Review of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse (2012)

Moving picture, 9 hours

Seen in 2013.

In 1967, humanity meets a hostile alien race on the Moon. This race, the BETA, is similar to the Bugs of Starship Troopers (1997). They make landfall on Earth in 1973 and slowly conquer much of Eurasia. The series opens in 1998, when they attack Japan. In 2001, a political maneuver involving MKUltra brainwashing of elite Soviet mecha pilots almost triggers a doomsday device that destroys Alaska, where the Soviet government has been relocated.

Mecha action with moe. The basic plot, i.e. monstrous extraterrestrials invading Japan from the Eurasian mainland, also appears in the mecha series Blue Gender (1999) and Gunparade March (2003), among others.

The first two episodes promise a level of pathos and apocalypticism entirely absent from the rest of the series. The remainder of the plot is a creepy masturbatory fantasy: The male lead introduced in episode 3 gradually reduces the original female lead to a lovey-dovey object. He is motivated by racism against the Japanese, whose fine traditions (cuisine, hot-spring baths etc.) win over everybody who tries them, while hot women from around the world fall in love with the hero. This insipid scripting is to be expected from an adaptation of a pornographic “visual novel” game. I liked the beginning, despite its sexist tone and ridiculous costumes. I stayed for vain hopes and alt-history mecha.

References here: “Don’t mention the war!”, Last Exile: Fam, The Silver Wing (2011), Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress: The Battle of Unato (2019).

moving picture animation Japanese production mecha fiction series