Series Review: Koutetsushin Jeeg

Posted by Demian @ 7:52 pm, July 16th, 2007

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Story:

Fifty years ago the mysterious and powerful bronze bell was discovered and whose excavation led to the release of Queen Himika of the evil Jama Empire who sought to destroy the world with her haniwa genjin. Using the power of the bronze bell the super robot Kotetsu Jeeg was created. Piloted by the cyborg Shiba Hiroshi and supported by Build Base, Hiroshi managed to seal Himika at the cost of seperating Kyushu completely from the world in its own dimension. Now in the present Himika has been released to destroy the world again. Hiroshi and the original Jeeg are still missing, so it is up to Kenji to pilot a newly built Jeeg to protect the world from Himika. He is assissted by his friend/rival Kyou and childhood friend Tsubaki, both already members of Build Base with Tsubaki’s grandmother being Hiroshi’s girlfriend fifty years ago. As the battles drag on many mysteries will need to be solved and sacrifices made to protect the world from Himika’s destruction.

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Impressions:

Koutetsushin Jeeg is the sequel to Go Nagai’s original seventies anime Kotetsu Jeeg - not that you need to see the original to know what’s going on since it’s all explained in show. However, it does say something about the style of this Jeeg. This is pure hot blooded, old school, super robot retroism at work. It makes no apologies for what it is. The plot is never very deep and can change rapidly at weird moments, introducing plots that weren’t even hinted at before, but it will be an entertaining watch the entire way through. The action is always bombastic, introducing more extravagant and dangerous weapons and enemies the entire way through. The pacing is a little poor and rushed at the end and there are some fillerish episodes near the beginning - though, they don’t exactly feel like it - but the action never lets up once for any of this.

The animation reflects the retro style of the series, with exagerrated and cartoonish characters, outlandish outfits, and physics-defying mecha designs. Thankfully the animation quality itself is very good, never dipping too low but maintaining a constant level of excellence. The OP is another great song by Jam Project, Stormbringer, and they also did an insert song for the show. For those perhaps craving some more super robots after Gurren-Lagann or those who are already fans of the genre, Koutetsushin Jeeg is a good show to look into for super robot action without having to go digging for older series. While suffering some in the plot department, it is undeniably a fast-paced action ride to the very end.

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Warning:Spoilers

Now let me indulge for a minute on some rantings on the ending. Yes, it was weak and undeserving for the potential it had. It was Kenji and Hiroshi double teamed fighting Himika on the moon! It could of been so awesome, and, indeed, the first part was. But then there was the giant demon and possessed Kenji, which was pretty stupid. More time should of been spent showing Steel God Jeeg kicking ass instead of just using its final attack. It also felt like a letdown for Kenji and Tsubaki to just seal away Himika again instead of completely destroying her. Just not as satisfying. I did like the little epilogue bit, though. Nice “life goes on” feeling and I’m glad everyone didn’t completely forget about Kyou. Certainly the ending wasn’t bad - could of been a lot worse knowing Go Nagai - but it just felt less filling, especially when compared to Gurren-Lagann 16. Oh well, maybe we’ll get an OVA or something, since Go also loves those.

The Ultimate Gattai and The Truth Revealed!

Posted by Demian @ 7:22 pm, June 24th, 2007

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Maybe I should change the name of this blog to Mechaism, because for the fourth day in a row I’m blogging about mecha shows, and I’ll probably be doing Gurren-Lagann tomorrow. Oh well, what can you do when subs are slow (in before where are subs for Nanoha/hidamari sketch). But now the real reason for this post: Koutetsushin Jeeg has gotten insanely awesome this week. Not that it hasn’t been awesome before, but this week is on an entirely different scale.

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First, we begin with Kenji attacking Himika’s base with Baruba to rescue Tsubaki and encountering all the demons there, wiping them out with a few Spin Storms and skillz with the Magnet Rope. Then Himika releases the ultimate haniwa genjin Banshouraguu, that promptly acts to absolutely destroy Jeeg. But Kenji isn’t done yet. He’s here to rescue Tsubaki and he’s going to do it, dammit! Baruba feels his hot bloodedness and the two combine. Now, how exactly Jeeg combines with a millenia old god beast, I don’t know, but it’s still damn awesome. Jeeg then slashes the haniwa in two with its new bigass sword, while Baruba destroys its core with the ultra powerful Baruba Storm. The two then head into Himika’s inner sanctum.

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Of course, by the time Kenji arrives it’s too late. Himika has already absorbed Tsubaki’s power and uses it to destroy Jeeg and extract the two bronze bells. Right when it looks like everyone’s going to die, Kyou arrives to save the day. And, as it would happen, provide some necessary backstory. Turns out, Kyou is an alien called Takeru, who along with his sister Miyazu crashed landed on earth millenia ago. After seeing the beauty of earth, they decided not to conquer or destory it. But Himika, their creation, thought otherwise, and the two fought. Eventually Himika was sealed away and Takeru and Miyazu went into hibernation, only to wake up when Himika was revived. The two awoke at the same time she did and helped Shiba Hiroshi seal her again. Oh, and Miyazu is Kenji’s mom. But Kyou/Takeru is dying, so he has to act right away.

