Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Gunparade March Premium Box|
Genres: Television, Anime & Manga, Animation
3 Discs containing all 12 episodes of the fan-favorite and top-selling series, "Gunparade March" are contained in this "Special Collectors Tin!" This box-set is a sure-fire winner, with all the Gunparade March characters ... more »
Serious, yet fun anime series. Good for a rental or more.
just me | 05/29/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First of all, I think it's important to clear up what type of show Gunparade March is. I've already talked to a few people who picked up Gunparade March, watched one or two episodes, and promptly put it down. The reason? That they didn't want to see another mecha/fighting series. Indeed, the first episode does make it seem like that will be the focus of the show, but like many series, the first episode can sometimes be misleading. In actuality, the show is very much a slice-of-life series, centered mostly on romance in the vein of Boys Be. Granted, it is set in a very dark and sci-fi setting, and yes, there are mecha that they fight in. But again, keep in mind this is not what the show is focused on. Rather, it focuses on a small group of friends who grow together and experience a wide range of situations and feelings with each other, ranging from loss, to comradery, to falling in love. There is less than 50% mecha in this game, there is quite a bit more human relations than you would expect in comparable anime.
The story is presented very much in a slice of life fashion, with quite a few episodes being "filler", highlighting a certain event like a party, or exploring a relationship of two of the characters. For this reason, if you don't like slower slice-of-life type shows, you probably won't enjoy this. The sci fi elements are definitely neat, and are very compelling when they occur, but the focus is definitely romance and character development, NOT fighting and monsters.
As far as rating the story, it definitely fits the 4 category. I like reality/slice of life shows, and this series definitely was a good one. Character development was skillfully placed in episodes dealing with daily life such as school chores, parties, and going out to eat. The romance element was definitely a main feature, starting to kick in pretty strongly around the last half of the series, and was also very effective. Unlike very cookie cutter romance viewings such as True Love Story, Gunparade March instead shows us a romance mostly from the male point of view, similar to Boys Be, as I already mentioned. The romance itself is difficult and slow to occur, moving along in a more sentimental fashion.
And the sci fi? Wonderful. You will recognize elements from Blue Gender or perhaps Silent Mobius, and the obligatory mecha to fight in. All in all, the sci fi aspects are not terribly unique, but still are very interesting if you are into that sort of thing. In general the tone is very dark, which makes the trials and tribulations the friends go through that much deeper and meaningful, and make you feel empathetic at the same time.
Gunparade March effectively combines slice of life, romance, and sci fi into a beautiful viewing.
Gunparade March has a visual style that definitely is somewhat dated, even though it was made only a few years ago. Something that I found a bit unusual was that everything was made to look fuzzy. It's almost like a filter was used that made all edges fuzzy, including making the colors fuzzy and the textures. Although this was appropriate in some scenes, such as the beautiful sunset , it seemed kind of cheap in other scenes that didn't need that effect.
Colors also sometimes looked washed out, with lighter tones and shades of everything (usually blues and grays). Nothing was ever bright or vibrant, except the sunset scenes, which bathed the entire screen in brilliant reds and oranges.
Character designs were fairly generic, but still looked great, almost like Stellvia characters. Each person had their own unique look and feel, so it wasn't like some series where everyone looks the same *cough*KANON*cough. A variety of hair colors were used as well.
I don't remember seeing any CG, or any memorable special effects. The mecha were well done, though not highly spectacular. I sound critical, but in general the animation was definitely above average, just not special enough to get higher than a 7.
The audio I give a 2/5. If one thing was a failure (even remotely) in Gunparade March, it was the music. It wasn't bad by any means, and it definitely fit the mood, but there just wasn't much variety in the songs and it got repetetive. The main track that was played was a trumpet fanfare of sorts, which was played during pretty much any light hearted time, or during the displaying of the title of each episode. It reminded me a lot of Full Metal Panic, to be honest. There were a few other forgettable mellow/melancholy/upbeat tracks, but they were few and far between compared to the same track that was played over and over. A single track being replayed isn't always a bad thing, and can be pulled off well, such as Stellvia... but I just wasn't feeling it with Gunparade March.
Voice acting was decent, and even the characters that sounded wimpy, fit their wimpy characters perfectly!
Character development was the crux of Gunparade March, and it showed. Being slice of life AND romance based, you can already guess that it had to have been something decent. Indeed, the group of friends all grow together and you see their changes by the end of the story. Some of these changes are good, some are bad, but all seem realistic. Relationships are explored on a shallow level, and on a deep level for two of the characters. Each character fit somewhat of a stereotype (the playboy, the super friendly girl, the person with a dark past), but still pulled it off well. One of the main characters' changes was the most dramatic, though... transforming from a very withdrawn, angry, isolated woman to something beautiful. Definitely high marks for the characters, as they were explored throughout the episodes, and had many changes by the end that you could identify with.
Gunparade March was a very slow-paced, moody and dark romantic reality series (wow!). If you don't like slice of life series, do yourself a favor and don't watch this. If you think it's going to be sci-fi fighting nonstop (based on the first episode, or what you've heard), stop now, because it isn't! Think of GM like Boys Be + sci fi. There is definitely something in it for the action/sci fi fans, but mostly is a great look at relationships and human interaction during the darkest times, involving people that are just like us. If you like any of the above, and have some time, it can't hurt to try out Gunparade March, I certainly enjoyed it."
A short but great series
J. A Hayes | Montgomery, AL United States | 04/05/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Looking at the beautiful tin box, one might think this is another great mech series. If thats what you are buying it for then look elsewhere. Although there are some good battle scenes, this anime is much more character-driven. It is 12 episodes short, but all in all I enjoyed it. Taking place in the year 1999, the Earth is battling alien creatures known as the Genjyu. At the center of it is a military school where teenagers have been enlisted to fight the battle. The characters in this series were well done, with the right emotions and relationships that would be expected from teenagers with such a big task at hand. Mai Shibamura shows up at the school with a cold heart and throughout the series her emotional shell slowly fades as her relationship with Atsushi Hayami grows. The two operate machine #3 of unit 2151. Other characters are pivotal as well in showing how these young people deal with military life on the front lines, and it is well done. The animation is amazing and the music really adds to what's happening at any given moment. It is a very good anime that I recommend, and my only complaint is that there were only 12 episodes. The end turns out to be what you hoped it would be although there are some things left unanswered. Excellent buy though, and I recommend the complete collection in the tin case if you can find it at a reasonable price."
I declare this to be a masterpiece!
S. A. Collins | ??, ?? ?? (Linhai, Zhejiang China) | 03/03/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'll be honest - when I first found this series I thought "Oh, another mecha combat anime. It should be at least mildly interesting." Indeed the first episode made the series indeed seem that way. After the first episode, however, I couldn't stop watching - I ended up watching episodes two through twelve in one sitting, because I really wanted to see how the story would turn out. The characters have great depth, and show wonderful growth throughout the series. The mecha combat is good, but it's the setting and not the story.
The short answer is this: If you want a mecha fighting anime, Gunparade March is not for you. If you want a touching slice of life story with a very unusual setting, you can't find better. It is my all-time favorite anime I have thus far seen."