Mobile Suit Gundam Thunderbolt – 01

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Sunrise had a Christmas present of a kind ready for me today: another Gundam series that looks and feels like it could take place in the same universe and timeline as IBO, even exist in the same debris field that show’s cast is currently engaged in. In fact, IBO takes place in “P.D.” (Post Disaster) 323, while Thunderbolt takes place in U.C. 0079, the same year as the original Gundam, making it a direct spin-off.

Unlike Recon in G, but like the new Star Wars movie, it’s easy to settle into this world, which comes down to the juicy details. A melange of the ordinary (smoking, romances, jazz drumming on consoles, waiting on standby) and the extraordinary (the tremendous speed of battle, how quickly tides can turn, the blood-and-guts brutality of the battles) create a rich world in a scant fifteen minutes and change.

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The show also makes clear there’s no good or bad guy here, only two different warring sides who each have their reasons to fight. The Federation ace Io Fleming loves the freedom of space combat. Zeon’s Daryl Lorenz, who like many of his comrades has prosthetic legs, seems more serious, duty- and honor-bound. Many of their comrades die beside them in this episode, causing a great deal of grief for everyone who knew them but they keep on ticking.

Above all Thunderbolt portrays this futuristic life as a hard one, no matter which side you’re on, and no matter what you’re fighting for. It’s scuffed and gritty and bleak, so one living in such a world would tend to retreat into the embrace of the opposite sex, or porn, or carve out a little hollow of peace, be it girls or plants or music. Notably, Io prefers free jazz, while Daryl’s tastes hew more towards more structured pop music.

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After his own suit is destroyed, Io manages to EVA over to the Zeon snipers, take one out, and steal his suit to return to his ship. His captain (with whom he seems to be on close terms with) assigns him to a new prototype, Gundam, because everyone who outranked him is dead.

Whether it’s mobile suits, trained pilots, or simply flesh-and-blood limbs, everything is in short supply here in Thunderbolt, on the bleeding edge. And while Io embraces the increased  power of his iconic new suit, Daryl plans revenge against him for the death of his comrade.

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P.S. If the music reminded you of Cowboy Bebop, that’s because it was composed by Kikuchi Naruyoshi, saxophonist for The Seatbelts.

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Winter 2016 Season Preview Appendix

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While we’re not taking in-depth looks at the upcoming Winter anime themselves, we thought it might be instructive to learn who’s involved in them.

Below we’ve listed past works we’ve seen from the directors and writers, as well as the past (and present) characters of note the seiyuu involved have voiced. Note that we’re only listing shows and characters from shows we’ve watched here at RABUJOI.

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Active Raid: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hakkei

Directors of: Junketsu no Maria, Bakuman, Joukamachi no Dandelion
Writer of: Jinsei, Maoyuu Maou Yuusha, Spice and Wolf, Ore Twintails ni Narimasu, Yosuga no Sora
Key Seiyuu: Ishigami Shizuka (Stella Vermillion, Kajou Ayame, Mito Ikumi)
Ozawa Ari (Kurumi, Toudou Kirin, Sakura Chiyo)

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Ajin

Assistant Director of: Sidonia no Kishi
Director of: Sidonia no Kishi 2

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Boku dake ga Inai Machi

Director of: Sword Art Online I/II

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Dagashi Kashi

Director of: Kami nomi zo Shiru Sekai I/II
Writers/Series Compositors of: Black Bullet, Bleach, Boku wa Tomodachi ga Sukunai, Gintama, Hanasaku Iroha, Kobato, Naruto, Natsuiro Kiseki, OreShura, Red Data Girl, Rokka no Yuusha, Shinryaku! Ika Musume, Sore ga Seiyuu!, Witch Craft Works, Yamada-kun to 7-nin no Majo

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Dimension W

Director of: OreShura, Ryuugajou Nanana no Maizoukin, Saekano, Usagi Drop
Writers/Series Compositors of: Darker than Black 1/2, Eureka Seven, Eden of the East, One Week Friends, Oregairu 1/2, Rinne no Lagrange 1/2, Uchoten Kazoku
Key Seiyuu: Ueda Reina (Sekiya Naru, Ootori Ouka), Ono Daisuke (Handa Seishuu, Heiwajima Shizuo)

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Hai to Gensou no Grimgar  

Director of: Nerawareta Gakuen
Key Seiyuu: Hosoya Yoshimasa (Wataya Arara, Kirishima Haruto) Komatsu Mikako (Shiodome Miuna)

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Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru

Script/Series Composition of: Bakuman 1/2/3, Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince, Girls und Panzer, Hanayamata, Kimi no Iru Machi, Kobato, Tamayura Hitotose 1/2, Toaru Hikuushi e no Koiuta, Witch Craft Works
Key Seiyuu: Sara Emi Bridcutt (Bell Hydra, Yuubari), Saito Soma (Adlet Meyer, Twelve)

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Macross Δ

Director/Creator of: Ao no 6-gou, Aquarion Evol, Escaflowne, Various Macross Works
Script/Series Composition of: Inu to Hasami wa Tsukaiyou, Steins;Gate (eps 7, 8, 17, 19, 20)

