Reviews: Gasaraki

One for the Xanatos Gambit Lovers

Over a thousand years ago in Heian era Japan, after using the Gasaraki Summoning Ritual to create Kugai, using the Monoyose Kai to pilot them, and using this power to control Japan from the shadows, the Watanabe clan / Kai bloodline relinquishes their authority and seals away their Kugai. In the present day, the current inheritors of the Kai bloodline, the Gowa clan, once again seek to call upon the Gasaraki, and have used their centuries old knowledge of the Kugai and the skills of new Kai Gowa Yushiro to create the Tactical Armor (TA). The mysterious organization Symbol also wishes to summon Gasaraki as well, having obtained their own Kai Miharu and created their own Humongous Mecha, the "Fakes", and also use their influence to manipulate several nations for their own ends. When these two organizations learn of each other in a short Middle Eastern war, they quickly become enemies.

Meanwhile, Well Intentioned Extremist Nishida Kei appeals to the Gowa clan member Kazukiyo for help in strengthening Japan, a timely goal as Symbol begins a conflict against Japan, first economically and then militarily, while Kazukiyo attempts to use the conflict in order to gain power for himself, and perhaps even summon the Gasaraki. While the Xanatos Gambits of Gowa Kazukiyo, Nishida, and Symbol come to fruition, the two Kai Yushiro and Miharu rebel against those who use them and struggle to find a purpose to their lives, and the TA team Yushiro is a part of tries to make sense of the events happening around them.

This is not your typical mecha show; with a very intricate plot, this is the type of show where you wait untilthe end to root for a side and instead sit back and try to figure out what's going on. It is much farther on the side of Real Robot than Mobile Suit Gundam; while not veering into Deconstruction, it justifies many mecha tropes. Furthermore, battles are only featured in about six of the 25 episodes, and only half of those are mecha vs. mecha. The rest of the series is about fleshing out the details and philosophy of the main Xanatos Gambit, so if you are expecting a combat heavy series like Gundam, you will be disappointed. If you like a good Xanatos Gambit and philosophical banter, then this is the show for you.