Gundam: G no Reconguista – 11

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I held out hope that space would be a kind of clarifying salve for Recon in G; a fitting venue to restore some measure of structure and cohesion to the story after going astray or running into dead ends down on the surface. Something that would encourage me to do more than simply snark-watch.

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But that was only false hope, a fool’s hope; for all who watch this show are fools. But like Mask, I shall embrace my failures and continue to be handsomely rewarded for them!

This week, the G-Self applies SPACE LOTION to Megafauna. But because its pilot Bellri was Bred For Combat and not piddling manual labor, he struggles with even this relatively simple procedure and must be watched like a hawk lest he smash a hole in the ship.

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None of this has anything to do with anything, Bell’s Mom. This is the credo of Recon in G.

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Poor Deck Scruber Fifth Class Manny Ambassada. It’s clear from Mask/Luin’s interactions with Barara the Eureka Seven Reject that the two are sleeping together. Just look at that foot caress. I’ll bet she gives great mask.

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Aida’s Dad (Is it Aida’s Dad? I can’t keep track of all the olds) makes one hell of an entrance, crashing a ship-launching ceremony, and proceeds to have a very public argument about how to proceed with the man at the lectern, whose name is President Zucchini and is apparently Klim’s Dad. The crap these two spew wouldn’t be out of place in that horrible senate babble scene in Star Wars Episode I.

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Either this is an air show, or a very expensive music video is about to start. But no matter what anyone says, I think eleven members is just too many for a rock band!

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Pray, would that be experience as a BODACIOUS Space Pirate, or just a Regular one? Ya know what, forget it. Just stay in the ship and don’t do anything, Princess.

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That line was old in the sixties, man. Get new material.

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DON’T ENCOURAGE HIM! Whoever you are.

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Bellri is face-to-face with his nemesis for the first time, and this is his first observation. Never change, Bellri.

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NOW you’ve done it; he’s never going to shut up! He’s quite proud of that mask. If only it actually helped him win a battle, which he still has yet to do. Probably should have stayed in his cockpit. Why exactly was EVA necessary here? Seemed like a ridiculously unwarranted risk.

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I’m not the biggest fan of Mask’s weird Mack Knife mobile suit with its splaying legs. After getting kicked in the balls by G-Self, I’ll bet Mask isn’t either! How many times now has this state-of-the-art suit gotten its ass handed to it. Now it’ll have to sing “Mack the Knife” in soprano.

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I know that’s the name of his fairy-like comrade, but from the way Mask belts it out it seems like BARARA! is also a curse word.

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LOL YOU’RE JUST REALIZING THIS NOW? Go home you’re drunk Rara.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 10

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Turns out Lt. Yoh is on Bell and Aida’s side, and he’s not arresting them, he’s getting them out of the Capital in a hurry, so the Megafauna can escape into space. The Capital Army wants the Megafauna, G-Self, and Raraiya Monday to themselves. So off they go on those extremely uncomfortable-looking F-Rugs!

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Meanwhile, some Tintin-villain-looking politcian dude is unveiling yet another new mobile suit; in the middle of a party night, no less! From what I’ve seen of Gundam, it has a strange habit of unveiling new equipment and weapons on both sides out of thin air, and at an impossibly quick pace. Why is it we’ve never heard so much as a whisper about Wuxias before? Or the G-Self’s new flight pack? Or Mask’s Elf Bull earlier?

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She’s a princess, dude…she has to do that. And what’s with the actresses’ girlfriends being all up in the shot there on the right? GET THEM OUT OF THE SHOT!

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In any case, the Caps have new suits and Bell has a new pack and they’ve got to skedaddle. Bell’s Mom and Aida’s Dad remain with the SU-Cordism Pope, with Director Zenam arranging for Surgan to return safely to Ameria. The Capital Army is at odds with the Guard, with the latter willing to help the ‘pirates’ out.

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…Yes, as opposed to the World of Women, where you have three choices for employment: housewife, secretary, or cheerleader. This is The Future, after all: naturally gender roles will devolve to the 1950s, because that makes perfect sense!

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Get some guys to yell and hold up their guns, and the ladies can’t help but break out the pom-poms, followed by white wine spritzers and a Tupperware party! Seriously…why are there no female Wuxia pilots? Or female Capital Guard cadets?

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Oh KNOCK IT OFF already! Yes, Aida is an important person who ideally shouldn’t be on the front lines where she could get killed, and she’s shown she’s not the best in aerial combat, but she’s not some delicate flower to be coddled. I wish the show would stop undermining her agency.

