Friday, April 29, 2016
:anime: Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick of the Month:: Gundam Reconguista in G
As I was beginning to wrap up June 2015's (delayed…) F/L-CAP special, "Manager's Special Mk. II!!: Anime Only This Manager Seems to Love…", I learned that one of the titles, Gundam Reconguista in G, was no longer available at YouTube, the only site it was made available at. I had thought at the time that it still was and had already written out its entry, so the final check-through was none-too-pleasing, particularly when I was really looking forward to spotlighting it the special, let alone a F/L-CAP installment. Later in the year, Sunrise would post the series onto Hulu, but there were either other titles I had staked out or notable ones that popped up that were too good to pass up. I thought about just updating Manager's Special Mk. II, but I also wanted to do a standalone Pick, as well (something I wanted to do from the start, until I came up with the former). Said other choices would overshadow what I excised from MS Mk. II overtime, until I remembered about it, recently. As a result, this something of the best of both worlds: an addendum to the former, and a posting all for itself! So, without further ado, here it is, finally, the show you may either like or won't (as originally written in June-July 2015, with slight date clarifications and Hulu mention): Gundam Reconguista in G!!
Gundam Reconguista in G
[ANN Entry] [MAL Entry]
About: A young military officer who encounters a mysterious mecha and gets caught in a power struggle between opposing factions, space pirates, and clandestine organizations as everyone vies for control of it and a weakened, fractured world system…
If you remember from May's  Free/Low-Cost Anime Pick installment, I mentioned a particular title that I was on the fence about choosing. Well, this is the one. Gundam Reconguista in G marked the return of creator Yoshiyuki Tomino in helming a TV show in the franchise, over a decade since the stellar Turn A Gundam. It, however, did not fair nearly as well, with detractors outnumbering the supporters. Even Tomino himself expressed regret over the way the series turn out.
G-Reco was, at times, hard-to-follow and not always the smoothest series around, yet, I probably had more fun watching it and looked forward to each episode more than any other series last fall . You get the sense that Tomino, himself, had fun making it with its carefree sensibilities and humorous injections of comedic bits. It is a quirky work that both hearkens back to the lightheartedness he showed in his earlier, more serious works and his more bohemian post-"Kill-Em-All" portfolio. The old-school feel is strong in the hand-drawn visuals, the character designs supplied by Kenichi Yoshida (Eureka Seven, Overman King Gainer), and the series as a whole, which has a slight, sublime spiritual mix of '70s super-robot and '80s real robot. Backing it all is a sumptuous animation production that has that telltale rustic roughness and thick lines of the era, but has gorgeous modern touch thanks to the shimmering colors and flourishes of its digital production.
Even within its shortcomings, Gundam Reconguista in G stills manages to find a way to hit its most of its marks. One of its best triumphs is in its portrayal of politics. It plays a major role in the show, and while some of the series' messiness showed there, the at-times dizzying display of shifting alliances, sudden turns, facades, and outright lies was actually an all-too apt picture (and critique) of how actual politics play out and how truly ridiculous it can be (and as someone who follows politics, it is hilariously on-point).
The ending puts a slight damper on its overall enjoyment and it, admittedly, is not always graceful in its storytelling, but to have its issues and still be as likable and entertaining as was says a lot about the amount of good in Gundam Reconguista in G. It is very much a "love it or hate it" series and you may definitely feel differently than I have. Thankfully, you can peruse it for free on Hulu (and, if you're in the Asia region, YouTube).