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To fight Himika and her goons, Kyou transforms into Ultraman Takeru and starts fighting while Kenji, with the help of the Build Angels, escapes. Kyou/Takeru wages a ferocious battle with Himika’s henchmen, even managing to kill one of them. But just as he does he starts coughing up blood, giving one of the henchmen time enough to stab him in the chest. Beaten, Kyou/Takeru falls into the lava, his final words being “We couldn’t settle our race,” referring to the race between him and Kenji in the first episode. A suitably gar death I think. Outside, Himika has launched her massive, hydra-headed airship and is destroying everything in sight, including the Build Base, which is destroyed in a massive explosion. Episode end.

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Shear awesomeness this episode. The action was great; not only the normal battle sequences, but the Jeeg/Baruba transformation was just epic. Only problem was that is was destroyed so quickly. And we finally got some much need backstory to everything. Yeah, it feels like they pulled the whole alien plot out of nowhere, but then I rember this is Go Nagai and that’s just how he does things. The only thing I don’t get right now is where Tsubaki falls into this. Kyou/Takeru called her the Maiden of Mafutsutsukujin, and when she and Kenji come together a miracle will happen. Very mysterious, and we don’t even know why Tsubaki is this maiden. At least they told us Kenji is the son of Miyazu the alien, so that explains his power.

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Right now, with Himika having all the power and basically everything destroyed and going to hell, things look very bleak for our heroes. Apparently, they have to go the moon next, probably to destroy the mothership Langun, so I can’t wait to see how everything will play out. Right now Jeeg and Gurren-Lagann are neck and neck as the best super robot shows I’m watching. GL’s plot is better paced, but Jeeg’s fights are a whole lot better. GL pulling out the continous Deus ex Machina attacks out of nowhere is getting annoying. So if you like GL, definately start watching Jeeg now, as the awesomeness just keeps getting better.

When the Brightslap Just Won’t Cut it Anymore

Posted by Demian @ 1:48 pm, April 22nd, 2007

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Hell Slap!

Kotetsu Jeeg has one of the most awesomely crazy attacks I’ve ever seen a giant robot wield. It grows a bunch of spikes on its palm, an afterburner appears on the back of the hand, and he literally pimpslaps the hell out of the enemy at mach 5. It’s the ultimate weapon against emoness. Oh, and Jeeg also has a giant bazooka twice its height and just as big. Probably fires nuclear missiles, too. No idea how that thing fits on the Big Shooter, though. So yeah, Kotetsushin Jeeg is crazily awesome, in an absurd way. And Kana Ueda voices the main girl, which is another plus. Now the wait begins for Gurren-Lagann 4 subs and more mecha action. Or I could just download Dancouga Nova.

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Teh Truth.

Impressions: Kotetsushin Jeeg

Posted by Demian @ 10:37 pm, April 21st, 2007

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Once again my soul burns for hot-blood and mecha action, and after some searching I found this super robot show that just premiered this season, even though I never heard of it. Kotetsushin Jeeg is the sequel to Steel Jeeg, another super robot show from the seventies, both of which are created by Go Nagai. Not that it matters that this Jeeg is a sequel, since it’s a whole new cast. In a Japan sometime in the future, Kyushuu lies completely enveloped in a magnetic storm cloud, shutting it off from society. This is apparently a result of Jeeg’s final battle fifty years ago. None of this matters to Kusanagi Kenji, a hot-blooded, if slightly stupid, high schooler and motorcycle racer. There’s also his friend/rival Misumi Kyou, pretty boy extraordinaire. Tamashiro Tsubaki serves as Kenji’s childhood freind, probable love interest, and miko at the local shrine. For an unknown reason, the storm around Kyushuu activates and a Haniwa Genjin appears, a monster composed of clay statues. Build Base, commanded by the old man Senjiro Shiba, immediately moves into action.

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Kenji, however, is clueless, and after driving to Tsubaki’s shrine to rescue her is met by an old lady who gives him a brand new, hi-tech bike. Kenji uses this new bike to flee from the monster further, but it is useless. The monster is unstoppable and has already taken down fighters and battleships sent after it. Three futuristic looking fighter jets appear, apparently to rescue Kenji, but end up shooting at him instead. The pilots are also incredibly hot girls in weird leotards carrying katana. One even wears an eyepatch, just so you know. Another jet appears, to save Kenji for real this time, and is piloted by Tsubaki and Ryou. It launches the Jeeg parts that combine with Kenji’s new bike, forming Kotetsushin Jeeg. Kenji uses Jeeg’s strength and flexiblity to get out of a tight spot and is now ready to fight the monster and take him down.

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I’m already a super robot fan, so it doesn’t take much to make me happy. Hot-blooded characters, nice mecha design, and a lot of yelling work. Nice looking girls also help. Since this is a Go Nagai project, I’m sure to get all of these. Jeeg doesn’t really feel as epic as Gurren-Lagann, more like a retro series redone, which it is I guess. Right now there’s a lot of mysteries: What happened fifty years ago, who is attacking now, who were those hot girl fighter pilots, etc. But I’m sure that will all be cleared up soon. Jeeg has an alright design, very retro, but the colors seem odd. He also looks to be very mobile and powerful, more flexible than other robots. The rest of the animation is good, with usual Go Nagai character designs. Men with thick, curly hair; women with large breasts, very non-descript background characters, a retro feel overall. The OP is by Jam Project, but it’s not their best work. I really didn’t like it at all. I’ll probably enjoy Jeeg, but I’d only reccomend it now for people already familiar with the super robot genre. It looks to be a winner in that department.