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In this case, Aida buys crucial time for the Megafauna by launching of her own volition, because Bell is delayed by G-Self’s new mods. What she did was stupid and reckless, but it was also necessary, and it would have been just as stupid and reckless if Bell had done what she did.

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So, so that IS what this is about!

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Speaking of reckless, Bell is sent out with the torque pack, which packs a punch (blowing past a sloth was a neat little moment) and proves loud, bright, and hard to control. But in a nifty bit of improv tactics, he removes the pack and uses it as a big loud decoy for the Wuxia holding Aida hostage, allowing him to sneak up from behind and lay a beatdown on him.

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So Bellri ends up rescuing Aida once again, but at least it could be considered paying her back for sortieing and buying time for him to launch, not to mention stopping the Wuxias from blowing up the ‘Fauna’s bridge!

While Bell talks of love with regard to Aida and he takes another admiring look at her when the battle is over, it’s still unclear what makes these two a couple, besides their physical attractiveness and propensity to have each others’ backs. Maybe that’s enough, but it’s not that compelling.

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What’s more interesting than that slow-burn romance is the fact that the ‘Fauna is finally in SPACE. Surely we’ll learn more about the ominous ‘threat’ that lurks up there. The Capital Army and Mask are in pursuit, and I’m sure a lot more all new and improved technology will be hastily rolled out before all’s said and done.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 09

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Hmm…the Megafauna doesn’t look half-bad from that angle. Not a bad-looking dock carved into the mountain, either.

For reasons that will become clearer later today, Hannah has asked I, Zane, to take over her Gundam review this week. “It’s practically a comedy at this point anyway,” she said to me. Well, then! I haven’t watched nearly as much Gundam as Han or Fran, I’ve been reading her reviews and know that not knowing precisely what’s going on or why is not necessarily a bad thing with this show.

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Don’t make faces! If you don’t like the truth, then change! Actually, this was a far less chaotic episode than the last few, and provided a grand sense of adventure as the Megafauna leaves port and heads south to meet with the Capitals under a flag of truce guaranteed by Bell’s mom. After all, if there’s a threat in space, its better to deal with it from a united front.

That, and America and Capital haven’t really given us any satisfactory answer for why they’re even fighting all the time (other than ‘because’)…so why not quit it?

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*BOP.* “Hee-hee! Whacking people in the back of the skull with a water ball is fun!”

I also kinda like how this huge, menacing pirate ship, the Megafauna, simply flies in under the radar into an enemy port, but only causes mild concern as it buzzes the rural locals (little kids freak out, but little kids freak out about EVERYTHING). Also, the face that they landed so Director Zenam could find a land line to call the Capital Guard to rendezvous with her. Sometimes old ways are the best ways…old phones don’t need electricity, for instance!

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As for barf bags having to be brown paper…that’s just a silly anachronism! Curse this farce of a Gundam with its primative barf bags! But kudos to Aida’s dad, who is if nothing else a gentleman. Maybe these two can get married and then Bellri and Aida will be siblings!

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Well…that would probably be pretty weird, as these two seem to have a sorta kinda thing going. Bell compliments Aida’s piloting prowess…

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…Only for Aida to say she just plain sucks without Bell bailing her out when the Mask squad arrives to harry them. C’mon, girl, you sell yourself short!

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So…you’re saying if you can’t see a person, you’re fine with horribly murdering the unseen pilot inside? Okay, got it.

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I’m inclined to agree! WTF is Mask up to? The answer is, not much. He gets his ass kicked yet again and his squad withdraws yet again. I guess they wanted an aerial combat scene somewhere this week, but didn’t care whether it had anything to do with the other events of the episode. Moving on…

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While the Capital Army harasses the Megafauna during its cruise, the Capital Guard is much nicer and more accomodating, as Instructor Kerbes Yoh makes the rendezvous as Director Zenam instructed and escorts them to a safe landing site. From there, the gang takes the very silly, needlessly bouncy F-Rugs into the city, where something akin to Mari Gras or Carnival is going on!

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Aww, don’t be a stick-in-the-mud, Aida’s dad! I thought you were cool! The Capitals work hard and they party hard. I like the idea that there is no one on duty watching the radar or skies for enemy activity either form the North or from space. It’s Saturday, woot woot!

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Even Colonel Cumpa has ditched his wedding cake-like duty uniform for a puffy frilly party shirt! Though, it seems like he’s so sick of all these drunk shorties at this point in the evening. DON’T FLAUNT YOUR YOUTH BEFORE ME.

