Schwarzesmarken is a spin-off of Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse and it’s said to be a prequel of it. Muv-Luv itself is based on its visual novel franchise. A general story is a group of soldiers riding TSF (i.e. mecha) to fight BETA which stands for Beings of Extra Terrestrial origin which is Adversary of human race. Yes, I know I know, the acronym is kinda pushing it 🙂
Schwarzesmarken is a German word for Black Marks and this anime series, it signifies the strongest TSF squadron, the 666th TSF Squadron, in East Germany lead by Irisdina Bernhard. Irisdina is a war hero and her capability as a squadron leader brings fame to 666th TSF squadron as the strongest TSF squadron in East Germany, if not, arguably, in West Germany as well.
Irisidina has a cold personality which makes her hard to get along with or even work with her. This is certainly a problem for the 666th squadron young and talented pilot named Theodor Eberbach.
Schwarzesmarken is set in the 1980s in the alternate timeline of East Germany which we all know that East and West Germany got divided after World War II ended. The whole world is preoccupied with fighting BETA in order to survive which includes East Germany as well, however, despite a bigger threat of BETA, East Germany is divided into two conflicted group in term of political interest and future fo East Germany.
Similar to Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse, this anime series is pretty grim and dark, thus, it may not well-suited for your taste if you’re looking for something ‘light’ and ‘happy’ kind of anime.
With just 12 episodes, each of them is filled with content with either battle scenes between TSF and BETA, the background story of each character or politics of East Germany and its surrounding the main story. All of them is what made Schwarzesmarken a decent series to enjoy this Winter 2016 Anime Season.
Battle scenes with CGI and animation are certainly not the best among others series that I have seen, however, they still add some values to the series. Great animation and CGI are not enough to make an anime series great, at least, not for me.
Irisdina, Theodor, Lise, and Katia have some great character development throughout the series which we’re currently on episode 10.
Lastly, conflicts and politics within East Germany between different groups are really a nice addition to the series. I’ve not seen a lot of anime series with ‘politics’ content in it.
All of them is what made Schwarzesmarken a decent if not great, series to enjoy this Winter 2016 Anime Season. However, you do need to be aware or, at least, know a little bit of Muv-Luv universe i.e. the thing about fighting BETA since Schwarzesmarken just kinda throws the viewers right in there with some expectations that you’re familiar with the franchise.
As far as seiyuu goes, Lise’s seiyuu is Yoshino Nanjo who I was able to recognize right away since she’s also the seiyuu of Eli Ayase, my favourite µ’s member. In addition, she’s also the member/vocalist of fripSide jpop group which also sang the OP ‘White Forces’ for this anime series. fripSide is most likely well-known for singing OP/ED from Toaru Kagaku no Railgun series. Can’t say no to fripSide, can I?
With that said, this series is definitely worth a try and it’s still in my watch list up so far. It may help if you watch Muv-Luv Alternative: Total Eclipse to get into Muv-Luv franchise.
Readers, are you still watching this series ? or did you drop at on one of earlier episodes? if you did, let me know why by commenting below since I thought this series is pretty decent and I enjoy it.