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Gasaraki


Studio : Unknown

Licenced by : ADV Films

Length : 25 Episodes

Year : 1998

Genre : Drama - Mecha - Military - Science-Fiction

Synopsis :
In explosion happens in a distant country and the UN led by the United States declares the rogue state to be testing nuclear weapons and move soldiers in to prevent any further testing or development of a nuclear device.

Japan is secretly developing a new Tactical Armour Unit, supposedly the first in its kind but UN forces are taking heavy casualties as another tactical armor type appears in enemy ranks. What was the explosion, who is behind the enemy tactical armor and what are their goals?

Added : 2002-08-15
Synopsis by : Kaiser
Last update : 2007-03-25
Last update details : Link added
Score : 6
Number of reviews : 5

Link(s) :

Official #1 : Tactical Armor: A Gasaraki Fansite (English)

Song(s) :

OP1 : Tomoko Tane - Message #9

ED1 : Tomoko Tane - Love Song

Release(s) :

There are no release available for this anime.

Hits : 6271

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Currently displaying last 15 reviews.
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Posted by : seungwoo
Posted on : 2007-10-22        


When I first looked at the back cover of Gasaraki volume 1 I noticed that it was from the makers of Bubblegum Crisis and the Mobile Suit Gundam sagas, which I am a big fan of. I finished the series in four days and the only thing that kept me interested in this anime was the story. I have to say that the animation was not the greatest I have seen or even near it... In some scenes the faces of the characters doesn't seem right like the eyes are too close together and one eye bigger than the other. In the battle scenes between the TA's ( description for the mecha robots ) sometimes you don't know what the hell is going on because of the bad animation.

Their could have been a lot more character developments through out the anime. Only the main characters Yushiro and Miharu we get the full understanding of who they are. All the secondary characters are just there doing their part without any explanations at all. We get some signs of affections but they are not even started or resolved by the time the anime finishes.

In the end I have to say I was very disappointed by this anime, there were so many things that the makers could have done to make this into a truly spectacular anime, just small things like character backgrounds and more development with relationships between characters.



Posted by : GRC
Posted on : 2007-05-18        


Overall - 7.0
Animation - 6.0
Sound - 6.0
Story - 8.0
Character - 8.0
Value - 7.0
Enjoyment - 7.0

I have said before that Koi Kaze is a romance anime which is not for the romance fans. Whilst having a good story, it lacks the idealistic appeal that romance lovers are looking for. Well, Gasaraki is not a very different case; it’s a mecha anime which is not likely to appeal to most mecha fans. Full of lengthy dialogues which consist of many complex terminologies, Gasaraki is a political story which requires careful attention and full concentration from its audiences. Despite of not being viewer-friendly, however, Gasaraki’s story is not overly complex that viewers will not be able to grasp. Like most people, I had a hard time getting used to this series. Nevertheless, my perseverance was well-rewarded; I enjoyed Gasaraki. This is a story of human greed: a story of one’s desire for power and the consequence it has to his country and family.

Like many had said, Gasaraki’s first episode is among the most unappealing first episode in anime history. Instead of showing viewers the story from the beginning, Gasaraki began its first episode in the middle of nowhere. With mecha battles, lengthy ‘control room’ dialogues, complex scientific talks, and a Gasara dance, most people would be scratching their heads thinking what the hell is going on. Rest assured, the story will reveal itself little by little. And indeed, I found myself intrigued with Gasaraki’s many mysteries: why Yushiro could communicate with Miharu through his mind? Why he was put into the army? Why Yushiro could not remember his past? Yushiro and Miharu’s journey to Kyoto is the best part of the series. As they started to remember their past lives, I found myself sympathizing with both of them more and more.

