First Look: Gundam Reconguista in G

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Alternative titles: G-Reco
Anime Original by Sunrise

Premise

Long after the UC era, Bellri Zenam is a member of the Capital Guard in charge of protecting an orbital elevator known as the Capital Tower. When space pirates attack the elevator, Bellri runs into an advanced mobile suit known as the G-Self, piloted by a female space pirate. Managing to capture the suit, the Capital Guard take both the G-Self and its pilot into custody. However, when the space pirates return to reclaim them, things are not as they appear…

Gee’s verdict: A Spectacle

It was wise to release the first two episodes of G-Reco at the same time. G-Reco is quite possibly one of the weirdest mecha anime I have ever watched, but giving me two episodes allowed me to take it in and get accustomed to G-Reco’s brand of surreal strangeness. Everything about it makes me feel like I’m watching an anime from a different time period. Fitting considering this is Yoshiyuki Tomino’s first return to Gundam since 1999, there are a lot of his notable quirks and directorial decisions that can be seen in G-Reco. The rapid camera cuts, the characterization of the cast, and even the aesthetic choices, make G-Reco seem like a slightly less crazy Turn A Gundam.

Additionally, Ippei Gyoubu’s unconventional mecha designs are a delight to look at. The G-Self is a great spin on the classic Gundam. Meanwhile, the Recten and the Grimoire are distinctly unique takes on the requisite grunt mecha. They do a great job of distinguishing G-Reco from its roots and giving the show some interesting flair. Despite the limited animation shown in both episodes, the nice presentation and attractive aesthetic go far in making G-Reco enjoyable to watch.

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It is a shame that at least so far, the characters don’t share the same degree of care. The best I can say for Bellri is that he isn’t the worst Gundam protagonist I’ve ever seen. And I suppose he at least has the enthusiasm to happily jump into the giant robot instead of crying or whining about it. I had hoped Aida was going to be an effective deuteragonist but so far, her primary traits are being a girl and crying a lot. Considering Tomino has written decent female characters before, it’s a bit of a shame that we should start off on the wrong foot.

And yet despite its issues and inherent strangeness, I can’t take my eyes away. While I was undoubtedly laughing at G-Reco as much as with it, it was legitimately entertaining and well put together. Compared to the mecha anime that’s been airing in 2014, somehow, G-Reco ends up feeling refreshing despite how much it harkens to mecha anime of a bygone era. If nothing else, the sheer audacity of its devotion to being so damn weird is enough to keep me along for the ride.

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Iro’s verdict: Rainbow Robots

As as person whose mecha experience includes several super robot shows and only one Gundam ever, I didn’t know what to think of G-Reco. It felt like something from the 90s or early 00s, with a bunch of very smiley character designs and peppy music creating levity that may not have been intentional. I was laughing almost the entire way through both of the premiere episodes, and I’m not entirely sure if I was supposed to be or not. This show takes place in a world where it’s acceptable for the military to let cadets do pilot training in a high-tech mobile suit they appropriated from a space pirate minutes ago, and where cheerleaders are allowed to burst into a lecture to dance for their boyfriends. It was plain baffling to watch, and that means I at least want to keep watching if only to find out what the flipping fuck is going on.

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Marlin’s verdict: I’m probably the only nerd who noticed that capybara.

This show was absolutely bizarre to watch. Everything kind of develops at a breakneck pace. It keeps hopping from scene to scene with nary a moment spent to let us catch our breath. That said I’d take that any day of the week over horrible time wasting intros like Captain Earth. If I had any problem it’s that for being in what I assume to be wartime, this is one of the laxest armies I’ve ever seen, and I’ve watched SoRaNoWoTo. One would think there’s some kind of chain of command to be followed when letting your brash savant pilot go into an enemy’s commandeered robot. One would also think immobilizing your prisoners is like capture 101. The characters also seemed as old as this show felt, with the plucky ace pilot and the weepy love interest. If there was anything that I’d say I completely enjoyed was that the soundtrack is absolutely amazing, with some fantastic orchestration given that old fashioned flair to.

The show does have an unfortunate tendency to be absolutely disjointed, though. here’s an especially confusing scene where our hero and his childhood friend or whatever she is to the plot are sneaking into the prison where the main girl is, but then seem to forget they were trying to sneak around and just yell at the people they were hiding from to take cover. The people they were trying to sneak around then just talk confusedly and then go away, which begs the question of why they had to hide in the first place. Then the MC runs straight into a wall so hard he flies backwards into the wall behind him, and then goes tumbling down a flight of stairs. Also, Capybara. This is a weird show.

2 thoughts on “First Look: Gundam Reconguista in G

  1. I keep thinkinng Tomino was fucking stoned while writing this lol

    expect it to be niche at best, not the best written or anime of the year or anything similar. But either way, will have no regrets.

  2. Reconguista in G is weird as hell, and I’m not just talking about that title. The series drops us off without any attempt whatsoever to tell us about the world. In that sense, it’s both good and bad; I like that characters aren’t just telling each other common facts to educate the audience, but after two episodes I don’t have much clue what’s going on. Is Ameria in space? Why is the religious leader of the Capital (is he the political leader, too?) familiar with the random, slingshot-firing cheerleader? Why is security so disturbingly lax? I mean, they kept a high-importance prisoner in a badly-built wooden tower and decided to study the super-secret mobile suit in an open hanger next to the Academy museum!

    All that said, I’m still enjoying it. Despite the somewhat disjointed nature of the plot, the world seems well-established (even if we haven’t been told its rules, yet). I’m really enjoying the art style, which feels very much like a highly-colored update of the original Gundam. The backgrounds are lovely, with a good sense of depth, and the mobile suits have the “Clunky angular Federation vs. round organic Zeon” feel, with the Grimoire and Catsith, respectively. The Recten feels like a mobile suit version of the Ball, and their “Big Arm” attachments are almost identical to the Ball’s utility arms. Why they’d pack the backpacks with explosives is beyond me, though. I’m not very fond of the style of the G-self, but it’s an interesting update to the original Gundam that is different, but with a familiar feel.

    Tomino is definitely behind this one, with the characters randomly spouting things like, “The world is not square!”, but Raraiya Monday’s character is beyond me. I hope they do more to explain her soon.

    I’m glad someone else noticed the Capybara.

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