You have to see this! Trust me.
atrial | Harrisburg, PA | 10/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This has to be the most interesting and captivating series that I have seen in a while. As the other reviews mentioned there is a resemblance to N.G. Evangelion, but I would argue that it is only superficial. The flavor of this story is completely different. The brilliantly complex plot is set in a geo-political conflict reminiscent of Desert Storm. The creators strived for realism and succeed in intellectually engaging the audience. The mixture and contrast of modern politics, near future technology and traditional Japanese culture and mysticism are spellbinding. The story involves ever increasing layers of secrets and mysteries. These are revealed to us slowly and meticulously. The more details we learn the more we realize how little we know. What I find fascinating is that all the action is played out by secondary characters while the two protagonists are the greatest mystery. The character development is very strong, even though in the case of the two main characters it is very slow. I believe that this adds to the quality of the series. The DVD menus and extras are quite good, but the in-menu navigation is a bit quirky once in a while. I only wish that the entire interview with Ryosuke Takahashi was included. For the rest of the interview we have to go to the ADV website - sneaky way to get those web hits. Gasaraki is a must see. Intelligent, complex and engaging - I'd put it on the top of your anime wish list. My only regret is that I have to wait over a month for the next DVD installment."
And it begins...
uber_gamer | Texas United States | 02/22/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This will be perhaps talked about as the Macross series of the next decade or so. Superb animation and character designs. The story is very deep and very intelligent. The armored suits are based on real physics to bring it to a real life world that we can associate ourselves with. The mech designs are awesome. This is the first volume in the growing library of Gasaraki, so get in early and keep buying the DVDs to support this intelligent robot anime. I was surprised at how good this anime is, it really is worth your money if you liked Macross or mech war type movies, but if you just want a bunch of action sequences not tied together by a good story then this is not the series for you. This is story with elements of action, some episodes contain no mech war at all, but others might be entire episodes of war. It definitely is for mature watchers, most likely the 18+ crowd to understand the story well and not be put to sleep by the character interaction. Awesome."
Recommended, but with a few misgivings
punkviper | Pittsburgh, PA USA | 01/08/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first DVD in any series (in this case, containing 4 episodes) usually has a difficult task to carry out. Outline the story, introduce the characters, set the tone, and provide a window into how things will look in future episodes. That being said, you will be instantly confused at the outset of this DVD (by design) but by the end, you will know what's going on and the basic conflict of the series.This is very much a political thriller, techno-intrigue sort of show. The plotis...[directly from] the Gulf War (with the characters that parallel Norman Schwarzkopf and Saddam Hussein looking EXACTLY like their real world predecessors (in addition to the various news footage that echo the Gulf War situation in an exact manner.) War plays a big part in this disc of episodes with plenty of generals and troops and politicians, which might all add up to increase the yawn-factor for some. There are many characters involved, much back-room dealing and ample storyline advancement. But if you were looking...for any bloody action scenes, there are none of those.... This is all very dry stuff, almost like reading a book.And that's a big part of my misgivings about this: I don't know how many people want the equivalent of a Robert Ludlum or Tom Clancy book in their anime. Makes for some, frankly, very boring tracts of exposition. I yawned several times. I can't really draw any parallels to other anime because this one is very much rooted in reality, and reality-based situations. It does have mecha, and the requisite mysteries yet to be solved (some of which do appear to point to some non-reality based solutions.)I just don't know if your average anime fan would be willing to sit through all the techno-speak and convoluted political storylines to get to the "good parts." Make no mistake, the story is told very well, reveals little by little the details of what's going on, and does make sense. The animation is adequate, music is sparse and almost absent, the dubbing is superb, though the DVD extras consist of little besides referring you to the Gasaraki website for more in-depth stuff.I don't know. After seeing the first DVD, I would like to see the rest, but I'm in no great hurry. I guess Gasaraki didn't hold my interest well enough to make me a huge fan."
The most intelligent anime in years
Ravensbane | Webster | 08/30/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Breathtaking. It's about time that somebody one-upped Evangelion and created a truly epic "giant robot" series with both a thoughtful, intelligent premise as well as spectacular animation. Like Eva, Gasaraki takes a few episodes to get up to speed (the third and fourth episodes on this tape are where the action really kicks in) and the audience, like the series central character Yushiro, is initially forced to figure out what's going on at the same speed that the hero is. This may bother those with short attention spans, but be advised that this series is well worth the time put into viewing it. Thus far I've seen the first twenty episodes in the original Japanese and the first four episodes in ADV's excellent dub, and believe me, every time you think you've got the next plot development figured out, the writers come up with a new way to knock your socks off. Add in the best animated mecha battles in any anime tv series and you've got one of the best giant robot show ever."