They’re the best Anime that 1995 has to offer! We counts down the best anime to come out this year, including the likes of Red Baron, Tottemo! Luckyman, Mojakou, and more!
10: Red Baron
MAL Score: 7.02
In the future, the “Metal Fight” games are the most popular televised sport in the world and many robot contestants compete for the title of Best Metal Fighter in the World. Kurenai Ken, along with teammate Saeba Shoko (who was, at first, adamant), pilots the Super Robot Fighter, Red Baron and enters the contest with dreams of becoming its champion. He must, however, face an army of other rivals from around the world including Kaizer (who is, in fact, Shoko’s supposedly “lost” father, Tetsuo Saeba), the Tetsumen Tou (“Iron Fist” – a reference to the original Red Baron TV series) doctors, Tiger and ShinRon.
If you know nothing of Red Baron, at least check out the opening please.
It can be viewed if you search Baron Rojo Japones opening on youtube. From what I know, Red Baron is also dubbed in Spanish and Cantonese. Both available on youtube.
This is the best mecha anime to ever exist in the world. Its mecha fights captivated me, and the achieve the dream, never give up theme is done better than any other mecha anime.
Better than Lagann. Better than Kill la Kill, and Better than Koutetsushin Jeeg. In fact, I’d say Lagann probably copied Red Baron. Look at the resemblance. Why do you do this to Red Baron? Red Baron should be the one with popularity!
Our hero is charming, spirited, and daring. He is charming cause he looks so handsome with his ponytail. Google image Red Baron anime and see for yourself. He has the spirit of a martial artist. Well he is a martial artist, but his fighting spirit burns like fire. And he is daring, backs out from no challenge, and extremely brave.
He started off with nothing, but determination. It can be seen in his fiery and passion to acquire his own mecha and win the tourney. And that’s where he fatedly meets the girl, the owner of Red Baron.
The anime is amazing, remarkable, and stunning. It is old school and has comedy, action, and excellent soundtrack. It is absolutely perfect.
I pray that everyone will have the opportunity to see a real mecha anime.
On these days I fight searching something instead of 3 or 4 episodes of this anime, but i can’t find. Most subs PT-BR who tried to revive this incredible anime don’t know where to found more RAWs for it.
There’s nothing so much I can say about this anime, because I was too young when I watched this. I don’t remember nothing, but one thing I remember, this show used to be awesome on my age.
Please, God if u exist, please bring Red Baron again, I can’t die without rewatch this serie.
9: Tottemo! Luckyman
MAL Score: 7.07
This gag comedy series focused on the adventures of a bizarre superhero powered by special cooking and fights against various aliens and other enemies threatening the planet Earth.
MAL Score: 7.12
Sorao is an ordinary student who lives an ordinary everyday life of a typical kid, accidentally makes friends with two aliens stranded here on Earth. His life changes as he decides to help them find a way to get home. When they do reach the aliens’ homeworld, Sorao along with Miki, discovered a blood feud between two different tribes. Things gone awry as the tribes’ representatives try to out do one another in search of the missing treasure of the past with the help of an uncovered clue.
7: Macross 7
MAL Score: 7.13
35 years have passed since Lynn Minmay had brought peace between the Zentradi and the humans in the events of Macross. Nekki Basara is a guitarist and a singer of the band Fire Bomber. Living in a less-developed part of the flying colony City 7 which is looking for a habitable planet, he composes and sings songs in the belief that music holds a greater power.
During its flight, an unknown alien race appeared and started laying siege upon City 7. However, its attacks are not conventional — instead of trying to destroy them, they steal what is known as “spiritia”, rendering victims unresponsive and zombie-like. During these battles, Basara always goes out into the middle of the warzone, singing his songs and expecting friend and foe to listen and be moved by his music.
[collapse title=“Reviews1:”]I’m one of what is probably the most rare breed of western anime fans, those who will defend Macross 7. While not masterpiece of the anime art form, there is a lot to like about Macross 7. Since the series is so polarizing among fans, I’ll take a pros vs. cons approach.
1. Music. While obviously a matter of taste, I find most of Fire Bomber’s songs quite enjoyable. They’re one of the few anime soundtracks I will listen to on their own merits.
2. Fun factor. Basara is genuinely entertaining to watch.
3. Nostalgia. There are numerous ties to the original series, and it’s interesting to see how things developed. Most notably, it’s great to see Max and Milia again. Also, it continues the concept of the colony fleets introduced in Macross Flashback 2012.
4. Focus on characters. While ostensibly a mecha series, the focus of the story is on the characters. Fire Bomber’s road to stardom, Basara’s quest to move people’s hearts with his music, Mylene growing up and understanding her own feelings for Basara and Gamlin, reconciling Max and Milia’s relationship, etc. If you avoid mecha shows because they have too much technobabble and focus on the robots more than characters, this is not a problem here.
1. Music. Some people hate it. If you don’t like pop/rock, especially of a Japanese variety, you will be assaulted by it for the duration of the series.
2. Use of stock footage. Especially early on, there is an extreme use of stock battle footage of VF-11’s and Elgarzorenes fighting.
3. Lack of focus on mecha. Fans expecting to have lots of cool animation of all the new Valkyrie models introduced here will be sorely disappointed. I recommend you pick up the VF-X games for the Playstation instead to get that fix.
Macross fans should give the series a chance, and don’t give up on it too soon. This is certainly one of those anime deserving of the time honored line "it gets better later." Just be aware of what kind of show this is you’re getting into. Macross 7’s greatest flaw is simply that it isn’t what people expected of a continuation of Macross.
At its core, the story of Macross 7 is about a rock singer (Basara) trying to find his way in the world (or Galaxy whatever) with his singing. Sounds fairly typical fare, but the show introduces so many far-out story elements that you might wonder if the writers were on drugs. Someone once described Macross 7 as “Rock singers flying around in transforming robot planes fighting space vampires with the power of music”, and I find that description is pretty dead on, so if you have trouble swallowing that it is unlikely this show is for you. Most Macross series pride themselves in not taking things too seriously, and Macross 7 not only revels in it but thrives on its weirdness, and that is really the fun of it. The key to enjoying it is to accept the silliness and go with the flow. I do understand that may not be to everyone’s tastes, it reall tests the boundaries of one’s suspension of belief. The show does drag at times, especially in the first 10+ or so episodes where they just seem to repeat each other. At the end it is painfully obvious that they could have done the show with a lot fewer episodes. When the story does pick up in the middle to late episodes, depending on whether you’ve allowed yourself to be immersed in the show’s strangeness, it can turn out to be a fun ride.
Macross 7 has a rather memorable set of characters. They may not be especially deep, but everyone from the main cast to the smallest side character are each built around a unique quirk which allows them to play off each other pretty well. From Gamlin’s relative squareness to Miriya’s hot headedness to unnamed Flower Girl’s unending quest to present flowers to Basara, each of them helps breathe life into Macross 7’s environ giving it a rather organic feel. The only real problem for most is the main character, Basara, who like so many things about the show, you either like or not. A lot of people are turned off by his seemingly pig-headed and abrasive personality, he does not go out of the way to make himself likable. But for me personally, I find that is what makes him rather interesting in the way he effects change in those around him. A welcome change to the standard type of main protagonists we’ve been seeing in other shows in the same genre.
As expected, Music is very integral to Macross 7’s story. The soundtrack mainly consists of Japanese Rock so if that’s not your cup of tea, well then steel yourself for 49 episodes plus plus worth of it. Even then, early on, it does not show much diversity with Basara repeating the same two songs over and over again for the first few episodes until you are sick of them (afterwards he then repeats them so many times you end up liking them again) However this actually makes sense within the context of the show as Basara is still trying to find his voice early on and eventually as the story progresses, each time he achieves some self realization, he gets newer and better songs to play with.
As for the animation, well, you can tell that their budget was rather limited, even for an older show. There is a noticeable lack of big dogfight sequences that characterize other Macross shows, so if you are a fan who is in it for the Itano circuses, you might end up disappointed. Recycled cels means you end up seeing the same Valk being blown up every other episode even till the later end of the show so there is a certain sense of laziness in this department.
As I said, Macross 7 is a show that you need to watch in its entirety to give proper judgment on it as the early episodes do not do it justice. Even I admit that it took me 3 tries before I could move past the first few episodes, but I found myself rewarded with a rather enjoyable and surprisingly engaging ride by the end. Its 49 episode count may seem rather daunting, but I do encourage you to not give up so easily and try to endure it to the end. It is a show you either steer clear or watch all the way to the end. It is Macross at its silliest, and the show knows it. If you acknowledge this, Macross 7 might end up surprising you with a rather fun, and atypical Macross experience.
It took a LONG time to finish this series which already indicates at first glance it’s not all that exciting. It’s all about Nekki Basara, guitarist and lead singer of the band Fire Bomber (what a great band name). The band starts unknown, living and practicing in a hovel on City 7, joined to Battle seven. They’re the mainstay of the colony fleet Macross 7, searching for a habitable planet to live on.
First part deals with character development (boring) then the protodeviln appear. Instead of getting exciting it’s a wash-rinse-repeat of Nekki using his songs to save the day. There are a few plot twists but overall this series though keeping with the Macross themes of Love Triangle and Power of Music … is not done very well and honestly could have been squeezed into 26 episodes. There is a LOT of filler (1 min flashback at the start of every episode) and too much "Basara is a rebel" for my taste. Wakate, wakate, we get it, Basara is a rebel. Luckily the story picks up towards the last 10 episodes but it took a really strong will to continue watching this series!
