Big Order

Big Order

img_4725.jpg

This is a story that begins after the world ends.The story centres on an introverted high school student named Eiji Hoshimiya with a huge secret—he wished for the destruction of the world when he was younger. Fairies give certain people special powers called Orders, and what Order Users can do with their power depends on their wishes. Ten years after the Great Destruction, Eiji struggles to come to terms with his immense power. Especially when a young woman named Rin turns up, determined to get revenge on him for causing the death of her parents… but she has order powers, too.

When I heard that this was a storyline written by Sakae Esuno, the writer and illustrator of one of my favourite manga of all time, Future Diary, I knew that I had to give this one a look.

The drawings, characterisation and animation all have that similar feel – a little edgy, eerie and dystopic. Anyone who’s watched Future Diary can draw plenty of similarities between Yuki and Yuno and Eiji and Rin. Not just the physical traits – dark-haired, somewhat-clueless protagonist with a great amount of power and a strong, slightly unhinged leading lady with twin-tails and a one-track mind. It’s enough to draw me into the premise with the intent to commit to the long-haul… but can it deliver?

img_4727.jpg

The thing is, I feel that Big Order loses its pacing about halfway through and things become a bit convoluted and ridiculous (and you know that when I start mentioning things like that, you know things have gotten indecipherable). For example, there’s a sort of priestess character in this and, when Eiji accidentally touches her hair ribbon she immediately becomes heavily pregnant. I don’t get it. I don’t even think that’s it’s worth my time to even try and understand it. Was it just meant to be some ridiculous joke? Things like this take something away from the real reasons as to why I want to actually watch this: for the action, the great order powers the character use and the growing conspiracy that things aren’t all what they seem to the main character.

Order! Make my lie convincing!
Order! Make my lie convincing!

The differing powers of the Orders that appear throughout are interesting, and it makes for some high-tension battles between super-powered beings that are fresh and unpredictable. However, whilst the superpowers are the crux of this entire story, one of the shortfalls of Big Order is in the vagueness of the boundaries that are set up for them. Does anyone know the limits of the Order powers? Do the owners? Does the being giving them out, Daisy? Who knows.

img_4724.jpg

The intricate details of many of the Orders’ powers are not defined at all. You just get a general gist that their power encompasses ‘water’ or ‘strength’ or ‘divination’. This means that while you have a general and very basic idea of what each Order can do, it’s hard to tell specifically how their abilities work and exactly what their limitations are, leaving an air of uncertainty around much of the battles and the feeling that things haven’t really been thought out very well. More than once I found myself asking “if this is this character’s power, why don’t they just do this rather than spend a whole episode doing that?” The fact that most battles tend to be resolved by another character stepping into the fray  with almost a deus ex machina feel also does not help. Maybe that’s why they keep things vague when it comes to Order powers? It often feels like the powers alleviate some otherwise tricky plot dead-ends.

img_4723.jpg

Driven by diverse characters, intense action, and brief, awkward fanservice, this show should be primed for greatness alongside its predecessor. However, it definitely falls short in some fairly basic areas. While the overall plot is easy to understand, the story itself feels unpolished. As a viewer you are often left with more questions and curiosities than this show demands. This is partially due to the show’s pool of complex characters that leaves you with the feeling that you should know more about them, but there just isn’t the time because of all the wacky Order stuff going on. Because of its fast pace in plot progression, you are almost unable to truly connect with or thoroughly appreciate any of the characters on a deeper level. The random micro-romances do not help this show on any level. Due to the plot being so thin in places and the characters being so underdeveloped, it hurts the story more than it helps the show.

img_4732.jpg

I had big hopes for Big Order, but I feel that it hasn’t really lived up to my expectations. It’s an okay show that could have been much more. It could have been filled with a lot more substantial stuff rather than letting down the fans that watched it all because of Future Diary‘s fame. Take this one with a pinch of salt and, when you start to think things are getting ridiculous, drop it. You’ll get tired of everyone shouting “Order!” at one another.