"Schwarzesmarken," the German word for "Black Marks." Set in the 1980s in an alternate timeline version of East Germany, Schwarzesmarken follows the East German Army's 666th TSF Squadron, also known as the "Black Marks." This special unit specializes in unconventional tactics using advanced technology. Their enemy? Beings of extraterrestrial origin, or the BETA, a fearsome and sometimes unpredictable enemy that seem dead set on destroying the human forces and taking the planet Earth for themselves and ripping it clean of its natural resources. Because the BETA come in all shapes and sizes, carrying any number of advanced alien technologies, the Black Marks must use the latest and most deadly weapons humanity can devise to drive them back.
Irisdina Bernhard is the commanding officer of the Black Marks. As a war hero, she has earned the respect of her country. However, her cold exterior and personality make her extremely hard to work under, especially for one of the most talented members of the squadron, Theodor Eberbach. Only time will tell if the many battles fought together will bring peace to the earth, and between the many combating personalities in the 666th TSF Squadron.
You'll see this show on some list and the first thing you'll notice is that it's a mecha. If you don't like mecha, you can stop reading here and just understand that you probably aren't going to like this anime. To others, continue reading on.
This anime is very similar to Code Geass if you take it in its most general form. Its scenario is very political, its action sequences are largely revolved on the lore of the story rather than situational "action" which would be common in an anime like SAO, and the only way to understand what's happening is to actually pay attention to the dialogue rather than how many BETA (the aliens) they killed and the type. The action, in other words, is secondary. The action supports the storyline to add backbone to how the main squadron works in battle so their position as "the best" is believable to the water- which are the first two or three episodes of this anime.
Knowing that the action is serving as more a development to the story of each character rather than the story itself, we can delve deeper into the actual point of this anime: chaos. Or more so, dealing with it. The human race has been faced with this alien race of BETA who are seeking the destruction of mankind (so we are meant to believe). When they land and many are being slaughtered, what would a government do, and how would things change or work? I believe this is the real view- the real story, of the anime. How governments work together, betray each other, amidst the chaos that threatens the extinction of the human species.
When it comes down to the characters, I would say they are mostly likable. Their backstories are either dull, obscure, or not shown, to which each serves its own purpose. Albeit the dull characters could've just been left out completely when it comes to their backstory. "Who cares" is the feeling that resonates.
They all play their part well for what it's meant to be, but all too many times I get a real "meh" feeling. Although given that this anime is meant to portray disciplined soldiers, perhaps it's more understandable that it'll be much different than the high school rebels in Code Geass.
The fighting scenes when they do exist are fairly lackluster. When it comes down to it, it's "rooty tooty point and- holy shit I almost died- shooty."
Given all the above, when it comes down to it, you are watching this anime for the story it's meant to portray. Not so much the characters- even though they play the big part of telling the story- nor the fighting, in-fighting, art, or music. This is an anime strictly for a fairly complex idea being composed into a very dark story. That's it.
So is it worth watching? Sure, if you like a good plot and that's all that matters. But if you like the knickknacks, the nooks and crannies, the decor, then this might not be for you. For what this anime gives, it sure takes away a lot. However, if you can get past all that, and you happen to enjoy the more darker spectrum, then this anime is definitely worth a shot. And if you do, give it the first 6 episodes.
You hate mecha? Don't watch
You need good and heavily in-depth action sequences? Don't watch
You need bright art? Don't watch
You need a happy, lighthearted anime? Don't watch
You hate predictable story advances? Don't watch
You need a good story? Watch
You need a good waifu? Watch (if you like badass blonde/black hair grills)
You need characters with a good back story? Watch (it's kind of a hit and miss, actually)
You liked Code Geass' style of story telling/mood? Watch
You like a more believable story (save for aliens and mechs)? Watch
If you can hit a 70% ratio, I'd say take the shot.