"While the show never necessarily hits a home run, it still manages to win with consistent and fun storytelling with splashes of action and thoughtful character development."
Set in a post apocalyptic world with giant mechs and a thematic commentary on the advancement of technology through a cool female mercenary lead character, The Third- The Girl with the Blue Eye has some pretty conventional anime tropes that manage to spice up with incredibly charming characters and good pacing. And while the show never necessarily hits a home run, it still manages to win with consistent and fun storytelling with splashes of action and thoughtful character development.
The first thing that really struck me about the series was the music! The theme song “Sajou no Yume” by Yuko Sasaki instantly drew me in and the music direction by Shunichi Uemara greatly serves towards the thematic beauty of the show. The Third is set in a post apocalyptic earth where 80% of the population has been wiped out by war and Earth is now mostly a desert inhabited by giant bugs. Enter Honoka, a “jack of all trades” who is enlisted to do a variety of jobs from bug extermination to escort missions and the occasional environmental protection. She is a master “Sword Dancer” who manipulates her “chi” in order to empower her attacks, but these action elements are rather minor to the plot. The show is really about Honoka and the people she meets along the way. She travels with a tank equipped with an AI named BOGIE, so it talks to her and all that. There’s a mysterious “might be an alien” guy named Iks that Honoka feels connected to in some way. Along the way each character has there own little story and the arcs all come together nicely, and while none of it is different, the characters were interesting enough to keep me watching. Carefully and scrupulously watching over all of this are “The Third”, which are a race of aliens that decided to step in and take it upon themselves to be the watchers, protectors, and law-makers of the Earth who have set an incredibly strict set of rules governing the amount of technology that humans are allowed to develop and use to protect humans from destroying their planet. The Third serve as these kind of God like figures over Earth but I felt that they were sort of glossed over up until the last arc in the anime, which leads to the essential problems with The Third: the arc based storyline doesn’t really end in a satisfying manner.
"The art is beautiful and has this sort of updated 90’s feel to it. "
The story moves in arcs, and because the last two episodes are a relatively weak attempt to tie all the arcs together, the anime doesn’t have that powerful ending that gets you thinking about the narrative as a whole. Instead, there’s this weak deus-ex machine moment that’s supposed to make everything deep. In addition to this, the anime as a whole just isn’t that unique or original. The characters and story-arc plots are pretty cut and dry, and while they offset this with a lot of charm and witty banter, it prevents the anime from being what it could be.
The animation, however, really helps this show shine and accentuates the likeability of the characters and the world. The art is beautiful and has this sort of updated 90’s feel to it. Combined with the western and Celtic influences in the music and you get a very nostalgic and enjoyable watch. Every now and then there are 3D CG moments, usually pertaining to the mechs and Honoka’s AI tank. While I’m not really ever a fan of 3D effects in Anime’s, it never felt too out of place in The Third. In fact, it would be very easy to mistake this for a 90s anime rather than a 2006 one if it weren’t for the beautiful animation scene in the characters and the scenery. Seriously, this anime is gorgeous.
"The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye is by all means a great anime, and if you’re someone who isn’t really a stickler for something super original and new, but enjoy emotional content balanced with adventure then you can’t really go wrong with this one."
While the anime is flawed by some unoriginality and doesn’t really wrap up well enough to get a true sense of closure with the whole arc storyline structure, it’s overall charm and the characters make it an enjoyable watch, and the story is pretty enjoyable, even when you feel like you’ve seen it all before. Nozomi Entertainment includes some special features in their DVD collection, which includes character bios and some with commentary by Megumi Toyoguchi, the original Japanese voice actor for Honoka, and interviews with other members of the Japanese cast, which is always nice in a DVD collection. The Third: The Girl with the Blue Eye is by all means a great anime, and if you’re someone who isn’t really a stickler for something super original and new, but enjoy emotional content balanced with adventure then you can’t really go wrong with this one.
Review by: Anthony Romeo | Review Format: DVD | Running Time: 600 Minutes