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Gravion #1: Divine Steel PDF Print E-mail
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R2 DVD Reviews
Monday, 13 September 2004 00:00
GravionI'm not sure if Gravion is trying to be a parody, or a serious attempt at a giant robot show. I don't think GONZO are too sure, either. Whatever it's trying to be, though, it's good...

1 - Fortress of the Deity
Earth of the future, and it's a peaceful place. The military of the time have grown complacent about what is needed to defend the Earth, so when the alien force known as Zeravire sets the planet in their sights, they're hopelessly outmatched. Only mysterious billionaire Klien Sandman and his giant mecha Gravion seem to be strong enough to fight back. For young man Eiji Shigura, Sandman holds another solution - to the mystery surrounding the disappearance on his sister, Ayaka. Eiji's search leads to him becoming part of Sandman's plans for defending the Earth...

RavenEiji

2 - Mission of Gravity
Eiji, the Gran Knights and Gravion face their first major test, facing off the Zeravire's first attack on Earth. Not the time for cowardice - so when Eiji gives in to a bout of cold feet, it spells trouble for the rest of the team. The first battle soon reaches stalemate, but the break in battle gives Eiji the chance to get some explanations from Sandman. Later, the dormant Zeravire reawakens, forcing Gravion into action once more...

ZeravireLuna

3 - Labyrinth
Eiji's having to get used to life in Sandman's castle - although if it will help him find Ayaka, he's willing to put up with the eccentricities of the place. He's not about to waste the opportunity to snoop around the place, either, although a run-in with Toga cramps the possibilities somwhat. A wrong turn leaves them trapped in a combat training room, while another Zeravire attacker approaches the Earth...

Sneak attackBoing

4 - The Princess in the Tower
Ghosts in the castle? Some of the maids see a shadowy figure wandering the corridors late at night, which is enough of a lead to get Eiji searching for Ayaka again - but only once he's finished playing pinball... er, training. What he finds isn't a ghost, but it isn't Ayaka, either. Later, there's another Zeravire to defeat, but their continual evolution is beginning to catch up with Gravion's abilities...

Wishful thinkingLeele

5 - The Girl Who Couldn't Laugh
Leele's introduction to the rest of the Gran Knights could have gone better... In an attempt to bring her closer to the rest of the group, Luna suggests a team picnic, hoping the fun of a day out might help matters. Meanwhile, the EFA have been analysing the Zeravire and Gravion in an attempt to get themselves off the sidelines, and have discovered a few unusual things about Zeravire...

EFAGattai!

Like I said, sometimes this feels like a parody, sometime it feels like a genuine, classic giant robot show. Usually shows that try to be two things end up making a hash of at least one aspect, but Gravion seems to happily pull off both, with a liberal helping of fanservice comedy thrown in. The parody aspects are easy to find - the characters are pretty much all overblown caracatures of the usual anime stereotypes, and the 'mysterious alien invaders' story won't win any originality prizes. Come the combat scenes, and the serious side comes out of hiding for a while.

The show has been heavily reanimated for the DVD release, which means it looks particularly good. Some glaringly obvious Engrish managed to sneak through, though ("Status Clitical" has to be worth an award of some sort...!) - and part of me wonders if it wasn't deliberately done for the humour value.

You do need to leave your brain at home when watching this, but that's a requirement for any giant robot series and most GONZO shows - but do that and you'll be rewarded with a show that's great fun to watch.

Rating - ***

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