People. It’s “Schwarzesmarken”. It’s not “Muv-Luv Alternative Schwarzesmarken”. It’s not “Muv-Luv Schwarzesmarken”. It’s just “Schwarzesmarken”. Please, guys. I’d like not to have to spend the next two years correcting people on this.
So, they announced an anime adaptation of Schwarzesmarken today. The official announcement was made in Tech Gian magazine, where Schwarzesmarken was serialized. The magazine came out today, but as usual, the information was leaked by people who got their hands on the magazine early. The Age website and Twitter helpfully confirmed the news today, when the magazine officially comes out.
Even though the news leaked yesterday, I held off on making a post because I wanted to see if the actual Tech Gian article included any more information about the anime, like staff or studio, but it didn’t. All of the announcements also use the phrase “anime adaptation planning in progress” rather than “anime adaptation confirmed”, which leads me to believe that there are still some details to be ironed out before they make the full, “proper” announcement. Something similar happened with Total Eclipse – they were forced to make the anime announcement before they were really ready to, because somebody leaked details of the anime early. This sort of “pre-announcement” may be to head off any potential similar leaks for Schwarzesmarken. All of that suggests to me that we’ll probably have to wait until next year to see the show. (I certainly hope we don’t have to wait longer than that.)
Unfortunately, it’s unlikely at this point that we’ll ever see a second season of Total Eclipse. The sad truth is that most anime, especially adaptations of existing material, are intended to serve as little more than advertising for the original product. The Total Eclipse anime was intended to advertise the game. A few years ago, I had hoped that a second season could advertise something else, like a PC port of the game or a newly invigorated novel release schedule. But now the PC port is out, the novels have stalled, and while Age has said they would like to release more stories involving the TE characters, their plate is pretty full right now and going back to TE is probably lower on the priority list than getting through their (numerous) in-progress works. There’s nothing for a second season to advertise, and making a second season just to finish the story is sadly not how the anime industry works.
So what is Schwarzesmarken? One of the joys of the Muv-Luv franchise is that it doesn’t simply regurgitate the same story over and over. Total Eclipse was a coming-of-age story, using the political battles between nations as a metaphor for the complex moral relationships between people. Schwarzesmarken is more a political thriller, discarding the metaphors of Total Eclipse and telling a more straightforward tale of good vs. evil. The setting is East Germany, 1983. Our heroes are the 666th TSF Squadron, the Schwarzesmarken, known as the most powerful TSF squadron in East Germany. But this is a Muv-Luv tale, so of course the true enemy is not the BETA but the Stasi, the German secret police backed by the Soviets.
Once again, this site will be geared towards viewers of the anime, providing information and context and avoiding spoilers. Once promotion for the series starts up, I intend to resume translating promotional interviews like I did for Total Eclipse. And of course once the series starts airing, I’ll post reviews as well. Again, though, major promotion is not likely to start until 2016, so that’s when this site will really come back to life. I’ll probably still post when significant news about the anime hits, but otherwise you can feel free to check back here next year.