Anime Review: G-on Riders (Anime Fansubs V)

It’s blog sweeps month? Nobody told me! Time for an anime post! And boy, do I have the fanservice this time. In fact, I’ve got so much of it, I have to put it below the fold. I also have to put this warning on it: While the thumbnails are merely risque’, some uptight businesses (probably even my own) would consider them NSFW. And when I start using text links to the pictures…. look out because that stuff is definately NOT Safe For Work! (Yes, I might have botched the aspect ratio again. Or maybe it’s just those two shots. Sorry all, but I just don’t have time to take eighty pictures again and then cull them.)

How to describe this show? Well, it’s farcical, it’s comical, it parodies anime, it’s loaded with fanservice that pushes bulldozes the line into ecchi (in at least one episode), and it’s completely, utterly, irredeemably silly. It hasn’t got a serious bone in it’s body, yet it’s not a comedy, it’s not exactly a farce, it’s not always a parody, and sometimes, it almost gets serious. Almost. As I watched it, I finally realized why it seemed familar. It’s another Martian Successor Nadesico, only not as good — but with a lot more fanservice to cover up that fact. (I’m pretty certain it was made from a hentai game after seeing episode 14.)

The problem is, I went into this show expecting a semi-serious series loaded with fanservice (maybe something like Divergence Eve), but my brain tripped out over the incredibly silly plot. I mean, come on, the setup is that the whole world except for Japan has been conquered (on contract) by three little girls and an android maid in a giant spaceship, using the most absurd looking robots (called “fancy beasts”), that look like kids’ toys.

I’d say something about their name, but…

…seriously, what do you expect from little girls?

And the reason that Japan is still free is a pair of meganekko, (Sela and Yayoi), known as the G-On Riders. They attend Saint Hoshigawa School(!), a front of the Grand Reflect Armed secret resistance group. The G.R.A. is so secret, everyone wears badges and lab coats emblazoned with their logo.

Does she need the sword on her back to counterbalance
her front?

Very powerful.
Also very afraid to get within 10m of a man.

Anyway, Sela (the blonde Christian) and Yayoi (the shy granddaughter of the school president) use the mastery of their “tokimeki powers” (through the “G-On,” given by their glasses) to beat off the robots. All this is the invention/discovery of the beautiful Dr. Sanada, although the school is run by the ever-absurd Principal (who writes poetry). What can be serious about a show with a wooden sword named “Fooling Kaza” that turns into helicopter-like blades? Or a honking big-ass crucifix-shaped sword that can fire its hilts out attached to hundreds of feet of chain or split into two seperate swords? Or a naginata that turns into a bow? The girls make up their powers as they go along, it seems, and it all comes from the fact that they wear glasses.

Uh, except one has a sword,
and the other has a naginata?

“Next, on Japanese SchoolGirls Gone Wild VI…”

Yes, the major gimmick of the show is that not only can you not save the world without cute 16 year old Japanese girls, they have to be meganekko too! All the girls at this school are “glasses girls,” though only Sela and Yayoi have mastered the G-on. At the beginning of the show, a new girl has arrived, Yuki, and the established order is about to get unestablished, much to the dismay of the bad guys (er, girls) and Sela. At least Ichiro is very much in favor of Yuki’s arrival once he meets her. And then her panties. Actually, at this point (second picture), he’s already met her (100% cotton, strawberry decorated) panties, because they’re in his hand. And that’s a really short skirt.

“Hi, I’m the male lead, and I promise to be impossibly
stupid for only half the episodes.”

“You know, by acting like this. Maybe I should ask
Dr. Sanada for advice on how to be more manly?”

I kept expecting this show to zig, and not only would it zag, sometimes it would just find another direction to go entirely. By the end of the third episode, I was sure I knew where it was going with the four lead characters and most of the supporting ones, and I didn’t care for it. The male lead was beginning to disgust me, and the fanservice wasn’t enough to carry the ridiculously stereotyped heroes. Too stupid, too obvious, too ridiculous. So I dissed it pretty hard, and set it aside.

“And this year’s Razzie Award for ‘Worst Strategic
Placement of an Ankle By a Girl Without Strawberry
‘ goes to….”

Until I got so bored from a lack of anime to watch that I queued up one of the later episodes and watched it last weekend. I discovered that either I’d been too harsh, too blind, or too impatient. Or maybe I’d just killed a bunchaton of brain cells in the meantime, because I actually found myself surprised, intrigued and eventually liking the show. But you can’t take it seriously as a story, because by the end of the series you realize that the whole plot was thinner than cheap tissue, and just as silly as everything else. And don’t even mention consistancy or common sense; although it’s Japan that’s evidently still free, the map in episode 1 shows Great Britian. (There’s a few other oddities too.)

Oh wait… I promised some fanservice didn’t I? Well here’s a little bit to tide you over…


Sela shaves. Questions?

