Gundam: Reconguista in G Ep. 1 & 2: Okay…

Gundam Reconguista in G - 0101

Fabulous main character aside, I just want to know what’s going on.

Bellri: “Why is someone like you resorting to space piracy?
Aida: “We ought to be coating the Earth in solar panels, but the Capital prohibits it. That’s dictatorial.”
Bellri: “Because Earth–…”

The anime then cuts to a bunch of mechas going pew-pew, so when we return to the main characters, all we hear from Bellri is the end of his statement: “…–is why!” Is why what? Is why what, man? He must have said something offensive, because the girl immediately slaps him across the face. I guess we have ourselves yet another tsundere heroine. Naturally, Bellri has fallen in love with Aida at first sight (of her hair). Things go from bad to worse for our hero, however, when he kills Aida’s precious Captain Cahill, thinking that he was merely protecting her. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Let’s get back to basics. My number one takeaway from the first two episodes is that I simply don’t know what’s going on.

So far, Gundam: Reconguista in G is a bit of a bewildering trip back to the 80’s. How 80’s is it? Well, the sound effects are shitty like they would be in an 80’s anime, so how’s that for ya? And of course, there are classic Tomino-isms in the dialogue (“The world is not square!”) that will probably be a hit-or-miss with viewers. These bits of nostalgia neither delight nor annoy me. They’re just quirks of the anime. I acknowledge their existence, but they don’t really matter all too much to me in the long run. I say the same for all the various nods to Turn A as well. My point is that I’m not watching this show as a Gundam fan. I’m just watching this show the same way I’d watch any other anime. Luckily, it doesn’t appear as though you need to have watched any previous Gundam series to enjoy Reconguista in G. Having said that, I’m not sure I really “get” what’s going on with the plot in the first two episodes. But y’know, maybe I should just take the current developments at face value. Maybe there just isn’t really anything going on yet.

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When space pirates attack the Capital Tower, a space elevator of some sort, Bellri immediately jumps into action even though he’s just a cadet. Thanks to his efforts, the Capital Guard is able to capture the mysterious mecha known only as the G-Self. And oh yeah, they capture the G-Self’s pink-haired pilot Aida as well. Try as they might, however, no one in either the Capital Army nor the Capital Guard can seem to access or control the G-Self… except for our chosen hero, of course. This thus shocks Aida, who previously thought she was the only one who could pilot the mecha, but it doesn’t shock any of us in the audience. What’s that? The chosen hero has arrived, and only he can pilot mecha Jesus and bring peace to the galaxy? No way! But that about does it for the first episode. There are a lot of peculiar bits of dialogue like “It’s because of feelings like yours that people kill each other.” This early on in the series, when we hardly know Bellri, this line just feels a bit out of place, I guess.

In the second episode, some big, fancy celebration is taking place, and all the VIPs are there. This includes the villainous-looking “His Holiness” (if his name was ever mentioned at some point, I didn’t catch it), some sort of religious leader in this universe. All of a sudden, space pirates attack in an attempt to recover both Aida and the G-Self. Captain Cahill refers to Aida as his hime-sama, so she must be really important to him and/or their cause. But like I’ve said, Bellri ends up killing Cahill and with the G-Self, no less. Cahill was pummeling the G-Self, because he didn’t want the mecha to fall into the Capital’s hands. Why? We don’t know yet. All we can do is assume that the Capital are corrupt bad guys, and the space pirates are really just do-good rebels. In the aftermath, a furious and saddened Aida beats on Bellri’s chest, begging him to do the impossible. A chosen hero he might be, but he can’t raise the dead. With that, the second episode comes to a close.

