What’s it about ?
Unfortunately, the protagonist isn’t actually a candidate to become a deity ; that would just be too interesting. This is is instead a run-of-the-mill space opera show, where the mecha are called “Goddesses”.
Adapted from a manga series. In typical fashion, I’m told the anime ends on a cliffhanger and never resolves the plot.
In the Star Year 4084, the only thing preventing the annihilation of humanity at the hands (?) of the Victim (sic) is a 5-strong team of mecha defending our last planet. Unfortunately, while the current pilots are quite good at it, it’s acknowledged that they won’t last long due to the toll the task entails on their bodies, and so the system needs a constant input of fresh bodies.
Said five current pilots don’t get the occasion to rise above their archetypes : the casanova hounding the one girl of the team (who’s said to be by far the best of them), the nearly-mute one, the philosopher, and the jerkass. They’re all teenagers despite being veteran fighters, because of course.
Zero, our protagonist, is one of the candidates to replace them eventually. He’s lucky one of the main requirements is some genetic predisposition, as it’s certainly not his brains that qualified him. Nor his personality, as he’s more than a bit of an obnoxious twat. As these things happens, he immediately gets lost in the training facility and stumbles into the mecha hold… and then into the first cockpit on sight. Totally an accident, seriously, he’s just THAT clumsy. (Also, sick in zero-gravity.)
There is some suggestion that the Goddesses are somewhat sentient, with this one explicitly leading him to itself (and allowing him to bypass security). The process of synchronisation doesn’t look too pleasant, even accounting for the fact he’s not the official pilot.
Also seen early on are a few other teenagers who are obviously other Candidates : the sullen dude who takes every word as a personal insult, and the guy in glasses who speaks only in exposition. But then, that seems to be a plague affecting everyone in this world, from the jaded instructor who’s seen too many youngsters put to the grinder, or the mysterious figures in shadow running the show.
The OP/ED sequences showcase a much larger supporting cast, with the suggestion that each pilot gets a thematically-appropriate technician partner.
The mecha and spaceship scenes might have been the cutting edge of CG work at the time (I have my doubts), but they certainly look clunky and dated by now. And they jar quite a bit with the pedestrian character designs and animation that make up the bulk of the show.
This was a dreadfully unpromising first episode. (Technically “Curriculum 00”, but seriously now.) It accumulates the mecha & S-F clichés at… well, not great speed, as the constant exposition makes it look even more uneventful than it actually is. None of the characters shown so far are much likeable, and certainly not our protagonist.
There’s literally nothing here that’d make me come back for a second episode : it just feels uninspired through and through.
Source: [In Which I Review] Anime series from 2000