Ex-Arm

Ex-Arm

Ex-Arm anime series cover art
Ex-Arm

Series Overview

Ex-Arm (EX-ARMエクスアーム) is the worst anime I’ve ever watched. And just so this is clear, I’ve watched a lot of really bad anime. Every season I purposefully choose to watch at least one anime that looks like it’s going to be absolute garbage — and Ex-Arm is the worst of them all.

Apparently, the manga is actually pretty decent. As you’ll see later on in this review, the majority (not all) of the bad things I have to say about this series are direct results of the adaptation. But, I’m still not really convinced that the source material is that good either.

Here are the basics of the plot: Some kid who hates technology dies in 2014 and has his brain preserved and turned into a computerized weapon in the future. He can then connect to electronic devices and uses this power to fight against terrorists who want to use computerized weapons such as himself.

That explanation is much more simplified than the mess that actually takes place in the series. I watched all 12 episodes, and I couldn’t really give a more detailed explanation of events than that even if I tried.

Basically, what I’m saying is that you shouldn’t watch this anime for the plot. If that’s what you’re interested in, read the manga. It might be better. What you should be watching this series for, if you’re even brave enough to watch it, is the meme.

Ex-Arm really has no redeeming qualities. Consider this: There are 11,350 rated anime on MyAnimeList. Ex-Arm is #11,339. That means there are only 11 anime out of 11,350 that are worse than Ex-Arm, according to the MAL community.

What Went Wrong?

The biggest problem with Ex-Arm is that it was made by people who have never made anime or interacted with the anime community before. The result is a product that looks like it was made by a bunch of amateurs, even if the people working on it were actually professionals.

So, how did this happen? Well, let’s first look at the visuals. There’s a lot of bad CGI. But, not all of the series is CGI. There’s also 2D “animation” mixed in. And by mixed in, I mean that for some reason, some of the characters are poorly animated in 2D in the same shots as the poorly animated 3D characters.

On top of that (literally), the entire anime has a dust effect overlaid on it 90% of the time. It looks like a default effect from a free video editing software. I think they just put it over everything in an attempt to mask how bad everything else looks.

Alma telling Akira to get inside her from the anime series Ex-Arm
Alma telling Akira to get inside her

The reason that everything looks so terrible is that the studio that animated Ex-Arm, Visual Flight, has never animated an anime before. And as far as I can tell, it’s not made up of professional animators. It’s made up of people who have worked in live-action movie and TV productions.

But, I have to say that the real reason for Ex-Arm’s failure is the director. Yoshikatsu Kimura has never worked in anime before this. He’s a live-action director. And he claimed that because he was a live-action director, he could make something that looks more realistic than any anime that came before.

Rather than hiring staff who knew literally anything about anime, he chose to surround himself with people he had worked with on live-action projects before. The result is easy for anyone to see. Kimura didn’t make a good anime, he made a joke of himself.

How Bad is it Really?

You might be thinking that I’m exaggerating a bit when I say that Ex-Arm is literally the worst anime I’ve watched. But, unfortunately, I’m not. It really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities aside from the fact that it’s occasionally, so bad that it’s funny.

However, if you’re looking for an anime that’s so bad that it’s funny, I would highly recommend watching the English dub of Garzey’s Wing over Ex-Arm. For starters, Garzey’s Wing is just a lot funnier than Ex-Arm is. It’s funny throughout, rather than just having a few so-stupid-they’re-funny moments sprinkled it.

But, I think an even more compelling reason to watch something like Garzey’s Wing over Ex-Arm if you want to watch a bad anime is that Garzey’s Wing is only 3 episodes, not 12. If you only watch a few episodes of Ex-Arm, it might be funny. But watching 12 episodes that are that bad isn’t funny anymore.

Akira asking Alma if she's okay from the anime series Ex-Arm
Akira asking Alma if she’s okay

If you’re still not convinced of how bad Ex-Arm is, allow me to exhibit one of the most damning pieces of evidence against it: The fact that it’s a Crunchyroll original. Now, being a Crunchyroll original doesn’t automatically make an anime bad. That’s not what I’m saying.

But, if you’ve ever used Crunchyroll, you’ll know that they love to promote their original anime all over. They have banners and other ads on their site for their originals and they promote their originals elsewhere online, such as Twitter.

Despite all of that, I guarantee that you never saw Crunchyroll promote Ex-Arm, at least not after the first episode aired. That’s right, Ex-Arm is so bad that Crunchyroll doesn’t even want to promote it despite financing, licensing, and producing it.

I haven’t checked to see if Kimura has said anything about Ex-Arm since its release. But I have a feeling that nobody who was involved with it wants to acknowledge it anymore.

Conclusion

Unsurprisingly, Ex-Arm gets a 1/10 from me. I really don’t think there’s anything more I need to say about the series at this point. The only reason you should watch it is if you’re really into bad anime and you want to just for the meme. Otherwise, it’s not worth your time.

If you enjoyed this review, or if it saved you from watching Ex-Arm yourself, remember to click the like button ❤️ down below. Also, follow me over on Twitter @DoubleSama so you don’t miss out on any future content. And come join our Discord server if you’re interested in discussing anime with other members of the community.

Finally, I’d like to thank Roman and Key Mochi~ for supporting DoubleSama.com at the Heika and Senpai tiers respectively this month. To learn more about how you too can become a supporter of this blog, check out Patreon.com/DoubleSama.

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