Before I watched Scryed I always assumed it would be something like Wolfs Rain and GunGrave; a heavily character driven drama with some mystery added in the mix. I wouldn't say I was wrong but there is a lot less drama and a lot more action shounen. Scryed does the same things that the above mentioned excel in, which are character development, drama, and story, but where it eventually collapses is the fact that it aimed for a shounen approach and just failing as a shounen.
Like most shounens we have a power system of some sort that allows people to battle each other in supernatural ways. Here a select special of individuals are gifted with the ability of "alter" which allows them to take any surrounding materials, the most common rocks, and reform them to a weapon of their desire. In Kazuma's case he creates a mechanical arm that supercharges his punches which allows him to destroy buildings. Kazuma lives a carefree life in the ghettos of an isolated island, but one day a man named Ryuho appeared before him who was an alter user too and defeated Kazuma in a battle. No one has ever defeated Kazuma before. Kazuma wasn't going to let up so soon and the two are fated as rivals, though little did they know they are part of an ongoing plot from the government that will forever scar the land that Kazuma calls home.
The story is pretty good when read in a summary, the problem is execution. Scryed touches upon a lot of things, develops each of them for a while, and couldn't find the time to go deep into any of them. Animes most of the time tend to be too long, Scryed is just too short. The story like said before is interesting and looked like it was going somewhere, but by the animes end most of the questions remained unanswered. There is this new dimension that was mentioned late into the anime that they refer to as "the other side" as well as a character named "The Crystal", but both these things are still mostly a mystery even after the anime ends.
It seemed that the anime wanted to concentrate mostly on the rivalry between Ryuho and Kazuma instead of the story, though even the rivalry was hardly touched upon. Scryed placed a lot of emphasis on these two absolutely hating each other, kind of let it settle for most of the series, and by the last episode decided to make it the whole point of the show. The pieces just don't really add up. Even worse is that there isn't a threatening antagonist to compensate for the lack of a convincing conflict. Main antagonists are supposed to be feared and threatening, Mujo was pathetic and uninspiring.
The characters in sense are also what's bringing Scryed down. Well the characters themselves are great, one of the more likable shounen casts out there, the problem actually lies in the action. Alter is a pretty intriguing system sort of similar to alchemy in Fullmetal Alchemist; reforming material objects to mold it into a shape you desire. With such an interesting system with so much potential for some strategic and smart fights, it is hardly touched upon. Also, there are like only ten alter users that are introduced whom their alters are nothing out of the extraordinary. Most of them are the same powers that you've seen in other shounens. You can't help but feel there was so much more potential with alter instead of just generic concepts used in the past. What makes it worse is that the action itself is pretty lacking. Well, except for the last episode, that final battle was pretty sweet.
Scryed just combined way too many things and never placed a heavy emphasis on any of them. Its story was starting to get interesting, it remains a mystery. The rivalry between Ryuho and Kazuma looked like the next Goku and Vegeta bout, it was super under developed. The alter system looked like it was going to be one of the more interesting shounen power systems cooking up some really cool battles, it is hardly touched upon. Scryed does all of these things well but doesn't delve into any of them enough making it feel pretty shallow. Though not to say that it is not a recommended watch at all; it does a lot of things great, you wish it would have been longer though.