Gravion #3: Upgrade Print
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R2 DVD Reviews
Thursday, 23 December 2004 01:49
GravionIt's the end of the series, but then it's not - while this is the final volume of Gravion, sequel series Gravion Zwei is waiting in the wings (whenever ADV finally take a notion to release it). That goes a long way to explaining why this disc doesn't really resolve anything, instead leaving a lot left open for the next series to explain...

10 - Crack
Sandman seems to have something up his sleeve - he's tasked Gravion's maintenance team with soming up with a pilotless control module, the Phantom System. Just what is he planning? Meanwhile, there's a Zeravire attack while the Gran Knights are out shopping with the maids. This attacker has immense destructive potential - if not destroyed, every living thing within 100 kilometers will be killed - but when it takes Cecile as a hostage, Eiji goes after her & Toga's left with a command dilemma: can he risk killing Cecile & Eiji in order to destroy the Zeravire?

ThoriaMore Thoria

11 - The Thing That Was Lost
Eiji's quit the Gran Knights after his 'disagreement' with Toga over tactics in the previous battle (he was almost killed, after all). He's returned to his normal life, while those left at the castle try to make do without him - but while Eiji's outside learning the value of what he's been doing with Gravion (and what life's like for his friends during an attack), the rest of the team are realising it's not the same without him. Not to mention that the Phantom System just doesn't work as well as a real person in the cockpit, which is thoroughly proven when Gravion is unable to defeat the latest Zeravire attacker...

Wakeup callYet more Thoria!

12 - Because You're With Me
While Gravion continues to fight what seems to be a losing battle, Eiji & Leele are stuck underground in an attack shelter. With his friend Yumi having been injured during the attack, Eiji's got a whole new appreciation of the value of what he's been doing, and it's enough to persuade him to put his issues with Toga to one side and rejoin the team. With the full crew back on board Gravion, they finally have a chance of repelling the latest attack - but with three Zeravire now involved, it's not going to be easy...

BattleBack in the saddle

13 - White Steel Fang
"Eliminate. All humans. Their existence." The message from what appears to be the Zeravire 'mothership' as it approaches Earth. It's learning from the defeats of the previous Zeravire war machines that have been sent, and it's beginning to overtake Gravion's abilities. The maintenance crew are doing their best, but when a Zeravire attacks EFA headquarters, it seems it's time for Sandman to play his 'ace card' - the White Steel Fang...

Really gratuitous nowFinal enemy

I remember the howls of protest at the very incomplete story here when the show first aired in Japan - at that stage Gravion Zwei hadn't been confirmed, and we were all left thinking the whole thing was going to be left hanging. Fortunately, that wasn't the case - but these 'final' episodes do have an 'end-of-series climax' feel about them that's a bit off-putting when you know there's more to come.

While there's the odd fanservice-y camera angle around, these episodes concentrate almost exclusively on story - the characters are learning about themselves, their limitations, and the task they've been landed with, while also having to deal with the increasing difficulty of dealing with the Zeravire. While it's still done in a fairly light-hearted way, it's not as blatantly comedic as it was before.

Being Gravion, the story plays to the giant robo powerup / victory from the jaws of defeat stereotypes & tries to make them its own. From one point of view, that's a disappointing lack of originality - but it's also what most people would expect from a giant robo show, and it works well here. There's no real tension to what's going on - you know from experience what's going to happen - but it plays out well & I did find myself giving a mental 'ganbarre!' or two during the final battle.

Overall, Gravion has been a fun little series, and I'm glad there's a second season on the way. It plays up to the stereotypes the genre, and does it well - making the series great fun. It even has re-watch value. Well worth checking out.

I make a few mentions of Gravion Zwei above - annoyingly, while ADV did release the second season in the US and Australia, it has never made it to UK shores, and it's been so long since this disc was released that I doubt they ever will. Given that this disc ends on a cliffhanger, be aware of that - if you want to see what happens next, you'll need to resort to importing. Bad ADV.


Rating - ***

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