Original Concept by Masami Obari, Kazumitsu Akamatsu, and Gonzo
Directed by Masami Obari
Music by Hikaru Nanase
- Static cling stickers
- Character design library
- Clean opening and closing animation
- Original Japanese TV trailers and DVD spots
- Partial text side story on insert
Dindrane’s Anime Warnings:
- Massive jubblies
- No, seriously–they are massive
- Minor violence
- Icky aliens attacking innocents
Released by: ADV
Anamorphic: N/A; appears in its original 1.33:1 format.
My Advice: Rent it.
[ad#longpost]The Gran Knights are back! They have been thus far successful in holding off the Zeravire menace, but the enemy seems to be growing more powerful and more determined. As we learned in volume one, millionaire Sandman has created a massive mecha known as Gravion and hired a selection of pilots, called Knights, to live in his castle with him and fight off the Zeravire. Volume two brings us to the middle of the series with an obvious attempt to humanize the characters a bit. We learn a little about all the characters, but not quite enough to make us figure out whether or not the show is trying to be a parody of mecha shows or is playing it straight. There are some good bits as Eiji and Toga head out into the city for some much needed R&R. Eiji’s friends provide some comedy and also conflict, as we learn that some people thing Gravion is not what it seems. We also get to learn more about Luna and Mizuki finally, and not just fan service.
The show looks great: Obari’s shows are always flashy and hip, and Uno’s character designs are perfect for each character archetype (clichÃ©?). They’re definitely easy on the eyes, and the digital quality really shows off in all the kinetic action of the piece. Audio, especially dialogue, is also quite well done. The music does a great job of keeping the show moving and enhancing excitement without interfering with comprehension or the voice actors. The Japanese cast seemed a bit more “into” their characters on this release, but there were no problems with the English cast.
As far as special features go, we get a pair of keen little static cling stickers, one of Mizuki and her jubblies and one of Eiji. These clings are a nice feature that would be fun to collect from various Gonzo shows. We also get a clean opening and closing, some design sketches that show a bit about how some choices were made regarding characterization, and the original Japanese TV trailers and DVD spots. Interesting. The case insert is also nice in that we get some more character sketches, including some head studies, and episode two of a Gravion side story, written by Fumihiko Shishige, who’s the main story script specialist. Such text additions are a nice and thoughtful addition that presumably wouldn’t cost a lot for the DVD producers.
If you like giant mecha battle shows, then this one may be worth a rental, but unless that’s your favorite genre, just stick with Gundam or even Nadesico. This one’s just a little too much style and a little too little substance. It’s an interesting series that does seem to be getting better as it goes along, so if you didn’t like volume one at all, give this volume a chance at least, and this volume will instill in you some hope that the show will fulfill its promise. However, if you can only afford one mecha release this year or just have room for one DVD, honestly, Gravion probably shouldn’t be it.