Gundam: G no Reconguista – 19

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After watching this week’s installment of Gundam, Zane came into the office with his hands in the air, as if to surrender. “There’s not even anything of note to make fun of here. At this point it’s just kind of sad,” he said, telling me if he wanted a review I’d have to do it myself.

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So here I am, reluctantly closing the RABUJOI book on Gundam: G no Reconguista after nineteen straight episodes of lovely visuals, some clever sci-fi procedural action, and slice-of-life unfortunately combined with impenetrable storytelling and an abject lack of emotional connection on all fronts.

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There’s a clear retro flavor to the way everyone talks and relates to each other, and I’m sure there’s an audience that enjoys that kind of thing, but to me, it just feels like a lot of the material was written for a bad radio serial fifty years ago, and is now being re-used with updated animation, and it’s just never felt right.

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The show shows us all these lives, but never lets us into their heads, and even when they speak their thoughts out loud, the words feel hollow and inconsequential. The music attempts to create lightheartedness or drama that simply hasn’t been earned by the story, or even attempted to be earned.

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Gundam G-Recon often feels like an animated documentary, which has cameras and mics in everyone’s faces, but nobody explaining what’s going on or why. We are neutral observers, and the stuff being observed is utterly incapable of truly moving us. It’s content to march along to the beat of its own drummer, and you either get in step or walk away.

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That’s mostly because events and introductions often feel random and tacked on for no other reason to make the story and the character dynamics more complex, but no amount of complexity—or kooky group of mercenaries from the Venus Globe—can fix the show’s underlying flaws.

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This is not a terrible show. It’s clearly created by people in love with this universe; its large-scale issues and smaller minutiae alike. It also makes some salient points about space travel, battle, maintenance, and national pride. Its visuals and character and mechanical design are top-notch; and its soundtrack is usually stellar.

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But all those factors merely contribute to my respect for this work. They have yet to garner my love, and without love or any other kind of strong emotional investment (beyond that with the franchise itself based on previous, better works), the cons overshadow the pros. And if I don’t love it after nineteen episodes, I shouldn’t be reviewing it. It’s not RABUJOI way, nor is it fair to you the readers.

Farewell Gundam, until the next series.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 18

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This week: A bunch of people tell other people to look at the massive and magnificent Kashiba Mikoshi, which delivers Photon Batteries to Sankt Porto for Earth Distribution, or something. Did I mention it’s massive? Seriously, it’s mentioned enough without it actually DOING anything that it would make for a decent drinking game.

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Yeah, GAVAN! Still, that is one tough phone. Is that the new SU-Cordist Galaxy 7? It’s supposed to be able to withstand a sustained Mack Knife beam attack!

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The Kashiba Mikoshi was apparently a collaborative effort between H.R. Giger and Frank Gehry. AIDA IS NOT IMPRESSED. Her critique is actually pretty cogent, unlike so much about this show.

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OMG IT’S A COGENCY SPREE!!!

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Gaaaah…DON’T ALL TALK AT ONCE.

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O Hai Manny! Manny’s aboard, with Noredo.Manny is towing Mask’s line about the Towasangans letting everyone go home safely if they just hand over the G-Self. That ain’t happening, since it belongs to the Rayhunton siblings, Bellri and Aida.

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…CAT FIGHT!

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Noredo and Manny may be high schoolers whose men are on opposite sides of…whatever this conflict is supposed to be, but it’s the older Mick Jack and BARARA who are acting like idiots.

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Bell and Rara block Steer’s view of space with a dummy meteor, so an iPad with a external camera feed is set up so she can see where she’s going. But the dummy is also blocking weapons fire so I guess it’s okay. Still, not ideal piloting conditions.

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I love how it’s kind of common knowledge in the Towasangan military that Rockpie has only risen as high as he has because he’s doinking Mashner. SU-NEPOTISM.

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Bellri Zenam: He’s not a genius and he isn’t tough…but he is a raging xenophobe.

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AWWWW, the Megafauna looks adorable nestled within the bosom of the Crescent Ship. Like a baby orca!

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The Grid. A digital frontier…”

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That doesn’t mean it’s not a joke. Bellri Zenam: Still not a genius.

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Still, he and Aida have a nice brother-sister moment here, in this strange engine room of a ship built by their forebears.

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Bell also managed to get the Crescent Ship’s engines working normally…by dipping his medallion like an ATM card. And the Crescent Ship is probably the coolest-looking ship in the show thus far..nice shade of green, too. Here at RABUJOI, we call that shadeFine Green.”

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 17

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Don’t you hate it when you’re just trying to get some decent shuteye after a busy day of killing people, and the ladies run the damn vaccum?

Well, this is kind of like that, only the ladies are piloting mobile suits to try to collect as much soil and debris is possible from one of Cyarno-5’s ruptured agricultural modules. And Rara at least has Ringo to boss around.

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“Um…no…but if you guys want privacy, maybe you should talk in some kind of, I don’t know…isolated space conference room?”

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Manny: “Sooooo…why does Captain Mask always yell your name like that?”
BARARAAA: “Hrm……Tourette’s?”

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…Meaning there’s still room in his life for someone he can use…like a woman?

Seriously, Manny, quit dicking around and just walk up to him, take the damn Mask off, and ask him what the fuck his problem is.

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As everyone starts sending out mobile suits—Capital Army, Amenia, Dorrette—people start getting into a very tiresome hissyhit about who engineered and manufactured which particular mobile suite when. Lots of pride on the line, but not a lot of debris being cleaned up!

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Ah, the sacred ship that delivers photon batteries to Cyrano-5 to be sent to earth, making electricity possible—as seen through Noredo’s slingshot.

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On the Megafauna bridge, everyone seems to have a say in what their next move should be. Bell suggests that some parties may be trying to use this debris to-do as cover for an attack, and everyone heads to their mobile suits.

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Rara yields G-Self to Bell and pilots a 1,000-year old Neodu, but accidentally flips the Nitrous lever. Her ship goes berserk, bumps into the experimental suit Bifram BARARAAAA is test-piloting…

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And Bifram goes all General Grievous on Rara.

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Geez…you’re asking me? I gave up trying to answer that question last season.

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Noredo, meanwhile, feels the “empty nest” around her now that Rara has her facilities back. The other ship’s crew members give her stuff to do, but there’s still a bit of a “What is she doing here” kind of vibe to her presence on the ship now. Other than babysit Rara, she’s really just been there to provide company for Bell.

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Of all the things a lack of electricity means, you choose that? You can heat the water with a wood or charcoal fire, for crying out loud!

Still, all the warring sides eventually put down their arms and pick up nets for a collaborative debris clean-up. Peace through space chores.

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Keep saying stuff like that, highness, and it will certainly become true. If it isn’t already. In any case, you’re one cloudy mess of a character!

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How I wish this Gundam series called itself a specialist.

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