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Gundam Reconguista in G (Part Two) – Review

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The thrilling confusion

Resolution. A simple term laid out at the end of a long and winding path. For everything that moves forward, this is both a goal and a destination, a way in which the journey itself may come to make sense. For what is a beginning without an end? A book with no final page? A greeting without a farewell? The lack of either lessens the impact of the other and thus one must know both to understand something completely. But what of that which lacks resolution? Which wanders aimlessly forward with no clear intention? No method? And seemingly no true purpose? Well my friends, it is therein we find ourselves currently, within a realm of uncertainty, a realm of disappointment and, most of all, a realm of unequivocal confusion.

Well, here we are again, back in the clumsy arms of Reconguista in G, the series that scored my lowest review score ever. Now I don’t usually like getting this meta within my reviews, but I feel as if you should know from the start where I stand in regard to this series. I would then like to make it known that my feet remained firmly placed to this day and Part Two has done nothing to dissuade my previously stated remarks. With that said, let us venture once more into the breach dear friends, as we take a look at the end to what began and persisted as a truly confusing tale. First of all, I have no idea what the motivations of this series are…by which I mean I know exactly what they are. Allow me to explain. G-Reco (shorthand) is a tale of war. Now, what a normal series would do is hone in one one particular aspect of this broad concept and place its energy into conveying an emotional and rewarding story. G-Reco on the other hand decided to take literally every reason for war and throw it all into one chaotic melting pot. Because reasons I guess? You’ve got your army fighting for peace, your army fighting for their rights, an army fighting because of racism (which is actually a subsection of the army fighting to protect itself), your army fighting because they’re racist, your army fighting because they’re a different kind of racist, your army fighting because science (?) and finally you’ve got at least one army that is just kinda freelance but mostly fighting for peace. Are you starting to feel the vibe of this series? If you’re answer to the previous was yes, just hold onto your metaphorical hats, because I haven’t even started on the names yet. As I mentioned in Part One, the naming convention in this series is random incarnate. Now, take this knowledge and apply it to the aforementioned armies, multiply it by their Mobile Suits, add that to their respective places of origin and then finally tack on a few points for weaponry. I’m talking…you know what? I was going to write a comically long list on names right here, before I realised that I had to look them up. Comedy aside, I think the fact that I can’t even remember speaks volumes for the interest this series drew from me. To further paint this picture, I am literally writing this minutes after having watched Part II, and I am struggling to recall anything. It’s all just letters to me at this point. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for learning made up names, a trope quite prevalent in sci-fi, but G-Reco made me feel no desire to remember any of it. I just don’t care, and that fact alone is saddening.

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A sword in the hand is worth eight on the back

As a whole, G-Reco gave me this unshakable feeling; This story has been told before. Now I do not mean this in a vague, artistic sense, rather I mean that I felt as if I was witnessing a retelling of G-Reco itself. Each episode hit their plot determined notes, pushing what I graciously call a story forward, but they did so in a way that lacked the emotion of a first person account. Not once did I feel as if any character actually cared about anything, despite their verbal protests. Take Bellri for example (I can remember his name because it has bell in it, I know that word). Despite his quite verbal exclamations that he never wishes to kill, despite being on the front lines of a multi-front war, he is unfortunately forced to during one particular skirmish. As everyone would expect, this moment would change anybody, especially one so opposed to causing death. Wrong. Sure he’s sad, but after the briefest of pep talks from his allies, he’s back to his usual self…how? Why? What was the point of his no-kill attitude if it didn’t matter anyway? Why did I have to sit through eighty shots of him destroying only enemies’ weaponry for none of it to mean anything? Oh, by the way, Bellri seems to have no problems two battles latter when he destroys a ship carrying three enemy soldiers, he doesn’t even blink an eye. That doesn’t even take in the fact that Raraiya later goes on to destroy a warship single-handedly. Do you know how many people are on a warship? A lot. And this, my stalwart friends, is only the tip of the uncertainty iceberg. Aida’s father is killed during battle (I’d say spoiler alert but…meh), she cries. Understandable. Then she doesn’t, like, ever again. In fact it barely comes up. Why? I don’t know, you tell me. That’s not a combative statement mind you, I’m being serious, someone tell me what the hell is going on. But before you do, allow me this statement, a statement which I believe cuts to the core of this series and stays there; This series has no consequences. Despite each and every action performed by, and on, everyone, nothing matters. Bellri breaks his oath, who cares? Aida loses her father, oh well. Literally every religious taboo in the universe is broken? Let’s have a freakin’ party. Why? I don’t know, I seriously don’t. Now, if this was a gigantic meta example of how war never changes anything then I would applaud this series, but I do not for one second believe that that is what this series was going for. I simply think that storytelling was of little consequence in what amounted to a thin thread of plot surrounded by a sensory bombardment of colour, terminology and every message one could conceive of that even remotely ties to the concept of conflict.

