Gundam: G no Reconguista – 02

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Now I know why we got two episodes at once this week: the first episode lacked any kind of hard conflict, which is addressed quickly here as the Space Pirates come in force for their captured colleague Aida. It happens in the middle of some kind of goofy shindig for the upper crust, and this time people die.

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Isolated as they were as the in-uniform cheerleading squad of their school, we didn’t get the full picture on the girls until this episode. Though you could say all Noredo and Manny (a neat pairing of Kotobuki Minako and Takagaki Ayahi) do is chase their would-be boyfriends Bell and Luin around while putting their charge Raraiya in danger, you can’t deny they’re able to keep up with the Capital cadets, and Noredo’s a good shot.

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The show seems to make a big deal of the fact the haunted mansion-esque building where Aida is being held has some common sense-defying architecture, but they do end up grabbing Aida and rushing to Hangar 25 where her suit “G-Self” awaits. Again, to Aida’s shock, Bell gets it started without any trouble, and as she hangs on to dear life to the fuselage, he fights off the raiders.

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When Aida’s ally and beloved mentor Colonel Cahill determines a hostile has commandeered the G-Self, he takes it upon himself to destroy it. But in the moment he realizes Aida (whom he calls “my lady”) is there, he pauses his charge, and Bell shoots him through the cockpit, killing him…semi-accidentally? It all happened so fast, really.

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AIda is…not happy about this. Noredo is not happy about Aida slapping and clutching her beloved Bell, who seems to have a thing for Aida. Bell can’t really be blamed for kiling Cahill as Cahill seemed ready to kill him. Raraiya is still…er, inscrutable? Things were quite bucolic in the first episode, but now everything is quite a bit messier.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 01

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Whoa…set down your Rubik’s Cube and pass the Tab: were it not for the sharp picture and occasional CG, I’d have thought I’d just cracked open a really old anime. I don’t really mean that in a bad way, it’s just I feel like effort was put into giving this a decidedly retro tone. Everything’s bright and shiny and nearly everyone’s super-cheerful and seems to have an extra bounce (or tick) in their step. The orchestral music is also of a time, but utterly appropriate to the material.

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Our unfortunately-named protagonist is Bellri, who is as of the beginning is graduating from what looks like piloting school with a class entirely composed of other guys. The girls break in and put on a cheerleading show for them. A couple girls even get slapped for no good reason. Even the gender roles are throwback! As for Bellri, well, he’s kind of a cocky twerp. He’s capable and envied and he knows it and revels in it. And nobody calls him out, so I guess this is just how he is.

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Just when I thought Th’Boys were going to have a successful training exercise and return home where The Gals have been slaving over the stove (like they should, don’t ya know) all day to whip up a celebratory feast, a Space Pirate arrives in something very Gundamesque, and doggone it, she’s a girl. Now we’re talking! Only her mobile suit “doesn’t work properly”, and she gets captured by Bellri & Co, but not before, shall we say, a leisurely skirmish.

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Despite her claims to the contrary, the pirate girl (Aida)’s suit seems to respond to Bellri just fine, and he quickly sets about appropriating it. All the while, a mysterious girl of few words who was plucked out of the sky by a patrol is already in custody, and after sighing Aida’s mobile suit won’t stop screaming “G! G!”

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Like Hannah’s current Sailor Moon Crystal odyssey, this new Gundam looks like a long-term commitment, one I’m not sure I’m quite ready to get into, but its first episode was fun, breezy, uncomplicated entertainment. Whether it continues its light tone or starts to get darker as lip-lickin’ Bellri’s troubles mount, and despite its somewhat dated sensibilities I’m charmed enough to keep going for now. I mean, c’mon…it’s a new Gundam!

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Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken – 01

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I bounce randomly from show-to-show at the beginning of each season, stopping to view anything new, as long as its stream synopsis sounds remotely interesting. While this lets me catch a few gems my colleagues will miss, it nets me a whole lot of bewilderingly “why-was-this-made?” filler.

Unfortunately, Danna ga Nani wo Itteiru ka Wakaranai Ken (I Can’t Understand What My Husband Is Saying) falls into this later category.

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This is a micro-format show about an Otaku-blogger’s blond wife who doesn’t get why anime is so special, nor how he can make a living blogging about it.

Since the wife has so little personality or agency in the plot, I’m not sure she counts as  a character, even though she is the narrator. So I suppose the show is as much about her Otaku husband, even though he’s just a compulsive, anime obsessed, self centered jerk.

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Plot Summery: a young couple get married and the bride wonders why she chose this man, who says he will not bring her happiness. Then we cut away and reveal the Otaku husband fawning over ‘the bride'(‘s) show on TV, and ignoring his smaller boobed wife.

Later, his wife asks if they can go out on his day off, but he refuses until she does a Moe cat dance. Then they go to a movie, which he chooses because he wants to blog about it even though the wife seems uninterested. Ultimately she enjoys the film in spite of her reservations but he hates it and tirades about it just like I do about everything Hannah and Zane ever seem to enjoy, which kinda ruins the mood.

Then he says he wants to go to a love hotel and drools a bit.

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As short format shows go, it competently packed its concept in 4:00 without feeling like it was missing anything or just a slice from a single episode. That said, I don’t get the point of this show at all?

The husband is not an empathetic character but neither is the wife because she seems to have put herself in this situation and takes no agency to get out of it. The plot will certainly unfold over time and, maybe, explain why they are together in the first place but that is a high bar to set for viewers out of the gate.

Nothing really happens and the concept is neither wacky nor thought provoking nor funny nor action based. Without …a purpose… I can’t see myself keeping up with it, short format or not.

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