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Anime / Last Hope (2018)
aka: Juushinki Pandora

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In the year 2031, an experimental power source known as the quantum reactor is developed in order to provide an alternative to rapidly dwindling fossil fuel reserves. Unfortunately, the reactor doesn't work as planned, and instead merges machine and animal creating B.R.A.I - giant hostile biomachines roaming a now desolate Earth. In the aftermath of the so-called "Xianglong Crisis", humanity is on the brink of extinction, with ever-growing B.R.A.I overwhelming the limited humans. Humanity fights an existential war; and the era of massive evolution is upon them.

The series, created by Shoji Kawamori and animated by Satelight, collaborating with several Chinese animation and production companies, began airing as part of the Spring 2018 Anime season and was distributed under the Market-Based Title Last Hope by Netflix worldwide (excluding Latin America, where the original Japanese title Juushinki Pandora is used instead). Part 1 premiered on September 14 and Part 2 on December 21 2018.

General tropes:

  • Ace Custom: Leon, Doug and Queenie all have personalized mechs adjusted to their respective specialties.
  • Alcohol-Induced Idiocy: Glenn makes the mistake of attacking Queenie while he was wasted, and it's only thanks to the timely intervention of his companions things don't get ugly for him.
  • All There in the Manual: The official site has the mechanic page with the mechs used.
  • Always Someone Better: When they were young, Jay always fell short when compared to Leon, who barely even noticed his presence and didn't remembered him when they met again years later.
  • A Mech by Any Other Name: They're called M.O.E.V. here
  • And the Adventure Continues: While it's true Sieg has been sealed, possibly forever, the B.R.A.I. and the evolution field are still out there, meaning Team Pandora once more has to go out and face whatever may come.
  • Astral Projection: How Fiona interacts with the other characters.
  • The Atoner: Leon feels guilty for being the Sole Survivor of the disaster unleashed by the Hyper Reactor, and now he dedicates himself to fix it in any way.
  • Bare-Fisted Monk: Quinny is very good at hand-to-hand combat.
  • BFS: Kain Ibrahim Hassan wields one of this.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: The Queen Bee B.R.A.I. is gigantic when compared to its minions.
  • Big Eater: Using the Hyperdrive too much makes Leon get very hungry.
  • Blood Knight: Won loves nothing more than inflicting bloodshed, especially if it is against Quinny.
  • Bridge Bunnies: The four unnamed girls that serve as Mission Control for Team Pandora. Their names are revealed to be Shen Ryu, Chun Wu, Ming Fan and Shia Fu.
  • Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Leon Lau is eccentric and occasionally spacey, but he's a genuinely brilliant scientist and the best hope for defeating the B.R.A.I.
  • Can't Hold His Liquor: Glenn is a terrible drinker, and gets completely wasted after some time.
  • Chameleon Camouflage: The chameleon B.R.A.I. from episode 9 can turn itself invisible at will.
  • Clarke's Third Law: Fiona and Cecil are shown to have various abilities that seem supernatural in nature, as befitting their backgrounds as Taoist priestess, though Sieg claims that they're actually harnessing and manipulating Quantum Energy using their family rituals as a focus.
  • Combination Attack: Neither Cain nor Glenn can handle the strain of using a Hyperdrive by themselves, but in the finale they hook up a single Hyperdrive between their mechs and can achieve a partial activation; creating a multi-dimensional gattling gun.
  • Connected All Along: Edgar Kim, the owner of the restaurant that Team Pandora frequents after missions is the father of David Kim/Mr. Gold.
  • Cool Mask: Fau, Mr. Gold's bodyguard, has one that covers half-his face.
  • Cool Old Guy: Cain is the oldest person in the main cast and is generally friendly and pleasant.
  • Creepy Centipedes: The Chilopoda B.R.A.I. is a gigantic monster that attacked Neo Xianglong two years prior, and now it's back, this time under Gold's command.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Leon reveals to Jay and Cecil that Fiona has been visiting him for some time, an incredulous Jay asks Cecil if such a thing is appropriate. Cecil responds by saying that her younger sister is often lonely, and that if she's chosen Leon as someone to spend her time with, she hopes that he can ease her loneliness. It could read as her being glad her younger sister is making friends, or it could read as her approving of something else.
  • Eldritch Abomination: The Gleaming Darkness, the embodiment of Chaos itself created by the clash of the Hyper Drive and Dark Drive.
  • Evil Counterpart: With Taoist concepts such as the duality of Yin and Yang being important motifs in the story, most of the main characters have counterparts on the antagonist side who both contrast and complement them. They are usually the ones most directly in conflict against each other, as well.
    • Leon's is Sieg.
    • Queenie has Hao Wang.
    • Doug's would be Emilia Valli...or rather, her AI copy.
    • Cecile has Mr. Gold.
    • Jay's is Fau.
  • The Exile: Leon was banished from Neo Xianglong for his part in creating the Reactor, being made a scapegoat to public opinion; he willingly accepts this out of a sense of guilt and goes into exile in the wastelands to research a way to defeat the B.R.A.I. as a form of atonement for his part in the world's destruction.
  • Facial Markings: When using the Hyper Drive, its pilots develop this around their eyes.
  • Friendly Sniper: Doug Horvat pilots a sniper mecha, and he's generally laid back and friendly.
  • Food End: Quite a few episodes end with the main cast settling down for a meal after the day's problems have been dealt with.
  • Food Porn: Food and cooking are heavily featured in the series, with the characters often visiting restaurants or indulging in home cooking. And it looks good.
