Star Ocean EX

Genre: Action/Drama
Format: 26 Episodes
Allegiance: Studio DEEN
Director: Watanabe Hiroshi
Vintage: 2001
Intelligence Agency Report by: Orax
Claude C. Kenni, son of the legendary admiral Ronixis F. Kenni, has walked in his father’s footsteps all his life. Trying to make a name for himself, he begins his Star Forces career as an Ensign aboard the Calnus, the very ship commanded by his father. However, during an expedition he accidentally gets warped to a strange backwater planet named Expel where the residents believe he’s some legendary Warrior of Light. In the town of Arlia, he learns about the mysterious Sorcery Globe and how it’s plaguing the planet. Curious to find any connection between the Sorcery Globe and the appearance of demons in the country, Claude, along with a girl named Rena, begin their adventure.

Field Agent Report by: Orax
Overall 6.25

I’m always curious to find out how well game to anime conversions turn out to be. I was especially keen to get my hands on this one, since it was based off Star Ocean: The Second Story for the Playstation; one of the better RPG’s that I’ve played. But even if this anime was based on the game, it sure doesn’t mean it was going to be as good. Even though I did enjoy this anime, those who haven’t played the game might not get as much out of it as I did.

For an anime that was released in 2001, Star Ocean EX has extremely poor art and animation. Virtually no motion is depicted in any action scene. Flashing backgrounds and reused stills are abundant and will only stifle viewer interest regardless of whether you’re a fan or not. This proved to be one of the anime’s biggest problems. Musically, since Star Ocean EXborrows a lot from the game, it is quite hard to mess that part up. My favorite pieces are usually the soft melodies that usually play during quiet peaceful moments. Even the opening and closing themes weren’t too bad.

Thankfully, the characters were the highlight of this series, especially Ashton who was everything I imagined him to be from the game. He’ll provide laugh after laugh and it’s always a treat to watch his misfortune played out on the screen. Overall, more time is given to the characters than in the game, and a result more development and a firmer grip of their motives are provided. Some characters did get on my nerves such as Precis; and Rena should learn not to say “Claude” every three seconds because it really gets irritating. The plot on the other hand was unfavorably unexpected. The plot mostly consisted of finding information about the mysterious Sorcery Globe and eventually getting there. A few pointless episodes are thrown in to fill up time that only slows down the already sluggish pace. But even worse than that, the storyline just doesn’t finish. The anime cut off about one CD’s worth of plot from the game. There was expected to be a second season but due to financial reasons, it could not happen. This caused the ending to be disappointing, as the series ended just as the plot finally picked up and got exciting. The worst part was that the relationships between the characters and the story itself didn’t see a proper resolution that it deserved.

I have to admit that at times the only thing that made me want to watch the next episode was that I knew what was going to happen next, and I wanted to see how it animated. The art was a huge turnoff and was constantly frustrating. Even though the anime does end at a good point, it still doesn’t hide the fact that it doesn’t end the storyline. I would only recommend this to fans of Star Ocean: The Second Story, as they would get the most out of it.