I knew I was watching a keeper when I got to the episode that was a thinly-veiled love letter to foot fetishism. And by thinly veiled, I mean "Nope This Episode Is About Feet And None Of The Production Team Are Gonna Apologize For That".
When I show this to my university's anime club, I plan on describing it as "mecha anime drops a lot of acid and then realizes it has a stack of reading to finish for its sexual psychology class". We'll see.
I enjoyed this series and I'm surprised it doesn't get more love. A lot of the sexual implications are pretty blatant, which I found rather refreshing and amusing at the same time. The characters start out a little ordinary anime-archetypal, but in an endearing way, and they get a lot of development (but curiously little backstory, aside from the reincarnation aspect). This is a solid ensemble cast where no character could stand on their own elsewhere (except for the Commander, who is... conspicuous
), but together they're gold. Furthermore, almost everyone gets a chance to shine — the hero doesn't hog the spotlight as heroes are wont to do.
The visuals are a mixed bag. There is a lot of Conspicuous CG
, surprising in a show so recent (it was made in 2005), but otherwise you're in for a colorful trip. The design of the titular mech is not strikingly original, but most of the fights are engaging and believable while retaining the essential over-the-top-ness required by the premise: a mecha that combines on the power of the pilots' collective orgasm to fight mecha fielded by dark angels, to save the world from having its energy sucked away.
Episodes through the middle part of the series are episodic and some are thematic, either via the Commander's wacky training regime ("Today's special training is... SLEEP!" "What kind of fetish is that now?") or the characters' own foibles (three female pilots get it into their heads to crash diet; Hilarity Ensues
) and the Shadow Angels' interference in either of the above. The final episodes, as mentioned in the main article, are either narmful or (if you happen to be like me and a total
sucker for gratuitous melodramatic heroics i.e. mecha anime) incredibly, Manly Tears-invoking
It really is a pity there isn't more fandom for this show, as the pairing(/threesome/moresome) options are nigh unlimited