Personal tastes aside there are some titles in anime that are arguably contenders for the worst of all time. Whether or not these contenders aim to be the worst in their genre, franchise, or whatever metric applies. At least in Gundam’s franchise I was content to agree with many that Gundam Victory was the worst the franchise has to offer. “Was” being the appropriate past tense, and that changed when I’d encountered Gundam Reconguista in G. This was arguably the worst worst experience I’ve had in the Gundam franchise and that is saying something. Do not get me wrong, it was one of the first titles in the mecha genre I’d seen after the likes of Voltron and Escaflowne, but when the franchise is big enough it’s bound to have a few bad apples spoiling the bunch.
Visually, there is almost as much artistic whiplash as the tones in the plot. And if part of the art style seems familiar, well it should. Of course with the staff roll with resumes that range from veteran to fresh faced squirt, it’s no surprise at all when the art styles go from good to lazy quickly. They got the guy from Eureka 7 to bring their talent in making the rapey facial expressions. And they got guy from King Gainer to do the mechanical design that mimic living creatures. I’m not sure who it was that had the obsession with ballet but you’d be hard pressed to not see some trace of it between the eye-catches, the ending animation and wherever else is can be squeezed in. Sadly mechanical design was some of the strong points in the series, if not for the terrible plot and annoying characters, this could have been a real gem of a series. Ignoring the whole pilot seats double as toilets thing of course.
Speaking of the plot I want to mention the problem that is the plot. This series’ plot has as much luck carrying a tune as Neil Degrasse Tyson on auto-tune. And that’s when it’s not being over washed generic. Main character Gary Stu comes in to the plot as the star prodigy, family members in important positions, and somehow free from conventions of order. Did I mention he’s a genius pilot able to wear down and otherwise disable a superior mech in what later becomes villain fodder? And plot armor and main character shields for days. It’s almost as if the entire universe revolves around his very existence. And said superior mech, seems to be able to be piloted by him, even if others are not able to even start it. That’s right, he and two other characters-who serve as potential harem members-are the only ones able to start the thing. We find out later because he and one of the potential love interests are brother and sister, children of royal plot macguffins to move things to their inevitable climax. But what about the third character? “Why was she able to pilot it?” You may ask but that is never explained fully. I don’t even recall it being brought up. This is how fluff the plot was. Holes, and convenient devices for when the hero of the day is found in a corner or on the ropes. And that’s when the tone isn’t jerking back and forth like it has a case of Parkinson’s. To give you an idea of what that’s like, very early in the series there is a moment when a character dies and we cut mere moments after to the happy, upbeat outro song filled with happy faces and a chorus line of smiling characters. And the plot does this several times throughout the series and the ending is no exception. We go from everyone at each other’s throats ready to kill, maim, burn all only to be shown everyone getting along even if they were fighting it out to the bitter end. “Oh it’s okay, you killed my lover and/or comrade, but we’re going to go on picnic and make babies on earth while you do you and ride off into the sunset Gary.” I wasted moments of my life I’ll never get back because someone was either too rushed to make a proper ending or just stopped caring to salvage the dumpster fire that is this show.
Moving on I’ll do my best to describe the music. Generic. The background soundtrack to the opening and ending songs are nothing unique and fail to stand out. “But didn’t GARNiDELiA do one of the opening songs?” They do sound generic, you have to admit. Most of their songs sound alike. I think they grabbed them because a certain fan base was losing their mind in a collective fangasm and it seemed like they were the hot item to get people to watch. The other two songs seem like they were trying to bring back the feel of Victory Gundam. Which as I previously stated, was a horrible series.
I’m not sure if the series was meant to be a soft restart. But the setting itself was meant to re-write the time-line of the universal century universe by moving Turn-A Gundam a thousand or so years forward and setting this series five hundred years after Turn-A and basically rewriting the established time line. I guess Tomino wants a second chance to kill the franchise because his first attempt or two were not enough. Here’s an idea Tomino, ever considered dropping all the colonies on it so no one survives? I’m sure if you have a meeting of the minds with the Urobutcher things will work out exactly as planned. The art, the music, the plot, the characters, the series in general was so much a waste. I remember sitting down to this and in the time it took for me to get to the forth episode, I was writing my list of things to compare it against Victory. If this wasn’t your first taste of the Gundam you’ll likely agree with me this series deserves a solid two out of ten.
Only for the most dedicated of fans