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Raraiya is sporting her midriff-bearing outfit this week.

We hear about “SU Cordism” a lot, which is kind of the church of the earth but also the monopolstic provider of photon batteries. The elder Zenam and Surgan beseech His High Cordist Holiness for council on that mysterious threat from space. At least here, through these tow, the rival sides are cordial and civil and working towards a mutually beneficial outcome.

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“KIDS.”

Then Cumpa comes in, having changed into his uniform, along with Yoh and guards who take Bell away. Aida, Noredo and Rara tag along. Did they find out he killed Dellensen, and is he under arrest? Or do they just need him for something real fast. It’s not exactly clear, as so little is on this show. Still, I was pleased with the advancement of the plot, along with the fun journey home.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 08

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This was another nutty, random episode of Gundam, which I’m obliged to rate slightly higher than last week’s because it was slighty more cohesive (I guess?) and contained a few more funny moments. I can’t say it did much more than that, however. Just when I think I have the story figured out, the show whips out seventeen more proper nouns.

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Whoa now, Cap’n Crunch; easy with the ten-dollar words. To my knowledge, you have yet to win a battle, but you have the temerity to call others impudent? How…er…effronterous.

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Don’t you hate it when you’re tangled up with a giant flying battleship decoy balloon

As for the heated battle Mask and seemingly everyone else is involved in, Aida and Bellri land on an island for a halftime break, and get their suits outfitted with backpacks that let them fly independently. Aida also uses the opportunity to be reunited with and have a nice leisurely chat with the inspector general of the Amerian Army, and…Wait, wasn’t there a battle going on? Where’s the battle? 

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Mask channels the audience.

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Anyway, Bellri’s “Tricky Pack”, which is what it is actually called and not something I just made up, lets him change the color of his armor to a more adorable pink, and uses the pack’s many slick tricks to manhandle Mask.

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What, is that not a proper place for an island? Sure, from your perspective it’s in an odd place, but that’s because you’re perpendicular to the horizon. Get it together, man. By ‘it’, I mean your attitude control.

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Remember Bell’s mom, taking the emergency escape glider to go after her boy? Well, she somehow succeeds in gliding all the way to the location of Bellri’s battle. She also drinks from a bottle filled with water of indeterminate age. Man, I hate it when I do that; old glider water is nasty. But yeah, her casual remark above? Priceless.

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For a second I thought Aida was going to do to Bell’s mom what Bell did to Dellensen: accidentally kill her. Fortunately Bell stops her. Aida seems to be cognizant of the weight of what nearly just happened. Then she makes that face on the right, because this show is awesome…sometimes.

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Oh, and Mask is Luin Lee. Who? Oh yeah, the other guy in the group that included Bell, Noredo and Manny. This revelation would’ve been more…revelatory if I knew or cared about Luin to the slightest degree. But Manny, who cut her hair and became a reservist aboard a Capital carrier to search for her friends, can care about him for the both of us.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 07

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I’m loath to try to keep analyzing what went on in this episode, because…I’m not entirely sure what went on in this episode. I can tell you it was a very Gundam-y Gundam-loaf, and that I’ll do the best I can.

Mr. Mask, two weeks removed from his stunning defeat, gathers his men into a huddle, having been given another chance to retrieve the G-Self.

Any questions? …
Any questions NOT related to my mask?

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Bellri’s mother continues to complain about the military buildup going on without her leave, but seems powerless to do anything about it. Then she laughs out loud for NO REASON (unless she was laughing at the hippo head trophy on the wall), boards a vintage space glider, and pretends to not know what she’s doing when she “accidentally” takes off. Turns out it was all an act so that she could looking for her son…I guess? Seems like a vintage glider with no spacesuit isn’t the best way to do that, but whatever.

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Speaking of good ideas, Klim gets Rara into the cockpit of the G-Self, because she likes napping in its palm. Yes, by all means, let’s give the erratic, barely-lucid amnesiac with a fish fixation control over the rare, giant killbot!

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When the Capital Army detects the Megafauna on grainy video — actually an inflatable decoy — Mask’s squadron nears, and Bellri has to pilot a different, less awesome mobile suit, the name of which escapes me because every other word in the dialogue of this show is a proper noun I don’t remember the significance of. “Deploy the Waldensteiners over the Genius outside of the Ceres Strip, before the Chiclids and Walleyes launch!”

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Mr. Genius Klim gets into another fight with Mask, and again, proves he’s hardly a genius when it comes to mobile suit combat. He’s more of a “looks like that annoying kid from Last Exile” genius. Who says things like this:

If you would kindly be shot down!

