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Listeners Episode 1 Review

Giant Rockin Robo Anime

| @otakuvoice

Listerners episode one treats us to something fun and enjoyable. In a small town practically filled to the brim with trash, a young boy find an amnesiac girl who can control a giant robot the boy built. On the surface it doesn’t feel particularly unique, but it makes up for it with some fun rock-&-roll vibes.

The main characters of Echo and Mu feel almost like classic anime characters. Echo dreams about the giant robot, an equipment, that can then go off to fight earless. Mu is a player who has lost her memory, but still knows enough how to pilot the equipment. Nothing special about it, but I think the first episode lends itself to a modern take on the classic giant robot genre.

The World of Listeners

I would say that episode one of Listeners does a good job of laying out the world. It isn’t necessarily a dire post-apocalyptic setting. Really its just Echo’s little home town that has been left to waste. The rest of the world seems to be coping with the earless invasion. Its easy to give as much exposition as Echo can when your female lead has amnesia. It doesn’t all feel particularly original, but it does have a freshness to it.

One thing that stands out in Listerners is the heavy overture to music. It feels incorporated into everything about the show. The main characters name is Echo. He carriers a large Amp that turns into a rocking giant robot. Giant robots are controlled by a guitar jack between people called players, and fight shadowy beings called earless. Its a rock anime without actually being about a rock band.

Equipment & Players Vs. Earless

I am not in love with the mecha design. The portable amp design with the Vox logo in the corner is really cool. Its the actual transoformed fighting model that leaves a lot to be desired. The overall model isn’t sleek. There are parts that look like the rock theme is being pushed wrong. On the elbows are trumpet looking speakers which really standout and take away from the design. Even in the episode there isn’t a lot of time spent looking at it, but the head piece didn’t stand out. Nothing about the giant robot of the series feels special.

At least we got some combat in the first episode. Any regular anime might have cutoff right at the first transformation. Listeners gives us a good quality tease of whats to come from the show. We aren’t left hanging right from the outset. I was definitely feeling the vibe of the fight against the earless.

The earless seem like an oxymoron. They pretty distinctly do have ears. In fact they look like evil phantom bats crawling through the city. The larger music motif makes me think that the earless is more symbolic than as literal as I am taking it in the first episode. It might be more to their lack of taste in music rather than their inability to hear it. Earless are a cool design even if there isn’t much variety in the dozen or so from the pilot.

Final Thoughts

I was definitely jamming out to the first episode of Listeners. It doesn’t even promise anything particularly unique, but the larger theme of the show sounds promising. A rock and music-centric anime is always a welcome sight.

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[Image via Listeners.rocks]