Weiß kreuz Glühen

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Weiß kreuz Glühen, ( ヴァイスクロイツ グリーエン ) 2002, released as Knight Hunters Eternity by Media Blasters in the US, was named after the Seiyû Unit's first album release and concert tour ( Glühen meaning "Glow" in German ). Being hailed as "the final chapter" of the animated TV series, the computer generated Glühen created a buzz at the year's earlier Animate Expo where it was promoted. It's original air date of March 2002 on the Kids Station, TV TOKYO was highly anticipated by fans...including myself, who picked up a set of Idol Cards ( one of Weiß one of Schwarz ) from that Expo. ( I was excited to see the only difference in the boys was Aya's waist-length pony-tail. ) Then came the now notorious lawsuit brought on by manga ka Kyoko Tsuchiya, stating that Animate films infringed on her original character designs since their history began in '97-'98. Glühen was literally sent back to the drawing boards, and the redesigned 13 episodes began airing by the autumn.

The character designs, while not bad, were way too feminine for my taste. I was happy Ken was the lesser of all evil, but he lost the "boyish charm" he always had. The worst, though, was Schwarz, who looked like "The Village People" rejects. Ugh. The only saviour was Nagi Naoe, who basically looked like he just grew older.

There were other new attributes that were harder for me to swallow, however. One was introduction of two new team members, Sena Izumi & Kyo Aguri, both of whom were throw-aways. I also couldn't get past their non-traditional assassin weapons...Sena's Chakram Throwing Discs, Kyo's double-headed Battle Axe. War ready, yes. Stealth, no. Second was the boys' assassin gear. The original concept was focused on wearability (Ken & Omi wore their typical clothes) or streamlined (Aya and Yoji wore sleek trench coats). In Glühen much of the gear was so eloborate, looking more like European aristocrats...they had cravats, for goodness sake!! Although I admit, I liked Ken's...though, the leather pants were a bit much, his jacket was straight off Tomokazu Seki in the Unit's final concert tour, Das Ewige Dasein. Plus, I liked him in the shields as it hid his new "girly" eyes.

The Mission also left much to be desired. You got very little "Weiß time", most of the series took place at the Koua Academy. And I'll be honest...I never like campus based anime. The most exciting part was the use of Crashers ( the assassin unit Aya was a member of prior to Weiß as described in the prequel drama CDs Crashers Knight and Ran ) as well as the introduction of Schwarz. I was also anticipating the Schwarz prequel unit, Rosenkreuz...until I saw them. The characters were in the wrong anime! Their appearance was out of a bad sci-fi film...big, brightly coloured hair and "Matrix" styled matching coats made them look ridiclous and out of a place.

However, I will say this. I appreciate Glühen very much for the simple reason that, in order to stay away from the manga and Kapitel, they took the Weiß boys back to their characterizations from the Dramatic Albums, which gives you so much more depth and happenes to be my favourite thing in the franchise. I was happy to see Omi all buisness, especially after being promoted to Persia. Yoji always wrapped up in self-pity. And Aya is nicer! Most of all, I was happy to see Ken was harsh, eager and ready for the kill! Totally skipping over all the angst and internal struggle, Ken was now psychopathic, without the joyous over kill he practiced in the later Dramatics. Glühen also shows Ken's religious background, at one point focusing on Siberian at his bedside praying ( see my Wish List!! ).

In the end, the series did not make most fans happy, and it didn't do well. Takehito Koyasu decided to continue the saga with a sequel manga, Weiß kreuz Side B, illustrated by Shoko Ohmine. Aya, who had ended Glühen dying ( while hugging a mailbox...lame. ) is resurrected and along with Ken ( when he gets out of prison ) joins Kryptonbrand, another assassination unit headed by the Kritiker orginization ( and is first mentioned in the dramatic CD Theatre of Pain ) and heads to Europe. Again, I had mixed feelings with this, as it just was not Weiß to me. Literally. Though I loved the look much much more, being a fan of Shoko Ohmine's other work, the manga LunatiX and it's accompanying Drama CD. The only thing is Ohmine's work is very detailed and sumptuous and, while it looks awesome, it doesn't speak of Weiß kreuz to me. Honestly, though, they should have waited on Glühen to use Ohmine's character designs. It would have looked gorgeous! But I digress...Apparently, having the same audience as Glühen, Side B meet the same fate. As I understand it, it was discontinued and cut short by the publishers.

Alas, Weiß kreuz...

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