I didn’t even realize I hadn’t reviewed this before. I can’t believe myself sometimes, I even ended up reading the manga. (Which is licensed in France and I’m even thinking of buying it, finished series are great to buy, at least you know how much you will need for it.)
Anyway, today’s column will be about aliens, the outer space kind of aliens, because the hero of Level E is one. Everything starts when the prince of the Dogura planet, named Baka Ouji for convenience, crashes on Earth. Unfortunately for our planet and for the boy Yukitaka who has the honor of helping the prince, said prince is a beautiful blond troll who ran away from his planet.
It probably isn’t obvious from my summary but actually, Level E is a Gintama style comedy, the anime is divided into short arcs which all focus on making the viewers laugh. And for me it worked. At the same time it also means that the anime doesn’t get boring, because it means we get to discover new characters all the time. (I say all the time but it’s only 13 episodes long and 16 chapters in the manga, the number of characters we discover is limited.)
When I first watched it, I didn’t know anything about the plot or anything so the end of the first arc surprised me in a good way. But when you get what it’s all about it becomes obvious that everything you’re watching is carefully orchestrated by Baka Ouji. The good thing is that while it’s very obvious who’s the mastermind behind everything it still isn’t predictable, mainly because Baka Ouji isn’t predictable. Not to mention that there are tons of aliens from different planets on Earth, along with comrades from Baka Ouji, which adds a lot more unpredictable factors. Anyway, the plot isn’t exactly interesting (it uses common tropes) — the interesting things are the comedy and the characters.
In case it wasn’t obvious, the characters are just awesome. Especially the main one. The Prince is a character that has a lot of sides to him, which as I said makes it completely unpredictable and this is something I love both in plot and in characters. While it isn’t completely apparent from his nickname nor from his initial behavior he is actually very intelligent. He does lack some manners and consideration for others but he has a brain and he knows how to use it. To troll people. And obviously this is the part of him I liked best, but it’s not the only thing I liked. I liked the fact that despite his appearances of not caring for anything he’s actually a nice guy, it just seems like he himself doesn’t know how to handle that part of him. I also found him quite innocent regarding some things and that was just adorable.
The good thing about Level E is that it didn’t focus only on Baka Ouji. Ok sure his shadow and/or himself were always there, and it still didn’t give enough space for everyone else to shine, which wasn’t really easy considering how strong his personality is. My second favorite was Yukitaka because Yukitaka too is cute in the way he both cares for the Prince and finds him incredibly annoying. His love for Miho too was pretty cute. Captain Kraft, chief of the Prince’s rescue team who actually has to refrain from killing him was also pretty nice. The Color Rangers too need to be mentioned for all the things they went through despite their young age. (Probably the only part that makes it very Jump like)
Last but not least I have to mention the Princess that Baka Ouji is supposed to marry because, while she shines even more in the part of the manga that hasn’t been animated, she still is really awesome. I would like to explain exactly why she is that awesome but I can’t, it’d be spoiling and that would be mean. (Then again, maybe I’m trolling and she actually isn’t all that awesome but just a pretty girl. Who’d know?)
I was overall pretty impressed by everything in this anime, when I read the manga later I found that they really did a good job with the art, making it more modern without completely betraying the author. I also have to mention the seiyuu, as usual, but I realized writing this that Level E is the first anime in which I heard Yoshimasa Hosoya (as Yukitaka) and damn he was already pretty good, especially when you consider he was facing Daisuke Namikawa as Baka Ouji. Those two really made a great team.
I’m strongly advising you to watch Level E. Especially if you like comedy, this is an anime that doesn’t seem too good when you first hear of it but that you don’t regret watching. Or at the very least I didn’t.