Netflix has made big strides in not only adding more anime series to its streaming service, but in providing a wider variety of projects. One of the more intriguing upcoming releases is Ingress: The Animation, because it's an anime series based off of a popular mobile game. Video game adaptations could really go either way as some anime series crack under the pressure of attempting to capture a player's experience in the narrative.
But Ingress: The Animation holds strong and captures the tone of classic video game anime like Digimon or Medabots by feeling like you can just leap right into the world when playing the game itself. Ingress: The Animation's first three episodes tease a series full of cool action, intrigue, and nostalgic fun.
Based off of the Niantic (the same company that brought you Pokemon GO) augmented-reality mobile game Ingress, Ingress: The Animation is set in a world blanketed in a strange substance known as Exotic Matter. Dubbed as "XM," this strange energy can give those who are exposed to it special abilities. These people are known as "Sensitives," and are separated into two different factions battling over various XM portals opening all over the world.
The series itself follows a young special investigator named Makoto who has the ability to see the memories of any object he touches. During an investigation in which the police find a girl who has lost her memories, Makoto soon becomes embroiled in a huge conspiracy as this girl brings him further into the world of XM and the two warring factions.
Watching the first three episodes of the series' English dub, produced by Bang Zoom! Entertainment (JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, Love Hina), it captures a distinct vision of a bygone era of anime of when video game adaptations with completely original stories were the norm. This feeling permeates throughout the series' drama and action set pieces, and elevates the experience with pure joy.
The entire package feels nostalgic as well as the series has a unique opening and ending theme that will definitely get attention from fans right away. These first three episodes finely balance its tone and present a series with some intense stakes for its characters, but there's never a loss of fun. Like Makoto could be running from an assassin, but needs to look at his phone for a point of interest like a player would in the original mobile game. It's just a fun juxtaposition.
There's a solid visual experience due to its strong CG presentation as well. CG-animated anime series can be a little rough sometimes, but Ingress: The Animation thankfully does not seem to have any rough patches. The series has an effective character design that looks great in motion, and there are even a few 2D animated sequences to be found scattered throughout the series' early episodes. There's a great deal of potential to be had here.1comments
Saturday mornings may not be the place for anime anymore, but Ingress: The Animation feels like it'd fit right in with those classics of yesteryear. Its fun and intriguing premise leaves you with a feeling you can't help but be nostalgic for.
Ingress: The Animation officially launches on Netflix April 30th.