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There’s not much to say about any of the characters just yet, because I don’t feel as though any of them have been properly introduced. The story hasn’t had the time to allow these characters to extend beyond their initial archetypes, so I think it’d be premature to say whether or not I like how they’ve been portrayed. If I must make a comment this early on, I’ll say this: I don’t really like Raraiya too much. If you’ve seen the first two episodes too, you’ll probably notice her conspicuous absence from the brief plot summary above. Truth is, I just don’t know where to fit her in. She’s a dark-skinned amnesiac who can’t put together complete sentences. But on the other hand, she reacts very strongly to the G-Self; I think she even calls it papa at one point. Like all of the other members in the cast, we hardly know anything about Raraiya, so I can’t comment on her character. I will say, however, that her mannerisms are annoying. I pretty much cringe whenever she’s onscreen. I guess I just don’t like anyone who acts so childishly.

But like I’ve said at the very start of this post, I don’t really know what’s going on. I appreciate the story jumping head first into action, because hey, who likes to start off a new adventure with nothing but boring, pointless dialogue? Having said that, I still expect some exposition to occur once the dust settles. At the moment, I don’t even have the slightest clue what’s going on. What are the space pirates really after? It certainly isn’t just about solar panels, is it? Who are the Amerians? Colonel Cumpa Rusita says something about how the events of the first episode must be a coincidence, and that “[t]his isn’t the sort of thing someone could plan out in advance.” But again, there’s no explanation for his words. So that’s how it’s going to be, huh? The characters know stuff, but they won’t tell us what they know. And I can just hear it now: “Oh, they’re just setting the story up. Just sit back and watch.” Blah blah blah, I’ve heard it all before. My point is simple: I’m somewhat entertained, but I’m not hooked.

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Had I been a longtime Gundam fan, I’d probably be tickled pink by the new mecha designs. There are also lots of comparison to King Gainer already, and I can’t disagree there. So far, the anime is very colorful, seemingly cheerful (at the moment), and even quite silly at times. I mean, just look at our hero. Bellri is a very fabulous young man in his capri pants. And although I’ll never like mixing in CGI with standard 2-D aesthetics, the rest of the animation looks competent enough. I dare say I even like the character designs (capri pants notwithstanding). But long story short, although I did somewhat enjoy these first two episodes, I’m not dying for more. It’s just that simple. Yeah, the new Gundam design looks alright, and yeah, Tomino’s whimsical style is amusing. But as far as the story’s concerned, there is no story yet. I can’t even say if the premise is interesting or not, ’cause I don’t know what the premise even is. There’s the Capital and there are space pirates. These two factions are at odds. If there’s anything else to add, I’m at a loss. Most of all, the events lack flow. Hopefully, the story will settle down and take some shape in later episodes.

Funny ED, though.


21 Replies to “Gundam: Reconguista in G Ep. 1 & 2: Okay…”

  1. Maybe in this case linear storytelling would’ve benefitted the show.

    I was initially not down with this shows renditions of their mecha, but I’ll probably withhold judgement until I’ve seen some more. The whole curved lines of the new Gundam kind of strike me the wrong way. Not to mention it has SEED’s Aile-Strike booster pack, which is fine but I could’ve gone for something different this time around. But at least it doesn’t have energy wings… (yet).
    At least they’ll be better than whatever Eureka 7: AO’s terri-bad mecha designs were.

    After what 00 left me with, I’m hoping this show will bring me back.

  2. In Raraiya is defense, she may be stupid and annoying, but that is not her fault, she suffered oxygen deprivation.

    Aida is a tsundere, but for the moment she is not an annoying one like Fllay Allster from gundam seed.

  3. Well, the sound effects are shitty like they would be in an 80’s anime,

    They actually used the same sound effects for something as late as the 2010-2014 OVA Gundam Unicorn. Seems to me that this is the very same sound library they have used ever since exclusively for every project related to the original series’ timeline (Universal Century), which is kinda fitting since G-Reco is supposed to be a continuation of that timeline.

    And one thing that I might add that’s rather 70’s-80’s with this one is the animation. The way the characters move, there is this certain “elastic” feel to it (think old school Disney or the older super robot shows) that’s really reminiscent of that era.

    As for the story, the Capital Guard seems to correspond to the typical “Corrupt Earth Government” trope that has been a staple of the franchise. Tomino also said that this one is intended more for the kids, so let’s see what he really means by that.

    1. “more for the kids”?