Dated animation and TONS of frame reuse. Like every episode there’s frame reuse. I hate when it’s done badly enough that I felt like fast forwarding through the same old animation of the same old battles with the same old songs. The mecha look nice but that’s about it.
Shoot me now! The first 25 episodes I *hated* Nikki’s singing. Oh god he’s singing the SAME old song. Again! and Again! and Again! Ugh! Hate hate! Play something else dammit! I don’t know if they did it to save money by reusing the same songs/frames but somewhere around episode 35 I started enjoying the songs and found myself singing along at some parts. Ack! Insidious! So … that was their evil plan! Repeat the song until the viewer starts liking it. Well, I hate to say but it worked. I guess I now have to go download the soundtrack. Grrr!
This is a mish-mash. There are a lot of characters, all with different personalities. I really started to feel for some of them towards the last 15 episodes so I guess you can say this series "grew" on me.
The lead protagonist is Nekki Basara, the cool tough rebellious guitarist/lead singer who has a huge ego and doesn’t care what other people think. He’s also a pacifist who sings instead of blowing up enemies. Of course while he’s singing there’s plenty of innocent people getting blown up by the enemies he won’t shoot. But somehow no citizens protest his peacenik ways getting others killed. I hated this character.
The secondary singer/bassist of Fire Bomber is Mylene, daughter of Maximilian Jenius and Milia Fallyna. Supposed love interest who spent most of the episodes in teenage angst. Mylene is cute, young (14 years old) and spoiled. She treated her suitor, Gamlin, not too well. I hated her too.
The other 2 members of the band are Ray, the ex military guy and 3rd guitarist, and Veffidas the zentradi drummer. Ray was ok but Veffidas was just big and must have had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder to drum everything in sight when she isn’t at her drums – car windows, tables, chairs, other people’s bodies etc. Veffidas is the strong, silent type. When she showed her strength and spoke it was with great impact. I loved Veffidas.
Then there’s Max and Milia, the first human and zentradi love connection from the original Macross Series. Max is older and handsomer, Milia got all straight laced. Estranged in this series (he’s the military commander and she’s the civilian’s Mayor) I spent the whole series waiting and hoping for them to get back together. If only Macross 7 was about Max and Milia this series would have scored much higher. I loved them both!
Lt. Gamlin is important and such a nice, honest, man. That’s not good when you start falling in love with a 15 year old girl with no brains and who will likely choose the "bad boy" thus giving birth to the saying "nice guys finish last". I was 15 once and liked bad boys then but now that I’m more mature I wouldn’t marry one. Gamlin is really likeable and he is the only human of 3 characters that really develop over the course of the series (other 2 are protodeviln). This was a well written character and I loved him too.
There’s a whole slew of other side characters. Mylene’s ecchi fan. Basara’s fan who is always trying to give him flowers. Take the damn flowers Basara! Learn how to treat your fans better! I just pitied some of the side characters.
Well I wasn’t enjoying this series at the start (it sucked) but it started changing around episode 33 and by episode 40 it was fun. Just takes a lot of time and patience to get to the good parts, so overall I can’t say it was much more than mediocre.
6: Yuusha Keisatsu J-Decker
MAL Score: 7.32
Grade schooler Yuuta Tomonaga stumbles upon Deckerd, a humanoid robot under construction by the Japanese police, built to fight advanced forms of crime. Yuuta’s constant contact with Deckerd gives the robot a “heart,” or personality; when Yuuta is recruited as the “boss” of the “Brave Police” as a result, a true human/robot partnership occurs.
The story begins with a police robot named Deckerd is granted sentience due to the positive emotions of local Grade Schooler, Yuuta Tomonaga affecting his AI chip. It’s a fairly simple setup to an overall uneventful plotline, but it certainly works in setting the scene and getting the action rolling in a quick, engaging manner. As the series chugs along, Yuuta and Deckerd join forces with a wide range of ally robots, granted sentience through the same hybrid of technology and childish passion that brought Deckerd to life. They band together to form the titular Brave Police, and fight off against the forces of evil in a standard monster of the week format, with a few significant enemies granted brief multi-episode arcs. Much of the storyline is dedicated to exploring the bonds between man and machine, and how such relationships affect those involved. It’s an interesting theme for a children’s television show to take on, and it does lead to some interesting events, but most of the time it simply acts as background material to fill in gaps between action sequences. It’s a shame to see an interesting theme go to such a waste, but those moments when this theme is brought front and centre are some of the best moments in the series, and it does eventually reach a satisfying conclusion at the end.
I mentioned earlier that this series was by all intents a merchandising ploy. This is made increasingly evident as the series trudges along, as more and more characters are brought into the fold. An expansive character roster is not necessarily a bad thing by any means, but a problem arises when character development begins to suffer. Early on, the Brave Police members are few in number, so they all receive a reasonable amount of backstory. However, later on, the Brave Police squad rapidly bloats from 3 members to 8. To be fair, an effort was made to accommodate this rapid influx of characters, but by the end of the series, later members like Gunmax and Duke feel about as fleshed out as some of the earlier monsters of the week. However, as a whole, the cast is entirely likable, if not cliché, with pretty solid voice acting all around. All of the characters were specifically designed to fulfil a particular purpose within the team, and for the most part, the dynamic between them works pretty well, with some well-written witty banter and wisecracks thrown around to add to the personality of these sentient hunks of metal.
As a Sunrise mecha production of the 90s, the Brave series has a pretty high pedigree when it comes to animation and design. Unfortunately, J-Decker suffers from budget issues, and it becomes very clear even early on. Action sequences frequently consist of about 70% stock footage, character animation often consists of very few frames, and be prepared to see a lot of cuts to still images in intense moments. However, such practices are fairly common in earlier animation, so if you’re used to it, or if you’ve seen it all before, it really isn’t that much of an issue. The stock footage used is of a high standard for the time, and is generally used to great effect. The colour pallet is rich and varied, relying mostly on bright colours and pastels to create an inviting atmosphere, and heavy use of shading to create a foreboding atmosphere. Fairly standard stuff for classic Saturday Morning cartoons, really.
The mechanical design is all of a very high standard, with all of the Brave Police members looking both aesthetically pleasing and entirely functional. Corners were cut in terms of enemy design, but with over 40 unique entities to design, I think they did a very good job creating a diverse bunch of sword fodder for Deckerd and Co. to bring to justice. You may have noticed that up until this point, I have made virtually no reference to the human characters. This is because they are almost entirely un-noteworthy, with only Yuuta really contributing to the development of the plotline. Any other human character interaction was inconsistent and infrequent, which is especially disappointing because of the relationship theme of the series as a whole.
I did want to speak a little bit about the soundtrack, but unfortunately there isn’t a whole lot to say on the matter. The OP is a lot of fun to listen to, and fits the overall cheerful tone of the show. The ED isn’t quite as effective, coming off as a fairly generic kid-focused J-Pop number. It serves the purpose of bookending each episode fairly well, but it does leave a lot to be desired. The OST as a whole has a few noteworthy numbers, but it’s quite clear that visual design took precedence over sound design. Most tracks are fairly simple big band affairs, with a lot of brass usage. Action themes consist mostly of guitars and percussion, with some violin work sprinkled about. As a whole, the sound design is generic, but serviceable.
In fact, ‘generic but serviceable’ seems like a fairly apt summary of this series. I’ve rambled on a lot here, so I’m going to bring this into TL;DR terms. J-Decker is a fun, enjoyable series, assuming you’re a previous fan of the Brave series or early mecha anime in general. It doesn’t offer a lot of value outside of a bit of fun, light-hearted action with a police theme, but I don’t think it was intended to. If you’re not alright with archaic animation techniques, undercooked storylines or cookie-cutter characters, perhaps this series isn’t for you. For those of you looking for another GaoGaiGar, I don’t think this is the place to find it. Perhaps try Da-Garn for a more serious approach.
As a side note, I am a Brave Series fan, and J-Decker was one of my favourite seasons. I enjoyed the ride (particularly the panda) but I understand this isn’t for everyone.
This was the first Brave Series/Yuusha Series anime that I watched, it has comedic moments that will keep your laughing. It is a police themed story but isn’t focused on mystery at all, just monster of the week fights.
Nonetheless there are surprisingly some serious moments in this anime due to the fact that the main characters are sentient robots who can think and feel like a human through the invention of Artificial Intelligence, examples of what they have to deal with include the following:
A character goes through an existential crisis because criminal hackers are messing with this programming and perception of reality.
Whether they are machines who can be replaced by a newer model.
Whether their memories can be erased, such as Deckerd’s warm-hearted friendship he developed with the human boy Yuuta.
J-Decker is an episodic super robot mix of SoL, comedy, and your typical police show. While aimed for young kids, there’s an undeniably comfy and energetic energy to the show that I think makes the show work for any age and is just generally enjoyable. Perhaps the most unique thing I can say about the show is its “humanization” of the robots and developing them as characters, it’s something you’ll find in hardly any other mecha show.
The actual overall plot of the show is incredibly loose, and doesn’t really come into play until the halfway point and again near the end of the show. Most episodes are just the Brave Police dealing with various crimes or circumstances, and there’s quite a variety of situations. The writers were creative enough that despite being nearly 50 eps, the show remained mostly fresh and entertaining the whole time. There’s also a nice core message of what it means to be human, and how both our ability to do good and bad makes us who we are. It’s nothing deep at all, but for a kid’s show it gets the job done.
