Yoshyuki Tomino has finally returned to the Gundam franchise he started, and for its 35th anniversary, brings us Gundam Reconguista in G. Even better, we’ve already started ahead of every other series this season, as studio Sunrise has brought us two episodes with its premiere.
Now, I’ll be the first to say that I’m not too familiar with the Gundam universe as a whole, having only really liked maybe 3 or 4 of the series’ 35 years. However, with Gundam Reconguista’s retro look and appeal, and light-hearted start, this could be a good entry point for many who may be curious of the Gundam name.
That being said, Gundam Reconguista doesn’t pull any punches in the Gundam lore department, as a ton of terms unfamiliar to those who have never seen it are thrown about. It’s not overwhelming, and you can look them up later or as you go, but they can also be rather contextual. The titular Gundam in this series is the G-Self, and although it’s unknown at the time as of this airing, early press details and the opening mention that various backpacks (yes, the Gundam wears backpack like you and I) will allow it to handle a variety of battle scenarios. That silly battle armament aside, the designs of the characters and mechs are unequivocally 90’s inspired, very bright and colorful–something the series hasn’t really seen since the Gundam SEED days.
That’s to be expected though, as the designs are from Eureka Seven and Dennō Coil’s Kenichi Yosada, and he’s always been able to produce doe-eyed characters that emote and move incredibly well. Speaking of characters, our main hero is Bellri Zenam, along with the Capital’s Raraiya Monday and captured pirate Aida Surugan. With these characters now introduced, we have the three known factions within the story–more to possibly come. Unfortunately, we got little backstory about each upon introduction. A lot is implied though, what with the first episode opening with Raraiya jettisoning from the G-Self before capture, only for Aida to arrive in it later to attack Bellri and his squad while they’re traveling to the Capital Tower. Gundam Reconguista throws a lot at us in its first 45 minutes, and if you like interesting (so far) characters designed with flair and actual charm, Gundam Reconguista may be the Gundam series for you. But we are only two episodes in, and if it’s anything like every other Gundam ever made, it could turn into a series that’s very divisive.
Gundam Reconguista in G has had an explosive start and has me intrigued to continue watching every week, but I’m being reserved on getting too high on it, as several Gundam series have burned me. Currently, there are no streams for Gundam Reconguista legally outside of Japan or Australia and New Zealand. If you’re down under, head to AnimeLab to tune in, otherwise I’ll keep an eye out for any (legal) streams as it airs every Thursday.
Before we wrap this week’s look at Gundam Reconguista, I’m going to use this platform to briefly talk about Gundam creators and their naming ability: it’s absolutely and brilliantly nutty, and I love it. With names like Bellri Zenam, Trowa Barton (Gundam Wing), and Chibodee Crocket (G Gundam), the Gundam series has some of the most bizarre (in a good way) names, and it’s very refreshing. It can be disorienting at first–and trying to keep them all straight when starting a series is frustrating–but when every other show has the same 5 names seemingly every season (and don’t get me started on American names in shows or movies), I can always count on Sunrise and Gundam to bring something truly unique to the front. I may not always care for the series as a whole, but I can be sure to know that the characters will always have something to remember them by in such a small manner as their name.