Let's call this the week of two fan services. In this corner, you have Triage X: Shoji Sato's latest experiment of trying to fuse cartoon tits and explosions with the eyes of otakus across the globe. In the other corner, you have PUNCH LINE, a charming... well, I don't know what the fuck was up with PUNCH LINE, but you can check out that review to find out. Back to the point: PUNCH LINE was a series in which the ecchi played a prominent plot role, and Triage X is a series in which there are a lot of boobs for absolutely no fucking reason. Granted, boobs for no reason is not automatically a bad thing. Look at One Piece. Boobs only figure into the plot insofar as they cause Sanji to act like a moron. That's about as much as they figure into the plot of real life, I would say. The more important difference? One Piece is actually interesting. Simply put, when fan service is all up in my face with major boobage every ten seconds and there is nothing interesting going on in your series, you are insulting my intelligence and my penis at the same time.
I mean, this episode was boring as shit. I mean really boring. I have never been so bored by boobs in my life, and as something with a Y chromosome, that causes me existential angst. If I am bored by boobs, you have really gone out of your way to make an episode of your show a vapid mess.
The plot of Triage X is simple, but suffers from being too simple: some people in society are bad, and society is sort of like a living organism, so those people are, you know, like, tumors, bro, you know? Ugh. It's like a stoner at my undergrad got to pitch a manga idea abroad. Again, though, a simple plot, even a stupidly simple plot, is not a death knell for any given series: the plot of One Piece is "... PIRATES!"
The difference is the need for a character that makes things dramatic; we're talking some kind of bare minimum for writing fiction here. Where Sato's Highschool of the Dead succeeds is cheap, but effective: zombies invading a high school and coming up against a team mainly composed of some kick-ass chicks is interesting enough to get me to sit through a season. The assault of boobage in that series is completely fucking ridiculous, but because the main plot has the aid of constant zombie-fueled conflict, the whole thing comes off as charmingly kitsch.
But there's nothing charming about the world of Triage X. The villain is a bad stereotype and the hero has a completely unbelievable story which is based on events so far removed from the plot itself that there's no reason for me to care. The kickass chicks in this series are presented as part of a team of assassins, meaning that when they're not killing stuff, they're all boring.
And god damnit I just don't care about their chesticles. Stop it. Put them away. It's 2015: an infinity of cartoon boobs is readily available on the interwebnets. If you're making an anime that's supposed to have a story then give me a story worth sticking around for. It's one thing to make me not want to stick around for the partial nudity, but to have a series be so boring that the partial nudity actually feels like it's patronizing me? Awful.
Also disappointing was the production value: Xebec really mailed it in on this one. Lines are sloppy and details are less than impressive. On top of that, the direction is just... empty. The main fight scene barely feels like a fight, and this series has to censor itself so much that even one of the long dialog scenes feels like it's missing details-- ironically, the details missing are nipples.
I did get a laugh out of the episode, since one of the characters was comically absurd. But it was too little too late. I'll stick with the series a little while to see if this was just a shaky first episode, but I'm not counting on it and you shouldn't either; unless you're some kind of major creep, in which case I would ask that you please keep both hands where I can see them when scrolling through my reviews.
Triage X 1.1 Official Website