Tuesday, November 2, 2010
Anime Reviews 01 - Armored Trooper Votoms
Yeah. I feel that the best way to keep this running is to post some review for anime or something. Also I've started to watch new anime lately and planning to catch on what I've been missing. But first, Let's start with the one I've recently finished: Armored Trooper Votoms
Before i begin, Here's the OP for the Anime hoping it peaked your interest (Though i admit the OP is nothing special, but it has a cool song).
So what's the story about? (I try not to spoil to much)
It take place is a distant future (i think) in a fictional world of Astragius Galaxy where 2 sides, Gilgamesh and Balarant are waging war on each other for many centuries which the cause are long forgotten.
The main character is an Ex-Elite Soldier of the Gilgamesh's Special Forces "Red Shoulder" named Chirico Cuvie. On a secret mission which he's taking part, He was tasked to steal a chamber like thing which surprisingly belongs to the allies. Then he discovered something inside the chamber which reveals a woman. When their teammates discovered that Chirico knows what is inside the chamber, he is labeled as a traitor and their teammates starts shooting at him. Chirico runs away and is in hiding in the city of Woodo. From there, he has to discover the secret behind the mysterious woman in the chamber with some help (although not needed) from 3 locals: Gotho, Vanilla and Cocona who at first wanted to use his robot battling skills to make money.
The story then separates to 4 arcs. Which each one of them revealing more and more of the secret. Not just regarding what Chirico saw on his secret mission, but it goes beyond that.
Arc 1 - The Woodo Arc: This is the backbone of the show where Chirico struggles to know the secret behind the mysterious woman in the chamber where he later called her Fyana.
Arc 2 - The Kunmen Arc: Takes place in a jungle planet Kunmen, Chirico enlists on a mercenary group to topple down a government ruled by some pseudo-religion fanatics. There, Chirico also learns more about what Fyana is. Also it introduces Chirico's rival named Ypsilon which also has a relation to Fyana.
Arc 3 - The Sunsa Arc: The 3rd Arc is more on the relationship growth between Chirico and Fyana. It starts out very mysteriously where they were on some ship and the ship keeps on brainwashing Chirico of his old times when he was a Red Shoulder. Stuff happened and they landed on the Planet Sunsa. There Chirico has to survive together with Fyana while making frequent encounters with Ypsilon. At the end of the arc, He discovers something when fighting Ypsilon...
Arc 4 - The Quaint Arc: After the 3rd arc, Chirico was told to go to the planet Quaint. There he will discover who he really is. But not only that, He also discovered the secret behind the forgotten cause of the Balarant/Gilgamesh war. This arc is full of plot twists after plot twists where in the end, Chirico set things straight with the thing he discovered.
This is the Real Robot series where the mechanics are actually believable. The mecha is like 3-4 meters tall and they are easily wrecked. Unlike many Real Robot show (Gundam and the likes), Chirico has no default mecha. Sure the OP and most of time he was riding a Scopedog (The green mecha with 3 eyes that flips). But he also likes to jack other robots (The show called them an AT or Armored Troopers) and sometimes disabled the AT by shooting at the head part with his gun, killing the pilot inside. It's a unique experience in a Mecha Anime where Chirico play Grand Theft Robots on his daily job.
As for the characters, Chirico is your ordinary silent and serious guy. He is surrounded by people that want him dead. Gladly he is often surrounded with 3 people from the Woodo city, Gotho, Vanilla and Cocona. And to be honest, I liked the trio on the show. Yes they're not a funny bunch and can be annoying at times (especially Cocona), But they are the one that lightened up the show that filled with DURR SIRIOUS BUSSINESS people. As for Chirico, His meeting and relationship to Fyana really changes him to become a bit light-hearted. Until at the beginning of the 3rd Arc. It seems that Chirico's character development can go up and down depending whatever he faced. That makes him more human-like where coolness can always overwrites by their surroundings and feelings. As for the other characters, Fyana was the same thing from the first till the end, Ypsilon's growth is from a proud soldier to a brainwashed experiment subject, And there's a dozen of characters that Chirico met which they are all come and go and some even met him again.
The story is divided by 4 archs. But it linked together really well. There are some fillers, but most of the time, we learned a bit about Chirico and the world he's in. The world where there's no such thing as Good guys or Bad guys, Both Gilgamesh and Balarant are just 2 sides with different perspective on each other, the character they met, some are good/bad for a reason or some are not necessarily good or bad. It's a world filled with Grey Ideals. Though the only downside of the show is that the world is not that interesting enough to pull you in and experience it. Maybe that's why there's sequel or prequel of the show that comes afterward in the form of TV series or (mostly) OVAs. I should give the prequel/sequel/spinoffs a watch sometime.
This show for me is awesome in the sense of realism of the mecha and the compelling storyline. I recommend it for those who likes show with story development. If you're in for the robots, it's fine too but sometimes there's less or none. Plus being the 80's, the action is not brilliantly animated, but in some sense it was good. You can still see minor damages that the robot had and they didn't forgot to animate all realism of the mecha. Also there's less recycled scene. So for the 80's this is a well budgeted show. Give it a try if you're interested.
My Anime List Ratings: 9/10
Now, I am off to watch all the anime i've missed during the year 2009/2010 and also many things. If you have suggestion what anime i should review, do tell me. Also anything that i've watched is also OK.