© 1994-1995 Kia Asamiya / Kodansha / King Records / MOVIC
When I first heard of this title, I was eager to watch it. Studying to be a computer geek, er, programmer, I happen to recognize various terms like "compiler", "assembler", "interpreter", etc. So, I guess I figured Compiler would end up being the Reboot of anime.
Well, it is and it isn't. The story centers around two beings from a digital universe, Compiler and Assembler. They are sent to Earth to investigate our planet, but wind up hooking up with a couple young men, Toshi and Nachi. Pretty soon, Compiler and Assembler don't want to leave, despite the wishes of the ruling council of the digital universe. The council decides to send two beings, Bios and Directory, to eliminate the renegade duo. The story, however, plays out more like a soap opera/comedy than the science fiction adventure I had envisioned it would be. And to be perfectly honest, this came as a disappointment.
Of course, the series itself could have been entertaining enough had not more than a few problems surfaced. My biggest complaint is the overall plot and characters aren't developed nearly enough. Now, while it is based on a manga by Asamiya Kia (of Silent Mobius fame), it is obviously intended only to be enjoyed by fans who are familiar with the series. There's very little insight into the digital world from which Compiler and Assembler hail from, not to mention details about the characters themselves. Other than the fact that Compiler was fairly tough, if somewhat moody and Assembler was just plain emotional, I never really got attached to them. Toshi and Nachi were equally flat, Nachi being a somewhat of a womanizer, and Toshi being so very boring. As a consequence of not caring about the characters, I certainly didn't care about their actions.
Now I could forgive the shortcomings of Compiler *if* the episodes were at least entertaining in their own right. However, that isn't the case. I'll admit the first episode was pretty interesting, if for no other reason that it was off-the-wall craziness and slapstick. That's quite all right, since it moved along quite quickly, had lots of action, and some of the humor was even funny. Unfortunately, the next two episodes don't fare nearly as well. The second episode is incredibly dull, as Compiler mopes around after Nachi goes around acting like a lecherous womanizer. That sums up the entire episode, and I honestly almost fell asleep watching it. The third episode is a bit longer, which is a mixed blessing. It introduces a few new characters, including Plasma and Compiler 2 (an evil version of Compiler). There's also some more talk about the digital world and how the council wants to "delete" Earth, but this is underdeveloped fluff which just sets up the duel between Compiler and Compiler 2. The final battle was mildly entertaining, but given that the events leading up to it was a snooze-fest, overall, the episode was pretty dull.
In the end, the only episode I consider worth watching is the first one. However, Compiler as a whole will probably bore anyone who isn't familiar with the manga. My advice is to ignore the pretty girls on the box cover and pick up something with substance.
The Verdict: * * (poor)
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