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Musaigen no Phantom World

Director of: Chu2Koi 1/2, Hibike! Euphonium, Suzumiya Haruhi Yuuutsu/Yuutsu (2009)/Shoushitsu
Script/Series Composition of: Amagi Brilliant Park, Golden Time, Kokoro Connect, Suzumiya Haruhi Yuuutsu/Yuutsu (2009)/Shoushitsu
Key Seiyuu: Uesaka Sumire (Dekomori Sanae, Fubuki), Uchida Maaya (Takanashi Rikka, Ichinose Hajime), Hayami Saori (Hiiragi Shinoa, Ononoki Yotsugi) Shimono Hiro (Kuronuma Aoba, Katsuraki Keima)

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Norn9: Norn+Nonet  

Script/Series Composition of: Bleach, Fullmetal Alchemist, Gundam SEED Destiny, Nijuu Mensou no Musume, Nurarihyon no Mago
Key Seiyuu: Ono Daisuke, Shimono Hiro, Kaji Yuuki, Seto Asami (Ayase Chihaya, Laffinty Fin E Ld Si), Takagaki Ayahi (Erika Karisawa, Mizukoshi Saki)

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Prince of Stride: Alternative

Director of: Hanayamata, No Game No Life
Series Composition of: Haikyuu!!, Usagi Drop
Key Seiyuu: Kimura Ryouhei (Braz D. Blood, L-elf Karlstein), Hanazawa Kana, Okamoto Nobuhiko (Okumura Rin, Saotome Yoichi)

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Schwarzesmarken

Series Composition/Script of: Cross Ange, Toradora! (eps 5, 9, 10, 15, 16, 20)
Key Seiyuu: Yamamoto Nozomi (Misono Senri, Kusunoki Yukimura), Nanjo Yoshino (Hashiri Nio, Aoi Risa), Tanaka Minami (Hana N. Fountainstand)

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Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu

Director of: NieA Under 7, Steins;Gate, Sukitte Iinayo
Series Composition/Script of: Bakuman, Denpa Onna, Natsuiro Kiseki
Key Seiyuu: Akesaka Satomi (Esdeath, Kurokawa Mari), Toyonaga Toshiyuki (Ryuugamine Mikado, Nagachika Hideyoshi), Hanazawa Kana, Sato Satomi (Chitanda Eru, Tamura Manami)

Winter 2016 Season Preview

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We’re now about halfway through the Fall (the colorful foliage has largely fallen) so we thought we’d take a look at what’s on the horizon once the nights start to frost.

While one could chalk it up to overzealously generous rating on our part, Last Winter featured the only three shows of 2014 (so far) with averages of 9 or higher (Yuri Kuma Arashi, Saekano, and Shigatsu wa Kimi no Uso). Four shows, if you count our Winter retro reviews of Steins;Gate.

Subsequent seasons have come close but failed to field a “Niner”: Fate-UBW, Ore Monogatarii!!, and Sidonia in the Spring; Gakkou Gurashi! and Charlotte in the Summer, and Gundam IBO, Noragami and One Punch Man this fall.

Assuming the Fall shows also come up short, will the coming Winter season be the one to break that streak? Not that it matters, all those shows were excellent and we’d watch them again given the time.

Here’s what we’ve scrounged up so far, using MAL as a guide. Note that as always, we have not consumed any of the source material for these shows, be it manga, novels, or games, so we’ll be going in as pure as an arctic fox’s coat (sequels to anime we’ve watched excepted).

If you believe we’re missing out on an upcoming Winter show, let us know in the comments and we’ll take it under advisement.

* = carryover/second season/sequel.

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1. Active Raid: Kidou Kyoushuushitsu Dai Hakkei (Active Raid: Special Public Security Fifth Division Third Mobile Assault Eighth Unit) – Production IMS, Orange (Mecha, Police, Sci-Fi) Anime Original

2. Durarara!!x2 Ketsu* – Aniplex of America, Studio Shuka (Action, Mystery, Supernatural)

3. GATE: Jieitai Kanochi nite, Kaku Tatakaeri – Enryuu-hen* (Gate: Thus the JSDF Fought There! Fire Dragon Arc) – A-1 (Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Military)

4. Gundam IBO*

5. Macross Δ (Delta) – Bandai Visual, Satelight, flying DOG (Action, Mecha, Military, Music, Romance, Sci-Fi) Anime Original

6. Schwarzesmarken (Black Brands) – SANZIGEN, ixtl, LIDENFILMS (Action, Drama, Mecha, Military, Sci-Fi)


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7. Dagashi Kashi (But…but…) – Feel, Pony Canyon, TBS, BS-TBS (Comedy, Shounen)

8. Dimension W – Square Enix, FUNimation Entertainment, Lantis, Orange, Studio 3Hz (Sci-Fi, Seinen)

9. Haruchika: Haruta to Chika wa Seishun Suru – Lantis, P.A. Works, Glovision (Mystery, Romance, School, Slice of Life)

10. Prince of Stride: Alternative – Madhouse (Sports)

11. Shoujo-tachi wa Kouya wo Mezasu Girls beyond the youth KOYA – Project No.9 (School)


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12. Ajin – Polygon Pictures – (Adventure, Horror, Mystery, Seinen, Supernatural)

13. Akagami no Shirayuki-hime* (Second Season) – Bones (Drama, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo)

14. Boku dake ga Inai Machi – A-1 (Psychological, Seinen, Supernatural)

15. Hai to Gensou no Grimgar   (Grimgar of Fantasy and Ash) – A-1 (Action, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy)

16. Musaigen no Phantom World (Myriad Colors Phantom World) – Kyoto Animation (Action, Fantasy, Supernatural)

17. Norn9: Norn+Nonet   – Kinema Citrus, Orange (Adventure, Fantasy, Romance, Shoujo)