Both Yushiro and Miharu are the ‘kai’: people who have abilities to pilot the ‘kugai’, the giant robots which have the extraordinary combat abilities. However, because of their special abilities, both of them were used as ‘tools’ for power; they were ordered to pilot the kugai to kill others although they did not want to. In fact, my favorite scene in Gasaraki is when both of them decided to settle themselves in a small town working in the restaurant after they escaped from the Gowa household. No, they definitely did not like the kitchen work; they only wanted to hide themselves from the Gowa and Belgistan government so that they would not have to be used as ‘tools’ to fight for the greedy leaders. Yushiro and Miharu are depressed individuals who did not know where they truly belong.

Not only Gasaraki’s protagonists are solid, its main villain is effective as well. Kazukiyo, the head of Gowa family, is an interesting character. Normally I must say that I am not that interested in the villains who openly declare that they are evil. Kazukiyo, however, is an exception to this rule. True, he wanted power, and he was never quiet about it. Nevertheless, he is clever being that he knew how to make people who can make him get to the top support him. There’s a scene when the Gowa family members must choose its new leader. Kazukiyo told one of his brothers who is a scientist that if he becomes the head of Gowa, he will allow his brother to do the scientific research that he had always wanted to do. Needless to say, that scientist decided to vote for Kazukiyo without a second thought. Kazukiyo never pretended to be a good man; he instead promised some fantastic offers for people who will help him to get to the peak. Because of this, most people will neglect the fact that he is not a good man and vote for him because of the granted benefits. Bribery can blind one’s objectivity, so to speak.

Some reviewers made an interesting criticism that they were unable to bond with the main characters because of the fact that they hardly speak. Well, I used to feel the same when I was watching some series. Gundam Wing, for instance. Nevertheless, I didn’t care about those emotionless dudes in Wing because their behaviors and actions are retarded. Yushiro, on the other hand, is not. While he certainly does not speak much, but his reactions and facial expressions tell me much more about him than any fanciful dialogues would do. If there is one thing which this anime is at fault, it’s the fact that it did not try hard enough to make its political aspects interesting. Much of the Gasaraki’s lengthy, complex dialogues are usually spoken by minor characters with uninteresting personalities. If the creators had added more ‘life’ into those scenes, Gasaraki would have been a much more appealing show.

After I finished Gundam Seed Destiny a year ago, I couldn’t have thought that there will be another good anime that is so audience specific like it. Not only Gasaraki is also very audience specific, it is an anime which is much harder to like than GSD. It took me three viewings of the first episode before I got used to Gasaraki's unique pacing and did not fall asleep because of it. Furthermore, there were times when I had to stop the DVD and went to the ‘glossary’ section in the extras when I didn’t know the meaning of some fancy words which the characters were using. Nevertheless, Gasaraki has a solid plot to reward the viewers who are willing to get themselves accustomed to the series. If you consider yourself to be a patient viewer and you are interested in a political story, give this anime a try.

Animation
A six in animation for Gasaraki may seem like an unfair rating, as when Gasaraki is well-animated, it is incredibly brilliant. However, when it is unimpressively animated, it is very…unimpressive. First of all, there are lots of reused scenes. Secondly, the last episode has live action sceneries of sea, mountain, sky etc.; why didn’t they draw these pictures instead considering that this is anime? Thirdly, there are lots of unimpressive CGI in the action scenes, particularly in the episode about the two main characters’ past lives. Finally, the character design for minor characters and mecha design are uninspired. Because of these four reasons, I decided to take off four points and rate this category at a six instead of a ten.

Sound
Both opening themes sucked chimpanzee’s shitty ass, although the first OP sucked much less than the second OP. In fact, I am sure that the creators also realized about the second OP’s extreme suckiness given that they put the first OP back after they used the second OP for a few episodes in the second half. The ending theme, however, is much better. BGM and voice acting are above average.

Value
Gasaraki is not an easy watch; I fell asleep eleven times watching this. First, if you are after flashy mecha fights, this is definitely not for you. My recommendation only goes to viewers who like political stories. And even then, you will still need to get yourself accustomed to this anime’s pacing. Until you no longer fall asleep when you watch the first episode, do not proceed to continue watching this series. Furthermore, I recommend the official version released by ADV only; this version has ‘glossary’ section in the extras in all of the DVDs. Hence, you can refer to the words you don’t know when the dialogues get really complex; I did this several times. And to help you a bit more, I explained about what the ‘kai’ and ‘kugai’ are in the third paragraph of my review; I hope you’ll find them helpful :)…Rightstuf currently offers this anime for $35.00 in its bargain bin. Get your hands on it if you think you are its right target audience; I hope you’ll like this show.



