While my cold seems to be in retreat, it’s Midnight and I’m utterly exhausted from tour-guiding my sisters, with more posts to go, so just a brief first impression sampling today. And we start with Gundam G no Reconguista, which is certainly one of the stranger first episodes I’ve seen in a while. Tomino-sensei certainly forewarned that this was going to be a retro take on the Gundam franchise, but even so I was pretty taken aback by just how retro it was.
I’m not expert enough to swim in the deep waters of franchise canon and where Reconguista fits, so I won’t even try. I will say that the first ep absolutely transported me to early morning watching Japanese imports like Starblazers (Yamato 2199) while eating Golden Grahams, in ways both good and bad. I absolutely love Yoshida Kenichi’s character designs – as always – and the retro look of the series and music is no surprise. But it almost looks as if Sunrise and Tomino have taken the playbook from 30 years ago animation-wise, so authentically old – and sometimes clunky – does Reconguista look.
Content-wise this premiere was decent – I rather liked the cheeky male lead Bellri (played by Mark Ishii in his debut role), who’s decisive and clever without being either too obnoxious or boringly perfect. I’m not too sure about the space pirate played by Shimamura Yuu or the alien “Raraiya Monday” (Fukui Yukari) whose dialogue in the premiere is limited to “G!”, but at least they’re not a bunch of cheerleaders who worship Bellri, flash their panties and talk about finding husbands (not all retro things are good things). There’s some potential for a fun throwback here and anything with a screen full of Yoshida-designed faces is worth a long look, but I’m nowhere near ready to commit to Reconqguista yet.