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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