What’s it about ?
This really feels like saw the weirdness of last year’s KILL la KILL & Zvezda as a challenge : yup, we can top that !
So here’s a post-apocalyptic setting where the Earth’s actually mostly fine now that the upper crust have left, and normal people are cleaning up. Sure, Japan is now a mess of independent prefecture-states, but we’re more at the level of inter-youth gang squabbles than actual war. It looks more like sentai battles than anything else, with champions called “the Best” and squads of underlings called “the Rest”.
Nozomi, our kinda viewpoint character, really wants to join her area’s defense squad… and she’s finally been accepted as a trainee. Not that she’s supposed to go anywhere near where the fighting is happening, but she’s too enthusiastic to care.
Masami, the squad captain, has been the one pulling the brakes ; she’s a close friend of Nozomi’s family and doesn’t want her hurt. Anyway, she’s pretty good at coordinating the local defense with…
Maccha Green, the local Best (on loan from what looks like a bigger organisation). This masked hero wears a super-suite that lets her pull incredible moves, but her chief weapon is obfuscation, abusing sentai mystique to make it look like she can call on Maccha teammates of other colors, as well as on a full-blown mecha (actually a decoy balloon). Oh, who are we kidding, she’s totally Masami, and I’m amazed nobody on her team has noticed. (Or maybe they’re just humouring her.)
Shigyo, the Best from the rival neighbouring area, has challenged Maccha Green in their latest effort to make a move on her territory. She wields an array of bizarre weapons (a giant safety pin ?), and wants to had Maccha Green’s suit to her collection (which doesn’t sound creepy at all). She’s pushed back once, but like all good sentai villain she’s already preparing her next plan. Also, she’s totally made Masami, not that she really cares.
Yukina, a girl from nearby who comes with an urgent message to the squad HQ… and never gets to deliver it, as everyone mistakes her for a new trainee and take her with them on their next mission. Not only does she have a pour presence, but she’s got an even worse sense of direction (three days to cover a few kilometers by bike ?).
There’s also a blonde girl wearing a gas mask hanging around. Normally I’d say such a striking character design marks her as a major character, but the squad members include a dude randomly wearing a lizard head mask, so maybe it’s just a fashion statement.
Impressive. This is a very colourful post-apocalypse, as it looks like the rich took all the greys with them. And the fight scenes look incredible, however improbable it is for human beings to pull these moves. (Let’s jump dozens of feet in the air !) There’s always something happening in the background, too.
I’m not sure I understand yet what’s going on (especially all the stuff with the rival factions), and I’m surely missing most of the context for political satire… but I don’t care. Everything happening on screen is so hilariously bonkers that context doesn’t matter. Seriously, the baddies invite the whole squad to an amusement park, and it’s a trap where they’ve removed the tracks of the rollercoaster ! How can you not love this ?
It helps that the show is brimming with life from all corners. It hints at tons of little side stories that give depth to its background. Maybe they’ll be told, maybe not, and that’s fine. (Also, the advertised synopsis sounds like this is just scene-setting and the Maccha Green/Shigyo feud is merely an appetizer for a bigger story.)
This is so charmingly kooky I can’t help being on board.