Directed by Masayuki Sakoi
Featuring Voices by Andrew Love, Luci Christian and Brittney Karbowski
High-octane, super-powered muscle fight over the barren Tokyo landscape. Complete with school girls.
In the future after World War III has climaxed in massive explosion turning Tokyo into a crater. This dead zone called “the Black Spot” has contaminated outcasts migrating to the spot for refuge with various powers, becoming known as “Needless.”
This action comedy follows the young boy Cruz as he is saved by and joins the Needless warrior priest Adam Blade and the scantily-clad shape shifter Eve. Cruz, Blade and Eve fight against the oppressive Simeon Corporation while gaining new allies, learning character and Needless history and dealing with Blade’s ridiculous obsession for cute young girls.
What the show has going for it is its fast-paced action and comedy. The first episode has Blade tearing apart a robot, and for the first disc is followed with high-action fights with creatively-powered characters. Meeting the characters leads to exploring their comical personality flaws, from screwing up names to standard exaggerated reactions, slapstick and so on. The story is pretty shallow and weak, but the fights and the humor are executed well enough for a few chuckles.
Unfortunately, the series begins to drag towards the end of the collection, with multi-episode fights and pace-killing side stories. The series also tries to poke fun at anime’s lolicon (Lolita complex) niche with Blade’s infatuation of young girl characters. However, it revels in it too much to be a parody and instead becomes an annoyance after the first few jokes. Other stock fan-service moments of cute girls constantly losing clothing in combat and some having pseudo-lesbian friendships are not quite as overplayed, but they come close.
Even though is slows down and becomes an effort to watch by disc two, the characters’ comical interactions and the earlier interesting battles make the show worth checking out the first few episodes. If it rebounds back remains to be seen for the second, final collection.
The show is presented in anamorphic 16:9 widescreen. The animation quality in the first episode is surprisingly kinetic and fluid. While the latter episodes do lose some of this (got to start off on the high note, after all), the show still maintains decent animation.
This release features English 2.0 and Japanese 2.0 audio. The English dub is generally well acted, save the occasional emotionless delivery. For those who don’t prefer English dubs in general, the Japanese language track is just as clear.
The Packaging and Bonus Features
This is probably the most packed release I’ve gotten from Sentai Filmworks. In addition to the English dub track, this two-disc collection includes a character sketch slide show, episode-by-episode informational blurbs and animated shorts called “The Secret of Saint Lilly Academy.” The shorts feature all the female characters in a modern-day Catholic private girls school, as Cruz tries to hide the fact that he’s a boy so he doesn’t kicked out (no clue why he’s there in the first place). The shorts are just the right length for a quick laugh before getting old, and they too are dubbed over with the series cast.
The only knock I’d give these extras are that the character sketch slide show isn’t navigatable, so you have to sit, watch and wait for any images you’d be interested in.
Of course, this is all in addition to the usual trailers and clean openings and endings Sentai Filmworks puts on all their releases, but it’s really nice to see they put effort into this series. Everything is kept in a standard DVD case with a decent enough cover emphasizing the series’ action and comedy.
Needless is actually a decent series. It’s not great, but it does its job providing some light humor and cool superhuman combat. The effort Sentai Filmworks put into this release is commendable and something I’d like to see more of.
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10
The Series 6.5/10
The Video 7/10
The Audio 7/10
The Packaging and Bonus Features 8/10
Overall (Not an Average) 7.5/10