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Metallic Rouge Episode 1: Favorites

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Metallic Rouge Episode 1 – Quick Summary

In Metallic Rouge Episode 1, “Crimson Is the Sound of Dawn,” Sarah Fitzgerald drew a large crowd for her singing. Her voice captivated her audiences, and she even took pity on people on the fringers like Rouge. But then a strange talking bird visited Rouge, and there was an attempt on Sarah’s life. And all the while, an enthusiastic white-haired woman looked on from afar. How are all of these things related? Who’s really trying to kill Sarah? And how did that bird learn to talk?

Note: This post may include spoilers, so be cautious.

Favorite Quote from Metallic Rouge Episode 1

Metallic Rouge Episode 1: Frank's only redeeming value is crediting Isaac Asimov

Kevin at least got the attribution right. Seems like that’s his only good quality. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

I think most of you know that I write science fiction. That means Metallic Route is either right in my strike zone, or I’m going to be overly hard on it. More on that in a minute. But for now, I appreciated the wordsmithing that went into my favorite quote.

Have you ever read any of Isaac Asimov’s books from the Foundation series? They’re classics for a reason. Their vision and scope blew me away. The books featured robots that were so human-like, they could not be distinguished from humans without invasive testing. 

Asimov introduced the Three Laws of Robotics as part of Foundation’s world. That’s how they’re usually referenced: as the Three Laws. No mention of who wrote them; no mention of the genius that produced them. That’s why I selected this as my favorite quote.

Some lowlifes stole the nectar that Neans (robots) needed to live. One of them wondered if that was dangerous – wouldn’t the neans get violent?

“They’ve all got the Asimov Code programmed into ‘em,” the man answered in an arrogant tone (05:20). “They can’t defy us humans.”

I like how the show gave credit to Mr. Asimov. Now, I’m less happy about why he said it! But I’ll give credit where credit is due.

Favorite Moment from Metallic Rouge Episode 1

Metallic Rouge Episode 1L Naomi and Rouge both seem very polite

It was one of those “blink and you miss it” kind of moments. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

To Review, or Not to Review

Having just changed jobs, I have time to review only one new show this season. Obviously, I want to pick the one I’ll enjoy the most. Most seasons, I review four, so odds are great I’ll have at least two and maybe even four enjoyable series to review. But this time around, the pressure’s on.

I’ll admit that I overthought each of the series I considered. I put a ton of pressure on myself to pick the perfect series. Since Real Life Family Events (RLFEs) and Real Life Work Events (RLWEs) have made such demands on my time, I didn’t even notice how negative I’d gotten. Old habits don’t die hard – they don’t die. They just hide.

I scrutinized this episode. I noted similarities to Blade Runner right away – me and almost every other reviewer! Beyond that, I sensed a more modern Cowboy Bebop vibe. The more I looked, the more tropes I saw. A cackling villain? Check. Oppressed artificial life forms? Double check (with an underline for emphasis). By the end, I felt trope-oppressed.

Metallic Rouge Episode 1: Mars looks a like like Blade Runner

Even though it was set on Mars, I would not have been surprised to see Rick Deckard or Roy Batty enter the frame. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

That wasn’t all I felt. I perked up at my favorite quote. My favorite moment made me smile. Best of all, I thoroughly enjoyed Naomi Orthmann. If you’ve read many of my reviews, you probably know how much I revere strong women characters, and Naomi exuded strength and ability.

Still, the sheer volume of tropes pinned my spirits to the ground. Could I really review a show like this? If not, what show would be better? All fiction uses tropes. It’s impossible to get away from them.

Setup: Is Rouge Absent-Minded or What?

In spite of all that, I had tentatively selected this show to review. Still, I had my doubts. Then I read Vrai Kaiser’s review called “Metallic Rouge – Episode 1” on Anime Feminist. That review helped me notice that I’d slipped back into a mode I’ve tried to escape for years. When I’m under stress, I revert to form – and that means I turn my entire intellect into a grinder. There is no work of fiction I can’t rip apart. Seriously. Even my favorites don’t survive. 

That’s not healthy. No work of fiction exists independently of what came before. There are only so many tropes, so many story types, and so many character types to go around. 

Metallic Rouge Episode 1: Naomi and Rouge have potential as characters

Naomi and Rouge aren’t any more or less unique than any character. But you know what? They don’t need to be. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

When I remembered that, I looked at the series in a new light. Do you know what decided it for me? At the very end, the show played what I think will become the OP, Naomi playfully stumbles into Rouge Redstar, who responds more violently. That reminded me of Lycoris Recoil’s OP, with Naomi playing the role of Chisato and Rouge as Takina. But not in a plagiaristic way. In a fun way.

My favorite moment was an example of just having fun with a fictional world – in terms of setting it up and watching its natural implications play out. After losing her mechanical bird spy, Naomi met up with Rouge. Rouge didn’t seem to recognize her. Ditzy? Pretending? First time meeting? We don’t know.

Delivery: A Little Courtesy Goes a Long Way

Later, the two went to a restaurant where we learned that Naomi loves ramen. Like, a lot. Rouge said she had no idea Naomi had been speaking through the bird; Naomi seemed surprised by the question, and confusion ensued. Then Naomi introduced herself.

Is that really the first time they’re meeting? Kinda mysterious – I hope they resolve that question in some way! But the cool part came next.

Rouge asked what had happened to the bird, because she didn’t see it get sliced in half. Naomi said it died.

Metallic Rouge Episode 1: Naomi broke the bad news about the bird

Naomi broke the news of the bird’s fate. Capture from the Crunchyroll stream.

“My condolences,” Rouge said (10:43).

“Thank you kindly.”

They bowed to each other.

Why was that my favorite moment? Because it was a little human moment (or a human/Nean moment) between Naomi and Rouge. It also brought what came before to a close. It was like a dramatic end card! This was the moment where I decided I think I might like to review this show.

That, and every scene Naomi appeared in. Not since Chisato laughed in delight at exploding glass (caused by Takina’s machine gun) have I taken to a character so quickly. And the animation was a delight, especially during the fight scenes.

What did you think of the real identity of the red Gladiator? What were your favorite moments? Feel free to let me know in the comments!

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7 thoughts on “Metallic Rouge Episode 1: Favorites

  1. This is one of the great things about finding a group of bloggers that have somewhat overlapping tastes. For a new series that you’re uncertain about a new series you can see what others noticed and figure out if something minor is bothering you, or if it’s something you want to drop.
    I’ve avoided writing about a series until it’s ended, but it’s fun to talk about individual episodes so I start doing that too in a month or so.

    1. It was respectful, too! I hope, as Foovay suggested, that the show dives into the implications of those rules. It’s been awhile since I saw any serious treatment of the topic.

        1. If they had called the movie something else — almost anything else! — it might have been okay. I like Will Smith’s work! But that movie… wow. I agree. Very disappointing!

  2. For the first time in a long time I am seeing many shows starting in simulcast this season that I really want to see. I’ve already started a few. And now I’ve added a few more to the list. Like you, I could hardly resist anything that references the Asimov genius and seems poised to continue his insightful examination – even more important in these days of AI development – of human/robot relations. I was already eyeballing this one, and now I’ve definately decided to give it the 3 episode treatment. I’m even thinking a little about blogging again. 😛 But we’ll have to see on that, you know, Real Life Stuff and plenty of it.

Please let me know what you think!

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