Mecha shows pretty much always focus primarily on the characters with the robots being a vehicle to tell the story, it just so happens here the robots ARE the characters. There’s about 8 of these guys in total, and each have their own unique developments and relationships with the side cast made up of humans. The show actually tackles some interesting situations of “humanized” robots like fearing being outdated and not useful due to new models, losing their memory data, not wanting to be upgraded so they can increase their skills naturally, etc.
Yuuta is a good kid, but I can’t say there’s really any depth to him. He works ok as a mc, and the other human chars are good too. Antags don’t really have any depth either, but hey Takehito Koyasu voices one of them so that’s cool.
J-Decker is a surprisingly consistently good looking show. There’s at least 1-2 really great shots per ep, and overall doesn’t have too much stock footage for a mecha show. Mech designs are solid, and char designs have a somewhat unique thing going on with some of the hair and eyes.
Soundtrack is memorable enough with a pretty catchy OP and ED. VA is good, and I enjoyed Victim, Gunmax, and Shadowmaru’s vas the most. Drill Boy was kind of annoying at times, but that’s my only complaint.
J-Decker is just “good”, 7.5/10 series. It doesn’t aspire to be anything more than that, but it also doesn’t drop in quality. It is probs one of the most “consistently good” shows I’ve seen. If anything, it has a few things to offer you’ll see in nothing else, but perhaps Patlabor and a few of the Brave shows. Give it a try if you’re looking for something a bit different in the mecha world.
5: Tenchi Muyou!
MAL Score: 7.43
Tenchi Masaki’s life changes forever when the ship of an infamous space pirate, Ryouko Hakubi, is shot down and crashes near his family’s temple. Little did Tenchi know that by saving Ryouko, he would spark a series of events that would lead alien women from all walks of life to inhabit his home. This includes the delicate Princess Aeka of Jurai and her playful younger sister Princess Sasami; the scatterbrained first-class detective Mihoshi Kuramitsu and her more capable partner Kiyone Makibi; and the eccentric, mad scientist Washuu Hakubi.
The six women do their best to adapt to their new lives, but their more advanced and exotic lifestyle does not mesh well with the simplistic customs on Earth. As a result, they just end up making a mess and causing trouble for poor Tenchi. Though the girls are a pain, Tenchi begins to form a close relationship with each of them, and through their bond, he begins to gain a better understanding of his role in the universe.
The story is similar to the first series: progressive events cause an assemblage of characters, mishaps create subplots, a threatening antagonist later appears and the group pits to stop them. The artwork is less shaded and the animation isn’t as fluid but it all still looks good. Audio is backed with a library of different music, spot-on sound effects and believably acted voices. Bolder content, like nudity, swearing and sexual references, is a lot more minimal.
One of the best points about Tenchi Universe is how nicely it transitions. Viewers don’t get stuck with empty fillers; there is always something going on whether or not the story has picked up. As a result, fans of the OVA, and fans of harems in general, should enjoy this series.
Especially given that everyone and their dog’s probably seen Tenchi Muyo (Universe/TV aka the one who’s page you’re on). I’m also an unashamed fan. It’s not a stretch to say that Tenchi is what got me into anime along with Outlaw Star on the legendary Toonami block a few yonks and a half back now.
Tenchi isn’t just a harem anime. It’s not going too far in my mind to say it is THE harem anime. A fantastic rom-com with some well placed scifi action and a nice bit of world building here and there, Tenchi has managed to create a fantastic cast of characters with unique personalities and character design (following the silhouette rule of character design, that is, in silhouette, as many characters as humanly possible should be immediately identifiable or recognizable. It’s also a trope setter for a lot of things we commonly see now, and it’s not unfair to level a fair amount of blame for the scourge of super cute mascot characters we see these days on Sasami and Ryo-Ohki.
I’m not going to go into depth on this review. Suffice to say, it’s worth your time. Enjoy.
4: Mobile Fighter G Gundam
English: Mobile Fighter G Gundam
MAL Score: 7.56
In the year Future Century 0060, the many countries that once comprised Earth’s surface exist as separate colonies floating in space. Their home planet now uninhabitable, the ruler of all of the colonies is decided by their unanimous participation in the intergalactic Gundam Fight Tournament—a series of battles between the champions of each colony to determine who is most fit to reign over them all.
Neo-Japan’s champion is Domon Kasshu, a man who accepts the role with some ulterior motives. Domon searches the galaxy for his brother, a criminal who allegedly murdered their mother and made off with the Devil Gundam, a highly advanced weapon with the power to unleash mass destruction across the galaxy. In his quest to bring his sibling to justice, Domon travels from colony to colony, meeting many of the fighters who will become his allies and enemies in the forthcoming Gundam Fight Tournament.
Armed with the strength of the Shining Gundam, Domon battles to uncover the truth behind his tortured childhood, suffering great betrayal and crushing blows on his quest toward personal and national triumph.
The presentation of the culturally diverse cast is of course where the Ring ni Kakero influences come into play. Certain portions of the characters are stereotyped or portrayed in what Americans would find not politically correct. I mean, the Russian is a prisoner? The Japanese portrayed as righteous? The American portrayed as strange and arrogant? And the list goes on. If you’re not offended by that kind of stuff, then you’ll probably laugh because it gets to you in that kind of way. Because the Japanese are oblivious to the concept of political correctness, they can of course get away with doing something like this in their own country. In addition all religious referenes such as Domon’s future Gundam, known as the God Gundam, or G Gundam for short is changed to Burning Gundam; and the Devil Gundam would be renamed to the Dark Gundam.
I really enjoy the characters because of their personalities and they each bring in different elements to the show. Domon is the quiet and anti-social super powered guy; while someone like Chibodee is the obnoxious loud mouth comic relief character. Even some of the minor characters like Alleby have their own contribution to the advancement of the story as well and has some touching moments that I don’t want to get into because it would be a spoiler.
Along with a whole new set of story, setting and characters, you also get new Gundams. For traditional purposes obviously, a huge majority of the Gundams will stick to the grill face, have either the green and yellow eyes, and still maintain the iconic red, white, blue, and yellow color scheme. But they add new details to certain Gundams to make them look more culturally authentic to each country. Like Lumberjack Gundam of Neo-Canda is literally meant to resemble a Candian lumber jack. The Gundam Spiegel piloted by Schwartz has a skinny frame to give it the agility and speed that gives blitzkrieg-esque assaults.
The human characters on the other hand were really meant to have the old school style of design from the 1970s mech anime. The character’s slim builts, the pointness of the chins and faces, the shapes of the eyes, the hairstyles and side burns, and some of the clothing designs gives some indication of that. Plus, it’s not Gundam vs army anymore. Prior to Gundam, mech anime was always the main mech against another bad guy’s mech of the week and G Gundam’s story was meant to present that kind of narration so they bring in all of these Gundams for one one one battles which I will now get into.
The battles are also distinctive because it’s not about lazers, guns, and beam saber fights. It’s hand to hand combat and as Daigouji Gai from Nadesico would say, that a mech is most idealistic for such kinds of battles and is the best means of proving who is the man. Granted certain Gundams are bulky, but the heavy blow action makes up for it. While the smaller Gundams like Spiegel and Nobel Gundam have speed and agility and they move like Spider-Man. So you’re getting martial arts mixed with mech. Despite the lack of convenient war fare weapons, the Gundams of course have special powered moves. Like Domon’s finishing move is the shining finger where he turns gold Super Saiya-jin style and then emits a large beam of light to his opponent.
Of course there are also times we get to see the pilots fight outside of their mechs. Afterall, you need to be a legitimate accomplished fighter to be legible to compete in the tournament. The fights are DBZ-ish with the speed but not of course where they power up and fight for a long time and do fire balls. The fights are still intense and fun. So, the art and animation of G Gundam for it’s overall unique use of character and mech design and intriguing battle.
Tomokazu Seki also happens to play the main character Domon Kasshu who has played other notable roles like Keisuke from Initial D, Miyata from Hajime no Ippo, and Kenichi from History’s Strongest Disciple Kenichi. He uses a rough and loud voice, but not high pitched. He can make the character sound cold and calm when he’s not in battle, and yet sound crazy when he’s in a fight. Speaking of the dialog in fights, I just love how dynamic the acting and dialog is in the middle of battle. Like before a fight starts, to officially commence the fight, the fighters have to say “Gandamu faito!!! Rediiii Goooo!!” It’s something you can say is as synonomous as John McCarthy’s “Lets get it on” when he signals to start a fight in the UFC. It’s just that awesome.
And it’s real funny in the Japanese version, Chibodee, played by Hochu Ohtsuka, the voice of Jiraiya in Naruto and Yazan in Zeta Gundam brings a funny tone to his voice and really brings the comedy out of him with his Engrish and how he calls Domon “Japanese.” And Saisaici is played by Yamaguchi Kappei, the voices of Ranma and Inuyasha, and the voice of L from Deathnote. So the Japanese version has a top notch voice cast. As for the dub, I have not seen it in years, but I just feel with the Japanese version, you’re getting the accurate dynamic delivery you need to most enjoy it because I don’t think this anime isn’t fun without the silly Engrish.
The music itself is pretty good. The opening themes Flying in the Sky and I Trust You Forever are really good songs that have a type of passion and feeling to it. Though it doesn’t have a warriors feel like Ring ni Kakero’s or Ashita no Joe’s, the songs still reflect on its semi-unintended campy nature.