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Rara’s joyride in the G-Self is short-lived, as she quickly falls into the sea and is about to drown when Bellri snatches her up. I guess that’s better than the G-Self awakening Rara’s memories, having her go berserk and attack her own side.

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Then Bellri goes after Mask and gets G-Self all busted up, and they both yell even though I don’t think there’s an open comms, so they’re really just yelling at themselves in their cramped cockpits, which you’d think would hurt your ears! The battle is broken up by a huge green mecha gunship thingy, leading Aida to deliver this gem of a conversation…with herself:

Father has even had things like that developed? But…It saved our lives.

I do not recommend watching this dubbed in English. Oh, and Bellri’s pretty much over killing his instructor, so Yay!

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And now, your RABUJOI Moment of Zen:

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 06

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“The ship is too big. If we walk, the episode will be over.”

We get more battles this week, prefaced by long, multi-vehicle journeys through massive space stations, but we don’t get any kind of satisfying explanation for why exactly the Capital Army is committing such massive levels of manpower and equipment and yes, even expanding their arsenal all for the sake of one cadet they’re not even sure is still alive (or whether he defected). Well, besides the fact he’s the protagonist, I mean!

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“You mean I can DVR twelve inane discussions at the same time?”

Bellri’s own mother doesn’t quite understand it, either. She loves her son, but also thinks all this military buildup is a mistake, and “rescuing Bellri” and “restoring honor” aren’t just flimsy motivations; they’re downright ridiculous and reckless. Let’s get down to it, shall we? The Capital Army has been developing all these new toys from the get-go. They’re itching to play with them. They’d probably mobilize even if there was a space cat stuck in a tree.

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YES. FISH. WE GET IT.

Back with the pirates, Noredo and Raraiya are kind of stuck on a treadmill of asking Bellri when they’re going to escape back to the Capital and wondering if Raraiya is becoming lucid. Raraiya, at this point, is poised to become lucid sometime around episode 53. And never has a fish pooping in a glass ball gotten so much attention.

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As for the orbital battle, it’s pretty slick…for Gundam G. There are capital ship evasive maneuvers, dogfights, and the first use of G-Self’s “Reflector”, which absorbs energy from weapons either for deflection or use by G-Self’s weapons. It takes Bellri a while to figure out exactly how to use it.

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But in a nice nod to the fact he’s still ostentibly a Capital cadet, he uses the long leash the pirates have given him to detect the Amerian space fleet, which is moving in stealth as the pirates make a big flashy decoy show for the Caps. The episode shows a lot this week, but it also has its characters constantly spouting too-on-the-nose monologue overstuffed with proper nouns. I don’t have my glossary on me at all times!

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But then, something I’ve seen happen a lot in Gundam takes place: Bellri kills his friend and instructor Dellensen, and doesn’t realize it until he’s already killed him. You’d think with all this technology and weaponry flying around, there’d be some kind, any kind of communications protocol. People identifying themselves before they attack and whatnot. Sure, the heat of the moment and all that, but it still seems like a contrived, highly avoidable tragedy. But like I said, Gundam pulls this all the time.

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This was actually a beautiful little cut to the bridge. I kinda wanna be there

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As a result of his actions, Bellri goes into Depressed Mode, and Noredo can only stay by his side and ride it out. She can’t really ask “Sooo…Can we leave now?”, because, how can Bellri go back to the Capital having killed one of his own comrades, even if it was a misunderstanding? I’d imagine he’s extended his stay somewhat, along with that of Noredo and Raraiya. Which is just fine for people like Aida and Klim, who he impressed this week.

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Speaking of Klim: Here’s your RABUJOI Moment of Zen:

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 05

What ISN'T it for, sir? What ISN'T it for?
What ISN’T it for, sir? What ISN’T it for?

There are inevitably going to be some parties who believe Recon in G is nothing but a cynical, half-baked cash grab, exploiting an anniversary as the Capital Army exploits Bellri’s kidnapping to break the taboo, and appealing only to the LCD.

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With these parties, I shall make a deal: I’ll spare you a tortured and ultimately futile attempt to convince you that my opinion of the show is as valid as yours, if you’d kindly refrain from raining on my parade!

What the heck's going on here?
What the heck’s going on here?

Yes, G is safe, and derivative, and often pretty damn stupid, and nothing of particular note ever seems to ever happen, yet I’ve still found the last five episodes charmingly goofy, bawdy fun. It could be because I’ve never subjected myself to old-timey Gundam that my natural aversion to it is low.

