2003 Fall Anime Season

The other day I promised I’d do a quick rundown of the anime shows from the new TV season I’ve watched, so here goes (let me note that these thoughts are all based on the first episodes only). There are a lot of new shows out there, but these are the ones that caught my eye and that I’ll be following for at least a few episodes.

AVENGER – This is probably the show that made the least impression on me, but it’s not to say it’s bad. Cities each have a warrior that acts as their defender, although I’m not quite sure what the effects of wins or losses are. It’s a sort of medieval/futuristic setting, with little cutie robots that act as maids. It’s still too early to tell what kind of show this is going to be (as is usual with most anime series – yes, they actually tell stories that take many episodes to develop, imagine an American animated show doing that).

GALAXY RAILWAYS – This show sure made me happy, being the huge Leiji Matsumoto fan that I am (I grew up on Captain Harlock, or Albator as I knew him). The show takes place in the same universe as his other creations, and this time we take a harder look at the world of the galaxy railways (which are alluded to in GALAXY TRAIN 999). I can’t really be objective as I’m a huge fan of anything that has to do with Matsumoto, but I think I can fairly say that the series looks like it’s going to be interesting. From what I could tell after seeing the preview for the next episode, things are going to be happening very quickly, and not in the direction that we’re expecting.

GILGAMESH – Probably the show that had the most impact on me, and the one I’m most looking forward to following. We don’t know much about what’s going on, but there was somekind of apocalypse, and now the Earth has only a fraction of the population it had. People still live in the same cities, but buildings crumble. We meet a brother and sister who are trying to escape some gangsters. The two enter a house occupied by a bunch of strangers all wearing matching uniforms who appear to be conforting, yet a bit off. It’s suggested that they use some sort of power to get rid of the persuers. Can’t wait to see the next episode.

GUNGRAVE – More of a typical action show, and based on a 3rd person shooter that came out on the PS2 last year. Not bad, but more for people who are looking for stylish violence than a deep storyline. Could develop into something more interesting though.

GUNSLINGER GIRL – Oh, this was quite good, and kicks off with a great theme song (don’t know by who, but it’s sung in English). There’s an agency and they use little girls (as in primary school) as assassins. It’s not quite clear what’s done to these girls, but they don’t seem to be quite normal. They’re recruited when very young (and there’s a reason to get them young because they’re better suited for whatever process they go through) and in a precarious state (the main girl we meet has just had her whole family killed, and she is mentally and physically a wreck). Definitely looking forward to where this will lead.

PLANETES – This is for all you space lovers out there. In a not-so-distant future (maybe 20 years), man now explores space freely, and space junk has become a concern. We follow a unit that is in charge of this, space junk collectors if you will. There’s quite a bit of slapstick, but the ship and station designs are quite realistic (well, realistic in the sense that you could see it as a development of the space technology we know). This is the only show that doesn’t feel like it has a long-term storyline, and will probably be more episodic in nature.

So that’s it for now. There might be some other good things I’ve missed, but for now I’m sure I’ll be busy enough trying to follow this bunch. It’s looking like a great season already.