      Gundam has never been extremely violent and gory, but reading this doesn’t really make sense. Gundam has always had heavy themes like war (anti-war), racism (in a sci-fi sense) and fighting for what’s right(?). And the visuals and action have almost always matched to that level of grim. I mean, why else would we have a show about gigantic war machines that are specifically built to destroy other gigantic war machines piloted by humans?
      So unless we have “beam rifles” shooting out friendship rainbows and fun-sticks subbing for “beam sabers”, I don’t exactly get how this is will be more geared for children. Are the characters going to pilot their mobile suits doing friendly competitions of Gundam-style paintball? Wait, has the damned survival-game genre taken over Gundam?
      Hopefully he didn’t just say that just for the sake of saying it, because we’re talking about the mecha genre. And it has a higher average level of violence than almost any other genre out there. Unless this show turns clownishly toned-down to the point of being that half-dumb and half-awesome SD Gundam show.
      But who are we kidding, kids and teens have watched and loved Gundam for years.

      1. What Tomino actually said is that G-Reco is for the children of the original series’ fans. But then again, considering that the original series’ fans were still kids during the time it was aired, that statement of his pretty much means the same thing.

        Are the characters going to pilot their mobile suits doing friendly competitions of Gundam-style paintball? Wait, has the damned survival-game genre taken over Gundam?

        They technically already did that tournament style thing with G Gundam more than two decades ago. And the kid-friendly version is pretty much the Build Fighters series.

        I guess what he is implying with that one is that G-Reco aims to introduce younger fans to the franchise. Or this one could be less of the typical “Kill ’em all” storylines older fans know him for.

  4. Saying it right now, I think Bellri is Aidas relative.

    Any one person that is called “His Holiness” is going to end up being evil.

    Not bad but not good either, but it did peak my interest.

    That ED makes me cringe and laugh at the same time.

  5. You guys think it’s okay.
    I think it’s horrible.
    The BGM, It sounds like something my pre-school self played on Super Nintendo.
    People still believe in religion in the age of space travel?
    Which god and which heaven do they pray to?
    And who the hell wrote these dialogues?

    The bully captain kicked some girl.
    The other girl screamed, “You kicked her!”
    I facepalmed, “We can see that, girl”

    The pirate used elevator cable as her shield.
    The protagonist said “Oh noes. Whatever shall I do? I know, I am going to do this.”
    I facepalmed, “Who are you talking to, buddy”

    I bail out.
    Enjoy your 90’s anime, guys.

    1. Except the whole show is supposed to feel like an older Gundam show? Like explicitly made to be like that?

      Okay? We’ll miss you I guess?

    2. People still believe in religion in the age of space travel?
      Which god and which heaven do they pray to?

      Well… they could always be Space Buddhists.

      Realistically though, I don’t see any particular reason space travel and colonization would dispense with religion in human society. If anything, space colonies could be just like the founding of European colonies in North America, and actually serve as an isolated environment in which to foster religious zealotry.

      1. Well… we are still far behind the age of space travel currently, and religion has declined greatly.
        Churches are being sold and made into restaurants.
        They only thrive in third world countries now, where people still have limited access to the internet and modern knowledge.

        But, I do know minority group in US who still practices the old religion of Rome Catholic, so you have your point here.

    3. so the whole child abuse and bullying in a school setting doesn’t bother anyone? Well I know it’ll bother the Japanese broadcasting board probably why it got the time slot it did…

  6. I really do not like how the teased plot revelations 3 times and pulled back on them. Also i am probly the only gundam fan that does not like the old school feel. I already have gundam build fighters as a homage to older series I was really hoping to thread new ground here.

  7. wut….

    Build fighters was a fun romp, running over all the gundam tropes with a clown car, honking all the way.
    But oh my.. this apparently is going to take itself serious and stuff…. And wasn’t gundam age the gundam for the kids of the fans?