I like how the contour lines aren't perfectly crisp, but a little uneven, giving the otherwise modern character designs a retro touch
I like how the contour lines aren’t perfectly crisp, but a little uneven, giving the otherwise modern character designs a retro touch

Seed, Seed Destiny, and 00 are the only other Gundam series I’ve watched in their entirety, and while their first five episodes were far superior to G in character, story, and spectacle, their profound seriousness could wear thin.

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From the laissez-faire uniform code aboard the Megafauna (which is the name of the pirates’ spaceship, not a term for the jungle; now I know!)  to the easygoing interactions of Bell, Noredo and Raraiya, this is a Gundam that not only borrows a lot from the past, but also lets its hair down a little.

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I DON’T KNOW HOW TO RESPOND TO THAT?!

Just take the underwhelming battle that went down between Klim in his Loredo and some new Visor Guy piloting an “Elf Bullock”: Their in-battle banter is so over-the-top and cheesy, I was laughing out loud at the TV. This wasn’t really good, per se, but it was enjoyable. Agreeable. Amusing. Genial.

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That might not even have been the producers’ intent, and I can totally understand why it wouldn’t be enjoyable for some, but all I can tell you is how it affected me. There’s a ludicrous onslaught of characters and slipshod tactics and far too much on-the-nose dialogue and none of that mattered. I bought in.

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It’s fitting, then, that this battle was essentially brought to a close with a big water balloon, which forces SuperCool Visor Guy to flee in terror. Though the mechanic Happa was telegraphing the Hell out of those water balls, I was so preoccupied with the Visor Guy/Klim exchange to realize Bell got his cute little flying cockpit off the ground to break up their fight.

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And believe it or not, some stuff did happen. We learned that whether she likes it or not, as a princess, Aida has to thank people who fight for her, even if they were the enemy of her mentor Cahill. This explains why she’s such a piece of work for most of the episode.

Also, while Bellri is really excited about piloting G-Self and becoming a lieutenant in the Amenian army, Noredo still wants to make sure he’s planning to escape at some point with her and Raraiya. We also spend more down time with Klim, and his formerly paper-thin character’s hard edges soften a bit; a welcome change.

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Good game. Let’s go eat!

As far as she’s concerned, they’re spies behind enemy lines, and the sooner they get home, the better. That’s not necessarily where Bell is right now, but we’ll see. Until then, I like how the trio bunch together to scarf down some well-earned grub, looking every bit the motley family.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 04

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Aida pointing out the fact not much happened this week

When the Capital Army Commander hears that Director Zellam, Noredo and Raraiya have been “taken hostage” by the pirates, he uses it an excuse to launch a military attack under the guise of a non-military rescue mission. Not only is the justification and classification flimsy, it violates the “Ag-Tech taboo against the advancement of science.” It would seem the use of advanced warmechs like Caitsiths is to be minimized as much as possible as the world “recovers” from what must have been a destructive, catastrophic war that may well have had beginnings just as modest as a captured official’s son.

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WAT

Where I start to kinda lose Recon in G is this taboo: I mean, if certain levels of technology aren’t allowed, why do the Caitsiths and Rectons and whatnot exist? I mean, shouldn’t building them have been just as taboo? It doesn’t really matter; the condition of the earth is kind of in the background anyway. Taboos aside, Bellri’s own instructor Dellensen leads the Capital Army mission to rescue him and the civvies, resulting in another somewhat awkward battle and the deaths of several men, none of which had to actually happen.

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I will say, that is a nice classic design

While Bell is piloting the G-Self to further examine it on Lt. “Genius” Klim’s orders, Capital arrives, giving the pirates an ultimatum. Bell wants to talk them down, but when the crucial moment to do so arrives, he learns he can only receive, not send, communications. Klim picks a fight, and the needless battle ensues, in which Dellensen loses a good number of pilots. Still, they’re nameless, faceless pilots that we can’t and don’t really care about. The typical Gundam Move of One Side Retreating for the Time Being ensues, and we’re back where we started: with Bell, Noredo and Raraiya as “guests” of Aida and the pirates.

"How long do I have to Mondaysit?"
“How long do I have to Mondaysit?”

Somewhat worryingly, on top of being an episode with a battle that only happened because of a stupid busted radio as the centerpiece, there was little to no character development for anyone. Bell and Aida’s interactions were all business without even a hint of romance, Klim is still a punk who’s constantly calling himself a genius, Noredo is just kind of around, periodically glaring at Aida, and Raraiya continues to be an amnesiac cypher. Is she ever going to be able to talk normally? I hope so. I hope a lot of things happen next week, because the retro sheen is rapidly fading.

