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.
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.
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.
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.