google Bard. All the boxes are checked, but the result is patently artificial. There’s no soul to this show, no creative ambition. It just puts one foot in front of the other and does what you expect a Bones sci-fi to do. It’s like the studio is ripping itself off, and that’s never a good look.
All the clumsy exposition by explanation this week is always a sign of uninspired writing, but when what it’s expositing is a plot made up up every anime sci-fi trope mashed together, the problem is compounded. Seriously, did anyone really try here, even a little? It’s not like there are no big names involved with Metallic Rouge. Yet in spite of all this there is a draw to it. However recycled it is this vibe is still an attractive one. The animation is gorgeous if not especially life-changing. The people involved in the production itself deserve better than what the scripts are giving them.
As for the plot, does it really matter? Hot battle chick, annoying woman who can’t shut up, countless roguishly handsome oddballs showing up out of nowhere, suppressed alien race and the ruins left over from a great war for the survival of humanity. I’d say stop me if you’ve heard this before, but I know you have. None of that is why I’m still watching, and I suspect that’s the case for most viewers. I get the feeling the shelf-life for Metallic Rouge is going to be very short unless there’s more here than what it’s shown so far, but I’m too big a fan of what it’s modeled after to give up just yet.