I got excited when I first read about The Garden of Words. Love as 恋, or “lonely sadness” was a theme that I know all too well and want to see. After watching it, I think this is Makoto Shinkai’s best movie to date. It’s tight and utterly focused.
I understand that not everyone likes the current bombastic mecha offering from Sunrise, Valvrave the Liberator. One could chalk it up to its elements, which only seem to exist to deliver the maximum helping of shark jumpings every week. You got attractive boys and girls, some war drama (and comedy), garish mecha, and the occasional song-and-dance routine. It does seem aimed for just about everyone.
Posted in Anime, Mecha
If I have to go with my gut feeling, then I do not like this.
Suisei no Gargantia is one of the three mecha anime airing this season (four if we count a certain HD remaster). Out of them, it’s the one with the loftiest concept in the vein of Toward the Terra or Battlestar Galactica. That said, it’s more of a science fiction show with robots than a true mecha anime, with its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Imagine you’re a leader of a country. Your country is at war with another country for some reason. Maybe you feel that their territory is yours, or you simply don’t like them. The other country feels the same way. Maybe they feel especially murderous and genocidal, because you started it. Either way, the war rages on, many people are killed, and you somehow find yourself on the defensive.
The hostile country’s forces lay siege to your fortress, and you are locked in mortal combat with the enemy’s champion. But you have a trump card, a method of escape. You use it, taking along a loyal aide, swearing revenge on your enemies. You promise to return with a vengeance.
Except that you don’t. You land somewhere else. Wherever it is, it’s not your land, or anywhere you know. There are people, but they are different. It’s not as if they are hostile to you, but they are apathetic. You are a nobody in this strange and terrifying new world, where technology is magic and vice-versa.
One of my favorite shows of this season, as well as my favorite among the mecha shows currently airing, is Galactic Strike Force Majestic Prince. It has good action, well-designed mecha, and a fun mix of quirky characters. It takes me back to a time when mecha wasn’t obsessed with reliving its past glories and franchises, because this show has its own voice and is actively trying to do something new.
Sometimes it feels like Oreimo becomes an entirely different show when not focused on the main characters. Episode 3 of the second season feels like a sincere, intimate episode from the likes of Genshiken.
I’m glad to not have written a Saori post until now. I had been holding out until I learn more about her backstory, about the circumstances that made Saori Makishima don an alter ego just to make otaku friends. She’s easily the most mature and considerate of the characters, a model otaku whom we could all aspire to. The answer was surprising.
Posted in Anime