YouTube Originals – brand new shows made specifically for YouTube’s Premium tier – are usually the butt of many jokes, but there is some gold flying under the radar, one of them being Obsolete.
Unlike most YouTube Originals which are live action, Obsolete is actually animated and is a proper anime hosted on the Bandai Namco Arts Channel. It even has a theme song by by Skrillex and Nik Roos.
We discussed the first season in December 2019 when it was launched, and now’s the time to remind you of it as the second season is now also out.
As an introduction Obsolete follows a near future in which aliens offer humanity mechs called Exoframes in exchange for a pittance of natural resources. These Exoframes allow even the poorest of nations to stand toe to toe with world superpowers when it comes to waging war, and the entire old world order gets mixed up. It becomes obsolete.
The first season introduces the Exoframes and explores the world a short time into this machine’s introduction to humanity. Season two picks up shortly after.
“The year is 2021. In spite of efforts by the United States and other industrialized nations, the EXOFRAME, a consciousness-controlled general-use humanoid robot distributed to humanity by the alien ‘Peddlers’, has spread to the entire world.,” reads the official description for this second season.
“Raila Reshep, president of the emerging African nation, Republic of Azania, has a plan to achieve technological independence in the developing world through the use of these alien machines which can be used by anyone for close to nothing. Meanwhile, Bowman and the other Marines begin developing a secret Marine Corps EXOFRAME at Area 51 to counter Azania.”
From watching the trailer for season two above you may notice two things: the animation looks choppy with a low framerate, and there’s now an English dub, something the first season doesn’t have.
In terms of the animation we recommend reading our first feature on this series. To summarise: the low framerate looks fine when the Exoframes are actually fighting though it is noticeable in calmer scenes. It’s annoying but not a deal breaker in our opinion.
As for the dub, it’s some of the worst voice acting we’ve ever heard in any medium. We’d be blown away by how bad it is if it wasn’t so painful to listen to. We’re not dubs versus subs elitist but for the sake of your hears switch back to the original Japanese audio and keep subtitles on.
It seems that the episodes below can also be watched without YouTube Premium albeit with ads. If you’re not inclined to pay click on the playlist below and see what you can watch, as what’s available with and without a Premium subscription seems to be related to region.
The playlist has all 12 episodes (combining seasons one and two), which are around 13 minutes in length each.
It comes highly recommended from us and we’re so glad to see small scale mechs like this as it’s a criminally underrated aspect of anime.
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