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My Bellri, what angry eyes you have

With this in mind, I would like to take you on a brief journey to the concept of character development. Now normally, I would take you all on a journey through this particular aspect of a series, however I find such a path discernibly difficult when said aspect never moves forward. Characters are what drive a story forward, what raises it above the simple facts and presentation. We’ve all seen a million tales of space, but I bet my bottom dollar that your favourites are the ones with a rich cast. The renegade that sparked your imagination, the vision that captured your heart, the hero who ignited your passion. G-Reco has none of this. For the entire 26 episode run, no character ever stood out to me as anything special, and half of them were designed to be special. The perfect example of this stagnation is the revelation that Bellri and Aida are long lost siblings. What a twist, what a shocking fact, surely this knowledge would spurn on a new relationship, a stronger, more familial connection. Nope. Apart from Bellri referring to Aida as Sis (which happened way too fast), literally nothing changes. If anything, the two have fewer interactions in the episodes that follow this reveal. You all know what I’m going to ask here; Why? What was the gosh dang point of any of this? Who cares if we known where they came from? We still don’t know the characters themselves. There isn’t even any denial of this revelation, both just accept the fact that they are related and not at all from Earth, the planet they regularly fight to protect, and go about their day. I knew things were bad when I was hoping for cliches to factor into each scene. Either of the two pondering their adoptive parents would have been great, if they had questioned their place in the universe given their newly discovered homeworld, but no, nothing of the sort occurred. In fact, for absolutely no reason, it takes four mentions of them being Prince and Princess of the Rayhunton family for them to even react. I’m not making this stuff up, it takes literally four verbatim mentions of their standing before anyone even questions what is happening. It honestly feels as if nobody cares at all. Thus, Aida’s reaction to an old photo of her birth parents was completely unearned, not once have we seen her seeking a “missing piece” of herself. Crocodile tears, albeit in a unique execution of the term. Congratulations G-Reco, even expressions cannot articulate what you are.

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Don’t worry, captured enemy soldier, you’ll be free by dinner time

Now, before anybody thinks that I am being too harsh on this series, allow me to provide a brief overview of how the series itself does not take G-Reco seriously. First of all, the slapstick. For no discernible reason, there is a gratuitous amount of pointless slapstick comedy throughout countless scenes. Mobile Suits crashing into each other, respected political leaders tripping and somehow backflip kicking other respected political leaders, an unending amount of people zero gravity crashing into objects and at least one example where a man was clumsily struck by the wing of a glider and straight up died. Oh, just so you know, that untimely death was of the mastermind behind the entire war. He just got knocked of a cliff and split his head on some rocks. There isn’t even a because, there’s no reason, the force behind every evil of this series was literally killed of in a way that would make a Disney movie insulted. At least those villains fall down screaming, at least they get focus, this death isn’t even the centre of the shot, it just happens as a side effect of what we’re supposed to be looking at. I honestly cannot fathom it. If G-Reco was a person, I would honestly want to hold an intervention for it. With every step it takes, it takes four backwards, trips and then just kinda sits there. Even if the themes of war were depicted cohesively, which they’re oh so not, the random comedy of the series completely undermines any possible sense of drama. These random cutaways, which extend beyond slapstick to include characters waking up to use the bathroom, paint a Mobile Suit, blush over co-workers talking about their pre-battle hook-up and even cough from drinking water too fast. I understand the concept of world building, I know that these moments are meant to imbue even side characters with personality, to make us feel as if we are witnessing a complete world full of complete characters, but that is so far from what the series actually creates; Chaos. Is the idea of a random pilot being jealous of two main characters dating interesting? Sure, if it’s done well, but as it stands, each and every one of these moments just adds to the pointless quota G-Reco wracks up by the second. At least have the decency to establish your core before you worry about the accoutrements. For all our sakes. We are supposed to believe in the world a series creates, however that is an impossibility when even it does not understand itself. In one brilliant scene, Noredo and Manny question why an enemy troop believes them to be prisoners, as they are able to move freely and, as any sane person would know, prisoners tend to be devoid of that right. Makes sense. Of course Manny simply chalks it up to a cultural difference and moves on. Nothing wrong with that, right? Wrong. At least there wouldn’t be if the culture in which Noredo and Manny exist didn’t release prisoners at the drop of a hat. Remember how Aida was detained once? Or Bellri? Or their latest buddy Ringo? All three, prisoners who were released with the slightest of ease. It’s like nobody wants me to take this series seriously. I haven’t even mentioned the part where a captain opens the door for an invading party to, “See his face.” Surprise, surprise Captain Bonehead, he had a gun, you know, because he was an invader. And I’m supposed to believe this captain helms what is essentially a religious relic? Not bloody likely.

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At least someone found happiness in this series

Okay, I think I’m done. Finally. I know this kinda wound up as more of a rant than a review, but I still maintain that I gave this series my best shot. Though I felt like quitting at episode one, I watched each and every second of G-Reco hoping against hope that I would be proven a fool and that this series would come into its own eventually. It didn’t. As much as I hate being negative, I honestly drew no joy from this series. I couldn’t even watch it in a so-bad-it’s-good kind of way, I just wanted it to be over. However, despite my own disliking of this particular viewpoint, it is the only one I possess for G-Reco. It is a confusing series that, despite being so populated by characters and terminology, ultimately means nothing. Though having travelled literally to the moon and back, it feels as if nobody has progressed as a character, nobody has changed in any meaningful way and that nobody found consequence for their actions. For that fact alone, I have to give this series a bizarre compliment. Even when all hope seemed lost, when everything seemed at its lowest point, G-Reco found a way to make it worse and end on a resoundingly unsatisfying note. To make me feel disheartened at the end of a series I couldn’t care less about? Not just any series can do that…and I hope one never does again.

It takes Madman to enter chaos. It takes a madder one to survive…

Grade: F

-30-

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