G Gundam was mixing old school Shounen Jump, old school mech, and the moderninzing of Gundam all into one. It brings its own unique story that excellently mixes a diverse cast of characters in not just culture, but in personalities; top notch unintended comedy if you’re not Japanese; and high octane action
But simply being different isn’t enough to be good and that doesn’t change the fact that the end result is nothing short of a nonsensical battle shounen that thinks an excessive amount of plot twists and shouting equates to actual quality.
The story can be split up into 2 parts, the first being a revenge tale and other a long winded battle tournament. Set in the future where war is abolished and a new system is put in place, each nation takes part in a battle royal to determine who will obtain supremacy of the universe and the other colonies. These fights are carried out by a Gundam pilot of their choosing and is the driving force behind most of the show’s conflict. It’s through this battle royal that we meet our core group of characters, with our lead obviously being Japan’s representative Domon Kasshu. Using the battle royal as cover Domon’s true objective is to find and defeat his brother Kyoji who has come to poses Dark Gundam, which objective is (you guessed it) to destroy the world.
Now the core story itself isn’t bad on paper but where the problem starts is how it’s presented. Being that it takes a shounen approach, it should come to no surprise that it also obtained the issues commonly found in the shounen demographic. Containing everything from poorly conceived asspulls and powerups to questionable plot twists, G Gundam’s storytelling is just all over the place. Another glaring issue is it’s regurgitation of needless exposition and plot conveniences. And despite the constant bombardment of nonsense like a mermaid, a mummy and windmill Gundam or gundams going super saiyan, it still ask of the viewer to take it seriously. This wouldn’t have been a problem if it was going for a self-aware satire but sadly it never took that route. What we get instead is a show trying too hard to angst and too hard to be cool while coming across as a laughable concoction that you’d think up as a child while playing pretend with your toys.
Now if there was ever an area where G Gundam deserves recognition it would be with it’s production values. The Gundam franchise has always been proclaimed to being ahead of its time, with titles like Zeta Gundam that was leagues ahead of other anime titles of it’s era in terms of cinematography and choreography. But with titles like Double Zeta and Victory Gundam it had seemed that the franchise was finally losing it’s luster. But G Gundam brought on something like a Renaissance for Gundam, bringing with it the familiar levels of animation quality found in OVAs like War in the Pocket and Stardust Memory.
Being that the story focused on mecha fights a great deal of effort was placed into making all the battles to feel grandiose when called for it. And with a introduction to a new way of piloting the mechas by body synchronization, the aesthetics and easy to read body mechanics were ahead of it’s time. The attention to detail really made it an entertaining watch that never felt hindered by the time period it was made. It even looks good for today’s standards. But of course corners were cut with reused scenes and still shots but given the effort placed into everything else it’s easily forgivable.
NOW the same can’t be said for the mecha designs. To put it bluntly half of them are beyond idiotic. Everything from a evil clown to a windmill, I have a hard time wrapping my head around the poorly thought up designs. It’s like the artists all got drunk and doodled up any nonense that popped into their heads. But given the cheesiness of the story they may just help heighten your B-movie experience.
“so bad it’s good” is the best phrase used to describe the voice acting of G Gundam. This is schmaltzy over acting taken to a new extreme. Every one liner is delivered with so much ham that you can’t help but chuckle as they’re delivered. That said I highly suggest watching this dub to optimize the effect. The soundtrack itself works well with the show’s content. Delivering the right amount of “oomph” when needed and adding to the overall 90s vibe.
The characters all felt like they’ve been ripped right out of the pages of cliches. With a spiky hair protagonist that think yelling and “talking with your fists” is the only way to solve problems, it borderlines obnoxiousness at times. The rest of the cast follow the same 1 sided personality with one predominant straight that forces them to be marginalize as typical archetypes. May that be the pretty boy “man of honor” or the strong dumb brute, all of them exhibit the behaviors of easy to write and even easier to read characters.
But being typical characters aren’t necessarily bad per say but the way the writers go about using them is where it really becomes a problem. Everyone is flimsily handled to the point where their personality can flip flop from friend to foe with no proper build up. It’s like they were manipulated in order to serve whatever objective the plot was going for at the time. This result in too many role reversals to be taken seriously and also a sad attempt to try to add depth and complexity to a cookie cutter cast that were only surface deep.
Now without a doubt G Gundam is entertaining. Due to many factors but mostly contributed to the time period it was made, G Gundam has aged into a campy b-movie romp that offers cheesy one liners, laughable plot twists and hammy moments throughout. This b-movie experience is even heightened further if watched dubbed, with a vast array of schmaltzy voice acting performances that deduces genuine bouts of laughter. It’s truly among the pinnacle of cheesy 90s entertainment and those simply seeking dumb fun should look no further.
G Gundam is the ultimate 90s cheese experience. Idiotic plot twists, nonsensical mecha designs and over the top voice acting. It’s the pinnacle of anime cheese but a face palming journey that can’t be forgiven. For everything it had going for it, it always took 2 steps back. It was an experimental attempt to do something different with the franchise that led to half-baked results. For fans of Gundam this might be a fun time waster but this isn’t a something recommended to any newcomer trying to see what the franchise is all about.
The story takes place in an alternet setting, not Universal Century. This new world is called Future Century. In Future Century, nations from around the world leave their homes and begin to live in space, in the newly formed space colonies called the Neo Nations. Even though many have left Earth, it’s still a vitial resorce, and to prevent any further wars the Nations declare that every four years there is to be a Gundam Fight. The Gundam Fight determines which Neo Nation will take Earth into their hands. After each Nation selects one of their best fighters and locks them down on Earth, the battle begins.
In this story, it is now the 13th Gundam Fight. A Martial Artist from Neo Japan, Domon Kasshu, is sent to Earth. With his newly earned title of King Of Hearts, he brings fear upon his opponents, but Domon’s true intensions is to search for his brother, which mysteriously disappeared after an incedent in the space colony of Neo Japan. Now the only remaining member of his family is his father which has been frozen as pusnishment for actiing against the Neo Japan Government. And to release his father, Domon must fight and win the Gundam Fight.
Eventually Domon realizes that he’s not the only one that is willing to go the distance as he meets many formidable foes. Chibodee of Neo America, George of Neo France, Sai of Neo China, and Argo of Neo Russia all have their reasons of fighting within the tournament. They soon become friends after facing a menacing foe known as the Devil (Dark) Gundam.
The story is pretty good. It’s not what I really expected from Gundam, and it was a completely new twist to things. I can rewatch it a few times and still enjoy it. Although, the birth of this series pretty much brought an unnecessary evil to the Gundam Franchise. With all the spoofs of Gundam Wing, Gundam War X, Gundam Seed, and a few other Super Gundam legacies, I can’t help but get mad that because of this one show it had made Gundam into a Super Hero Five show. In the long run, its an okay show, not one of my favorites of the Gundam series, but Gundam Seed wasn’t any better. So if you really want to see what started the Gundam Wing and the Five Gundam concept, this is what you are looking for.
3: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
English: Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
MAL Score: 7.71
The United Earth Sphere Alliance is a powerful military organization that has ruled over Earth and space colonies with an iron fist for several decades. When the colonies proclaimed their opposition to this, their leader was assassinated. Now, in the year After Colony 195, bitter colonial rebels have launched “Operation Meteor,” sending five powerful mobile suits to Earth for vengeance. Built out of virtually indestructible material called Gundanium Alloy, these “Gundams” begin an assault against the Alliance and its sub organization OZ.
One Gundam, whose pilot has taken the name of the slain colony leader Heero Yuy, is forced to make a crash landing into the ocean after an atmospheric battle against OZ’s ace pilot Zechs Marquise. Upon coming ashore, he is found by Relena Peacecraft, daughter of a peace-seeking politician, who witnesses Heero’s descent to Earth. Although neither of them realize it yet, this encounter will have a profound impact on both their lives, as well as those on Earth and in space colonies.
The story, like all Gundam plots revolve around war, two opposing factions of space and the earth, a boy and his chance encounter with a Gundam. At first, GW bombards you with the names of many factions and organizations that play a key role in making the world of GW what it is. When you truly begin to grasp what a certain organization is and what it stands for, it has just been defeated and wiped from the show. Although, quite annoying, GW exemplifies the concept that, those who don\’t evolve, won\’t survive. Throughout the first half of the series (before the emergence of Mobile Dolls), GW centralizes around world events caused in response to the happenings of the main characters and their actions. As the plot moves along, we take a more personal look at the main (~8) characters – why they fight, what their objectives are and who their allies/enemies are. In the final curtain, both these plots come together for the inevitable \"Gundam Final Showdown.\" Action is spread out enough to keep the viewer entertained but remember; GW is not a shounen anime. The plot encompasses the soldiers of war and their actions for their respective sides.
Animation and Sound
This is no KyoAni work, but it\’s also nothing close to the bottom of the barrel. GW\’s animation is mid to high quality (even for 2007) thanks to Sunrise. Most scenes take place in the dark of a room or space so remember to turn up the brightness. Animation quality drops at points (a given) but even then, it\’s appealing enough to keep the screen on. GW isn\’t as clean as SEED nor do the mobile suits have the same shiny effect as G.U.N.D.A.M\’s but given the time difference, it\’s understandable. Most of the OST in GW consists of great battle music to fit the occasion. Battle armament sounds are top notch, especially Heavyarm\’s guns and Wing Zero\’s shoulder vulcans. The largest ball drop is the lack of music during most anti-climactic scenes – making them quite dull. As well as random sound effects when character comes to realization about something.
