Dimension W Episode 1: Wow, Gasoline is Expensive!

January 14, 2016

The first episode, which is called Collector, introduces us to a world where gasoline is almost $100 a gallon and almost all energy comes from Dimension W. All of the nations of the world depend on that energy. What could go wrong?

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What Happened?

It’s 2037, and the world draws its energy from Dimension W. Sixty towers located all around the world stabilize this energy and make it available for consumption. A single company, New Tesla Energy (NT), controls these towers. Individual devices pull power from the towers via small coils. Of course, there’s a black market for them.

Mary sends Mabuchi, her employee, after stolen coils. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Mary sends Mabuchi, her employee, after stolen coils. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Kyōma Mabuchi is a Collector, which means he retrieves illegal coils for a living. His employer, Mary, sends him on a mission to retrieve a stolen shipment.

At about the same time, Mira Yurizaki discovers that her apartment’s drinking water is sludge again. She tells her ailing father, who looks a lot like the previous CEO of New Tesla Energy who’s been missing for several years, that she’s going to go buy potable water. On the way home, she somehow senses the illegal coils that are nearby, and she investigates. Unfortunately, the criminals knock her unconscious and capture her. As one of them is about to molest her, Mabuchi announces himself and asks them to turn over the illegal coils.

As one might expect, they decline to be peaceful about it, so Mabuchi uses his knives to begin disarming them. He also warns them that the illegal coils will eat them if they don’t hand them over. As Yurizaki awakens and sees Mabuchi fighting, she briefly wonders if he’s human. Then the wounded criminal boss grabs her and threatens to kill her if Mabuchi doesn’t let him go. When Mabuchi says it’s not his job to save the girl, she apologizes to her father and “powers up.” She throws the boss across the room.

Then she marches up to Mabuchi, calls him a low life, and slaps him so hard he falls unconscious.

He awakens to see NT’s lead field agent. The illegal coils are missing. After declining the agent’s offer to join the NT team, Mabuchi takes off after Yurizaki.

<> tries to escape to help her father, but <> was too good with his knives/wires. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Yurizaki tries to escape to help her father, but Mabuchi was too good with his knives/wires. Capture from the Funimation stream.

An NT team finds Yurizaki’s apartment. It turns out the man inside was, in fact, the previous CEO, and he’s vehemently against NT now. Instead of surrendering himself and his new research to the people who had murdered his family (NT), he begins to detonate what looks like an energy singularity. At the same time, Mabuchi has just captured Yurizaki with his wires, and she senses the impending explosion. She’s desperate to away, but the bomb goes off, shuttling the power for several blocks around — including Yurizaki.

Mabuchi brings her to Mary’s lab. Mary’s scientist is astonished at Yurizaki’s complexity. He’s not even sure she’s not sentient, and he says only one individual could have made her: the previous NT CEO. After she’s powered up, she’s embarrassed and furious that they removed her outer clothes to examine her. Poor Mabuchi gets slapped again, but this time, he stays conscious. She sobers up, though, when Mary asks if they can meet her maker. Reminded that her father’s now dead, she gets off the table, sinks to her knees, and begs them to let her help gather the illegal coils.

What I Liked

During the opening music (OP), Mabuchi shows that he’s a coordinated dancer. I was impressed.

Also in the OP, during the car chase, when the “bad guy” cars wreck, you can see the drivers tumble out. I like that kind of realism, though I feel for the poor guys. That tumble had to sting.

The backgrounds look enough like today’s world to feel familiar, and they have enough subtle differences to emphasize that they’re twenty or more years in the future.

Mabuchi likes to be paid half in money, half in gasoline. Like many heroes/anti-heroes, he clings to some of the old technology, but I get a sense it’s for more than sentimental reasons. I’ll be interested to see if they series expands on that.

Long odds don't bother Mabuchi. Capture from the Funimation stream.

Long odds don’t bother Mabuchi. Capture from the Funimation stream.

I think the animation is beautiful. The backgrounds are detailed, the character movements are smooth, and each character is distinctive. Action scenes are smooth and exciting to watch.

The NT team who tries to retrieve Yurizaki’s father tries to reassure him by saying that the previous bureau chief misunderstood the board’s instructions and accidentally murdered his wife and daughter. Her father didn’t buy it for a second. That excuse sounded so much like the bureaucratic mindset I’ve seen play out in real life. It was satisfying to see the father shut it down. Though I was sad to see him die.

What I Liked Less

There were a couple of shots that seemed to detract from the drama. The one that really sticks out in my mind is when Yurizaki is sliding off the table to beg Mabuchi and Mary to let her help collect illegal coils. The shot focused on her legs and hips. I’m all for fan service where it makes sense, but the choice of that shot really struck me as odd.

Thoughts

Yurizaki made for a strong, sympathetic character. I hope she can achieve her mission! Capture from the Funimation stream.

Yurizaki made for a strong, sympathetic character. I hope she can achieve her mission! Capture from the Funimation stream.

I like science fiction. I like mysteries. It looks like Dimension W is a little of both. I liked a lot about this episode: it moved crisply, the animation was fun to watch, and the action sequences felt satisfying. Mabuchi almost seems a little one dimensional, but there are hints that some of his affectations — like his dislike for the coils — isn’t just the grumpy old man yelling at kids to get off his lawn, but is a sentiment based on a bad experience.

I’m curious to find out what drove Yurizaki’s father to suicide. There’s obviously something very wrong with either the coils and their energy, or with how some people are using them. Whatever it is, it drove NT to kill her father’s wife and organic daughter.

I was afraid Yurizaki was going to be just another robot with feelings, but she seems like she has a mission. What personality came through in a hectic first episode felt sympathetic to me. Her father’s death seemed to really sadden her, but in spite of that, she focused on the need to recover the stolen coils. What’s so important that she needs to dedicate her life to its achievement?

I know I’m really curious to find out!

Reviews of Other Season 1 Episodes

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