Figure 17 anime review

Figure 17 anime review
Tsubasa Shiina is a 10-year-old girl who recently moved to Hokkaido to live with her father. In school, she is very quiet and unsociable with her classmates. Then one night, she witnesses a UFO crash in the forest near her home. She rushes to the scene and finds the pilot, codenamed "D.D.", in a barely stable condition. Also in the scene is a Maguar, a hideous alien that hatched aboard D.D.'s ship. As the Maguar is close to taking Tsubasa's life, an alien lifeform fuses with her body to form the Riberus battle armor Figure 17, which shortly destroys the alien threat. The life form takes the name Hikaru and turns into an identical twin of Tsubasa. As time passes, Tsubasa becomes more open to everyone around her, thanks to her new twin sister Hikaru. However, with Maguar eggs scattered all over Hokkaido, their ability to form Figure 17 is needed to eliminate all hatched Maguars until backup from D.D.'s home planet arrives on Earth.

It is common, sometimes an anime doesn’t really represent the genre it was tagged as. For one thing, you can’t really trust the tagging system of MAL , and I learned this since they tagged TM 8.0 as a josei. (Which is an excellent show by the way, but tagging one show as a josei only because it is realistic is what I would call : false associations). Anyway, I decided to watch Figure 17 for two reasons. The first was that I was in a Science Fiction mood. I really wanted to continue my trend of Science Fiction that I started with The Third, same as I did with soap drama trend.  Sadly though, Figure 17 is one those series that you can hardly call Science Fiction. The second reason was because I had it on my mind for quite a while now. And what do you know, it’s not because the show isn’t like you thought it would be that it is not necessarily good. On the contrary, Figure 17 was, by a surprise, one of those enjoyable experiences.

Figure 17 does have its share of advanced and outer space technologies, space monster and a whole new kind of living species that would completely blow away our current base information on living matters. Yet, why am I saying that Figure 17 is hardly a Science Fiction anime? It is simply because those elements doesn’t really matter at all. In fact, it’s only there to drive the show further in and to support the core of the plot. What is important in Figure 17 is really the slice of life part of our two main fake twins, Tsubasa and Hikaru. It’s a bit of a drawback for those who expected a fast-paced action show, because this anime is quite the contrary. In truth, if I have to guess it proportionally, I would say that 9/10 of an episode is about the slice of life and 1/10 about the Science Fiction and action. Which, ironically, is actually a very good thing. You see, the alien combats and saving the earth part was hardly interesting simply because the slice of life part was way, way better told. In exception of few episodes, the main basis of the anime is to show our main protagonist in mundane situations and her development to become a more independent person. Certainly they weren’t deep and exceptionally stories, but it was all in all constant, which makes up for the useless and repetitive alien fight.

More important that story itself, the characters plays a big part in the overall quality of the show. Well, Tsubasa and Hikaru’s both development and relation plays an important role in the series. For the first, their development is blatantly exposed in the dialogues. Gladly, the anime didn’t go into subtle things that leaves the viewer to interpret without any clues whatsoever. On the contrary, you can very well see the change of personalities in both of these characters, and for me, that is an enormous plus point. Of course, the series has its share of secondary characters that are there to support the show, but no emphasis or importance are welted on them. This leaves us for a show entirely about what we really care about : the main characters.  The really bad point really is that that character design is to reconsider.

In terms of art and animation, Figure 17 is not really good. While it has been made in the early 2000′s and I shouldn’t really bash it that much, it is quite obvious that it did not aged well. Firstly, the backgrounds are utterly boring. For example, there was a scene with 3-4 balloons in the sky and Tsubasa saying how beautiful it was. Well yeah, it’s one of those scenes where one really needs to activate its suspension of disbelief to actually dig what she just said. Secondly, there is a lot of repeated and limited animation in Figure 17. I can believe this can be a huge drawback for some because for an episode that last 47 min, it can become tiresome. Not to mention that fight scenes are for the most awkward and sloppy. And then we have the character design, for what it is, pretty normal. Nothing spectacular and nothing good either.

The music was also bad because it was extremely limited. Annoying openening song and only really two songs in the actual anime.

In conclusion, Figure 17 is a good anime that is countered by forgettable production and usage of the Science Fiction element. Nonetheless, it is an excellent show.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Figure 17. Watch it now:
Browse Anime by Alphabet:
Browse Anime by year of production:
  • 1993
  • 1992
  • 1991
  • 1990
  • 1989
  • 1988
  • 1987
  • 1986
  • 1985
  • 1979