Qualidea Code – 01 (First Impressions)

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After the earth is attacked by an unknown enemy force, the children wake up from cold sleep, and grow up to become soldiers in the ongoing fight. Three cities in Japan fight from the ground, sea, and air to keep the Unknown at bay, often clashing with themselves in the process, due to the fierce competition borne of rankings.

Like Hundred, QC portrays a futuristic world in which a battle is ongoing with a foe but not to the point of desperation. Gleaming new cities tower over the ruins of older ones, and the humans seem to have enough military power to keep those new cities safe.

Unlike Hundred, not everyone is in love with the MC Ichiya. Indeed, few are, as he’s an arrogant little shit whose catchphrase “I’m all we need” wears thin fast. His speech about wanting to protect his world doesn’t jibe with his refusal to work with anyone…except Canaria, the girl he was with when the world ended.

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He and Cana aren’t a romantic item, just close companions. While he’ll barely interact with anyone else and forces himself to be nice to the adults who saved them all, Cana is the one person he doesn’t mind having around all the time…if she can keep up with him.

The two also happen to be in the top 10 in the rankings and head and subhead of Tokyo region. While he’s only ranked fourth, Ichiya clearly considers himself the best; those below him are scum and those above him are idiots; only he strikes the perfect balance.

That being said, the other two pairs of city heads and subheads at least have distinct personalities. There’s the young, naive, but kind and honorable Hime, ranked first, and her loyal and trusty lieutenant Hotaru. Then there’s the lazy, disinterested redhead, second-ranked Chigusa Asuha and her brother Kazumi, who’s down at #207.

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Ichiya seems like a kind of a dick so far, not the most likable protagonist, considering everyone else presumably went through similar horrors in the past and still managed not to come out as dicks. The most obvious example is Canaria, who was right there with him that day.

Cana calmed him then, and she calms and fortifies everyone still with her “world”, a songstress ability. Another difference form Hundred: the singing is actually animated. Ichiya helps her out by using his power of flight to put her in the best position for the song to be most effective.

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The Unknown are little more than pink CGI blobs of various sizes, like the ones we’ve seen in countless other shows. That aside, the multi-pronged battle involving ground troops, naval vessels, and broomstick air wings, had a nice rhythm and flow to it.

Indeed, even much of what would be the more boring bits of this episode are elevated by music from Iwasaki Taku, with theme songs by both ClariS and GARNiDELiA.

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There’s also the fact the show all but acknowledges the battle with the Unknown is a cakewalk, and so to avoid the three units and individuals from making it all about who earns the most points, Hime decides to end it with an overpowered attack that ends up destroying a section of a crucial bridge, thus nullifying whatever windfall of points she would have gotten from destroying the last of the Unknown.

This all seems pretty straightforward: post-apoc magic power school with clashing personalities at the top and an arrogant MC with a loyal and affable friend. That is, until one of the seagulls flying up in the sky suddenly vanishes in a pink spark, as if passing through some kind of barrier.

That caught my attention in an otherwise competent but uninspiring start to QC: what happened to these young refugees of a ruined world when they went into cold sleep? Is this futuristic new world, and their fantastical supernatural powers, all an elaborate simulation? We shall see.

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Author: braverade

Hannah Brave is a staff writer for RABUJOI.

5 thoughts on “Qualidea Code – 01 (First Impressions)”

  1. The authors for the original work are Tachibana Koushi (Date A Live), Sagara Sou (Henneko) and Watari Wataru (Oregairu) but I’m not really sure if this would follow the light novels or just anime original.

  2. I thought Qualidea Code’s first episode was pretty good, if somewhat all over the place. I can live with that as the explanations that will tie the world together will come later for sure. No sign of a sick imouto anywhere though….

    1. What I do enjoy about both QC and Alderamin is that they both feature strong sibling-like protagonist pairs of more or less equal stature. Ichiya may be ranked higher than Canaria, but that rank is made possible in part by having Cana as his subhead.

      Also, QC and Hundred feature a rather nebulous and uninteresting non-human CGI enemy that, at least so far, isn’t half as important as the interpersonal relationships between the characters. They don’t even get a real name in QC…just “unknown.”

      1. Nebulous threats as the enemy are de rigueur in so many anime these days. I think most of the time they exist just to give the main characters a reason to be where they where are in the first place, and apart from that, they are almost incidental to proceedings.

        However, defeating or at least delaying this threat from nature, space, or the unknown brings a measure of certainty and comfort to the main characters’, (and the people they protect), lives. That is something that living on the unstable Pacific Fault Line in an country with an uncertain economy and changing social circumstances etc, does not always seem to bring to the lives of Japanese people today. However as the story usually says “Do your best and work hard and maybe you will come through”.

      2. I wish they would adapt the prequel, Kuzu to Kinka no Qualidea too. It was more of romance+slice of life+mystery+supernatural(?). The main characters relationship also escalated really quickly (only took one volume).

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