Posted by : bteachable2
Posted on : 2005-04-05        


This is a middle of the road anime. It is entertaining enough to keep your interest, and it even has momentary flashes of brilliance. Unfortunaltely, it misses as much as it hits.

The main character of Yushiro Gowa is cut from the traditional mysterious silent hero/anti-hero, surrounded by the typical ultra-powerful family. One member of the family bent on world domination, and Yushiro is the "key" to achieve this apocalyptic domination. Of course, there is the opposing multi-national corporate force opposing the Gowa family in their own attempt at world domination. They have their own "key" who is the female counterpart to the maile Yushiro. Throw in some mecha, a meglomaniac dictator starting a war, one aging samuri/sage, and pending ecconomic colapse and you have the backdrop for what is really a coming of age strory.

The problems with this anime are not just with its slow pace, but with all of the missed plot opportunities. With all of the possible interesting plots and sub-plots that this story could have generated, one is left wondering if part of the story ended up in the trash after some executive read the original draft. The opportunities for romance are very underdeveloped, and this is a shame for a "coming of age" type story. Yushiro's younger sister is so anoying in the earlier eppisodes that by the time her importance to the plot is revealed, you really don't care. They even fumble the chance to make the villan more than just the classic villan by not divulging any of his behavioral rational until the end.

The "soul" of Gasaraki's pacing I believe lies in traditional Japanese Noh theater. You get this feeling from the first episode which is VERY slow in pace and development, and includes some traditional Noh. Noh is more like the antithesis of fast paced western action adventure. If the creaters of Gasaraki were trying to mix the two styles, they deserve high praise for this attempt. Hopefully, next time they will not miss out on the opportunities to make a great story and a memorable anime, because this time, they came up just a bit short.




Posted by : Tevesh
Posted on : 2005-02-12        


Average. Average would be the word to describe Gasaraki. It has an average plot, average mecha design, average music, average characters, average art, average action, and an average amount of reused footage. Did I enjoy it? I dunno, it was average.

That is partly the problem. Gasaraki lacks anything to distinguish it from being good or bad. It follows the average plot of mecha plots: A highly skilled soldier in a secret organization that has a dirty secret over the creation of its' mechs. Protagonist doesn't remember past, and it is slowly revealed to him as he fights off enemy soldiers. Standard Significant Other who attempts to find the Protagonist as they're off to war, but everyone tries to keep the Significant Other in the dark until the bad guys realize they need to use the Significant Other to accomplish their plans. The ending is supposed to be deep, and naturally involves aliens.

However, it doesn't blow the mind like Evangelion, or have the nice graphics of RahXehpon.

All the cool things in the show, from biological samurai mechs to drug frenzied berserker soldiers aren't explored. There are very little annoying sections, otherwise that would have been memorable.

There is also an average amount of unnecessary scenes. Including trying to pick up rides with a little cheesecake, and the mangled English accents in some parts.

Completely unmemorable, Gasaraki can't be fully recommended, but I can say this; it ain't bad.



Posted by : Kaiser
Posted on : 2002-08-24        


This series actually reminded me of Gundam Wing. It's a political conspiracy thriller. 2 sides trying to play off each other (Gowa Family vs Symbol). As a crisis arrives, a new humanoid fighting machine (Tactical Armour) is developed and tested by both sides in the conflict. Though the real goal for both sides is not the tactical armour but the calling of Gasaraki.

The plot was VERY slow and it made the series fell apart... When you're down to episode 19 and nothing THAT substantial has happened... Then you have a major problem.

Animation quality sometimes gorgeous would be horrible in some parts and was inconsistent... overall a big disappointment for me.






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