Ah, therein lies the success to any Gundam. As said before, those that don\’t evolve, won\’t survive. As such, each and every main character (8 by my count) goes through a change or situation where they must make a choice. This pseudo character development grants us a clearer view on each character\’s motives and reasoning behind their actions. GW sports a large cast where each main character is paired with another of the opposite sex for contrast/similarities. Not including the immense support cast, GW already has lots of names to remember. But don\’t be intimidated! Most non-essential characters die within a few episodes anyways. Jokes aside, it\’s very easy to remember all the important characters and the support character or the day.
Although I wasn\’t pumped for this review, GW is still a great watch. It\’s one of those anime\’s that suffers a lot of disdain for the popularity it gets. It\’s in the eye of the beholder whether you\’ll like it or not. The first 20 or so episodes is great – political manipulation and backstabbing at its finniest. Then the centrality shifts and once more towards the end – essentially, you may not like what you see at first but remember, there\’s about 3 \"arcs\" in which the genre wavers to appeal to more audiences.
With the previous Gundam series, G Gundam being more hand to hand oriented, this series goes back to the traditional space battlefield with guns, lasers, and missiles, and are taken to a whole new extreme. The fights are fast paced and diverse with the many mobile suits that are present ,and the environments they all take place in such as land, sea, air, and space, are always exciting and you’re getting something different. With the use of coloring and resolution, it is easy to follow the fast paced action this series has to offer.
Like the characters, the mobile suits themselves that contain singular but yet distinguishing traits all have their uses and are given equal time to stand out. Like the Wing Gundam is the all rounder, the deathsytche being close range, and Heavyarms being long range, etc. And also, the skills of the pilot will also effect the outcome of how the mobile suit can be used. Such as when Heero had to pilot Heavyarms for example. And you also have the Mercurus and the Vayeate which represented offense and defense and I feel that the staff read the art of war first to apply some of the principles you see in this series.
The character design also brought in a traditional “bishounen” design to the franchise. Nothing wrong with that. They are also very diverse and distinctive in which once again their features are distinguished. I love how the expressions come across and the use of costumes. I also found it unique that this series plays homage to Char Aznable through Zechs Merquise with his get up so you’re basically getting Gundam, Zeta Gundam, and Char’s Counterattack all rolled into one with this series.
I’ll have to say that both the English and Japanese voice cast is probably the best I’ve heard in any anime in both name recognition and performance. On the Japanese side, you have big names like the multi-talented Midorikawa Hikaru playing Heero Yuy, and there’s also Mark Hildreth, the voice of Terry from Fatal Fury playing him in English. They both do a convincing job of making Heero coming across as something of an emotionless being who exclusively cares about what he’s doing. And the charismatic Koyasu Takehito is very menacing as Zechs, but I really like how Brian Drummond, the English actor does a much better job of bringing out his compassionate side. I also really enjoyed Brad Swale’s portrayal of Quatre, I thought it was far superior to Orikasa Ai’s performance. Granted Quatre is the most human, I just thought that even though he is played by a woman in the Japanese version, he sounded too feminine, but the English version was just perfect.
The music itself is classic and one of the most addicting soundtracks you’ll ever hear that also defines Jpop in the mid 90s. When it was on Toonami, I thought it was cool that whenever they played the opening themes, Just Communication and Rhythm Emotion as a background song, I thought it was awesome they retained it in American TV. If it were 4Kids, they change it to some lame rap. But I thought the music also defined the intense and adrenaline rush nature of the show.
Granted I do believe this series is a great gateway to the Gundam universe, I personally don’t believe it should be used as a barometer to what defines a great Gundam series. Each Gundam is different. You can’t compare this series to 08th MS Team, or Zeta Gundam. But this series does have its significant flaws like all other series have, and which is why I have never given any anime so far an overall perfect 10/10. But if anything annoyed me about this series, it is most certainly Relena. I remember after Gundam Wing aired, there were websites in dedication to her death. I’ll admit I was and still am one of those fan boys who wish Relena died. She’s like the Hillary Clinton of the anime universe. And I don’t mean that as a compliment. I find her to be annoying, and a hypocrite. If you have seen the series, you know what I’m talking about, and if you want to know, check this series out.
Among the series that helped cultivated this young fanbase, Gundam Wing was one of the biggest to make its debut, becoming a tent-pole entry that not only served as a gateway title to the Gundam franchise but perhaps, more importantly, a show that became many viewers first exposure with anime altogether. Because of its status as many people’s initial experience with the medium, or at the very least, their first conscious discernment between Japanese and Western animated works, a great deal of nostalgic value has been associated with it. A predicament that would inadvertently lead to a lot of blind appraisal under false pretenses, whether the parties in question were aware of it or not.
Its influence in the western climate is undeniable but that doesn’t negate it from the same baseline criticisms applicable to any other show. And in that regard, Gundam Wing is far from a timestamp of fidelity and quality-control. While its production values have certainly stood the test of time — with sharp edits, gorgeous matte paintings, ear-worm industrial synthpop mixings and fluid animation that could go toe to toe with many titles being produced today — the screenplay, on the other hand, wasn’t so lucky, falling victim to the common narrative conceits of its time period.
Overwrought with needless plotting manipulation, contrived idealistic monologues delivered by cardboard cutout personalities, and a narrative that quickly spirals into a chop suey of hackneyed writing; Wing was Gundam’s messy attempt at a rule-of-cool political shounen. An attempt that got all the attributes correct on the surface, but when brought under an analytical microscope, barely kept its head above water. Where past installments found an equilibrium between teen angst and the war drama that facilitated it, Wing ended up fumbling this formula with wrongheaded attempts intended to capture a younger demographic, while seemingly forgetting the fact that it already had that demographic in their back pocket, to begin with. It’s the kind of creative misfiring only possible by the hogwash of self-obsessed auteurs being allowed to run amok. It certainly succeeded in creating easily digestible entertainment but sadly at cost of proper storytelling. Today, we’ll shelf whatever nostalgic value the show has with the community, as we attempt to examine it for what it is and not what landmark value it may have held.
The story starts out like any other in the franchise, with a conflict brewing between two separate factions: one found on earth (United Earth Sphere Alliance) and the space colonies that occupy the heavens. And in the wonderful Gundam tradition of dressing up opposing factions in broad strokes of fascism, The Alliance in this iteration represents our big baddies, extending their oppressive control over the space colonies with such aggression that even Benito Mussolini would blush. It’s the kind of setup that alludes to a grandiose battle to determine supremacy, and we do certainly get to see something like that play out, but the plotting used to get to that power struggle, was, for the lack of a better word, laughable.
The Gundam franchise has always used teen pilots in their series as conduits to channel their themes of warfare and human ethics. And while what I’m about to say may seem like a trivial detail, it’s the core difference that separates successful installments in the franchise that still manage to feel plausible, from those of the likes of Wing which could only muster up all of its creative juices to obtain juvenile status at best.
This core difference I speak of is the allocation of character relevance.
In 79 and Zeta Gundam respectfully, Amuro and Kamille were both talented pilots due to their upbringing and new-type abilities, but there was never a point in time where their involvement led to the tipping point that determined the outcome of any given large-scale battle. They were more adept than the average soldier but was ultimately just another person operating under the guidance of a small rag-tagged group, which was itself just a small cog in the machine, manipulated by the governing parties as they saw fit. Regardless of their individual talents as pilots, they didn’t win wars single-handedly; there was always a group effort, involving the sacrifices of many people on both sides. Even Char Aznable, considered the best pilot in both series, had to rely on the strength of others around him to achieve victory in any given battle.
The point I’m trying to make here is that no one was ever an end-all-be-all trump card for winning the war. The teen pilots may have been incredibly strong relative to those around them but that’s all they were: strong. Nothing more, nothing less. But this is where Wing differs significantly, and not for the better.
Unlike before, the teens weren’t just strong this time around, now, they’ve practically been turned into God-sent messiahs… EDGY God-sent messiahs at that (sigh).
What once took the collective effort of battalions fighting against each other to cause a dent in the war, was now reduced to the actions of a handful of angsty teens with a mech suit, pent-up rage, and an endless line of fodder to mow down — cool poses and manchild yelling notwithstanding. And yeah, I know what you’re thinking “But ZephSilver-sama, what’s the problem with that?” Well, my young Padawan, have patience, I’ll explain further once we address another pressing issue with Wing. That being its treatment of war factions and politics.
A Coup d’etat; common occurrences during wartime, and one that the Gundam franchise readily utilizes to spice up its content, and understandably so. Whenever any governing party finds itself at odds with the militaristic stronghold that keeps it in power, it’s basically a powder keg waiting to blow. For Gundam, that translates into a cool ass firework display of mecha action, pink explosions, and blood confetti just waiting to happen. And Like any good thing, moderation is key. And as you’ve probably guessed by now, this is an understanding that escapes Wing. Coup d’etats are expected events but the amount of times that it ended up occurring in Wing is just unrealistic, to the point of approaching parody.
The mere act of existing as a governing entity in Wing basically assures you a one-way ticket to shitsville. There is zero stability in this universe. A constant potpourri of back-stabbing and upheaval. This fickle game of musical chairs between alliances became so bad at times that any given character could find themselves supporting no less than 4 separate groups in the course of the show’s 49-episode run. Wing, despite its simplistic narrative, was constantly asking its audience to keep tabs on several moving parts simultaneously. A type of sensory overdrive where tertiary factions were constantly sticking their necks out to remind the viewer that “they still exist!”
