Gravion anime review

Gravion anime review
The year is now 2041 AD. A new enemy called Zeravire suddenly appears in the solar system, destroying all military installations it comes across. However, a wealthy man named Klein Sandman is already aware of this planned invasion and had been secretly preparing his army for battle. His trump card is Gravion, a giant robot that utilizes gravity as its source of energy. Meanwhile a young man named Eiji secretly enters Sandman's base in search for his missing sister. It is there that he meets another young man by the name of Toga... These two must now fight together with four other individuals aboard the super robot, Gravion to fend off the Zeravire threat.

A while back, I reviewed the sequel series, Gravion Zwei, so it was interesting coming back to the original in backwards order. While there are some rocky bits, mostly involving trying to do too many things at once, the original Gravion series is still quite watchable and good for a dose or two of dumb fun.

Gravion is largely the brainchild of Obari Masami, whose previous masterwork as a director was the Fatal Fury series. (I say "masterwork" here because much of the rest of his material has an average number of stars equal to that of the North Vietnamese flag.) This is a guy you normally don't want anywhere near a director's chair - thankfully, he delivers a largely fun romp through the tropes of giant robot action, with a bit of a twist.

Normally, you can easily tell an Obari flick by its character designs - overinflated, impossibly built girls; lean, rangy, impossibly built boys. Gravion tones that down a notch by running the original designs through the filter of first-timer Takaoka Junichi and Love Hina veteran Uno Makoto. (Takaoka is apparently replaced by "Ehime Mikan" in the sequel, and the designs are a bit sleeker for the tradeoff.) I'll tell you - while the costumes are still way silly, I've never seen an Obari girl look as cute as Gusuku Luna. Still, Tachibana Mizuki's design gets the "Chiropractor's Dream" award, but you get the feeling she's all a big joke anyway. (It's still painful to look at ... Mizuki, for the love of all that's holy, get a bra.)

And what about the story? Meh, it's not about the story! Once you get past the whole "we're in a medieval castle and we have maids and ohmygosh it's VOLTRON, with schoolgirls!" thing, Gravion ain't too bad. Mecha fights? Oh yeah, we've got mecha fights. Occasionally silly perverted humor? We've got that too. Over-serious exposition from the main character? Yeah, that too.

Unfortunately, Gravion, unlike its sequel, does get a little leaden at times, because it takes itself (dare I say it) a little too seriously for its own good. There is a serious disjoint between the comedy bits and the whole business with Eiji's missing sister, and since Leele and Toga take a while to develop, it's sometimes a bit frustrating dealing with a cast that's half cypher, half nutty as hell.

The music? Uniformly nutty as hell.

Still, to best understand and enjoy Gravion Zwei, you should get through Gravion. Don't expect the Great Japanese Animation Opus out of this -- but do expect to have some fun.

Better than review, is a Trailer video of: Gravion. Watch it now:
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