Well, first and foremost, this story is utterly attrocious. Potential or no, the execution is all over the place. You introduce a handful of characters on screen but hardly a name is given to them before we're introduced to more. It's as if the storyteller expects us to go into this world as omnipotent. How am I supposed to know who the pink-haired girl is and what her relation is to this Sarah person is (who I only recognized because Holly has a distinctive accent and not because the character was notable) if I don't even know her name?
Not only do your characters lack names, but they lack any sort of individual voice whatsoever. Simply casting different voices does not set apart their manner of speaking or identity from one another. You need an editor to keep your story concise and on track, or you really need to start analyzing your own work from a technical standpoint. The writing fails on so many rudimentary levels that it cancels out all of the work you put into making almost 15 minutes of animation.
Secondly, what makes your story any different than the umpteen other successful mecha anime that exist? What sets Shattered Heaven apart? Because as far as I can tell, there is no commentary, no theme, no identity. The characters all fit tropes and archetypes, but no one feels solid or authentic. What is it about the mecha genre that serves the narrative you're trying to tell? Are you trying to make a mecha just because you like mechs or does it actually serve a purpose to your storytelling?
Moving on from the writing, because I could go on about that for a while, the voice acting is subpar, which was a disappointment because you've got a pretty stellar cast. They lacked a lot of direction, and it was pretty clear that this was recorded at various points in the past. The actors seemed just as lost and unaware of their characters as the writer and audience did. Some actors seemed to want to downplay their delivery into a more subtle, nuanced, and realistic performance, whereas others wanted to play up the animated nature of the medium. The best example of that is at about 7 minutes and 45 seconds in, the character of Sean, I assume? The bumbling and idiotic line came across less like someone who realizes their mistake and more like an alcoholic having a seizure. This compared to the scene that follows between Adam and Amy is jarring and unfocused.
Along with an editor for the story, you would benefit greatly from a voice director - someone who could take the work off yours hands and weave together solid performances from obviously talented actors as a cohesive whole. This is why animation often requires teams; a fresh pair of ears and eyes allow for a much better product.
Finally, I am no expert on animation. I recognize the difficulty and level of dedication necessary to complete the amount of work that goes into it. However, for such an ambitious project, I feel that it would benefit you to connect your lineart. It's so distracting to see all of these incomplete lines hanging off of one another and not meeting in any manner, especially when your art style is not spectacular. Everything comes off as flat, there is no depth to the backgrounds, the movement is not fluid or interesting, and your overall visual composition lacks foresight. It would behoove you to take a film class to understand cinematography, as well as an anatomy or figure drawing class. The hands, by far, were my biggest pet peeve. If they were not connected to the character's arms, I would not have recognized them as such.
I recognize your passion and desire to make something compelling and worthwhile. Unfortunately, you failed. Ambition does not matter when you are lazy. You certainly worked hard to complete a product, and I commend you for that, but ultimately, after having seen all your previous work, it does not appear that you are taking constructive criticism and working to improve. You would benefit from doing one of two things with this. Either construct a team to assist you in your artistic vision or begin to condense this massive project and focus your efforts in more concentrated ways. As of this moment, this is far too much for what you seem to be capable of when there are so many questions that you need to answer for yourself and for the sake of your story.
First, hot DAMN, Kirb. Excellent display of your vocal range. So glad to hear you in the role of Zetto. Overall, this was an excellent episode. There was a great display of tension and the balance between styles of the fight scenes were really well-crafted. I think the highlight for me was the sound design of this episode, particularly Shady's screams as Alpha and of course, you as Zetto. They were both very chilling. Keep up the great work!
Hot damn, Kirb. Seriously, how is it that each episode manages to improve the showcase of your work more and more? The writing is, by far, my absolute favorite part of this series. The characters have very clearly defined personalities and are distinct from one another, which is complimented by the very solid voice acting of the main cast. The secondary and background characters are just as greatly performed and memorable. There were so many moments that were laugh out loud hilarious, just as there were very touching moments as the personalities of the player shined through their characters. I think my only "complaint" is just a nit-pick in that this episode felt a little on the lengthy side.
If anything, it's content felt as though it could have been split into a two-parter, but really, that's such a minor thing that it doesn't matter. I definitely get where leaving off at a cliff-hanger would have disrupted the flow of having this episode just be a little on the long side of things, so yeah, it doesn't really matter at all. Excellent work to the entire cast and crew, and I know you are very proud of this project of yours, Kirb, as you should be. Keep up the excellent work.
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