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I first heard of Meta Runner on the main channel for SMG 4 Bloopers like anyone would. But I originally didn't think too much from it. I mean, Team SMG 4 tends to make videos on randomness and joking over memes, so don't be too surprised that I thought them making a full series was unlikely. But I must say that I like where it's going so far and I'm anticipating the next episode.
The concept goes like this: in a futuristic world, everything runs on video games. Gaming is everything more than just for entertainment, but practically for life itself. There exists those that have decided to go a step above. They are called meta runners. These individuals literally sacrifice a limb for mechanical advancements to enhance their performances. Essentially, they are idols in Silica City. A cyborg named Tari awakens from a nightmare but finds that she was without her memories. All that she knew was there was some man that appeared in her dream that told her that she would be special before blacking out. She later is compelled into claiming that she represented the TAS Corp company. Meanwhile, a meta runner named Belle Fontiere loses one of the tournaments which angers her boss Lux (pronounced Lucks). But he becomes dead set on capturing Tari and using her abilities when he realizes that she was able to warp herself into games, something that from the looks of it is either rare or unheard of.
The visuals are amazing. The buildings, the cities...everything about the setting is total eye candy. So much so, that if this was truly what the world would look like in the future, then I'm envious. It makes you wish that you could live there. The animation is also surprisingly crisp and flows extravagantly. Again, this is coming from the guys who deliberately make crude gmods of Mario characters. A lot of time and love was placed into the making of the setting, from the tiniest detail. The character designs are also great though with Tari herself, I do agree that it makes it somewhat awkward to getting used to the character design for Tari as she hardly resembles her SMG 4 counterpart.
The voice work is also pretty darn good. With Tari herself, it took some getting used to hearing her speak full sentences as she didn't have that luxury in the SMG 4 series, but from her mannerisms such as her universal love for rubber duckies, it becomes crystal clear that this really is Tari. Belle Fontierre was also interesting. She has that smug, overly confident streak to her and her best moments are when she's interacting with her boss and deadpan snarking at him the funniest being in the official trailer when she points out how creepy Lux was being when he said that he "wanted" Tari. But what is getting me questioning is the exact relationship between her and Lux and how she began to work under him. She mentions in her first meeting with Tari that you'd have to be the best of the best to compete and if not, working as a janitor is the other option, it makes me theorize that she started off in a lowly position before meeting Lux. I really want to know how their initial encounter happened but for now, Belle's also a fun character.
As for Lux, he is the main antagonist of the series thus far who develops an interest in Tari for her ability to enter games, but it is uncertain what he has in store for her just yet. Belle mentions that he was well-intentioned and that while he may commit horrible actions, it was ultimately for the best, but considering his prickly, aggressive personality, I wouldn't really hold her at her words there. So far, he comes off as just an average, stereotypical villain who wants ultimate power, but my feelings on him should change as the show continues.
Sounds are also good. I am seriously in love with the song "Always Running" which was featured in the music trailer for the web animation, so much so, I play it on repeat any chance I get. Overall, a good way to start off the series, and I hope that it'll get even better.
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