The constant betrayals meant that there was no true side for the audience to follow or individual motivation worth investing into, turning the human race into a marginalized group of trigger-happy neanderthals. With no solid conviction for the numerous groups that sprung up and a mess of Heel-Face Turn characters that easily switched sides at the whim of whatever the screenplay belched out at any given episode, what was left in the end were our teen pilots (a.k.a Emo Power Rangers), as they rode in on their high horses providing the answer to everything. And by “provide answers” I mean they blew shit up while reciting their edge-lord diatribes.
Using youths as the poster children for justice is one thing, but making them the sole proprietor to end the human race’s problems is a complete other… and no, I’m not being hyperbolic either. Our five teen edge-lords: Heero Yuy, Duo Maxwell, Trowa Barton, Quatre Raberba Winner and Chang Wufei, were tasked with taking on The Alliance’s military stronghold, without the help of any backing nation or military group. Yes, you read that correctly. 5 teenage emo rangers are quite literally tasked with defeating a united earth front all by themselves… but perhaps even worse than that is that the show writes it to where such a ludicrous task is actually made feasible by turning the mobile suits into indestructible doomsday machines.
Because the characters were all one-note, personality-wise, they were often re-written to service whatever role the plot demanded at the time. This turned megalomaniacs into spokespeople for peace and vice versa. Something that was made all the more bothersome with constant bombardments of contrived, idealistic monologues. A notable example being Zechs Marquise, the show’s watered down version of Char Aznable, where he made a 180 in mindset while still delivering his idealistic speeches that conflicted with his actions. There were times where he was quite literally trying to murder someone in cold blood while delivering messages akin to “peace and unity bro!” But it wasn’t limited to him alone, as most of the characters cashed in on these long-winded, ass-backward speeches that were contradictory to their immediate actions on-screen. This failed attempt at adding depth to the cast did nothing but further expose their lack of dimension and characterization. And depending on your investment, this could make the experience enjoyable in an unintentional “haha, they can’t be serious right now?” parody way, or just plain stupid in a “what were the scriptwriters smoking?” way. Thankfully, my approach was the former.
When taken by themselves, any one of these specific issues mentioned doesn’t become a huge detriment to the story, but when they’re compounded into a snowball effect of bad ideas meet even worse screenwriting decisions, that’s where the true issue arises. What could have been a simple rule-of-cool political shounen, was now transformed into a molotov cocktail of messy outcomes, the likes of which was too far gone to be salvaged by a script revision.
Where all of this extra time went unaccounted for when addressing Wing’s writing seemed to have turned up in the show’s visual and auditory output. And boy did it pay off! Despite all the verbal carpet bombing I’ve directed towards Wing so far, even I can’t find anything worth scrutinizing in these departments. Wing’s production values are better than a vast majority of anime entries released in the 90s — hell, I’ll even take it a step further and state that in its restoration form, it could outpace many entries in the early 2010s as well. Needless to say, this was also some of the highest production values seen from the Gundam franchise as well; not since Zeta in 85 has their been such a noticeable increase in audiovisual output.
With a staggering amount of saturated color gradients, physical encounters that had a tangible weight behind it, and an undeniable fervor for blood-boiling theatrics, Wing definitely delivered on visual spectacle. When you put aside the nonsensical propulsion that led to any given action scene and just soaked it in for what was shown on-screen, this was quite the crowd pleaser. Also, before we continue on, the J-Pop opening “Just Communication” by TWO-MIX is a national treasure that should be protected at all cost! And no mention of Wing’s audiovisual output would be complete without making special mention of the aesthetically appealing design work.
When it comes to creating vogue-looking, rugged character models, very few can topple Shukou Murase. Though, at the time, that was yet to be seen. Being an up-and-coming creative, Murase secured his position as character designer based on his work on 89’s Ronin Warriors Gaiden. A decision that he would prove wasn’t a fluke with an extensive catalog catapulted by his newfound recognition on Wing, where he would go on to further lend his talents to titles such as Argento Soma and Gasaraki.
And last, but certainly not least, the mechanical designers themselves. While there were several names attached to the project, all of which deserving of a comb-over, I’ll only focus on one; mah boi Hajime Katoki. When it comes to beefing up mecha designs to look like “Do you even LIFT bro?” steroid-memes (in a good way, of course), Katoki is your go-to guy. He has the magical ability to do with mecha what Jojo’s Bizarre Adventure does to the masculine form, all the while making the final product appear plausible for the universe it’s a part of. Which brings me to perhaps one of, if not, my favorite mecha design in the entire Gundam canon, Zechs Marquise’s Tallgeese. This glorious, Roman gladiator inspired hunk of metal was just a demanding screen presence. It’s a fan favorite for good reason and I’m inclined to support the appraisal that it has racked up throughout the years.
And yes, there were noticeable shortcuts taken at times, with a few still-image panning shots here and speed-lines there, but those sporadic moments of cost-saving techniques never detracted from the overall care given to bringing the entire vision to life. As a whole, the audiovisual output is where Wing truly shines.
After taking everything into consideration, both the good and the incredibad, I can’t say I wasted my time with Wing. Sure, like everything else, it had its problems, but what in the Gundam franchise doesn’t? Yeah, there were times where the issues mentioned impeded on my enjoyment and certainly other occasions where my invested interest was tested. But upon passing the finish line, looking back from where I started to where I eventually stood, at the very least, the journey through Wing offered up aspects worth cherishing. Even if they were aspects knee-deep in issues I’d rather forget.
Although Gundam Wing’s historical relevance may have engulfed its actual inherent value, it’s still a title I would recommend to others. It’s not really one of those shows where you could divorce its issues through selective viewing, as is the benefit for something Like Zeta or 79 Gundam; where under the context of warfare and the understanding that the new-types are essentially hypersensitive, autistic x-men in space, excusing their irrational blurps of emotional responses to others become acceptable. With Wing, the issues found are far too deep-rooted, corrupting the very foundation of its script that everything grows out from. You can cut the proverbial limb off of Zeta or 79 Gundam and still be left with something functional, but attempting such an act on Wing is no different than taking to its head with a swift guillotine strike.
With all that being said, approach Wing with reasonable expectations. If you walk in understanding that it’s Emo Power Rangers vs The World, with the added benefit of having high production values, then you can walk out unscathed, taking with you a fun viewing experience and another legacy title under your belt.
2: Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai
English: Galaxy Warring State Chronicle Rai
MAL Score: 7.92
Rai is a space opera that fuses feudal Chinese and Japanese customs with vast galaxy spanning empires and space-going societies. The story follows the life and times of the samurai Rai, and the quest of several spacefaring factions for control of territory and, of course, the Empire.
The story never slows down and keeps us always interested even if it change sometimes the mood going from light comedy to serious war drama.
And look out for the opening and ending one being a very heroic animation and song and the other sad and dramatic animation and song.
I love how the story went on. It will not give you any chance to be bored. The setting may not be your usual setting because its like the old history meets the sci-fi setting which kind of unique. Even though that this primary tackles war, the development was not dragging and will keep you interested with different other things like a little comedy on the side and depths of the characters.
Since this is an old anime, the art is quite good comparing to the anime that was shown in the same year.
One thing that I always remembered about this anime is the opening song. I recalled that every time the TV starts to play the opening song, whenever I am in the house, I will definitely rush in front of out TV set, and I even compete with my classmates in singing its opening and ending songs.
The things that I love the most here are the characters. I believe they are well developed. The characters was able to justify the story and they did what they supposed to be doing, keeps the audience interested. I remembered that I did shed tears when one of the main characters died.
As you can see, I really did enjoy this anime, if you’re looking for classic kick ass anime, I really recommend you watching this.
1: Neon Genesis Evangelion
English: Neon Genesis Evangelion
MAL Score: 8.33
Fifteen years after a cataclysmic event known as the Second Impact, the world faces a new threat: monstrous celestial beings called “Angels” invade Tokyo one by one. Mankind is unable to defend themselves against the Angels despite utilizing their most advanced munitions and military tactics. The only hope for human salvation rests in the hands of NERV, a mysterious organization led by the cold Gendou Ikari. NERV operates giant humanoid robots dubbed “Evangelions” to combat the Angels with state-of-the-art advanced weaponry and protective barriers known as Absolute Terror Fields.
Years after being abandoned by his father, Shinji Ikari, Gendou’s 14-year-old son, returns to Tokyo. Shinji undergoes a perpetual internal battle against the deeply buried trauma caused by the loss of his mother and the emotional neglect he suffered at the hands of his father. Terrified to open himself up to another, Shinji’s life is forever changed upon meeting 29-year-old Misato Katsuragi, a high-ranking NERV officer who shows him a free-spirited maternal kindness he has never experienced.
A devastating Angel attack forces Shinji into action as Gendou reveals his true motive for inviting his son back to Tokyo: Shinji is the only child capable of efficiently piloting Evangelion Unit-01, a new robot that synchronizes with his biometrics. Despite the brutal psychological trauma brought about by piloting an Evangelion, Shinji defends Tokyo against the angelic threat, oblivious to his father’s dark machinations.
It’s also a reminder to me of something important.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most debated animes in history. Some would argue that there are numerous hidden messages in the show, while others argue that it simply plays up to a certain puerile idealogy of the world. Whatever the case may be, NGE established itself as the hot topic in anime for well over a decade.
NGE first saw the light of day as a manga by Yoshiyuki Sadamoto, and was published in Shonen Ace magazine from February 1994. It’s purpose was to raise awareness and public interest in the anime version that was to be released in October of the following year.
