The Severing Crime Edge Review

Anime is an amazing medium due in no small part to the extremely varied subject matter which gets tackled from series to series. Many paint-by-numbers titles are perfectly enjoyable while those which throw caution to the wind with story lines which are a little more left of center have a tendency to surprise, thrill and leave an indelible mark on anime fandom. The Severing Crime Edge (断裁分離のクライムエッジ), based upon the manga series of the same name Tatsuhiko Hikagi, certainly delivers a novel story, but flounders a little in its execution.

Obsessive hair-lopper, Kiri Haimura, inexplicably finds himself drawn to Iwai Mushanokoji, a young lady whose hair has never been cut... until now. With his mysterious pair of cursed scissors, he embarks on a mission to protect Iwai who is identified as the "Hair Queen" from a constant barrage of attackers who all possess crazy-arse, serial-killer soul-filled implements of their own.

Yeah. That's kinda the story in a nutshell made of human hair. The universe is far more rich than this blurb may have you believe, but while it's hinted at on many occasions, it's never fully explored. It felt as though this should have been a 26 episode series instead of the short, and somewhat abrupt, 13 that we get. Luckily the characters who get the lions share of screen time are entertaining and diverse. It's also fortunate that the exploration of Kiri and Iwai's relationship is deep enough to give weight to the threats against her life (and hair).

Animated by the relatively unknown Studio Gokumi, founded by former members of Gonzo, The Severing Crime Edge looks pretty good across the board. Character designs are distinct, backgrounds are diverse and realistic and the battles are probably the stand out element to the entire series. If you're expecting a super-serious bashfest, you'll be bitterly disappointed because these battles are, for the most part, ridiculous. The very first battle involves a pair of scissors and a syringe but instead of just trying to jab each other, these 2 combatants go all out like champions of the realm.

The Severing Crime Edge isn't particularly confusing in terms of plot, but it is very confused in itself. It struggles to to decide which sandpit it wants to play in and while this can sometimes be a treat if handled well, this series comes across as being a little convoluted. The universe which is created feels quite rich and probably would have benefited from an extra 13 episodes, especially considering how abrupt the ending is. After enjoying the hell out of the final installment of Gundam Unicorn, it's rather disappointing to sit through a whole series just to have it cut short. I can't help but feel that if I were to watch this series for fun instead of analysing it, I may have enjoyed it a great deal more. For any complaint, it's still enjoyable at times but there are many other series out there worth your time.

- Ryan

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