Impression – Ginga Kikoutai Majestic Prince, Episode 01

“You can’t become a hero if you don’t do the impossible!”

Ginga Kikoutai: Majestic Prince  (Dogakobo) – Genre: Action, Mecha, Sci-Fi

|Sortie|

Heads up, we’ve got a new mech anime set in space. How does it hold up against the competition?

The episode begins with a fleet of green-tinged machines (a hostile alien race?) attacking a lunar base. Things don’t look good for the people at the base as their defenses get absolutely destroyed. The higher-ups realize they they will have to evacuate and abandon the base entirely.

We then cut to a training exercise in another part of space, where we are introduced to our main cast of characters. Things look bad as it becomes apparent that they are unable to work together as a team. Their failures become something of an inside joke to their peers, going so far as to earn then the nickname “The Fail Five”. Ouch.

Despite their obvious shortcomings, the commander decides to send them out on their first mission: to head to Undina Base and aid in the evacuation, using their best mechs available. With Izuru Hitachi (Hiroki Aiba) as their new leader, the group momentarily puts aside their petty differences and agree to carry out this dangerous mission.

Upon arriving on the battlefield, the group manages to hold back the tide of enemies long enough for the ship tp retreat. Just as they are ordered to return to base, Izuru sees civilians left stranded on the base with no ship to rescue them. With enemy reinforcements fast approaching, Izuru delivers one of the corniest lines I’ve ever heard and decides to fight off the invading forces to protect the civilians.

I had a couple of problems with this show right off the bat. For one, the characters are really lacking in-depth for me. I know its way too early to judge, but they all just seem like typical caricatures of familiar tropes. There’s the clutsy moe blob Tamaki Irie (Yuka Iguchi); the cynical bookworm Ataru Suruga (Junya Ikeda); the calm and cool girl Kei Kugimiya (Yoko Hikasa); the artsy guy Toshikazu Asagi (Shintaro Asanuma); and of course the courageous hero. The last one is so blatant that he even says that his dream is to be a hero. Yeah, real subtle guy.

The art is so-so, but the quality fluctuates a lot. There’s are some portions where the animators didn’t even bother creating detailed background characters, and while the focus doesn’t stay on them for too long, it’s still noticeable.

My biggest problem is the fact that they are sending a dysfunctional group of inexperienced and untested pilots in expensive equipment to go fight an army. Not only that, one of the engineers actually says to the pilots that the mechs still have some problems to work out. So essentially, they’ll be flying around in machines that may or may not work.

Does the commander see something I don’t, because that sounds like a suicide mission to me. Why couldn’t they send a more experienced group to fight, preferably one that actually knows how to work as a team? Perhaps the name “The Fail Five” wasn’t enough of tipoff as to how awful they are? Someone in this military needs to have a word with this guy.

Aside from that, I think the only thing worth watching right now is the action. The mech animation is the best thing about this, and its obvious where most of the show’s budget went to. Even though it’s still implausible that this group of people can fight off such an advanced enemy with technology they’ve never used before, this show could have a lot of potential if it can focus more on character development. Still, I’m adamant about this show judging from my first impressions so I’ll have to wait and see where it goes from here.

Lingering thoughts:

  • Random pointless ass shot.
  • It’s good to know that the military is still placing humanity’s future in the hands of a few kids.
  • “I want to become a hero!”

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