your average anime series. The series is actually far beneath the
quality one might expect from any given anime out there and it manages
that way from its first episode to the last episode of the entire
If you happen to see the series, it's possible that you will be
wondering what is going on and why any of it is supposed to catch your
attention because very little of it makes actual sense. Gasaraki
ends up being quite dense and not in a good way... it's one
of those total head-scratchers in anime. Not too thrilling that way.
basic information you need to "sort-of/kind-of"
follow the show is that the central characters (as if...)
are capable of using strange mystical powers to summon Gasaraki,
a monstrously huge force with scary powers capable of bringing about
destruction. There are an unbelievably high number of bad-guy villains
my distinction) who are determined to utilize the Gasaraki to bring
end of Japan. Can the mecha pilots who have the odd powers that help
call out the Gasaraki somehow work together (and with others) to
land and ultimately save humanity?
is the over-riding question
(can humanity be saved?), but there are so many plotlines sitting on
and making the show more complicated to even try and follow. Imagine
as a cross between sci-fi end-of-the-world and standard anime mecha or
with too much technical talk that makes little sense (either the
been researched incredibly well or the show's writers are blabbering
lines with little idea of what they are talking about), and that makes
strange combination that never manages to click entirely.
story is way too convoluted to
make much sense out of it. Therein lays the biggest problem with Gasaraki. This series becomes so
confusing at times that to even watch the show feels like something
This series is flawed on so many
different levels. Most viewers will feel as though they need a pen and
jot down notes about the plotting to see if they can even make sense
out of it.
I doubt anyone can fully understand it either, and that ridiculous
it even more difficult to imagine anyone sitting through this entire
show. Anime isn't meant to be a chore. The
should be able to entertain, enlighten, and educate... but the point
to include creating a completely bored and eternally confused audience.
of the main issues is that there
are far too many supporting characters. The fact that there is
constantly a new
group of characters being introduced into the multiple plotlines makes
challenging. The obvious issue here is that there are so many
introduced that it conflicts with an audience member's ability to have
who the new characters are. I was confused myself, and it was
was constantly wondering who these characters were and why I should
invested in the storylines if I don't have a clue as to who is who or
connected these characters to one of the ongoing plot-lines in the
behind-the-scenes featurette on
this release even helps sum up the character issue nicely. Some of the
supporting characters over a short span of episodes are given focus
here by the
character designer, who shows viewers early sketches of the characters.
sketches of supporting-role characters continue to be presented, abundance becomes apparent, which is
something that ends up helping to signify the over-ambitious nature of
production. Too many characters might as well indicate too few of them.
long run it equates to meaning the same thing: not enough meaningful
been given to the characters viewers are expected to get to know by
viewing Gasaraki. When you have upwards of
twenty new characters appearing the show might just need to slow down a
give time for the other series characters to make an impression.
writing is a jumbled mess with
too many political undercurrents that seem to lead the show nowhere.
was the philosophical tones, which were well-developed and quite
worthy. These moments
are not well-divided amongst the episodes though and almost seem to
whenever the random flow of the show's plotlines seems in need of some
ideas. While most of the plot-heavy
moments are boring, repetitious, and confusing it was nice to have the
question ideas about
found mixed results. The
character designs are pretty strong for the lead characters, but
roles began to blend together at some point in the series course. There
too many characters that didn't seem distinctive enough to tell apart
made it confusing to tell who was who.
background designs and layout
artwork can have the same effect the character designs had. I was never
by the art of Gasaraki but it was decent-enough
as far as 90's productions go. The series was produced during a
period where styles were beginning to change more and feature sleeker
have been a good series. It had some interesting ideas, certainly, but
was unsuccessful was in executing those ambitious ideas. The writing
done, except on the rare occasion the focus was on philosophy over
politics or disappointing,
weak characterizations. Most of the episodes were too broad in scope
and the plotlines
felt as though they were adding up to nothing special. The concluding
did little to sway my opinion of this and that is unfortunate but
simply never works as well as it would have liked to in the end.
on DVD with notably dated
but decent transfers. The show is presented in its original 1.33:1
frame aspect ratio. The colors are dull and muted but the compression
terrible - only slightly below average, and it had decent detail. It's
underwhelming, uninvolving, and disappointing presentation but the
up well enough in the picture quality department for something produced
the 1990's that hasn't received restoration.
quality is average. The series is presented with English and Japanese
dubs and both offerings feature sub-par voice-acting and 2.0 Dolby
presentations that never manage to make the show work any better. These
mixes never add much and are merely capable of delivering decent
English subtitles are provided for viewing with the Japanese dub and
text translations have also been included.
inclusions are clean opening/ending credits, a brief behind-the-scenes
video focusing on early design artwork, and trailers for
releases by Nozomi Entertainment.
a muddled mess of science fiction, mecha, existentialism, politics, and
ambitious but it doesn't ever grasp what makes good storytelling work.
characters are constantly introduced (with little emphasis given to the
supposed leads), and dialogue is quite irritating. This is one of the
convoluted anime series I have ever seen. If that sounds like something
would like, give it a whirl, but everyone else should consider this one
"unavoidable disinterest" written all over it.
Neil Lumbard is a lifelong fan of cinema, and a student who aspires to make movies. He loves writing, and currently does in Texas.