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Hello, Goodbye / Hello, Goodbye
The Earless seem unstoppable, bent on destroying the world that has treated them so cruelly. Echo, with his newfound power as a Player, challenges the King of the Earless with his trusty AC30.

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With the appearance of Listeners, King of the Earless, the Earless have grown ever more destructive. Roz, Denka, Kevin, and Bilin must each decide how they want to face this crisis.

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Cross Road Blues / Cross Road Blues
Echo finds himself in the strangely tranquil town of Clarksdale, where he learns a little more about Jimi and a little more about himself.

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Freedom / Freedom
With Mu's awakening, Tommy has big plans to do Project Freedom right this time. In the meantime, Echo runs into Nir on the streets of Londinium.

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Real Me / The Real Me
Echo and Mu continue their journey to find Jimi and end up in Londinium. In Londinium, Mu is asked to participate in their plans for Christmas, which is one week away.

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Day of Rage / Problems
After running away from the Freak Scene Academy, Nir arrives in Londinium to find a bleak city with two angry youths eager to show up the government's handling of the Earless.

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Goodbye Blue Sky / Goodbye Blue Sky
Echo and Mu follow Jimi's trail to Gnome Country, where they discover the fate of the people who were betrayed by the rest of the world.

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In the Embrace of the Beat / When Doves Cry
The trail to solve the mystery of Jimi Stonefree leads Echo and Mu to a glittering purple city ruled by Denka.

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Teen Spirit / Teen Spirit
Echo and Mu's first stop in their investigation into the mysterious Jimi Stonefree is Freak Scene Academy. There, the academy's director offers them the school's file on Jimi in exchange for their help.

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You Made Me Realise / You Made Me Realise
Rescue comes unexpectedly in the form of more faces Echo recognizes from the Players almanac. Mu learns more about the war that happened ten years ago, and about the Core Part in her possession.

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Half Man / Halber Mensch
Running away from the aftermath of their first battle against the Earless, Echo and Mu are once again ambushed by the Earless. Plus, the mysterious trio of women who tracked them down aren't far behind.

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Episode 1
Echo makes a simple living, sorting through trash for anything of value. But one day, he finds a girl in the scrap field, and suddenly, the legendary Players who pilot mecha called Equipment to fight the Earless aren't just stories from faraway places.

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Listeners is a captivating and vibrant science fiction anime series, produced by MAPPA and directed by Hiroaki Ando, which aired on the Mainichi Broadcasting System (MBS) in 2020. This unforgettable series uniquely blends elements of music and dystopia while creating a thrilling narrative with an enchanting cast of characters that anime enthusiasts, as well as music lovers, will find hard to resist.

The show kicks off in an intriguing post-apocalyptic setting where music doesn’t exist anymore. In this mirthless world devoid of melodies, the narrative primarily revolves around Echo Rec, the silent protagonist living as a boy scavenger in Liverchester, a town of junk situated in what's left of the world after the 'Miminashi' catastrophe. Echo has a fascination with the folklore of 'Players' - individuals with the ability to control giant robots known as 'Equipments' through music, who vanished with their music after the apocalyptic event.

Things take an exciting turn when Echo stumbles upon a mysterious girl named μ (Mu) with an input jack embedded in her body, sleeping amidst the scrap. This chance encounter marks the beginning of their epic adventure, as it's revealed Mu is indeed a Player. What’s more intriguing, she has no recollection of her past, identity, or origin.

Together, the duo embarks on a mission filled with numerous challenges and battles, as they forge alliance and collide with other noteworthy characters – both friends and foes. They travel through various towns of this post-apocalyptic world, each one offering a unique representation of diverse music genres. Each town they visit in their journey epitomizes a different music culture, ranging from punk rock to psychedelic or classic, thus taking the viewers to a surreal music-themed ride.

Listeners does not just incorporate music into its storyline, but manages to infuse it into the very backbone of its narrative and visuals, creating a fascinating backdrop for the series' action-packed mech battles and emotional drama. Music not only defines the world in Listeners but also serves a practical purpose with the juxtaposition of high-powered mech battles and heart-thumping musical performances.

The cast of the show is notably diverse and rich in personality. Aside from the central characters Echo and Mu, characters with varied backgrounds and motivations breathe life into this narrative. Each character is bolstered by an excellent voice cast, which lends emotional depth to their performances and brings each character to life, from the smallest side character to the primary ones.

Throughout the series, Listeners explores deep themes often intertwined with the essence of music: identity, purpose, the transformative power of art, human connection, and unity. It not only pays homage to the rich history and culture of music but also reflects on the power it holds, the cultural revolution it can ignite, and the collective memories it can stimulate.

Despite being a relative newcomer to the sci-fi anime scene, Listeners stands out from its peers with its audacious themes, eye-catching art design, and a compelling narrative. It weaves an interestingly complex world-building, showcasing innovative mechanisms and intricate details. The animation quality, supervised by the talented team at MAPPA, is top-notch with tremendous attention to details, particularly during the thrilling battle sequences, while the sound design deserves a special mention for obvious reasons, as it adds life to this music-inspired series.

On a final note, Listeners is more than just a post-apocalyptic narrative or a musical journey. It’s a quest for purpose, a search for an identity, and a celebration of camaraderie. It’s an enchanting symphony of art and music that serves as a testament to the human spirit's resilience and the transformative power of melody. An absolute must-watch for anyone seeking a unique blend of post-apocalyptic science-fiction, action, drama, and especially music, in their next anime series.

Listeners is a series categorized as a new series. Spanning 1 seasons with a total of 12 episodes, the show debuted on 2020. The series has earned a moderate reviews from both critics and viewers. The IMDb score stands at 5.2.

How to Watch Listeners

How can I watch Listeners online? Listeners is available on MBS with seasons and full episodes. You can also watch Listeners on demand at Hulu Plus, Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Amazon online.

Reina Ueda, Atsuko Tanaka, Jun Fukuyama
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