The anime was directed by the famous Hideaki Anno, and is hailed by many fans as his masterpiece (although there are numerous people who disagree with this point of view).
The animation in NGE is actually very well done considering the time it was made (and the fact that Gainax was running out of cash). The colour palette used for the show was decidely bright in many ways, and at the time it contrasted well with the serious tone of the story.
The characters were well designed for the most part, but the real breakthrough in terms of design were the EVA units and the Angels. NGE pushed the boundaries of mecha design in anime to a new level, something which no other show of the time could achieve. It also wasn’t afraid to show an enemy who had no visible relation to humans – something that was a rarity in those days (although Anno had used a similar technique in Top wo Nerae).
The animation in the show is generally very fluid, and although there are some notable flaws, they don’t actually impede on the enjoyment of the show.
The sound in NGE is very good in general. The VAs in the japanese version are very good, and are able to deliver a greater depth of emotion than their american counterparts. The effects used are also quite good but never really stood out as much, partly because of the overwhelming visuals, and partly because they were generally stock effects. The music is generally good throughout the show, with a mixture of classical and other styles scattered here and there.
One of the most memorable things about the music in NGE is the theme tune. Anno had originally wanted to use Borodin’s Polovetsian Dances as the theme music for each episode, but was overruled by TV Tokyo, who felt that this would confuse and alienate the audience. Instead he settled on what has become one of the most played anime theme tunes in history – A Cruel Angel’s Thesis, which was performed by Takahashi Yoko.
This is the area where NGE failed as an anime. Prior to making NGE, Hideaki Anno had suffered from depression for a while, and the characters in NGE were created in such a manner as to reflect his struggle against mental illness. Each of the characters is flawed in different ways, something that was unusual in anime at the time. Given Anno’s talent as a director, this should have led to some interesting, and highly original, character development. Unfortunately the show failed in this area because of one key factor – Ikari Shinji.
For many people like myself, the main issue we have with the show isn’t the story, or the animation, or the sound. It’s the characters, and in particular, Ikari Shinji. In creating him, Anno and the rest of the production team lost focus on the other characters. Shinji is not your typical hero in that he isn’t, courageous, or handsome, or intelligent. In fact, Shinji consider’s himself to be worthless. The issue I have is that the show focuses far too much on Shinji, almost to the extent where the other characters were simply plot devices for his devlopment, and not enough on the characters around him.
That’s not to say Shinji is a bad character. He’s not. The problem is that one can only stomach so much unjustified self pity (which unfortunately most of it was in his case), before wanting to slap some sense into the person in question. It’s been pointed out to me that Shinji wanted to kill himself because he thought he was worthless, and that he should be pitied because of the bad hand he was dealt. I’m sorry but that argument doesn’t wash with me. If someone truly wants to kill themselves then they will, so Shinji didn’t really want to die. In addition to that, I know quite a few people who have been dealt the worst hands possible, yet they do not whine and complain about it (and many of these people did consider themselves to be useless/worthless at one time or another – yet they suffered in silence for the most part). What Shinji wanted was for people to pity him and tell him he wasn’t worthless, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it was over-used in NGE (to the point where I wanted to put him out of his misery – and not because I pitied him). The fact that Shinji’s character has a tendency to ram his sense of worthlessness into the faces of the other characters is what put me off, as that type of behaviour is usually for attention rather than a cry for help, and because of the show’s focus on Shinji, you can imagine how much I wanted to hit him afterwards. It wasn’t that I didn’t understand, it was just that they failed to depict him as an object of pity, and instead he came across as a whining, self pitying, attention seeking, and generally loathesome person.
As for the other characters, in particular Rei and Asuka, they did get a certain amount of development throughout the series. Unfortunately though, their characters, as well as the rest of the cast, were overshadowed by the mammoth amount of development given to Shinji.
I actually quite enjoyed the concept behind NGE, as it made a nice change of pace. I did, however, have some issues with the convenient deus ex machina of Unit 01, as well as a number of other “coincidences” that were scattered throughout the series.
The story itself isn’t all that original, and it has clearly borrowed elements from other sci-fi stories. What made the story seem to be original was the inclusion of psuedo-religious and psuedo-philosophical concepts, as well as the inclusion of “Fruedian” psychology. These formed core elements of the story, so what would have been a standard “save the earth” scenario became a dive into the psyche of the characters. The basic plot is borrowed directly from Space Battleship Yamamoto, and the idea of “young” people protecting the earth was used by Anno himself in Top wo Nerae.
Unfortunately the story breaks down in several places. Anno tried to make a show that merged all perspectives into one single view, and while he managed to achieve this in some measure, he failed because he focused too much on Shinji, to the extent that no other options were ever considered.
Here’s what I mean. NERV is a quasi militaristic outfit, and as such, would generally have backup options available to them. The convenient deus ex machina I mentioned earlier effectively removes all chance for anyone else to come to the fore – except for Shinji that is. If the viewer is to believe that an organisation such as NERV was supposed to protect the earth, then they would at the very least, look for other options, especially considering Shinji’s character flaws. This would effectively mean that they would have at least some combat veterans or trained soldiers who could handle the EVA units. The use of teenagers as the leads in the show was simply so that it would appeal to the teenage audience.
Another area where the story breaks down is in it’s use of religious symbology. Many fans believe that what is shown in NGE is taken directly from religious beliefs, in particular Kabbalism, Judaism and Christianity. While the names used in the show may be true to those religions though, in many cases the manner in which the reference is used is actually based on Anno’s own definition, rather than the religious viewpoint (something for which Anno has been heavily criticised).
In truth, The religious symbology used in the show was only really used to give the series an edge over other “giant robot” anime (i.e. Macross, Gundam, etc), and all of the various interpretations since have been ascribed to it by the viewers rather than the creators (something which is very well documented).
One big plot hole that I noticed, and one that should have been obvious to most people as well, was Shinji’s isolationist attitude, and Gendou’s reaction to it. It’s obvious to any who’ve watched the series that Gendou feels little sympathy towards Shinji, however due to that convenient plot device using Unit 01 I mentioned earlier, Gendou needs Shinji to pilot the EVA unit. So, what you effectively have is the leader of a militaristic organisation who feels little for others, and a teenager with supposed mental instabilities. This being the case, why wasn’t Gendou forcibly dosing Shinji with meds to make him more compliant? If your purpose is to protect the earth and it’s people from attack by extremely powerful beings, and you’re basically a selfish person with your own agenda, then conscience or paternal instincts don’t come into it, you simply do what’s necessary, no matter what anyone else says.
It’s interesting that the whole “psychology” angle is only really supposed to apply to Shinji, isn’t it? Characters like Gendou have been “toned down” because their actions would have drawn too much attention to themselves, another convenient plot device.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is a tough show to rate. According to Anno, if you’re a normal, well rounded person then you won’t learn anything from the show. While this may be true in some cases, the things that one can learn from the show are juvenile at best. Many of the older fans of NGE have a tendency to view the show through the rose tinted lenses of nostalgia, and while this is not a bad thing, it inhibits the ability to view the show objectively. Many of the younger fans, on the other hand, are fiercely loyal to the show, and have a tendency to react harshly to any criticism of the show. The unfortunate side effect of this is that the show has gained a certain notoriety that it could have done without, and many people who watch the show for the first time, do so with certain preconceived notions already embedded in their heads.
NGE is one of those shows that could have been great. Unfortunately the glaring flaws in the plot, coupled with the lack of develpment amongst the other characters in comparison to Shinji meant that I, at least, only found the show to be mediocre. NGE was a let down for me as I am a big fan of Top wo Nerae, the show that is effectively the older sibling to NGE (and is considered by quite a few people to be the superior show).
I’m not going to suggest anyone watches the show, as that is a decision you should make for yourself. Likewise the choice of whether you love it or hate it is something that only you can decide. The only thing I can say about the show is that, when watching it, be as objective as you can.
NGE is no Top wo Nerae by any measure, but it is a classic. Unfortunately, it really isn’t Anno’s best work, and the rebuild is making the same errors all over again.
And here’s the review that originally graced this page. It’s a bit bilious and lowbrow, but it served it’s purpose – which contrary to what you may think wasn’t to simply to upset the “hardcore” fans.
Okay, I’m REALLY going to upset a lot of you out there with this review.
Neon Genesis Evangelion is one of the most mediocre animes I have EVER seen.
I watched this when it first came out, and I wasn’t overly impressed with it to say the least.
The story is okay. The idea of earth being assaulted by unknown, quasi-supernatural/technological beings is one that has been handed down through the years, the most famous example being The War of the Worlds (which wins hands down by the way).
The animation was actually one of the few plus points for this anime. The art style and use of colour made this attractive to many when it was first released. The sound was also of a high standard, and the catchy J-pop intro jingle was forcibly lodged into many peoples craniums.
Now we get to the good part – the characters.
Ayanami Rei was okay as a character, but what on earth possesses everyone to raise Ikari Shinji to almost godlike status? The guy is biggest loser in anime (with the exception of Makoto for School Days – Nice Boat), and one of the biggest losers I have even seen in ANY story since Thomas Covenant. I honestly found myself wishing he was a real person so I could smack some sense into him. I’ve heard it mentioned that he is the most realistic character in the anime, and I have to wonder what planet the people who say such things were born on. I mean honestly.
