Posted by psgels on 24 June 2008 with categories: Anime Reviews


Spring 2007 was a big year for the epic mecha-series. There were plenty of huge-scale battles between mechas, space-ships and other sorts of futuristic technology, ranging from amazing (Toward the Terra, Bokura no), to the entertaining (Gurren Lagann, Heroic Age) to the downright cheesy (Kiss Dum). Among them was a series with a premise that could give Code Geass a run for its money in terms of political incorrectness:

Far into the future, twelve of the major countries enter a battle royale: every one has one overpowered mecha, and the goal is to be the last one standing, and be the country to rule the world. Whoop-dee-doo… guess which two countries will end up being the only two left? This series is way too full of nationalistic messages like “Japan rocks!”. This of course isn’t really the message that an international medium like anime should have.

Credit has to be given for the creators in their attempt to solve the language barrier in such an international series, but even that turns into a disaster once the characters start talking horrible Engrish. So indeed, in the final episodes, the creators just turn to universal translators in order to solve this problem. Eventually, they give up completely and make supposed English people talk Japanese without any reason whatsoever.

The saving grace for this series, however, is its characterization. Gigantic Formula would have been a total train-wreck if it wasn’t for the characters. Every single pilot of the mecha of each different country gets sufficient attention and development, in a way that surprisingly goes beyond all stereotypes. Every pilot has his or her own problems, and the creators do a really good job of making the viewer empathize with them, despite the ridiculous premise of the story. My personal favourite was the episode about the Venezuelans. At that point, I was actually willing to call this series a success…

Unfortunately, these thoughts got completely bashed into the ground by the ending. To be blunt: the final climax of this series is utter crap. Even compared to other series with disappointing endings, this ending was just bad. It forsakes nearly everything that the series has built up for, it descends into a boring cheese-fest with overmoralistic views that were most likely pasted together at the last minute. I guess I should have known that there was no way to get a satisfying climax out of such a premise as this…

I’m not sure who to recommend this series to. It’s obviously got a number of good points, especially around the middle when the nationalistic messages weren’t so god damn obvious, but at the same time it’s got an equal amount of bad or downright painful points. Even if you want cheese, you can better check out Kiss Dum. I guess that this is one for the mecha-fans, because it does have mecha-designs, coming from 14 different famous mecha-designers.

7 Responses

  1. Avatar Denizen says:

    Oh hey, so you eventually saw this.

    I have to say I actually quite liked it, despite the obvious flaws it had. Plus the Engrish is hilarious.
    Not great, but I wouldn’t say it is bad either. Just a very weird concept that didn’t turn out so well.

  2. Avatar Hunter-Wolf says:

    G-Gundam had a similar premise … while it was cheesy at times it was still lots of fun to watch …. oh .. and its ending was quite cheesy too XD

    • Avatar Olicon says:

      I think G-Gundam was at least made to be about action. Gigantic Formula (GF) is…just holy crap bad.

      I like that they tried to give each character some story, but holy hell, they were so bland and over-dramatic. Well, some of them were ok and fitting for the premise (with exception of the main characters, who were idiots), but the delivery was done so crudely. Everything were done with either straight up dialog, or straight exposition. Series like Haruhi, or say Abenobashi (the ones that are based around characters) are done so much better, with subtle hints to the character’s mindset being shown in the graphics, the scene exposition, etc. Heck, Haruhi’s episode ordering to me was a very, very smart way to show just how selfish of a person she is. GF misses all opportunity to be creative and really convey feelings like that, and instead chose the crudest, least effective way to do it. They didn’t even go for “show, don’t tell”, they just straight up “tell”.

      I do like the robot designs though. Those were very nifty.

  3. Avatar Choux says:

    Well, the graphics look quite nice and the premise does sound interesting. Too bad about the ending though. It seems that a well made ending for a good series is just soo hard to find.

  4. Avatar afsd says:

    ah… so you did suffer through this…

  5. Avatar miden says:

    the series was pretty fun to watch and pretty decent til the ending…

  6. Avatar issa-sa says:

    I’d recommend the first episode to anyone who’s willing to have a good laugh. And to anyone who doesn’t believe that there’s actually a show about the UN endorsing a mecha war to save the planet. That’s as far as I lasted, though I have to say that the laugh I had certainly gave Code Geass a run for its money :P

Leave a Reply

Star Crossed Anime Blog

6 User(s) Online Join Server

Featured Posts

One Punch Man Season 2 – 11 [Everyone’s Dignity]

https://giant.gfycat.com/SilkyHilariousGiraffe.webm I don’t understand it JC Staff. You make it so difficult for me to like you and by extension, OPM. I want to of course, every week there are these flashes of brilliance. These moments where I think “they understand. They care. They can do it”. And then in the very same episode, you […]

Dororo – 24 [Dororo and Hyakkimaru]

Welcome one and all to the Dororo finale! It’s a difficult one, as parts of it are fantastic, while others just leave me confused. But all in all, I think I enjoyed it, and I definitely don’t regret my time with the series. So, all that said, let’s dive in. Starting off, I think Dororo […]

Fruits Basket (2019) – 12 [You Look Like You’re Having Fun]

More than any other episode, this week is where Fruits Basket embraces its two opposing spectrums the clearest: it’s reverse-harem hijinks of highschool life and romance and its dark drama about the Zodiac members. By that light, we can be able to see this adaptation’s quality by this episode alone. For example, this 2019 is […]

