This show is too damn GAR to not write about. So consider this my second pickup for the season.
Is it ironic that the only samurai who gets the girl is the one voiced by a woman?
I love deredere ninjas. I didn’t know this before, but now I do. Especially when they’re so easy to please. Ninjagasms mmm.
I’m not familiar with the game, nor with the history of the Sengoku period so forgive any ignorance you may read (although I got a kick in learning that most of these samurais were real samurais, and checking their Wikipedia pages to learn about them. Who says you can’t learn something from anime?).
Masamune (or Washizu as I like to think of him) is after some guy who looks like one of the eunuchs from Code Geass and storms the field where they’re traveling in true GAR fashion – by knocking hundreds on soldiers into the air as he barrels through, riding on his trust steed. Just as he’s preparing to kill the eunuch-like coward, Sanabe (or Keiichi as I like to think of him) shows up to stop him and to challenge him to another duel. Hearts and emotions have been stirred by their last honorable battle.
The lack of a backstory made it hard for me to figure out exactly what was going on. Who the eunuch was, why Masamune was out to kill him and why the Takeba clan apparently didn’t want that to happen. But I’m willing to forgive it, because the action was so over the top. I loved the zoom shot through the enemy crowds to show Masamune riding towards them with his typical cocky grin on his face. And the way he dispatched those petty soldiers, just tossing them into the air like little muppets, is the way I expect to see all fighters fight. The unique art they used during the Masamue/Sanabe battle was probably a shortcut to save some animation costs, but it still worked. It mixed up the visual style and gave the action a nice, stylistic flair.
Of course, not to be outdone, Takeda amps up the GAR level even further by scaling a castle, while riding two horses in standing position. And then to show the next trick up his sleeve, when he confronts Hojo, and Hojo unleashes a super-powered ninja assassin, Takeda stands there waiting until the assassin is a millimeter from stabbing him in the eye, before reacting and defending him off. I used to do Karate and they taught us to wait until the last possible second before blocking or countering, so that the other side didn’t have time to counter the counter, but this was just another fricking level man! Just unbelievable. Then Takeda proceeds to punch the assassin a 100 feet into the air, and take down Hojo and his ancestral powers in a fireball of passion. The action is so over the top it cracks me up and pumps me up all at the same time.
I love deredere ninjas, but dark haired ninjas with butterfly tattoos on their thigh, and skills with a pistol are pretty damn sexy too.
Not content to merely allow Masamune, Sanabe and Takeba their GAR glory, the villain, Nobunaga shows up and displays his level of GAR merely by standing on top of a ledge, with a foreboding soundtrack in the background and hellish swirls of clouds above him. He does not speak. And he only moves to shoot the eunuch dead with a shotgun. This merely sets up for the next time we see him, in which having Norio Wakamoto simply speak, could lead to whole new levels of GAR unseen.
This show is so stylish and so unapologetically over the top, it’s difficult not to love. You don’t even realize whether there’s a story or not, because there’s so much happening. I also like that the show isn’t too serious and can toss in some funnier moments. And finally, I love how they’re producing and animating this show. For a show that’s probably been like 75% action, I’m very impressed at the level of detail they’ve been putting into it. Hell, even the DVD promos are GAR!