Kuromukuro is an anime that I decided to watch because it has a revived samurai in a Gundam anime set in the present. This premise alone took my interest and made me very curious about the sheer story possibilities.
The story goes as follows: If you’ve watched a Gundam anime set in present time, then you know the plot. Aliens come out of nowhere for reasons we don’t know and destroy things we don’t care about while people tell us about the heavy losses and how the ONLY way to destroy the giant Gundam aliens is with giant Gundams that are technically inferior but since earth has the only a-few-days-trained Gundam pilots that are better than pilots that have experience for years, we don’t have to worry about anything. Sounds familiar? Just you wait, because there is more.
Of course, even nukes can’t destroy enemy Gundams (but a Gundam gun can…?) and just when the only hope of mankind, a military research facility in Japan (of course) is about to be destroyed, a mysterious samurai from 450 years ago appears from an ancient relic (which, to the surprise of everyone, fit the colour of the ancient, technically more advanced, Gundam and was so obviously high-tech that nobody knew what it was) who coincidentally kidnaps a young high-school girl, who also happens to be our protagonist who also happens to be the daughter of the civilian director of said military facility.
Together, they destroy the inevitable invaders (with the overpowered Gundam from 450 years ago with katanas) but why can the female protagonist decipher the alien language (which is never addressed again), what is the deal with the samurai and why is the female character suddenly a better support pilot to help the samurai than seasoned soldiers (never addressed)?
Wait, you’ve heard that before? Oh you must be mistaken because you didn’t hear what happens next yet! It turns out: Within 450 years the only technological advantage the enemy developed was single-pilot-Gundams, they don’t even have any other weapons other than high-frequency katanas. Maybe it’s the future medieval, who knows. Anyway, after recruiting the samurai, the UN decides to force him to adapt to modern life. So what is the obvious solution? Let him enroll in high-school and let him live with his co-pilot, whose uncle happens to be a monk and whose father seems to be related to the entire incident. I’m not even going to question the simple fact that the Japanese language changed A LOT in 450 years, which could make basic communication problematic. Instead, the samurai seems to have gotten a day-one patch and downloaded the modern Japanese speech patterns of the Japanese vocabulary because he doesn’t have any trouble understanding other people and uses modern Japanese pronunciation, how convenient. In his class are the most colourful people: An international, female, French, blonde and petite student who is one of the best Gundam pilots in the world who also randomly happens to be in the same class. Then there is the gamma-male who is secretly in love with the female protagonist. One of the best characters is by far Clickbait-Youtube-Streamer, who always has a camera, constantly streams online and is allowed to publish and stream top secret information without any consequences, all for the clicks (he literally says that). There is also the female best friend of the protagonist who JUST HAPPENS to be a popular cosplayer. Of course, we need teachers. We have the male, responsible teacher who encourages his students while trying to enforce the Japanese school system even during a life-threatening crisis and then, of course, there is the shy, big breasted health teacher that always seems to hang around that one group of students that our protagonists happen to be in.
Notice a pattern here or does anything sound familiar? Because I just can’t seem to put my finger on it, it’s just… it’s so difficult to pinpoint why everything sounds like something every 3rd class manga/anime story line would do for a quick cash grab…
I’ll make it quick: Have you seen an anime and got the feeling that you’ve seen it before? Good, you’ve seen this one too. The motivation of the aliens is exactly like any other “aliens attack the earth“ standard plot, there are plot holes all over the place, all Gundams are 3D animated and lack any real impact, most plot twists are coming from a mile away (though I couldn’t foresee a few of them) but the ending, while being a cliffhanger, is quite nice. The animation in total is average and the soundtrack is very good though not memorable (except the awesome two opening songs by GLAY). I liked the story of the samurai (even with plot holes) and how it affected the story in total.
In the end, this is just another anime that we’ve seen a hundred times before and I don’t see anything that would make it stick out against any of the other dozen Gundam anime that are just like this.