What’s it about ?
Original series about mecha. Well, “original” might be straining it.
There are two main factions in this world : Ingelmia, on their way to conquering everything, and Arandas, now with their backs to the Great Wall that’s always protected their core territories. Yeah, like that’ll last. (This sound you can hear is the visiting top generals fleeing at high speed from the Wall when Ingelmia starts deploying new mecha.)
Our focus is on a small Arandas mecha unit manoeuvring near the Wall. Just three mechas, their pilots, and at best a dozen support staff in their trucks. The Captain, who knows the score, welcomes the Wall Garnison’s order to fall back inwards like the escape out of this death trap it is.
Tokimune, our protagonist, is the greener out of the three mecha pilots. Still a bit of an idealist, he’s starting to see how war’s not all he thought it was. It’s no real surprise he breaks ranks to save a bunch of “civilians” from an Ingelmia patrol instead of quietly passing by as the plan was ; and of course he gets his mecha half-destroyed for his trouble.
Jamie is the one survivor from those “civilians” ; their trailer was transporting a new top-secret mecha, and she’s doing whatever she can to avoid it falling into the enemy’s hands. She’s got the authorization codes to boot it up and a user manual, so… she’s just going to let Tokimune handle it, as he’s a pilot and she’s not. Good luck ! He’s initially baffled by this new technology, but quickly gets the hang of it : it’s one of those super-prototypes that are very intuitive to pilot, and move like humans.
As they get there, his whole squad are, like, “WTF !?”
This is a very good-looking series, with more than a little scenery porn, and some very good animation for the mecha. It conveys perfectly the difference between “normal”, somewhat plodding mecha units, and the unreal fluidity of the Argevollen.
Surprisingly for a XEBEC production, there’s no fanservice whatsoever. This is one of their more serious projects.
Well, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before ; the characters are the usual archetypes of military fiction, and the politics are particularly hamfisted. There’s not a single plot development here that will surprise you.
But there’s nothing wrong with following a classic formula, especially as it’s mainly window dressing for the real star of the show : the mecha fights. They’re just a joy to watch, and worth seeing on their own.
I’m not sure whether I’m in for the long run, but this is a perfectly adequate starting point.