Giant Robots or mecha as they are also called take many different forms in different anime. In fact the type of show it is has a great bearing on what the mecha is like. The main mecha in Gasaraki is the tactical armor of TA for short. The TA is very realistic as giant robots go, something you might see on the discovery channel. However, the base for the TA is something very old and not exactly scientific in nature. Thus the TA reflects the nature of Gasaraki, it is a show that is very much tied to the real world with geopolitics taking a big part of the story, however there are other, more spiritual elements to the show.
The story starts out with Yushiro Gowa a teenager who is testing the new TAs for the Japanese self defense force. Why is a teenager working for the JSDF, with the rank of captain? Well Yushiro’s family is very powerful and they are also the people developing the TAs. As can be expected of the main character in an anime series, not only is Yushiro a mecha pilot but a very good one at that. He is also capable of summoning the Gasaraki through performing a noh dance. After the first simulation in episode 1, his family has him do just that. However during the ceremony Yushiro receives the mental imagine of a girl named Miharu, who is undergoing some test somewhere else in the world. Miharu tell Yushiro that he must not bring back the terror. She then disappears, however, this is enough to wake Yushiro from his trance and stop the summoning of Gasaraki before it is complete. The rest of the Gowa family is greatly disappointed in this turn of events until they hear of an explosion in a fictional pseudo Iraq named Belgistan that is exactly like what the Gowa’s where attempting to do themselves. Pulling some strings the Gowa family sends a company of TAs including Yushiro to Belgistan as part of a UN peace keeping force. What is the Gasaraki? What is that this terror Miharu talks about? What is in Belgistan? As soon as you learn the answers to at least one of these questions two or three more will pop up in it’s place.
Gasaraki is a very complex show with a very intricate plot. Some people call it a rip off of Evangelion, however this is untrue. While the two shows are very similar in some aspects each has enough creative thought to stand on it’s own. One thing that I can say is that Gasaraki is much less forgiving than Evangelion. While Evangelion is still very much enjoyable to those who do not entirely understand the concepts behind it, Gasaraki will often bore those who have difficulty with intellectual shows. This is main dividing point between those who will enjoy the show and those who will not. Only watch this show if you feel that you are intellectually up for it.
The artwork in Gasaraki is good. The mecha designs are very realistic and enjoyable for mecha fans. The music for Gasaraki is something entirely different. Instead of the usual J pop fare that you hear in most shows the music Gasaraki is far more subdued. It gives a classical Japanese feel that is one of the cornerstones of the series.
Gasaraki is difficult to understand, however if you can understand it, Gasaraki is truly a rewarding show. If you can not the show will be a complete waste. I give Gasaraki 4 out of 5.
back to reviews