(25ish episodes ?)
What’s it about ?
From the people who brought you Toradora and AnoHana ! And it’s indeed almost, but not quite, entirely unlike those shows.
Oh, dear. This has the very common modern Gundam flaw of introducing all at once dozens of characters in various factions, speaking in exposition only they can understand, and I spend half the episode trying to catch up. I don’t care that this is more “realistic”, as it’s bloody awful storytelling.
Anyway, as best as I can discern : this is the future, and there are colonies on Mars extracting stuff. The political landscape is a bit of a mess, with some people wanting independance from Earth, and some Earth factions wanting to squash this in the egg.
Kudelia Aina Bernstein is the young face of the independence movement. Which is ironic, considering she comes from a rich family which made its fortune from its links with Earth. Today they sell her out, giving the anti-independence faction intelligence about her visit to a random Mars settlement, and thus ample opportunity for something unfortunate to happen.
Said settlement does have a PMC hired to provide protection to her, but most of the senior officers run away after the super-modern mecha start showing up to attack. So it’s up to the teenage orphans making up the bulk of the grunts to try and stand their ground.
Orga is their de facto leader. He’s awesome, and a great tactical thinker. It’s very impressive how he manages to stall the attackers despite his pals having much inferior equipment.
Mikazuki, his best friend and loyal follower, is named in the promo material as the actual protagonist, but so far I’m not really seeing it. He does save the day by piloting the relic Gundam they had rusting in a basement, though, but that’s just following Orga’s orders ; he barely gets three minutes of screentime overall.
Biscuit, the heavyset guy with impressive technical know-how, is a much more active and initiative-taking member of the group. He’s a lot of fun, and I like how he contributed to setting the attackers onto the cowards who abandoned them.
It’s Sunrise doing mecha, so of course it’s very competently executed. Also, for some reason all the kids are piloting their vehicles shirtless.
Urgh, that first half…
But once the attack starts and we get to see Orga in action, the show finally clicks together. Suddenly the kids’ chemistry shines, the obscure political manoeuvring becomes crystal clear, and I actually start caring what happens to our protagonists.
I’m watching all of Gundam anyway (see my sig), but there’s a decent chance I’ll actually enjoy this one.