Carole & Tuesday – 11 [With or Without You]

Even with Carole & Tuesday standard, this episode is a letdown with many forced developments to move this predictable story forward. These include 1) Tuesday injures her hand but still manage to perform and win the bracket 2) just right at the moment Tuesday said no one in the family care for her, she gets […]

Sarazanmai – 11 [I Want to Connect, so Sarazanmai]

I must admit that days after watching this finale I still can’t wrap my head around all the events happened in this episode. Sarazanmai ends in a happy tone, something I didn’t expect from Ikuhara to be honest. On the most surface level, it’s a rescue mission from Kazuki and Enta to bring Toi back. […]

Kimetsu no Yaiba – 12 [The Boar Bares Its Fangs, Zenitsu Sleeps]

Welcome all to what is, for me, a very conflicted episode of Kimetsu no Yaiba. Filled with fantastic animation, some well thought out fights and a character I loathe no matter how great his scenes look. Let’s dive in! Starting off, Yaiba looked great this week. I don’t think that’s really up for contention. I have […]

Serial Experiments Lain – 8 [Rumors] – Throwback Thursday

Welcome to another episode of Acid Trip Weekly, also known as, Serial Experiments Lain! This week is one of the most confusing, yet simultaneously coherent episodes of anime I have ever watched. It’s impossible to summarize, so let’s just dive in. Starting off, like I said, this episode was an acid trip, both visually and […]

One Punch Man Season 2 – 10 [The Encirciling Net of Justice]

https://www.sakugabooru.com/data/2c523ad11331508ce3e674f68b79ccf2.mp4 Welcome one and all to a rather surprising week of One Punch Man Season 2! This week the animation was mostly fine, and interesting things happened, so let’s just jump right in! Starting off, I rail against the series a lot, but credit where it’s due. The sections of the Garou fight done by […]

Mix – 11 [Try Pitching]

Good news for all you Mix fans out there: the show is likely to be two cour, as the Wikipedia page for its timeslot doesn’t have a replacement listed until October. That means three more months of baseball, romance, and mystifying Japanese puns before Hero Academia S4 kicks Mix off the air for the fall […]

Latest Reviews

Dororo Anime Review – 55/100

In the modern anime sphere, getting a complete story, start to finish, is a rare thing. As is getting an adaptation for an older work. Dororo however has, through the grace of Twin Engine, managed to get both of these. Based on the 1967 manga of the same name by legendary Mangaka Osamu Tezuka, Dororo […]

[Star Crossed Anime Exclusive] Code Geass: Lelouch of the Resurrection Review – 80/100

I was lucky enough to be at Sakura-con in Seattle on 20 April 2019 for the Funimation’s movie premiere of Code Geass’ third movie with the Director himself, Gorō Taniguchi, along with his senior staff in attendance inside a room full of raving fans. Was it was worth the decade-long wait to have a worthy […]

Paranoia Agent Anime Review – 67/100

In an era of the mundane, where every series is the same moe blob, the weird sticks out. Even the most mediocre series can get attention just by being weird. Paranoia Agent is not mediocre, and it is far beyond simply “weird”. Written and Directed by Satoshi Kon, Paranoia Agent is one of his last […]

Boogiepop wa Warawanai (2019) (Winter 2019) Anime Review – 78/100

Just like the titular character, Boogiepop Phantom the series has become some sort of urban legend itself in this medium. Its Light Novels are amongst the first Light Novel ever released, dating back to mid-90s. Moreover, the franchise has endured the test of time, as it inspires anime, live-action adaptations and Boogiepop is a well-known […]

Kouya no Kotobuki Hikoutai (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 77/100

Coming to Kotobuki, there are lots of aspect that catch my attention: it’s from a famed director Tsutomu Mizushima who can turn the most trashable and genre-able concepts into something intriguing; it’s an CG show about air pilots: it has extended aerial combat set-pieces. Watching it till the end, I have to tip my hat […]

Kemurikusa (2019 Winter) Anime Review – 79/100

Kemurikusa is your very definition of an overlooked gem, one that never really gain much discussion anywhere, but one that has a distinctive style from an up-and-coming auteur who has full control of his projects. Coming to Kemurikusa, all the attention it has came from the fact that it is created by TATSUKI, a mastermind […]

Mob Psycho 100 S2 Anime Review – 87/100

Upon finishing this series, the only question on my mind was how many animators did Bones sacrifice on ONE’s altar to achieve this. Following their prior season, Mob Psycho 100 Season 2 continues Bones adaptation of webcomic and manga author ONE’s 4th work, Mob Psycho 100. ONE has also authored the critically acclaimed One Punch […]

Kaguya-sama wa Kokurasetai Review – 84/100

Anime draws on many different media types in its endless search for properties to adapt, but manga is still the king of the bunch. And why not? It’s a distinctly Japanese art form, their main demographics have significant overlap, and manga’s panel-based layout means that some of the anime staff’s work is already done. Plenty […]

Kaze ga Tsuyoku Fuiteiru Anime Review – 93/100

Recently, sports anime have become a bit of a dying breed. Falling into the same hole as Mecha, aside from a passionate base audience, most are overlooked. There are the occasional hits like Haikyuu, Yuri on Ice, or Darling in the Franxx for Mecha, but those are few and far between, often taking years. Even […]