Creator/Studio: Mamoru Oshii (director), Kazunori Ito (writer), Yutaka Izubuchi (mech designer), Akemi Takada (character designer) and Masami Yuki (manga-ka)/Sunrise
Distributor: Sentai Filmworks
No. of Episodes: 7 OVA’s and a TV series. This review covers the TV series, which has 47 episodes
Suggested Age: 13+
My Review: 8/10
Summary: Set in the distant future, this series focuses on a police department where the officers pilot giant robots. The main character is Noa Izumi, who is a newly-appointed rookie and pilots a mech she has named Alphonse. Other characters include Kiichi Goto (the captain), Asuma Shinohara (Noa’s partner), Kanuka Clancy (an officer from New York), and Chief mechanic Seitaroh Sakaki.
Review: I’m no stranger to Mamoru Oshii’s work. He’s the director of Ghost in the Shell and Jin-Roh, both of which I highly praise. So, when I learned that this classic was on Hulu, I had to take the opportunity to check it out. I’m glad I did.
I want to say right up front that this wasn’t quite what I expected. The show doesn’t make it like the giant robots are a big deal. It’s basically a cop drama that just happens to have giant robots in it. Not a bad take on this genre. Noa is a great heroine, thanks to her enthusiasm and untapped potential. Asuma plays off her well and you can see that he’s not into following in the footsteps of his father, who invented the mechs. He wants to be his own person.
My only gripe is that the overall narrative isn’t as interesting as the concept itself. The story doesn’t really have much going for it other than giant robot cop machines. That doesn’t mean it’s a boring story, I just felt it needed an overarching plot rather than random crimes.
Overall, this isn’t a bad series. I did enjoy it, and I think if you like Oshii’s other works, this is worth picking up.
Sub/Dub: I only watched the sub.
Music/Score: Cheesy 80’s themes. Pretty good to listen to, especially the ending theme.
Violence: (6/10) Typical stuff you’d see in a mech anime. Lots of property damage.
Sexuality: (2/10) It’s almost hard to believe this is from the same people who made Ghost in the Shell, it’s rather mild in this department.
Related Media: This was also a manga. There was an OVA, and several movies still being made to this day.