Friday, February 19, 2010

Linebarrels of Iron DVD Set 1 Impression

Linebarrels of Iron DVD Set 1
Linebarrels of Iron, the latest big robot anime from studio Gonzo and FUNimation proves that Japans legacy of big robo anime is alive and well. It may look and feel like Fafner and Gundam SEED but with a quirky intro Linebarrels stands on its own two feet and shines as a truly enjoyable, fun and intense series. As with most mech anime the story begins with a youth dreaming of things grander than his normal life, enter Kouichi and things begin to change …

Kouichi is not the geekiest or worst student but he’s not far from the bottom. Picked on by bullies, protected by childhood friend Hideaki and comforted by Risako, another childhood friend, Kouichi can’t catch a break and can only dream of the day he becomes a ‘Hero of Justice’ which is closer than he could ever dream. While fetching some tasty pastries for these bullies Kouichi’s life begins anew, literally, as a mecha crushes and brings him back to life. His fate is explained to him by Emi, a young girl who happened to show up, nude and unconscious, on the same day Kouichi was killed. As crazy as it may sound Kouichi is now bound to Linebarrel, a mecha that shares his life and while he sees this as a chance to become the ‘Hero of Justice’ he’s always dreamed of it’s actually a ticket into a battle between the Juda group and Katou Organization. These two forces control their own groups of machinas, mech, and their pilots known as Factors. Kouichi is forced to choose a side as one seeks the worlds destruction, the other not so much. In joining Juda not only must Kouichi learn to follow orders he also must deal with a bevy of beauties and some personal loss. Being a hero is not all he expected and as truths are revealed life will never be the same for Kouichi and the members of Juda.

Yes, it’s another mecha anime with a young pilot, and yes it shares a similar look with Gundam SEED and Fafner but it’s these reasons that should and will cause viewers to tune in and enjoy. The character designs are great as the above referenced series can back up. The mech designs are each unique and match their pilot personalities and yes these are pretty standard cookie cutter personalities. So look and feel is solid but what sets Linebarrels apart … Kouichi. The story about an earth bound and an alien force going at it in big robots is nothing new, not even the different pilots with their backgrounds and the sexually charged encounters; nope it’s one boy that makes this a unique series.

Kouichi is kinda nuts. He gets picked on and bullied and when finally presented with similar powers he’s not exactly the nicest guy anymore. He neglects his true friends and fights with both Juda and the Katou Organization. He has a crush on Emi and cannot seem to escape the perilous (and funny) situations the director puts him in. He is not some tragic, guild ridden hero who broods in his own power and responsibility, he’s a kid hand the keys to a big shiny robot and a give a relationship with a beauty he could never dream of. Top it off, he really does not handle any situation well and sometimes friends get hurt. As he grows so do those around him from a beach trip to a fight in space.

Overall Linebarrels of Iron is a well animated, voiced acted, designed anime with tons of action, good character development a nice mix of humor and drama all wrapped into a nice two disc set. Fans of Fafner, Gundam SEED and really any mecha anime should give Linebarrels a spin as it’s a lot of fun and once you watch the Proud music video, you will be hooked.

No comments:

Post a Comment