Title: Shinjitsu no Tobira | Artist: Yoko Ishida | Show: Gunparade March

In celebration of the outstanding success of the Muv Luv kickstarter, I’d like to share one of my enduring favourite anime, an adaptation of a playstation game (which sadly has yet to make it into English) that I have to view as a spiritual precursor to ML, even if no direct inspiration was taken. (I don’t know for sure one way or the other).

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The game itself, released in 2000, appears similar to a cross between Persona and Front Mission: VN school life sequences mixed with mecha combat by way of Humanoid Walking Tanks (HWTs), with the Alternate History twist any fan of Muv Luv might find familiar. 1945, World War 2 is rudely interrupted by mysterious creatures that attack all of humanity. Coming to be known as “Genjyu” or “Phantom Beasts”, by 1999 half the world is depopulated and the high casualty rate has lead to the conscription of highschool-age children as combatants. That being said, the anime focuses more on the former of the aforementioned mix than the latter. Though the setting is demonstrably bleak, it doesn’t really go into much depth. (The manga adaptation takes a rather... different approach). It was my first encounter of the mix of slice-of-life layered over a truly terrible world, and it’s stayed with me ever since. One day soon I hope to review it properly.