Ga-rei Zero, oh no we don’t have enough material

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I’m not sure what the thought process of the screenwriters were when they adapted this series, but I’m sure at some point someone stepped back and said, “eh… guys, I don’t think we have enough material for twelve episode.”

“Oh don’t worry, we’ll just air the third last episode first so no-one will remember it when the story gets there, and we can air it again under the pretext that we’re helping our memory deficient viewers.”

I was never a fan of the whole “air the last episode first” style. I think it’s just the lazy alternative so suspense writers don’t have to write proper scripts. It’s a style that has a pre-built suspense/mystery element all the way through until the story catches up to the first episode. Of course, by then, nobody remembers what happens in the first episode and they’re forced to either do a recap, or make them watch the first episode again.

This is compounded by the fact that such a style in Ga-rei Zero was completely pointless. It wasn’t a suspense or mystery show. There was absolutely no need to air the climax first. All it did was spoil the story, which would have played out fine in normal chronological order. That and the production studio must have saved BILLIONS recycling footage/frames.

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What happened to the bike?

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You can tell it’s new footage cos if the extra lighting.

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Eh… if you look closely… ok they’re the same.

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Circle the 5 differences.

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I’m sure they wouldn’t just recycle the footage…

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Ok, I give up.

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Why let crappy bloggers spoil the story when we can do it ourselves.

There is still the question of why they focused so much on the political and defense force side of things if they were hardly going to touch on it in the rest of the series.

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“I object! Where am I in this episode?”

There you have it. How to fit 11 episodes of material into 12 episodes. Make that 10 episodes of material, seeing as no-one knows how the very first episode fits in all of this.

7 Responses to “Ga-rei Zero, oh no we don’t have enough material”

  1. Actually, it worked as a plot device. In this competitive age of anime saturation, people get bored of shows with slow introductions, so having a really mindblowing first episode with the viewers thrown into the climax will lead to them getting hooked.

    Plenty of other shows have done this before. You have a point though, that ep 11 didn’t need that much recap. Should’ve just went straight to the papa appearing scene.

  2. It’s true that throwing in recycled material is lazy. But I agree that the actual “beginning” of the show is extremely slow. I would have dismissed this show earlier if they aired the 3rd episode first. I believe it is poor writing that forced this method of storytelling. I did find the 9th episode quite touching though. Basically this is a show with too much time with too little to tell. Could of easily been a strong feature film rather than a watered down tv series.

  3. lols, even I dropped this at episode 5 simply because I can’t be bothered following it nor blogging it. but wow, they finally decided to catch up

  4. @tj han: I wouldn’t really call it a plot device, as that would require it to be an element in the actual story. This is simply style of storytelling the writers have adopted. (a really bad one at that) I do agree that in this day and age, the studios are probably looking for new ways to get the viewers hooked on the series, but i really don’t think this is the way to go. By airing a mindblowing episode first and throwing the audience straight into the climax, they’re setting an incredibly high benchmark for the rest of the series. It will more likely lead to even more viewers dropping the series, because the rest of the series falls short of that mark.

    @buh, blissmo: To sum up the entire show: “It’s poorly written”. From the very first episode, it was sending mixed messages to the audience, shifting genre from serious action, to something more akin to slice-of-life/romance drama.

  5. It’s really a bad thing for the viewer like us who excited at first but later drop it because it was to bored of the whole thing. Reusing clips is bad but If I’m not wrong they can save some money there.

  6. apart from the cheesy episodes that only reminds me of shoujo (the happy days of yomi and kagura), i think it’s pretty good. but yeah… i wish they kept up the excitement of the first two episodes rather than let it have a sharp fall off the edge of all the excitement.

  7. I actually think it makes for compelling storytelling. Given the hindsight, the mystery deepens as to how the trainwreck occurs. The emotional ante is also upped as we see how close Kagura and Yomi becomes.

    Few series use this plot device with the finesse and skill that GRZ does.

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