Gundam: Reconguista in G Overall Review

GRec

I actually watched this back in September, so it’s been existing as a few notes I took while watching for a while now. I was busy at work for most of that time, but I also think it’s a hard series to get motivated to review because it’s not … that good. But it’s also not so terrible that it will be fun to sarcastically tare apart, either. Hey ho, I wanted another Gundam series I never saw before done (and was in the mood as it was in the run up to the release of PS4 game Gundam Versus) so there we go. I had planned on watching the Universal Century stuff in order, but never mind… This is technically the “Regild Century” anyway, even if it is the same timeline! So let’s take a look already!

Official Synopsis:

The Universal Century, a history marked by space colonization and space warfare, has passed. Humanity’s prosperity has ushered in a new era of global peace known as the Regild Century. Bellri Zenam, a pilot training with the Capital Guard, is chosen by the G-Self-a highly manoeuvrable Mobile Suit of unknown origin, operable only by a select few—to embark on a journey that will change the course of the Regild Century forever.

*spoilers appear from here on out!*

Cast of Characters:

GRec 2

Bellri trying his best to catch a Mobile Suit in his mouth.

Bellri Zenam (Mark Ishii) – Bellri is a regular, happy-go-lucky cadet who ends up in the cockpit of a prototype mobile suit called the “G-Self”. To his surprise he is able to pilot it, and soon befriends the mysterious girl who came with it, thus starting him down a long path of adventure…

Raraiya Monday / Raraiya Akuparl (Yukari Fukui) – Raraiya is from the moon city known as Towasanga and was piloting the G-Self before being captured. She suffers from amnesia, to the point where her mind regresses to that of a child…

Aida Surugan (Yu Shimamura) – Aida is a member of the Pirate Corps. and the adopted daughter of the Amerian General Gusion Surugan. Mysteriously it’s only her and Bellri that can actually active the G-Self…

Luin Lee / Mask (Takuya Sato) – A Kuntala (a descendant of a lower-class subculture that actually ended up being used as food during the end of the Universal Century…) who wishes to rise above people’s perception of them and therefore freeing the Kuntala from their unjust treatment… by wearing a mask (of course!)

Klim Nick (Ryota Ohsaka) – Klim is the son of the Amerian President and therefore people consider him great, even if his ability with strategy is actually awful. That being said, he is legitimately a great mobile suit pilot, and that has allowed him to rise in the military ranks…

Noredo Nug (Minako Kotobuki) – Noredo is a good friend of Bellri who ends up along for the long and twisting ride with him. She also ended up caring for Raraiya during her long bout of amnesia.

Manny Ambassada (Ayahi Takagaki) – Manny is a Kuntala and as such is often given simple and degrading tasks. She looks up to and even loves her old friend Luin Lee and hopes for his success as the pilot known as Mask…

Kerbes Yoh (Yusuke Suda) – A member of the Capital Guard and a former instructor to Bellri. He ends up respecting him greatly and giving him advice during the latter stages of the story.

Plus many more!

The Good:

GRec 1

It’s nothing if not pretty, at least.

First off I do like the art style and general setting. Some people were put off by the more cartoony look (though not as bad as Gundam AGE) but I think it’s fine. I also like the fact it’s set so far into the future of Universal Century that it may as well be a new timeline if it weren’t for the odd mentions and old war sites popping up. Some of the ship designs and locations, particularly the Venus outpost “Venus Globe” and the Towasanga settlement, are stunning. The key location of the Capital Tower and its space elevator is also a good visual.

I also like the mobile suit designs. The G-Self is a pretty standard Gundam (beyond the more roundy head) but a lot of the other suits look good and unique, especially the sadly not pictured in this article Mack Knife that Mask and his pals use (even if some of their attacks are clearly just in for a laugh given they use the… space in-between their legs to fire from…)

As a lead character Bellri draws close to annoying, but doesn’t quite cross that line. Aida is a fine “straight woman” to his more comedic antics, and Luin Lee / Mask makes a good recurring “villain”, even though he is fighting for noble reasons. Mostly the key characters were actually fun to watch… when they’re not falling about comically or saying “Chuchumy” over and over again… (seriously, when Raraiya got her memory back I was so happy!)

There is a plot twist ala Star Wars where it turns out Bellri and Aida are actually brother and sister and were adopted into different families. It doesn’t do a lot, plot wise (and in fact turns Bellri into a completely different character… for like an episode.) but it was at least a bit interesting…

Towards the end it turns into an all out battle between at least three, if not four different factions, spreading from space down to Earth. It may not be as melodramatic as a lot of the U.C. era Gundam battles, but it is at least an exciting watch and a good end to the show.

The Bad:

GRec 3

Oh look, lead antagonist has a mask on! … At least it has a story this time, I guess…

In general the show suffers from a lack of focus. The first few episodes are pure comedy with a little bit of lore, then the show turns into a travel show with mobile suit battles thrown in (where nobody of note ever dies, apart from one which Bellri mourned about at the end of one episode and then was fine the next) before reaching a climax in the last two or three episodes with a big battle. The middle bit isn’t too bad because some of the exotic sci-fi locations are fun, but still… it’s not the most engaging show ever put to screen.

Although I didn’t mind the cartoony look, I did find a lot of the straight up cartoon slapstick a bit grating after a while. A few times it was funny, but why they felt the need to have mechanics “amusingly” fall about while explaining an things or politicians accidentally crash about all the time I don’t know. Either go full-on comedy or just do it at the right time, don’t try and tell a story whilst pissing about!

The first few episodes are really hard going. When this aired I watched the first three, I think, before giving up and thinking to myself “I’ll just marathon through it later”, and that’s only because I’m such a big Gundam fan, if this wasn’t Gundam I wouldn’t have bothered! It does eventually get at least interesting enough to want to watch the next episode, but that’s damning with faint praise if I’ve ever heard it…

Something that annoyed me through the whole show was that people go about the place on these small two-legged walkers, and I kept thinking to myself “why did they un-invent the wheel is this weird future?” I mean these things were bumpy, mostly slow and generally clearly inferior to cars or hell, hover crafts or something else that could clearly exist with the kind of technology they have…

Overall Thoughts:

GRec 4

A rather awkward looking rifle….. is about all I can think to write about this picture.

Gundam: Reconguista in G is an odd one. It exists in the Universal Century timeline (and seemingly confirms the long-standing belief that Turn-A Gundam’s Correct Century is also apart of the post U.C. era of the U.C. timeline) but it feels very different. For those who have watched the old Gundam shows, the best comparison I can think of is the whole show feels like the first half of Gundam ZZ, with plenty of comedy and slapstick combined with the odd mobile suit battle, but at least that eventually stabilized and told an interesting and important story, this just never finds its groove. I like the mobile suit designs so I’m looking forward to more Gundam games having them in to use, but I can’t see myself watching this again…

2 Star Watch

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