  • Forgotten First Meeting: Leon and Jay went to the same school, but when they met again years later at the Hyperdrive reactor project, Leon only got the feeling he had seen Jay before.
  • Getting Hot in Here: When a swarm of B.R.A.I. bees attacks the water supply of Neo Xianglong, the temperature of the entire city steadily rises, forcing Cecile, Jay and the rest of the control room to take off their jackets to alleviate the heat.
  • Giant Enemy Crab: The very first B.R.A.I. faced in the series is a pair of gigantic mutant crabs that fuse together. A swarm of much smaller crabs appear on a later episode.
  • Giant Flyer: The falcon B.R.A.I. controlled by Won is bigger than the average M.O.E.V., and Leon mentions it uses the Hyperdrive to fly despite its size.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: Sieg implies Gold is being sponsored by someone else.
  • Hidden Villain: Mr. Gold and his group remain outside of Neo Xianglong's radar for most of the first part of the story.
  • Kaiju: The B.R.A.I. are sometimes small, but they grow to gigantic sizes with time.
  • Kind Hearted Cat Lover: Doug is always accompanied by his pet cat Emilia.
  • Long-Haired Pretty Boy: Secretary Jay Yun.
  • Make Some Noise: The B.R.A.I. seen on episode 4 weaponizes the sonar of a whale to create an ultrasonic wave that damages machines and drives humans with pain.
  • Magitek:
    • The Quantum Reactor is revealed to have been built using the skull of an Eldritch Abomination as its power source, and the Hyperdrives and Dark Drives draw upon yang energy and yin energy respectively.
    • As part of his ultimate plan to eradicate Neo Xianglong once and for all, Mr. Gold desecrates the graves of his ancestors and performs a taboo ritual to power up a Dark Drive-augmented centipede B.R.A.I.
  • Male Gaze: We're introduced to Cecil Soo boobs first.
  • Melting-Pot Nomenclature: The main characters tend to have a western first name and an eastern last name.
  • Mocap Mecha: The transformation on hyperdrive-equipped M.O.E.Vs causes the controls to shift from a traditional cockpit to this.
  • Monster of the Week: The first episodes involve Team Pandora dealing with different types of B.R.A.I., all while giving each member A Day in the Limelight.
  • Not Blood Siblings: Leon and Chloe Lau aren't actually related, but they have a contract and they treat each other as actual siblings.
  • Not So Stoic: Quinny is calm and aloof for the first few episodes, but when she comes across the same person that killed his teacher, all the bottled up rage comes out.
  • One Degree of Separation: It's eventually revealed that Doug and Cain once worked against each other in the past in their mercenary days, and neither recognized each other until Cain described the sniper who gave him his handicap.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: When Queenie acts as Cecil's Body Double, Leon mentions their busts are different. This earns him a slap. And later he asks Queenie her weight to compare it to Cecil's. This earns him another slap.
  • Organic Technology: B.R.A.I. are an amalgamation of both animals and technology, and they grow even bigger with each year.
  • The Plague: Episode 12 involves the team dealing with a plague called Red Death, which unsurprisingly was caused by a Dark Drive.
  • Posthumous Character: Lon Wu, Leon's mentor and director of the Hyper Drive Reactor project, who died during the explosion of the reactor.
  • Rival Turned Evil: Queenie and Wang used to be martial arts students under the same teacher, until the Hyperdrive explosion occurred and Won decided to throw away his humanity in pursuit of strength, killing everyone but Quinny.
  • Running Gag: Chloe and Leon, and later the rest of Team Pandora, say an article of the Family Contract.
    • The different side-effects that occur to the pilots after using the Hyperdrive.
    • Doug calling Gren 'Delinquent' (or Sarge on the english version) and the latter yelling he's Captain. On the final episode Doug calls him Captain and funnily enough Gren answers he's Delinquent before realizing what he said.
  • Scientifically Understandable Sorcery: The series correlates Chinese Taoism and concepts like Qi with quantum physics.
  • Shout-Out: In Season 2 Episode 11, the AI formed from Emilia Valli's personality sings "Daisy Bell" in a distorted voice when Leon and Queenie come across her trying to hack into Neo Xianlong's government; with the pair even noting the similarity to HAL 9000.
  • The Swarm: A swarm of B.R.A.I. bees led by a queen attack Neo Xianglong in episode 10, and much like real bees, they use their vibrations to increase heat, turning the city into a giant hot pot.
  • Team Pet: Emilia the cat becomes this for Pandora.
  • Transforming Mecha: Leon creates one that goes from vehicular mode to humanoid shape thanks to the Hyper Drive.
    • Quinny's becomes able to do the same in episode 6 after Leon installs its own Hyper Drive on her M.O.E.V.
    • Doug's M.O.E.V. is also installed with a Hyper Drive in episode 9.
  • Token Mini-Moe: Chloe is the youngest and smallest among the main cast.
  • We Named the Monkey "Jack": Turns out Doug named his cat Emilia after his dead girlfriend Emilia Vallis
  • Wham Episode: Episode 14: Leon fails to prevent the Chilopoda B.R.A.I. from planting the skull devices that nullify the Hyper Drive reactor, and he and the rest of Team Pandora are defeated while Gold puts the city at check.
  • World of Technicolor Hair: While some characters have normal hair colors, like Cain and Grenn, Leon has red hair at the front and blonde on the back, Chloe has pink hair, Queenie has white hair that turns blue at the tips, Doug has green and orange hair and Jay's black hair has a red stripe on the side.
  • Wuxia: Queenie and Hao Wang's subplot could be comfortably dropped into a wuxia series with very little change.
  • You Killed My Father: Glenn Din blames Leon for causing the Hyper Reactor explosion, which created the B.R.A.I. and indirectly killed his family.

Alternative Title(s): Juushinki Pandora, Last Hope