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Ai Tenchi Muyo! – 07

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Aboard a spaceship in orbit encounters a large-scale gravitational anomaly, it its pilot, Kinojou Beni, launches an escape pod with a young Momo aboard. Back in the past, Tenchi and young Momo are about to knock on a door when they’re spotted by Touri, Hana, and Hachiko, who are looking for a demon.

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They find one in Space Pirate Hakubi Ryouko, whom Tenchi knows, but who doesn’t know him. Ryouko and Hachiko fight, then Ryouko attacks Tenchi, but Momo blasts her back with an unknown protective power. The fight is broken up by the arrival of a Galaxy Police mecha piloted by Kuramitsu Mihoshi, announcing Ryouko is under arrest.

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Whew! That was a mouthful, and a whole crap-load of plot in four short minutes, spanning a whole host of genres. I like how the same characters appear in different times in different garb but more or less the same personalities and roles. I also like how pieces of the great puzzle that started in the beginning are gradually falling into place one by one.

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Like Washuu, Ryouko and Mihoshi are long-standing characters of the franchise, but even if they’re as new to me as the new characters, they add color, flair, and a little more welcome chaos to the proceedings. ATM! is proving an increasingly eclectic and oddly engaging little show. You can’t help but want to see what happens (or who shows up) next.

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Gundam: G no Reconguista – 03

"Yeah...she does that."
“Yeah…she does that.”

References to past Gundams aside, Recon in G is full of neat little details that show that a lot of love went into the production. The character designs are superbly crisp, and everyone seems to have an extra little spring or flourish in their movements, be they Noredo’s athletic bounds, Aida’s dancerly twirls, or Bellri’s weird lip tick…thing. They’re a lot of little touches that infuse the characters with life.

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That said, as with stubbornly retro shows like Sailor Moon Crystal or to a lesser extent, Majestic Prince, you really need to be in the proper state of mind to enjoy Recon no G on its own particular terms. The characters may be crisp and fluid, but the mechanial design and animation is throwback, which is to say, sometimes choppy and ponderous. The desire to reproduce the feel of the original meant this Gundam probably won’t be as visually impressive in the areas where you would expect it to be, namely in the mecha battles.

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The show, I believe makes up for that a little by having such nice-looking characters and locales, as if to emphasize that this is a show looking forward as well as back. Again, my experience with super-early UC Gundam consists solely on Franklin’s reviews, but I can definitely imagine the dialogue in Recon no G being similarly inspired by its past. This episode has no problem with including large amounts of exposition in casual conversations. It toes a fine line between endearing and clunky, and I imagine for some, it crosses that line too often.

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Take Klim Nick, All bluster and braggadocio, a heel straight out of the eighties. What other sci-fi anime would get away with corny lines like his “I am a genius!”? Still, for me, it’s a lot of fun, especially when the ride in his Montero gets bumpier and he runs into some soldiers who are actually trying. Even more amusing, as Nick nears Capital Tower, he buzzes the wilderness, proving an absolute menace to sleeping leopards, giant snakes, boars, macaws…even dolphins! They’re all well-drawn, too. You won’t see silly sequences like that in Sidonia (though it does feature a bear-woman.)

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“Hands off, bub!”

As for what actually happened this week, well…that’s where we get back to klunkiness, because both the General and Director (Bellri’s mom) of the Capital Army’s Research Division kinda just let Aida sashay into the hangar, activate her G-Self, and fly away with Raraiya, Noredo, and Bell. It would be one thing if Bell’s mom intended for her son to infiltrate the Ameria-affiliated pirates, but she expresses surprise when she hears he’s aboard G-Self. The Capital Army didn’t look particularly competent here.

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But never mind; when does the military industrial complex work perfectly in Gundam? More importantly, Bell, Noredo, and Raraiya are now essentially Aida’s “guest”, where before she was one of theirs, putting at least those first two out of their comfort zone. Raraiya is still an enigma, though I’m sure she’ll end up being important piece soon enough, while we’ve got the requisite love triangle fully established, heading to pirate headquarters. Dated as its milieu may be so far, I’m still excited to see what adventures await.

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Those of you who aren’t buying what Recon in G is selling, I urge you not to heed Bellri’s insistence you “Watch, even if you don’t want to watch!” But if you’re into it like me, stick around. I will be.

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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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