A Gundam series created to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Gundam. The first Gundam series since Turn A Gundam to be written and directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino plus featuring character designs by Kenichi Yoshida of Eureka Seven fame. “Yes please” was my initial reaction when All the Anime announced they had licensed Gundam Reconguista in G, but how does all of that stack up now that I have seen it?
“The Universal Century, an era of historic migration into space and space wars has ended, and some time has passed.
It’s now Regild Century Year 1014 (R.C. 1014) where the creation of humanoid mobile suits of war is now taboo and Earth is connected to space via the sacred orbital elevator, Capital Tower, which humanity uses to bring energy in the form of Photon Batteries to the surface.
Bellri Zenam is a cadet in the Capital Guard, the protectors of the tower. During a training exercise pirates attack the tower and Bellri crosses paths with the G-Self, a mobile suit with unknown technology. Bellri is successful in capturing the suit and its pilot, Aiida Reihanton, and soon discovers the G-Self, which should only be operable under certain conditions, will now move under his own hand. Now Bellri must pilot the G-Self to uncover the mysteries behind the space pirates, the G-Self and his own destiny. These truths will shake the entire Regild Century to its core and this is just the beginning of Reconguista.?” – All the Anime
So, interestingly, while Reconguista in G is a brand new Gundam series set in a new continuity, Regild Century, it uses the Universal Century as its historical base. Certainly, an interesting move that no Gundam series prior (to my knowledge) has done before; a little research, however, shows that Turn A takes place after Universal Century. Does this add any value to the story? No, not really, aside from a few mecha fan service moments that are very sparse it feels tacked on only to help reinforce a particular theme of the series.
The series as a whole is a very odd one; examine, on the one hand, we have all the usual tropes and clichés you expect from a Gundam series. On the other, there is a good amount of new and interesting ideas that have been put into action but they never really make enough of an impact to make the series appear different. The series constantly felt at odds with itself throughout making for some pretty confusing viewing. This conflict of trying to be a Gundam series and also trying to be something new really meant that nothing in the series meshed well. Even the franchise staple “Masked Character” felt void of everything that makes the masked character a mysterious entity. Eventually being stuck between comic relief and serious villain really hurt the character, plus being named Captain Mask didn’t help.
Weirdly I did quite enjoy that in Reconguista in G there were some interesting ideas and themes at play within the series. Unfortunately, a lot of them were never allowed to evolve naturally and were quickly discarded for another. I think if Reconguista in G were allowed more time to explore some of the themes that it brought up then we may have had a very different and more consistent show. As it stands, the constant zigzagging of storylines with little explanation or understandable reason behind them really hurt it. As I said though, I did weirdly enjoy my time with the series and perhaps another viewing would help clear up some of the confusion I experienced during the first.
Visually, the series really shines, with character designer Kenichi Yoshida (Overman King Gainer, Eureka Seven) how could it not. Kenichi Yoshida has a unique style that may not be to everyone’s taste but I personally love it and I hope that we might see it again in future Gundam series. Outside of the awesome character designs, the series makes use of a very vibrant colour palette which works really well. The visuals are easily the most praiseworthy aspect of the series and it was great to see two great styles come together with Sunrise and Kenichi Yoshida.
I think it’s fair to say the Gundam series have always been accompanied by great visuals and soundtracks and we’ve already established the visuals of Reconguista in G were top notch. The soundtrack was equally as impressive throughout the series. There are a number of tracks within Reconguista in G that I’d love to see used again in future series, barring that I may just have to pick up a copy of the soundtrack one day. The first opening theme “BLAZING” by Garnidelia was particularly awesome and I would have preferred it to last the whole 26 episode run. The second opening theme “Magic of Futari” by May J was still a decent effort though as was the ending theme “G no Senkō” by Daisuke Hasegawa.
Extras on-disc are slightly disappointing in that it only comes with Clean Opening and Ending animations and a Promotional Video. On the physical side, however, the release does come with a very nice art box that houses two clear Blu-ray cases and a collection of art cards.
Reconguista in G has a lot going for it in terms of visuals and mecha/character design but it never quite manages to make any significant impact when it comes to the story. To say the story was anything but a confusing mess would be a lie but I still weirdly enjoyed my time with the series. I think another viewing may be needed but as it stands it's enjoyable enough.