Schwarzesmarken – means “black marks” in German. The series is an alternative spin-off in the Muv-Luv universe. I’m not really familiar to the Muv-luv series, so I’m pretty much going in blind to this series.
The series is set in East Germany circa 1983, WWII era. It follows the TSF squadron known as the black marks or Schwarzesmarken, lead by Irisdina Bernhard. A decorated war hero. Humanity is fighting an invading force of extraterrestrial beings, Beings of Extraterrestrial Beings Origins or BETA for short. Not only that, but in-fighting with other human beings; namely the communist party Stasi. Not only do we have a female lead in command, but our male lead. Enter Theodore Eberbach.
From the offset, it’s actually quite good. For most mecha series, this anime is rather grim. It has dark under-tones of human back stabbings, political corruption, social divides and communism. There is the slightly religious tone to it as well. But I’m guessing that is more subtle. The cast pretty much reflect this grim tone, since they are at war – where their personality are cold, with drawn and distant. The cold, snow weather setting helps this sense of grim realism. Which adds to the personality of the characters.
The other female lead Katia, on the other hand I suppose is to be the “shinning light” the “new sun” of the group. As she has a bright, optimistic, upbeat personality. Which can sour the other cast members at times. A sharp contrast if you will.
The cast are okay – to likeable enough. Irisdina & Eberbach caught me by surprise. As they are quite strong in their own way. The problem I can see is that, their names won’t be memorable though. As I have a problem remembering them myself as well lol.
For me, this anime is a: