Gravion, 3rd DVD Down

I can see why Steven couldn’t figure out if this show was serious, or badly done parody. There were a couple of good multi-episode arcs here, but I thought the next to the last battle of the first series was actually better than the last one. Through the first three episodes of the series, they set the pattern a new challenger each episode, and having to defeat it with a new attack form, since the last one was ineffective. They broke out of that, but it was still “monster of the week” until this disc.

We finally see some multi-episode arcs, and the battle against the dual Zevaire was pretty good, because they couldn’t just come up with a new attack and smash their way to victory, nor did they take the corny route I expected. They had to try several different things, and though I have a quibble about how it got resolved, it was the best battle yet.

Bearing in mind of course, that we’re talking about battles involving giant mecha as the personification of samurai warriors. I’m still trying to figure out why I liked Godannar. Must have been the crazy redhead. Or the naked dark blue-haired one.

Overall though, I’m really finding it hard to slog through, and the art went to hell around episode 11. The most annoying thing to me is the mysteries. No, make that the “Mysteries” with a capital M. The show loves to throw random unexplained stuff in. More secret weapons and hidden power-ups than a session of Ultima IV.

Thou hast lost an eighth!

It may be a while before I continue.

Update: In the comments, Steven notes that the series gets better after it stops trying to be serious. All I have to say is “about damned time.” Telling this story straight is a mistake, a flaw in the series. It’s a variant on the complaint we both have against The Third: The writers are trying to do something, and they’re not succeeding. If they’re going to make a parody, make a parody. If they’re going to tell the story straight, tell it straight. The problem is, so far, they’ve been telling it straight when the material screams “parody!!!” All that accomplishes is to make it a less-angsty Godannar, without the epic babes.

As Steven said with Strike Witches, “Embrace the stupid.” Gravion’s writers didn’t for the first series, so it doesn’t work.

And on that note, I’m sad to say that Jason doesn’t embrace the stupid. Then again, 40% of his readers (as of this writing) think Louise is superior DFC to Lina, so all I can say is he has a large following of people with equally bad judgement. :p

Update: Ok, after all the talk in the comments, I decided to re-run the first couple of episodes. There was something I had a faint memory of, and I wanted to check it. Didn’t make it 5 minutes into the show before cinching it. Warning, may be a spoiler! Raven is Ayaka. Don’t ask me what she did with the “huge rack,” this is animé. The eyes are the giveaway, although I’d thought the way Raven was watching Eiji at the beginning was suspicious. Obviously, they decided Ayaka was too weak to be Knight of the Grand Diva, but her stubborn & rambunctious younger brother wouldn’t be. The problem was, they had to get him to come, and stay. So Ayaka had to disappear, to lure Eiji to the castle; and stay disappeared, so he will remain. The “evidence” surrounding her disappearance was faked. Now what the other big secret is, I have no idea, except it involves Sandman and explains his knowledge of the Zeravaire. WAG: Maybe he is one? Or maybe it’s about Leena’s father. Or maybe Darth Vader is going to show up and say, “Eiji, I am your father!”

Edit: Oh, and unless they come up with something even more insane, I think they’re playing it straight; this is not parody. Evidence: the “big reveal” towards the end of Godannar.

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10 Responses to Gravion, 3rd DVD Down

  1. It got better in the second series. That was when they entirely stopped trying to pretend to be serious.

  2. AvatarADV says:

    Steven and I just don’t agree here. My take is that they were trying to play it completely straight; the over-the-top elements were the result of marketing-driven gimmicks run completely amok, not post-modern deconstruction or parody.

    Not that it’s not funny – even if they didn’t mean it to be, the effect is the same – but this show doesn’t merely jump the shark, it vaults the whale and then rockets over the entire cod population off Newfoundland.

  3. Ubu, we’ll have to wait until you’ve finished the second part, if you choose to do so, and then let you decide if they’re being facetious.

  4. Lemme explain that a bit further: There are two major revelations which come out in the last two episodes which no one could really be serious about. And both of those revelations had to have been planned from the very first because they’ve been “hiding in plain sight” from the very first minutes of the first episode of the first season.

  5. Ubu Roi says:

    My absurd and not entirely serious guesses: Eiji is really a girl (he’s almost Otoboku level in drag) and Ayaka is Gravion in some weird way. Well the first one can’t be, since the girls gang-stripped him for his physical. Multiple times. So, Luna is Ayaka with a memory loss and physical age regression (Luna never met Ayaka, I note), and that’s why she and Eiji argue like siblings. No, wait, that’s incompatible with the second guess. Er, the taxi driver and his shop-keeper wife are really the ones controlling the Zevaire, in secret. No, they weren’t in the first episode. Um, the Zevaire is really the Red Paksis and this is the setup for how Earth got taken over by it? Wait, wrong series. Raven is really Android 18 in disguise, and is going to save the Earth in the final episode, with a power level of “over nine thousand!” Drat, wrong series again….

  6. None of those is right, but what actually does get revealed in the end makes little more sense.

  7. Am I the only one who saw this show as funny from the git-go? What’s wrong with me then?

  8. Ubu Roi says:

    It would help if they’d stop committing the same offense as Godannar: stock footage of the combine. (And launch in Godannar’s case). Played in full. Every. Single. Time. Ok, we got it the first half-dozen times, enough already! It’s “All Most Danger!”

    Seriously, its the melodramatic overtones, overdone mystery behind Sandman and Raven, the utterly absurd castle & staff (have we got a rival to Taro’s maid team here?), and everything else. It’s just not played crazy enough at this point to say “laugh with me” but it’s not quite worthy of laughing at. On the other hand, Martian Sucessor Nadesico left no question by the end of the first episode that it was going to be over-the-top funny; it was when it turned serious that it was surprising.

    I recall, back when Steven was watching this series, he went through much the same; questioning whether the series was serious or parody, and whether it was worth watching all the way through. It would appear that, having made it out the other side, Steven’s of the opinion that the answer is yes, the end redeems the rest of the series. From the mid-point of the series, I disagree. And that suggests that the writers didn’t do a very good job. What good is a great ending if the viewer goes “I’m outta here!’ halfway through the series, and never sees it?

    This is in complete opposition with Scrapped Princess, which was a great series right up to the final showdown between Pacifica and Mauser. If you could call it that.

    /goes back to wondering how old you have to be to think you’re not too old to want to be gang-stripped by a bunch of pervy escapees from Kodomo no Jikan. (And knowing that my current age is way, way past it.)

  9. Ubu Roi says:

    Update: I may go back and watch the first two episodes again, just to see if I can figure out what happened to Ayaka, for real.

  10. I’m strongly tempted to confirm/deny your most recent speculation (Update 2) but I’m going to resist the urge. You’re right about some things and wrong about others.

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