Sunday, December 16, 2012

Anime Review: GaoGaiGar

From the first few seconds of the opening theme, you pretty much know what kind of anime this is. Giant robots, alien invaders, and a theme song that details every major piece of information that the audience needs to know as well as some of the phrases you will hear characters shout out every single episode. Yep, it's one of those anime, and it is complete with a utterly ridiculous name that no matter how many times the opening song repeats it, it still sounds silly and incomprehensible. This is GaoGaiGar.

Hello tiny easily crushed children. I am you new robot overlord.
An evil alien race, known as Zonders, as invaded Earth. They ordinary humans into monsters that terrorize the city. The only thing that can stand in their way is the Gusty Geoid Guard or Three G. At the head of the fighting force for Earth, is the cyborg Gai, brought to the edge of death by the initial Zonder invasion and brought back to life thanks to a strange lion robot called Galeon and cutting edge technology. Now Gai can fuse with Galeon to create the humanoid fighting robot GaiGar. However, his true trump card is being able to fuse with other machines and together they become the "King of Braves" GaoGaiGar. With the help of several robot allies and a small boy named Mamoru who can return the unfortunate hosts of these mechanical monstrosities back to their human form, GaoGaiGar fights a seemingly never ending battle to save Earth from evil. But who are the Zonders and how does poor little Mamoru fit into all of this? Watch GaoGaiGar to find out!

It's like Voltron, the more you hook up the better it gets.
The camp levels of this series are through the roof. I mean, you can pretty much guess that there is really no way to take this series seriously just from the plot synopsis. Add to that overly lengthy transformation sequences, the reveal of some new weapon or character that will be pivotal to this episode's victory, the variety of different "Monster-of-the-week" enemies, and of course the shouting at the top of your lungs declaring attack. It also helps that there is a level of self-awareness and love for the genre that shows through. At times the transformation sequence to get to GaoGaiGar is interrupted either because the misalignment of the parts or, more amusingly, the enemy is actually trying to interrupt it. If you allow yourself to ignore the constant destruction of science and the paint-by-numbers plot progression, there is a certain charm that allows for some level of enjoyment to be had.

More than Meets the Eyes... No seriously, they are LITERALLY Transformers.
Unfortunately, that charm can only go so far. The series takes it sweet time getting anywhere, to the point where it is constantly repeating itself. The series didn't need to be 50 episodes long when half of them where complete and total filler. There is way too many useless and stupid people in the series, with some seemingly only there to cause trouble for our protagonists. Most of the robots are complete Transformers rip-offs. And the series gets REALLY stupid towards the with "pulled right from your ass" contrivances, "drama" that only lasts one episode when we realize that nope everything is completely fine, and a mysterious MacGuffin that is literally called "The Power" (okay the English localization calls it "Za Powa" but who are we fooling here). Seriously, "The Power"? They could have at least try to hide the fact that they where completely out of ideas.

If you like giant robot camp, you might enjoy GaoGaiGar. It's like if Transformer, Voltorn, and all other sorts of giant robot cliches where put into a blender and created a smoothy. If you don't mind the constant "Hey, that is just like every single other giant robot anime in existence" you might have fun. Personally, I found it to be 26 episodes too long, and several episodes too stupid. Limited Recommendation.

Until next time

-Crescent, My ultimate weapon is a gigantic squeak hammer.

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