One of Anime's Top Series
Bert Rinderle | L.A., CA United States | 07/14/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Gasaraki is, quite frankly, the second-best anime series (behind the incredible Cowboy Bebop) that I've seen so far. Combine a magnificently intertwining and increasingly complex story with bizarre supernatural happenings and high-quality animation, and you have a cutting-edge series that doesn't seem to be getting the attention it deserves.Without giving too much away, Gasaraki concerns the saga of Yushiro Gowa, a civilian Captain in the Japanese Self Defense Force and a member of the Gowa family, which runs the mysterious Gowa Corporation. The Corporation is up to....well, SOMETHING, and Yushiro is in the middle. There are strange rituals, the Kugai - perhaps the most deadly and ominous mecha ever devised, modern combat between Tactical Armors (the "normal" mechas of Gasaraki which are far from impervious), small countries with unbelievable military capacity, delvings into Japanese history, and of course lies and deceit. The goings-on get pretty complicated as the series progresses, but never overwhelmingly nebulous like Serial Experiments Lain tended to be, and are told through astoundingly animated sequences that must be seen to be believed. The sequence where Gowa's TA is launched out of a carrier aircraft and hangs by a tether, assaulting attacking enemy aircraft, is utterly phenomenal.Gasaraki's characters can seem flat and unemotional, but the strength of the series is its story and not its characters. The makers know this, and thankfully refrain from Eva-like emotional hang-ups. Although the series has three discs to go, I have high expectations for the conclusion. There have been many hints about the Kugai and their origin, just what the Gasaraki is, and who Captain Gowa really is and how he fits into the schemes of the Gowa Corporation and the likewise shadowy organization known as Symbol. One very attractive thing about Gasaraki is the sense that there is something disturbing and perhaps unknowable going on behind the scenes, remaining so far unrevealed...Anyone who enjoys intelligent anime shouldn't hesitate to check out Gasaraki. ...vols. 1-5 have so much depth to them, you'll get hooked before the first episode is over. The storylines are intriguing, the animation rivals Bebop, and the series of events is as involving as Trigun or Lain. Gasaraki is a gritty, riveting series that is one of anime's best. Give it a try!"
The second half of a fantastic series
madnessmark | Maple Grove, MN | 07/16/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After all the confusion in the first half, some answers are finally answered. The first episode has Yushiro and Miharu still on the path of the Kai while Kazukiyo learns some of the Gugutsu traditions from Nashida. While Daizaburo slips into depression, Misuzu finally learns the truth from Master Sirachi. The second episode kicks off the second half of Gasaraki. Yushiro and Miharu finally arrive at a house. Inside is a guard who has been waiting for them. When Yushiro and Miharu touch the lifeless Kugai inside, they see a flashback of their reincarnation during the really old days of Japan. The nice thing about this is that it carries on the next episode, featuring both Yushiro and Miharu each in a Kugai. The new opening for the last two episodes features a remixed version of Message #9 and shows black and white pictures of many elements to the show. It's not extremely good, but it is a change from the regular opening. The new closing sequence has the same music as the first half, but features some very impressive artwork of both Yushiro and Miharu. Extras are pretty much the same. The behind the scenes, however, is worse than the last disc. The Behind the Scenes extra just explains ADR voice acting while showing the man who does voice of Symbol's main boss for about 10 seconds. Overall, a really important volume not to be missed by any fan."