This is the show that made me think “this is what it would be like if Heroes and Gurren Lagann had a baby”.
Needless is set in a world where some humans have abilities known as “fragments”. These fragments allow people to have on special ability like shape-shfiting, controlling fire or speed (among a lot of other things). The people who have these abilities are referred to as “Needless” even though they are clearly the dominant “race”, if you want to call them a race. The world, or at least the part of it the story is centered around, is largely controlled by the Simeon group. Simeon is a pharmaceutical company who’s leadership is heavily invested in researching the Needless as a means to gain immortality. They go through great lengths to achieve their goals, and the extent of their influence is revealed throughout the series.
The story is told through the eyes of a boy named Cruz Shield. Cruz is a child, but is part of a resistance group that is wiped out by Simeon. While trying to escape he is saved by a man, Adam Blade, who appears to be a priest. Cruz joins up with Blade and his friends: Even Neuschwanstein, a Needless with the Doppleganger fragment, and Gido, a scientist. Blade and his friends are then drawn into the conflict with the Simeon group and it’s leader Adam Arclight. Now, this may not sound like anything too ridiculous, but one of the things you have to consider is that this is what passes for a priest in this world (and this is how he’s normally dressed):
I won’t go into too many details about this show because I don’t want to spoil anything and because, ultimately it’s not that important. On the surface, the whole anime is just a series of different fights between different Needless that ultimately leads to a huge confrontation with the fate of the world in the balance, etc. etc.There are actually a couple of interesting plot points in this show, but what you really come to see this show for is the fighting (and maybe the fan service).
I actually almost zeroed this show. I had watched about 8-10 episodes and just never came back to it because I couldn’t really get drawn into the action. Then, a few weeks ago, I randomly decided to pick it up again and I realized something: this show is actually pretty funny. Needless is hyper-violent, irreverent, crude and generally over the top but if you’re expecting that going in, you might actually enjoy it.
Even though I haven’t read the manga this is based on, I have heard a couple of things about the differences between the anime and the manga. Aside from having divergent stories, the anime is supposedly less violent than the manga and has more of an emphasis on fan service. If that’s the case, the manga might be more worth checking out than the anime. I mean, if you like the violence. These fights get pretty violent. In any given fight, it seems like the characters usually lose enough blood to fully stock a blood bank for a couple of years.
I also think I’d prefer the manga because I’m not a big fan of fan service in general. But one positive thing I can say about the fan service in this show is that at least they try to be funny about it. At one point in the middle of a potentially serious moment Blade spouts out the line “There’s always time for more panty shots!” and that seems like it could be the mantra of the entire show at times. There’s also Blade’s weird pedophile like behavior that constantly skirts the line between being hilarious, disgusting and, at times, just redundant. Again, if those types of jokes are your kind of thing, this anime definitely has plenty of it.
Ultimately, the things that got me through this show were 1] the action 2] the diversity of the fragments and the interesting ways they were used and 3] realizing that it actually had more of a story line than I was giving it credit for. Because of how frantic and zany the action can get early on, I just assumed that this was going to be just one fight after another with very little going on in between. While the show didn’t end up having some epic story line it definitely had one better than the credit I was giving it and it really did add a little bit of gravitas to the entire thing. At least enough to keep the whole thing from being a complete farce.
I’d say watch this one if you wanna turn your brain off for a little bit and just watch some stuff (and people) get destroyed.