What’s it about ?
Gen Urobuchi does mecha.
Red, our protagonist. As one of the most promising young soldiers of the Galactic Human Alliance, he’s soon due for some limited citizenship (which includes real sleep and reproduction rights) and a few weeks of leave at the paradise space colony of Avalon. (Thank gods Urobuchi claims he’s not doing grimdark, otherwise I might have mistaken the GHA for a hellish dystopia). Of course the next battle against the aliens goes to hell in no time, and his escape hyperspace jump goes utterly wrong.
Chamber, his mecha’s AI (the always impeccable Tomokazu Sugita can make even dry exposition and straight-faced statements of facts sound slightly sarcastic). It wakes Red up from six weeks of deep hibernation when the inhabitants of the place he’s wound up on try to do stuff on the mecha.
Amy, the young perky girl (with the mandatory cute critter perched on her shoulder) who seems to be the one who found the mecha. She is trying to have it dismantled so that she can sell the parts, but none of the mechanics are having much luck even scratching the thing. Red takes her hostage after he’s found lurking around, on the basis that those primitives will have less incentive to shoot him while he tries to figure where the heck he is. (Er…)
We’ve got hints of a supporting cast, including Amy’s prospective buyer or the lady who runs the place.
The big twist he finds out about at the end of the episode is that this isn’t some random independent backwater colony : this is Earth, where humanity is fabled to have started from !
Very impressive indeed. This features some very good and expressive character animation, and oozes money from every shot. In contrast, the space mecha battles appear oddly stilted, with the very static camera far from handing a candle to the hyper-kinetic action of Majestic Prince, for example. But that’s nitpicking.
Well, it’s going to be hard to top this as best show of the season. It’s a smooth, perfectly executed on every level production, with dialogue that’s not without a sense of humour. (“They appear to be talking about reproduction with one’s mother.” “Barbarians !”) The culture shock is bound to be fun, and I’m curious about what the plan is with the GHA’s obvious problems as a civilization.
Definitely a keeper.