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Kurogane Communication
Reviewer: Rowena Lim Lei 12/22/2003

Synopsis:
A young girl named Haruka is the sole human survivor of a holocaust, having been put into cold sleep by her parents while a great war raged on. Five intelligent robots have been taking care of Haruka since her awakening, making sure she is always fed, clothed, and protected. For Haruka, these robots are her family... but deep in her heart she continues to hope that there are other human survivors such as herself.
 
Review:
I did not really know what to expect from Kurogane Communication. A number of online reviews I've read have tagged it as a tad on the slow side, albeit it has generally gotten good ratings.
 
Kurogane Communication is anything but slow. Each episode is approximately about ten minutes long, not including the opening and ending sequences. The series unfolds from Haruka's point-of-view, and she narrates her daily life experiences as if she is looking through an album full of memories. As I've mentioned in the synopsis, five intelligent robots take care of Haruka: Reeves, the motherly robot who is built like the Terminator; Trigger, the small UFO-like robot who loves shooting at everything; Angela, the female dueling robot who possesses extraordinary battle skills; Cleric, their main source of information and knowledge; and Spike, the gentle boy robot who is also Haruka's best friend. These robots are so advanced in terms of intelligence that they have developed a whole spectrum of emotions much like a human being's.
 
Every day is an adventure into uncertainty for Haruka, since she lives in the ruins of what was once a bustling city. There's never anything permanent. She could just wake up one day and discover that her water and food supply are completely depleted. Or a tidal wave or earthquake could just wipe out the place they call home. Despite the bleak circumstances, Haruka remains positive in her outlook. The robots in turn are constantly one step ahead in terms of providing and planning for everything Haruka would need to live. I couldn't tell what was going to happen next, and this element of unpredictability made Kurogane Communication all the more engrossing. The plot thickens when Haruka and company discover another human survivor in the later half of the series -- Kanato, a boy who is about Haruka's age. But Kanato has a deep hatred for robots, which causes complications for everyone involved.
 
The art and animation are satisfactory, although they could probably use a bit more polishing. Character designs are on the cutesy side, but I found that the overall style fits the series nicely. I liked the pleasant opening and ending theme songs as well. Characterization is where Kurogane Communication truly shines. You come to know and understand each character on a more profound level despite the brevity of the series. There is no real good guy or bad guy, it just so happens that everyone has a purpose and those purposes do not necessarily complement each other. Ironically, some of the robots are more human than humans themselves.
 
Kurogane Communication is a well-narrated, emotionally charged, and somewhat optimistic account of the world's end. It's totally unlike any other apocalyptic anime I've seen, most of which choose to focus on more dark and depressing themes thereafter. I was totally immersed, and I felt as if I had gained access to another world that could very well be my own in a future time. Highly recommended, even if it still has not quite gotten the attention it deserves.
 
Miscellanies:
Kurogane Communication is made up of 24 episodes.

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Kurogane Communication
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Review Title:
Kurogane Communication
Alternative Titles:
Iron Communication
Type:
TV
Episodes:
24
Duration:
300 Minutes
General Rating:
4.5 out of 5 stars
Aired:
1998-1999
Suitable For:
Teens
Genres:
Action, Adventure, Drama,
Sci-Fi
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