Mobile Suit Gundam: Iron-Blooded Orphans Episode 1 – First Impressions – Textbook Sunrise Premiere

Mari Okada is a skilled anime script-writer, that her name even stands out is testimony to that. But she’s also uneven, and seems to be on a downward slope for the most part since the latter part of 2013 – while I liked Nagi no Asukara, it was uneven, her version of Madoka (Selector Infected WIXOSS) wasn’t great, and her version of Neon Genesis Evangelion (M3: The Black Metal) was downright terrible. So now she’s going to give us her version of Gundam, and it’d be official. I’m hopeful, but wary. Gundam in particular, and Sunrise mecha in general have a lot I like, such as the grey morality continuum, “no villains, just antagonists,” some politics at stake… but it’s often tired, because it’s the exact same story, again and again. Which might be seen as meta-commentary on the nature of war, but whatever. Let’s see what you’ve got, Okada.

Story / Themes:

Mobile Suit Gundam Iron-Blooded Orphans anime / Kidou Senshi Gundam: Tekketsu no Orphans anime episode 1 - The price of work

Man, what a dense episode, and forgive me if I’m repeating myself, but such is often the case with Sunrise Mecha shows (of which Gundam is an example, and even precursor for what’s usually going on these days), we have to introduce a large cast of characters, two sides, various political powers, agendas, morality-plays, and setting information. It feels incredibly dense because this type of show, unlike Light Novel adaptations, rarely believes in exposition dumps, but it just throws us into the middle of a situation. If this were a novel, it’d be three, with us seeing various stories unfold concurrently, not just the same story from various points of view. Rarely is the commoner who’s in love with a soldier telling the same story as the others. Regardless, dense.

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Fall 2015 Anime Season Preview and Expectations

There’s a week until the Fall 2015 season begins in earnest, so it’s time to look towards the new season, and put behind us a season where I didn’t watch what I was most excited for (will do my best to catch up soon), and found some of the shows I wasn’t excited for to be quite good. Expect a season overview in a week or two.

As always, in these posts I cover shows I plan to follow, or have thoughts on why I will not follow them, or considered following and decided not to. As always, I try to strike a balance between giving you enough information on the show, and telling you why I think it is or isn’t worth watching. Shows ordered by day, and by expectation within the day, as that affects pick status. The “Almost In” category returns, describing shows that I’d pick up in prior seasons, but decided to put aside in order to make more time for backlog, after growing unhappy with how many of the shows I pick up ending up “not worth the time”, let alone “good”.
Much space is given to the people involved with a show, as premises are easy, but execution is hard, and it’s people who are in charge of that.

Most of the information about the shows can be had from the helpful Neregate Chart, and what I’ve happened to see on various sites, such as The Cart Driver. Check them out if you want more information, or information on shows I didn’t cover (such as follow-ups to shows I don’t watch).


Concrete Revolutio - A Superhuman Fantasy animeConcrete Revolutio: A Superhuman Fantasy / Concrete Revolutio: Choujin Gensou – All the fantastical creatures of stories, mythologies, and comics come to life, and it’s the Supernatural Bureau’s job to take care of them. The very colourful preview put me in mind of the old X-Men cartoon which is fitting, but also of the French 1997 cartoon Enigma which I was fond of in the past. On the Japanese front, it made me think of Gatchaman Crowds and Tiger and Bunny on one hand, and Hamatora the Animation on the other. It’s definitely stylish, and it’s a sort of setting that lends itself to all sorts of colourful and fun shenanigans that could also house some incisive social critique, as many of the shows I namedropped have done (and often done both).

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Figure Friday – August 28th-September 3rd in Review.

Ok, this is the post for the figures and news of the week running from the 28th of August to the 3rd of September. It is a tad late, I do realize. That week had more than its share of news, but slightly fewer figures, so we only have “Four Hot” and “Four Not”. Last week’s post will go up Monday or Tuesday.

And as for this being Monday my time and not Sunday, with such a great semi-final in the US Open between Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, what can you expect? :)
For those who wonder, I think I did pretty well on my test!

As always, click on the first photo to go to a page with more details/photos, and click on the following pictures to see a larger version.

Four Hot:


Vocaloid #01 Nendoroid Petite trading figure by Good Smile Company

Vocaloid #01 Nendoroid Petite trading figure by Good Smile Company

 Some more photos on Kumo’s blog.
CUTE overload! I especially like Megurine Luka (with the red hair), and Sakine Meiko, the bopping redhead (orange hair).
Miku Saihate, with the flower (at a funeral?) is also adorable.
Reserve, 6,000 yen. November 2009.
Update: Second shipment opened for reservation right now.

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