Level E

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Level E is an action, adventure, comedy, drama, science fiction, slice of life, Japanese anime series.  It was based on

Level1.jpg

a manga series which was written by Yoshihiro Togashi and published by Shueisha for the magazine Weekly Shonen Jump.  It originally ran from October 2, 1995 to October 15, 1997, and it lasted for 3 volumes in total.  After that came the anime series.  it was directed by Toshiyuki Kato, written by Jukki Hanada, musically composed by Kunihiko Ryo, and produced by Hatsuro Nara, Ken Hagino, Kojita Kajita, Studio Pierrot, and David Productions.  It originally aired from January 11, 2011 to April 5, 2011, and it lasted for 13 episodes in total.  

Plot

Earth has been populated by thousands of aliens from all over the galaxy. While all the other aliens are aware of their presence, it is a secret only from the Earthlings. Baka, the prince of the planet Dogra, crash lands on Earth and loses his memory. He forcibly moves in with Yukitaka Tsutsui, a first year high school student who had just moved out on his own. The normal life he once knew is quickly pulled away as he becomes the target of the prince's torment.

Why It Rocks

  1. Amazing animation.  
  2. The original manga series was written by Yoshihiro Togashi, in between his two more well known manga, Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter.  
  3. Very appealing art style and character designs.  
  4. During the first two episodes, Level E seems like an entirely different show from what it turns out to be.  This makes it even more enjoyable when the truth is finally revealed.  
  5. Excellent soundtrack.  
  6. The comedy is outstanding.  It's just the right blend of slapstick, screwball, and randomness.  It's very different from Yu Yu Hakusho and Hunter X Hunter which, while having comedy in themm, mainly focused on the action and drama.  
  7. Great voice acting in both sub and dub.  
  8. The main character, Prince Baka, (yes, that's actually his name), is the best part of the show.  He's incredibly hilarious.  He tells the guy who lets him stay that he lost his memory and is on the run from the space cops, but in reality he didn't losoe his memroy at all, and is only being chased because he's their runaway prince.  The whole first arc of the story and the all of the suspense and intrigue is just Prince Baka screwing with some random kid for laughs.  
  9. Good pacing.  
  10. All of the other characters, while not being as good as Prince Baka, are still entertaining and add to the overall enjoyment and comedy of the series.  

Reception

Carl Kimlinger of the Anime News Network gave an average grade to the first six episodes of the series, though he found that the artwork, animation, and music were good, and that its writing was "undeniably clever, even audacious". However, the reviewer felt the series to be less and less endearing to watch, particularly after the first three episodes, the absence of character Yukitaka Tsutsui, and the use of mini-story arcs. "There's a quixotic dignity in its use of entire story-arcs to set up single gags and a laudable courage in its willingness to experiment (check out the aged atmosphere created by episode four's thick lines and faded colors)," Kimlinger summarized. "That doesn't make it fun to watch, however. In fact, each successive episode leaves one feeling emptier and less charitable towards Prince than the last." Erin Finnegan of the same website made similar comments regarding the narrative progression of Level E. Finnegan stated, "Maybe it's just me. I can't get attached to characters who are only going to be around for a few episodes unless they make an incredible impression, otherwise it's very hard to write loveable characters that will only last for three or four episodes. In Level E, it's hard to get attached to the Prince, who doesn't appear at all in some episodes, and in other episodes he gets very little screen time. Plus he's such a jerk, it's hard to like him or care about his shenanigans."