Good ideas, just implemented badly.
Just to affirm people's assumptions, yes, when it was first revealed, I did facepalm. To me, it looked like they were turning Gundam
into a kids' franchise, and needless to say, I had reservations. Nonetheless, I sat down to watch it with an open mind, and while the storyline is certainly far from that of a kiddy show, the characters are written well and the plot is original, there are certain things that put me off too much to be able to actually gain any enjoyment out of it.
The first and most obvious is the character designs. I actually found that I got used to the softer, more brightly-coloured art style after a few episodes, but what kept bugging me with the designs themselves is the persistent emphasis on cuteness. This I can understand with a few characters, particularly kids, but barring various Mooks
, almost the entire cast appear somewhere on the scale between eccentric (Enneacle's "wolf-ear" hairdo) and downright bizarre (Boyage and Ezelcant), not to mention that more than half have disproportionately short, stubby legs and large heads making them look borderline SD.
Then of course, come the schizophrenic mechanical designs, with some MS looking like kids' toys (The Desperado even comes with a little hard hat.
D'aww!) and others
; well, only if they weren't just reinventing older Gundam designs (AGE 2 and 3 Normal resemble 00 Raiser
respectively), or taking "inspiration" from elsewhere (Ghiraga bears a striking resemblance to Zone Of The Enders
's Anubis, but without wings). Of course, there are some good ones, like the genuinely creepy Zeydars
(though, I haven't seen this one in action yet).
The combat felt "off", too, with the Gafran's lasers sounding like Halo
's Plasma Pistol and the Gundam constantly stopping to pose before every attack
. OK, we get it, Ban Dai
, you wanna sell these things. Now get on with the fight!
The pacing's also in need of patching, with what should be 50 eps crammed into the space of 15. Maybe they should have gone the way of The 08th MS Team, which does well for only 11. If they left the cuteness out, this would've been awesome. As it is, it's so-so.