So what’s wrong with it? In a good story, the hero grows in some way; he or she is not the same person coming out of the story that they were going in. I could see by the end of the third episode, that G-on Riders would fail that test because the heroes wouldn’t go through a lot of growth. Mostly, I was right: at the end, Yuki is essentially unchanged, Yayoi decides that guys aren’t bad after all, but still can’t get closer than ten meters to any (except Ichiro), and Sela is still a bit of a bitch, even though she accepts Yuki on the team. Ichiro was the surprise: he still doesn’t have the girl he wants (Yuki) but of the four main characters, he’s changed the most. At the beginning, his reaction to things like seeing Yuki with no panties is “typical useless harem dumbass. ” Nosebleed-geyser and faint. Oh joy, a hero that’s a zero. Where has that been done before? By the end of the show, that’s changed considerably, but I won’t spoil the plot. (Aside: I could have done with a lot less of the Principal and more of Dr. Sanada though.)

The second biggest surprise to me was that Ichiro did not spend every episode obessing over Yuki’s panties, which he accidentally obtains in the first episode. There’s a lot of it early on, but it trails off as the panties become secondary to his rather forced (hey, it’s anime) emotional attachment to Yuki. He actually manages to return the panties, eventually. Of course, he ends up with another set right away. And while he obsesses over how to tell Yuki that he loves her, he actually manages to nerve himself up to it, or to set up the right situation. Several times in fact, but something always goes wrong. Usually, he botches the execution, but it’s in believable ways–ones that we cringe a bit to see, because we’ve all been there. Sometimes, fate just won’t cooperate with him. Sometimes, he’s still a dumbass. And other times, the other girls get in the way — quite deliberately. Instead of the typical wimpy-Ichiro-chases-Yuki that I expected, it followed the Nadesico pattern of turning into a harem story, with Yayaoi, Sela, and even Zero the Andro-maid chasing Ichiro, and Yuki being good-naturedly oblivious to it all. She just wants to be friends with everyone.

This is how far they take the joke:
Even the android combat maid wears glasses!

Uh, why no… my mind didn’t go there.
Not at all. Really!

The biggest surprise was that most of the character development was on the part of the villians: the three little girls with the contract to take over the world, and their android maid too. There was Ai-chan, the mechanical genius, Pao-chan, the catgirl (there had to be one of course) and robot pilot, Mako-chan, the leader, and Zero, their android combat maid. Frankly, they should have just sent Zero to conquer the earth; she effortlessly fights the G-on Riders to a standstill every time they match up, whereas Pao-chan just gets spanked. Except for Zero, the invasion is all run by little girls (though we see the support staff only once.) They’re kids, and they have a kid’s concept of strategy. “I know, let’s attack them twice in the same day! They won’t expect that, it’ll be a surprise!”

The “Fancy Beasts” are all Ai-chan’s designs, which might account for their appearance.

Mako-chan, Pao-chan, and Ai-chan. I just realized that Ai-chan is the only girl in the show never to wear glasses. (He says, forgetting about the goggles on her helmet…)

Catgirl Pao-chan returns from another battle.
She’s now 0-12 against the Riders. Maybe she shouldn’t
fight in her dino pajamas?

How silly of a parody is this? Well, at one point, Pao-chan is dressed up as a miniature maid, and handed a USB cord — she’s asked to pose with it while saying something about recharging….

The last episode… well it’s completely different from the others. The plot actually wraps up (or comes completely unglued, however you look at it) in the 13th, and then the 14th episode takes place afterwards. It’s a bonus episode that was apparently DVD-only. You see, the first 13 episodes had lots of fanservice: panty shots, cleavage, skimpy outfits, etc. Episode 14 … well it was worth two thumbs and other body parts up. Just about all the limits came off, and every one of the girls (except the bridge bunnies and Dr. Sanada) ended up naked at some point. (Damn!) I suspected this anime was an adaptation of a hentai game–once I saw ep.14, I knew it was. So from here on out, the links below are definitly not safe for work. Because Houblog is often Mahou may be read in the workplace (especially city workplaces), I am using text links instead of thumbnails.

Warning! Massive NSFW spoilers for the 14th episode (and most of the series) ahead!

And this is how we start the show…
It’s not what it looks like!
I did not need to see that!
Zero surprises Ichiro
Yayoi and Sela let their imagination and jealousy run wild …in spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace!
Yayoi is determined not to lose, and gets a helpful book from grandpa.
But foggy glasses cause accidents to happen!
Perhaps its a bit late in the plan to notice you have a problem getting near men?
He may have been punted high, but Sela has no problem reeling this one in.
Isn’t that just the cutest lil’ bow?
Cosmo Catgirl medio rule #1: “Never make your catgirl maid your enemy.” Otherwise your plans may unravel.
Meanwhile, Zero gets a part time job. Nice….thrusters.
I can’t help but think she forgot something though.
Yuki and friend help out. (Disappointingly for Jason, the loli doesn’t carry a knife.)
You know, given who built her, it’s really strange that she has a “maiden circuit” that causes this to happen.
Ok. I admit it….Yes, my mind went there. Did it ever. Happy now?

All this just makes me sad that Dr. Sanada never got naked too….

Anyway, just don’t take this show seriously. It’s cute and funny at times, but it’s not high quality parody; Nadesico beats the pants off it. Which might explain why Yuki keeps losing her 100% cotton strawberry panties….

Two final shots of Zero to enjoy:
Man, that is one tough serving tray.

Here she’s predicting how long until the client fires
them for incompetence. Worst case is two weeks…

I have sooooo got a new favorite android….

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