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.
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.
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.
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!”
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!