Okay, rant over, here’s why this character is THE MAIN REASON why this anime was mediocre. NERV is a military organisation whose SOLE objective is the protection of the planet, by whatever means. This being the case, WHY THE HELL is Ikari Shinji the main focus of the story? He doesn’t want to pilot an EVA, and doesn’t want to fight. Any self respecting organisation WOULD HAVE FOUND SOMEONE MORE WILLING AND MORE ABLE to do the job. There’s such a fuss over how special Shinji is, but surely with 6 billion people on the planet there would be someone better equipped for the job.
But I understand the anime only had so much budget so they couldn’t really conduct a global search.
The most believable character is Asuka Langley Soryu, as her reaction to Shinji’s ineptitude and cowardice is similar to that of any reasonable person.
I’m not going to mention enjoyment as I’ve already made it clear that this was mediocre at best.
This wasn’t Hideaki Anno’s best work by far. Top wo Nerae (Gunbuster), was a far superior sci-fi anime, and the characters were MUCH more believable. The story for Top wo Nerae beats Neon Genesis Evangelion hands down.
As for his other works, watch Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou (KareKano or His & Her Circumstances). Hideaki Anno proved his talent with this anime, and Top wo Nerae, so I can only assume he was suffering from dementia when Evangelion was written.
A suggestion if I may, to end this rant. If you want emotion, trauma, passion, a great story, and all the rest, then watch some of the following animes:
Flanders no Inu (movie)
Full Metal Panic: The Second Raid
NHK ni Youkoso!
Kareshi Kanojo no Jijou
Top wo Nerae
Grave of the Fireflies
There’s a lot more that fit the bill. Watch them, then re-watch evangelion and see if it has the same feeling it did before (I would advise removal of the fluffy pink clouds of nostalgia in your head before rewatching).
Some of you are probably wondering why I wrote this review if I dislike the show so much. The reason is simple. I’m sick to death of seeing the show aired on the various channels that show anime, and I’m even more fed up with the fact that newcomers to anime are indoctrinated by magazines and other people into liking this piece of tripe, especially when there are far superior animes out there that rarely get mentioned anywhere.
I’m going to end this review here. I’m not going to tell you all not to watch this. I just hope that this review makes you consider what actually IS good in anime.
I hope I haven’t upset you all too much.
Hugely experimental and wonderfully unique, Evangelion is a roaring success.
The basic, initial, plot goes thus: a 14-year-old boy named Shinji is called to NERV (an organization charged with defending mankind from extinction, no less) by his estranged, seemingly cold and calculating father. There, his fathers’ first words are an order to pilot an immense robotic machine, the titular Evangelion, and fight against the monster that’s attacking Tokyo-3, the city under which NERV has it’s headquarters. These illusory ‘monsters’ are called Angels and are seemingly invincible – traditional weaponry, even in the year 2015, has minimal effect upon them. Only the Eva ‘biomechs’, which can be piloted solely by certain selected 14-year-olds can stop them. This [i]is[/i] merely the basic, initial premise of the series. As it goes on, everything gets a lot more complicated; There’s a metric ton of mystery, suspense, twists and turns in Evangelion’s plot, all routinely thought-provoking and intensely interesting.
The characters are excellent. This is an important point as the series is more about them than about the Angels or NERV. Shinji Ikari is one the most believable and genuinely sympathetic character ever conceived in anime. Though some would complain that Shinji is overtly emotional and annoyingly so. But, really, no one wants Shinji to become the ‘Hollywood hero’ and save the day with a smile on his face – no such human could ever really exist, and studio Gainax understand this and apply it perfectly to the series. Shinji’s mental struggle is dealt with effectively by Hideki Anno, through the use of complex monologues and largely successful experimental cinematic techniques. Asuka and Rei, the other chosen children, are both polar opposites and ingenious characters. Both develop a great deal in a very interesting way throughout the series, and this character exploration and growth is at the heart of Evangelion.
The design aspects are wonderfully unique – the Evas themselves are strikingly colourful and the Angels are attention grabbing and memorable with many towering over Tokyo-3’s skyscraper. The Angels appear in many different forms (one Angel takes the form of a gargantuan, blue diamond while another is too small to be seen with the naked eye and acts as an organic virus, crippling NERV’s computer system) which helps Eva avoid the repetitve “Monster of the Week” format and keeps the action aspect of the series consistently fresh and enjoyable. Judeo-Christian references are famous (or rather, infamous) in Evangelion and despite widespread condemnation, I am of the firm belief that the symbolism is never obnoxious, and always evocative and visually shocking. It must be noted these references are usually fairly shallow, but they make you sit up and take notice of the deeper meaning in the series as a whole. Animation is crisp and clear for the platinum re-mastering that I watched, and I hasten to add that this re-mastering is only version of Eva worth buying. Visuals are regularly stunning and scenes from this series will surely stay with you forever. The regular provocative imagery is often times shocking and sometimes awe-inspiring. The image of a crippled Rei, bleeding and covered in bandages in the first episode provides the first real shock of the series. Such imagery contrasts with the visual gags present throughout – a toothpick container obscuring Shinji’s nether regions in episode 2 being one of the most memorable.
The music is, much like the rest of Eva, superbly memorable. It excels at setting the right mood and tone, using inspirational trumpets to highlight Asuka and Shinji’s success in battle, and nuanced reflective tunes to convey the character of Rei. The OP is among my favourites of all time and you’ll not tire of hearing it throughout the 26 episodes of the series.
The final two episodes are controversial (more controversial than the rest of the series at least!) because they are both the peak of experimental Eva. While I certainly wouldn’t call them “bad”, they are frustratingly unsatisfying as an ending. Thankfully, the subsequent movie release titled ‘End of Evangelion’ rectifies this with bombastic aplomb. EoE – which essentially tells the story of what happens in eps. 25 and 26, but this time outside of Shinji’s mind – is truly magnificent, and definitely lives up to the sky high standards set in the series, and perhaps even exceeds them. As well as being one of the greatest anime movies ever made, EoE gives the series an extraordinary conclusion.
I haven’t even mentioned the dub, the pacing or the sound effects, but rest assured that they are all of a fantastic standard. Overall, I think this series deserves it’s iconic status – it’s easily one of the absolute best TV series (anime or otherwise) that I’ve ever seen. Every single episode is nothing less than a masterpiece and an utter joy to watch. I whole heartedly recommend Neon Genesis Evangelion. It is imperative that you watch this anime!
Story: One of the most well known aspects of Evangelion is it’s story; it is simply unorthodox, as it does the process of not feeding all of the story the viewer; it drip-feeds it, giving the viewer only half the story, or sometimes giving scenes without any context. For some anime, this would be a disaster waiting to happen, but in the case of Evangelion, this is done almost consistently masterfully, holding back information on such subjects such as SELEE or The Angels. Many have critisized the holding of frames later in the series, but taken into the context of the fact they were running out of money to make the show, is is understandable.
For many fans, their major criticism of the anime is the handling of the ending, which many consider far too ‘out there’ and simply crap. I too, am not a huge fan of the ending, but taking the ending to the TV series, inside the context of the ‘true’ ending movie, The End of Evangelion, the ending can make a lot more sense, and thus I enjoy it far, far more. To stop me from ranting on for ages, Evangelion’s story is a master stroke in writing, one which has been a hard feat to replicate.
Art and Sound: I was introduced to Evangelion through the in-progress tetraology of films, The Rebuild of Evangelion; due to this, I became used to the cutting edge graphics employed for the higher-budget films. And to be honest, yes, the TV series art is beginning to show it’s age 20 years on; however, this does not detract from the series in any major capcity, as the art compliments the anime extremely well.
The sound is also fantastic, and a very high-point for the show. Excellent music is employed to showcase the fights against the Angels, and for darker moments such as the internal struggles of the main cast of the show. Some of Beethoven’s music is featured later in the series, which coupled with the emotional impact of the scene, produces one of the most excellent scenes in anime history.
Characters: By a massive leap, the highlight of the series. Evangelion features in it’s story the struggles of the main characters, to devastatingly wonderful effect. Weak, timid, daddy-issues Shinji, to powerful, arrogant, egotistical Asuka, to the quiet, mysterious Rei, and the dark, apparently agnostical Gendo, Evangelion develes into the mind and motivations of these characters, showcasing exactly what makes them tick, and this is what gives us some animes most regonisable and wonderful characters.
I am certain entire essays have been written on why certain charcters tick, and that’s another reason so many of these characters are so wonderful. Fans are so devoted to their favorite characters (personally I am partial to Rei and Gendo), and this creates a wonderful feeling when learning about these characters and then discussing this with other fans. Generally, Evangelion employs some of the most human characters in anime, showing us that the heroes of anime aren’t always strong, both mentally and physically, or not even in control of their lives.
In closing, Evangelion is one of the strongest anime ever produced. It employs powerful characters, a deep, deep story, and art that has only just began to show it’s age. What makes the show’s longevity even more powerful is that even now on sites such as EvaGeeks people are still analysing this series, trying to know everything about it. I hope Evangelion will live on in the hearts of it’s fans, who’ll continue to appreciate it’s deep, metaphorical story. I hope that Evangelion will always remain an anime that will be treasured, for all the ages.
Did YOUR favorite anime make the cut? Let us know in the comments below!
1. Neon Genesis Evangelion
2. Ginga Sengoku Gunyuuden Rai
3. Mobile Suit Gundam Wing
4. Mobile Fighter G Gundam
5. Tenchi Muyou!
6. Yuusha Keisatsu J-Decker
7. Macross 7
9. Tottemo! Luckyman
10. Red Baron