  8. Alright, so I thought these two episodes lacked action for some paragraphs of exposition, but seems they’re still leaving a lot of things out. Only future episodes can tell if this pacing will return well, but by the looks of the 3rd episode preview, will they be going for the classical mobile-suit-of-the-week formula? Very colorful mobile suits, by the way. I’m assuming they’re for identification purposes, as I’ve heard a lot of different factions mentioned by Captain Dellensen in episode 1.

    Aida mentioned the Amerian army, but what is it for? There is build up, but it’s not being handled very well.

    I see Tomino’s signatures in a lot of places. The lightning-fast scene transitions, the puzzling dialogue (that you’d have to see the bigger picture later to make full sense of), the characters’ body language. Speaking of dialogue, as puzzling as it can get, I like that his choice of words aren’t simple and straightforward like most anime. But I’ll admit it still does make me go “What.” during certain scenes;

    Bellri : “It looks the same as when I got out of it.”

    “Iris Sign”, what is it? Seems like some sort of genotype, seeing as Aida’s and Bell’s eyes shine red in Cahill’s interface. Cahill’s death was surprisingly bloodless, in retrospect to the massive mobile suit brawl earlier. Plenty of nifty technology were displayed (foot beam sabers woo), but I’m surprised combat still seemed so clean-cut for such a faraway future. When will Gundam utilize microwave and proper light weaponry, and electronic warfare? Well, Luin did mention the Army was improvised…

    Those walking mini-robot things seem so unsafe and, well, strange a choice. What, did the brand new space religion ban use of wheels? Poor Raraiya and Bellri…

    Getting back to combat, it was pretty nice to look at, but it still lacks the refined direction I thought Gundam Unicorn displayed.

    Luin’s such a bro, but why will he be wearing a butterfly mask in the future? I suppose only time will tell. Noredo is the standard familiar friend/sweetheart Tomino seems to like having in his shows (MSG, MSGZ, MSGZZ, MSG: CCA, etc). Raraiya’s similarity to Loran Cehack physically is putting me at an unease… But she seems to be signifying that the G-Self is more than meets the eyes. The fanservice with Aida is huge in episode 2, but maybe that’s just because I have a thing for girls in shorts (or bloomers, whatever). Showcasing Bellri’s obvious infatuation with her earlier seems an awful choice to me. Ya know, the screen going all shoujo and stuff. Does the screen focusing on her fluttering, glimmering hair signify something deeper? Going by his manual, Tomino’s probably going to kill her off, but since this is a different type of story (or so he says)… To cap it off, I simply feel that the way her character is portrayed (and how Bellri admits to it so easily in the 3rd episode preview) makes her out to NOT be a love interest, or at least a typical one.

    I thought Captain Dellensen was a pretty cool guy.

    The ED seems so fluffy… Everyone’s going to be dead by the end, isn’t it? (see: Gundam Victory)

    All in all (what a long post) I agree with what you’ve said. The events lack flow, and some scenes were crammed in simply to have the viewers asking questions without carefully considering how they’d play out with others back-to-back. An example of writing from the earlier days, perhaps, but not with insight for today’s.

    1. Plenty of nifty technology were displayed (foot beam sabers woo), but I’m surprised combat still seemed so clean-cut for such a faraway future. When will Gundam utilize microwave and proper light weaponry, and electronic warfare? Well, Luin did mention the Army was improvised…

      They still do have the whole Minovsky particle explanation as to why they don’t have microwave weapons and electronic warfare (the spreading of Minovsky particles is in itself already electronic warfare).

  9. As an actual longtime Gundam fan.. the mecha designs are kinda ok I guess.
    As usual I like the weak cannon fodder mecha better than the star Gundam. Cube heads with cube shoulder pads and little animated facial expressions! I keep expecting the faces to show T T when they take damage and X X before they’re destroyed…

  10. This was horrible doesnt have the feel of a gundam show especially the the mechs there to they look like kid toy blocks just no detail at all especially the fights. It’s dissapoiting cause if you look at the original scan that came out like year ago it looked badass.Then took a completely different turn budget wise i guess

    Thank god for gundam build fighters try I got that at least and hopefully another new ovasseries like unicorn tho gundam origin will be arriving soon

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