Last year saw the 35th anniversary of the Gundam franchise, and that resulted in no less then TWO new series, with on the one hand Tri Fighters, and on the other hand the highly anticipated Reconguista in G.
Why anticipated? Because it was the return of Yoshiyuki Tomino, the creator of Turn A Gundam, to the franchise. The trailers showing a very utopian and colourful world also raised the stakes...
Placed in the Regild Century, which comes far after the well known Universal Century (which was hinted at in Turn A remember) there is a taboo on space warfare, mobile suit specs and the more to prevent remaking the mistakes of the UC.
However, a strange suit, called the G-Self, appears, and it is clearly a development from the legendary `Rose of Hermes` blueprints, a remnant of the Universal Century. Young flight cadet Bellri Zenam seems to be able to pilot the mysterious machine and joins up with the Pirate Corps and Aida to prevent a war between his native Gondwan and her homeland Ameria.
But htings are moving behind the screens, like in any Gundam series, where politics and hidden agenda`s are rife. And that is where this series fails (and Tomino took indeed full responsibility for it). There are to many factions, sub-factions, turn-coats and the likes in the series, including but not limited to, the Pirate Corps, the Capital Guard, the Capital Army, Ameria, the Dorrente Fleet, G-IT and many more, totalling about a dozen all counted together and pilots changing sides for no apparent reason...
It all gets to much of a mess. You usually in these kind of series have Faction A and Faction B, from which with the good guys there is usually a splinter faction that wants global domination. That`s a simple mechanic, and it works for a series that usually consists of 26 episodes of 22 minutes each. Now, there is TO much going on in to short a timespan.
It doesn`t help either that unless you are a Gundam fan, you probably don`t know much about Universal Century and what those `mistakes` where...
It is graphically very nice, but the story creaks and cracks to much for a mecha show in my opinion, and it really is a missed opportunity. Heck, Tri Fighters, what basically is a scale model add show (like those old 80s cartoons) was FAR more enjoyable to just hang back and watch.
If you like Gundam, it might be worth picking this up for a sit through, but if you`re just into cool mecha battles, you might better be leaving it at the side as the story can get very, very confusing.
And it doesn`t help that it lacks two other `strong points` of traditional Gundam series: a very nice looking main suit (nope, it`s downright ugly) and a strong, rocking opening theme (again, nope).
A missed opportunity!