Anime NYC 2019: Code Geass: Gundam Reconguista in G Movie I

hisui_icon_4040_round Yoshiyuki Tomino is a treasure. More precisely he might be one of those cursed treasures whose tremendous powers come at a terrible cost but in the anime industry that is just being extremely on-brand. The clearest example of the demon sword that Tomino has become is his last TV series Gundam Reconguista in G. I know it is slightly controversial to say but there are some cool things about the show. It has some amazing mecha designs, memorable characters, interesting setting concepts, and even some engaging and clever themes. But I also have to say that Gundam Reconguista in G is a hot mess. The characters go through unexplained Tomino mood swings and allegiance changes on the drop of a hat, the world-building is random and spotty to the point where it seems deliberately obtuse, the pacing could generously be called messy, and it always feels like it is the first draft of something that need three more drafts to be functional. It has distinctly earned its reputation despite having some really good points in its favor. I enjoyed it but it is undoubtedly the durian of the Gundam series.

So with any of these Gundam compilation movies, there is always a faint glimmer of hope that this could be the second draft to clean up a messy TV series. The original Gundam movies did a lot to streamline the somewhat messy and bloated TV series. Past that point, the compilation movies are a mixed bag with far too many of them feeling like a sloppy clip show more than a properly curated affair. The problem is usually they just show the best parts of the TV series without any of the proper connective tissue to have any of it make sense. They often wind up chopping out the important little parts without trimming enough of the filler fat.

The thing is Gundam Reconguista in G feels like a series that MIGHT be saved with some proper editing. There are a whole bunch of somewhat useless storylines that could be trimmed or remixed into something far more viable while adding in some new informative scenes to flesh out things that seemed to come out of nowhere. Assuming this would happen is utter foolishness but this series would also benefit much more than others so it seemed like something to check out just in case.

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Anime NYC 2019: Code Geass: Lelouch of the Re;surrection

hisui_icon_4040_round I already mentioned that I had the most uncomfortable viewing experience for Weathering with You but I possibly had the most “authentic” viewing experience for Lelouch of the Re;surrection. I say “authentic” because it was sort of the worst seats in the house but there were be no set up that could be envisioned as more Code Geass that I could think of. First of all the music in the room was just a tad too loud. They raised the volume to counteract a potentially noisy crowd but it mostly only made the crowd louder to compensate. To the right of me was a vaping CC who pretty much smoked her little device the whole movie. Behind me were a row of rowdy fujoshi. They had seen the movie before (a fact they mentioned several times) so they mostly just shouted various comments at the screen with an emphasis on anything hot or to do with their fan fiction. It was not full MST3K but it was a fairly wordy unwanted commentary track.

Overall I still experienced the movie fairly well it just was probably the best encapsulation of the Code Geass fandom in a single solitary moment. If anything I probably would have enjoyed a little more had they not been there but such is sometimes the price of going to a live screening.

By the way, there are going to be some MAJOR spoilers for the Code Geass and the compilation movies but truth be told you should not have anything to do with this movie if you have not seen those.

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Promare: Studio Trigger Yelling – The Movie

hisui_icon_4040_round I really wanted to name this Promare: Gainax Studio Trigger Yelling – The Movie but I was a bit too lazy to figure out how to add strike-through into the post’s title. I’m trying to get back on a slightly more consistent posting schedule so I’m avoiding doing anything to give myself extra work.

If you remember a REALLY old podcast on the blog we once talked about the unusual reputation that Studio Gainax had. It seemed there was a time where the studio was able to avoid an odd amount of criticism and have its hits be more forward-facing than its flops. It had its share of detractors and more nuanced analysis but it was a bit of a fandom darling when we recorded that podcast. Since that time they have fallen far from the limelight and they are as mortal as any other studio. The thing is Studio Trigger has sort of picked up that legacy thanks to many of its foundational members being former Gainax staff. I feel like for better and for worse at this point Studio Trigger had inherited much of the old Gainax position. They have the eyes and hearts of a specific part of fandom either waiting for their next work with bated breath or watching to see them fail.

The thing is despite all their ups and downs when Gainax did a film you knew you were in for a treat. The movie itself might not have been your cup of tea but it is going to be a wonderful spectacle with amazing animation and spectacular production. With this being Studio Trigger’s first full-length film it was interesting to see if they would also revive this part of the Gainax tradition. The movie feels very Studio Trigger so the only question is would it stand beside their more beloved works or would it rank alongside their more disappointing productions.

This is an extremely random note but I just wanted to note that I was writing this right after watching the Downton Abbey movie. I would not say that Downton Abbey and Promare and diametric opposites from each other but you would be fairly hard-pressed to find two movies that are as dissimilar from each other. It really has nothing to do with anything I just thought it was funny enough to share.

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