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Old 2006-03-28, 16:39   Link #1
Sonhex
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Zegapain

It's mecha. It's Sunrise. What can go wrong? Ahem... Zegapain is directed by Masami Shimoda (Ai Yori Aoshi, E's Otherwise), character design by Akihiko Yamashita (Howl's Moving Castle, Tide Line Blue), series composition Mayori Sekijima (Le Portrait de Petit Cossette, Star Ocean EX) with mecha design by Rei Nakahara (Martian Successor Nadesico).

The site has a teaser trailer which shows they're using CG for the mecha as seems to be the norm these days.

Details of the plot are sketchy but here's the blurb from Animenfo:

Quote:
Kyo was an active boy who goes to a high school near Maihama, Chiba prefecture. He was sending busy school days of love and friendships. He had been just a normal boy until he met a transfer student Shizuno. His fate was changed dramatically by the encounter with her; he was involved in the fights between big robots in another world.

Undergoing the numerous fights, he began to have several questions. Being in agony, he devoted himself into the war to save himself and his friends.
I like the character design for Zegapain, done by Akihiko Yamashita who worked on Howl's Moving Castle (this really shows in some of the designs) and the awesome Tide Line Blue. Some of the costumes remind me of Stellvia for some reason.

So, not wishing to light the touch paper, but after GSD and Mai Otome Sunrise need to prove they can still make decent mecha anime. While the rather 'toyish' mecha concerns me a little, and Zegapain seems to be pitched at the younger end of the market, I'm still hopeful they'll deliver a decent show with plenty of action.

P.S. If anyone can supply cast info that would be cool.

Sources: ANN, Animenfo
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Old 2006-03-28, 17:07   Link #2
MrProphet
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I was somewhat excited about this when news first broke out. Here was I, thinking that after the screwup with GSD, Sunrise is going back to its mecha beginnings, just in a spiffy new wrapping.

And then I saw the trailer. 8(

Second coming of IGPX... with even more gonzo-fied 3DCGI. That's all I have to say about it.

Last edited by MrProphet; 2006-03-28 at 18:49.
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Old 2006-03-28, 17:33   Link #3
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The CG is hideous. Truly hideous.

The story sounds very, very unoriginal.

But... I'm still looking forward to this. Even though most of the best people at Sunrise have moved elsewhere now, I think the staff could still pull off something from it - the writer did Petit Cossette (and a whole bunch of crap, but still, Petit Cossette was well written if completely bonkers) and the director did Mahou Tsukai ni Taisetsu na Koto (and... a whole bunch of crap), and with a whole two shows I like between them that MUST be a good thing!

...okay, maybe my optimism is ill-founded. But the Akino Arai OP WILL be good. That's a certainty.
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Old 2006-03-28, 18:18   Link #4
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yea, the CG does look very crappy

looks like it might take some time getting used to it
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Old 2006-03-29, 04:20   Link #5
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I was vaguely looking forward to this at first because I thought hmm, Sunrise and mecha... why not - but then I saw the mecha designs and started worrying. Still okay. Then I read the summary of the story.

I will most absolutely certainly and deifnitely watch one ep of this.
Mostly to listen to Akino Arai's song (YES!!!!).

And maybe to see if its got decent animation on the side, but meh...
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Old 2006-03-29, 04:24   Link #6
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The mechs looks like they were designed by the guy who wants to sell A LOT of toys to little kids (as opposed to designing a innovative, cool-looking mecha for an anime series).

That's Bandai to ya..
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Old 2006-03-29, 04:49   Link #7
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But occasionally, just ocassionally, Sunrise can slip out of Bandai's clutch and do absolutely freaking awesome things like Planetes. The more I look at other anime the more I love Planetes and I can't believe Sunrise made it. But perhaps that's like that because NHK had more input in it and more importantly it was based on an existing manga. Still, it takes a really really awesome team to have done the manga so very well - great structure and very great way of showing the various characters, and a really awesome and rather complete depiction of life in outer space (that's what I felt anyway).

On the other hand Wings of Rean (although there's only one episode...) seems a looooot better - it's Sunrise+mecha done really well, I found myself enjoyingit very much. Felt like the oldies but better executed, more fun, and of course much better looking. And it didn't feel like it was being made to be sold. Yet Bandai was not so detached from it (it aired on Bandai Channel and all).
...Then again, Tomino...

Though I wonder what kind of song the OP will be, Akino Arai and mecha? Not like she's not done fast-paced or energetic songs, but still. Hmm. Unless it's like Macross Plus and the song has like, some plot factor thingy.
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Old 2006-03-29, 05:54   Link #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wao
Though I wonder what kind of song the OP will be, Akino Arai and mecha? Not like she's not done fast-paced or energetic songs, but still. Hmm. Unless it's like Macross Plus and the song has like, some plot factor thingy.
I'm hoping for something like the Kurau OP i.e. bouncy pop fluff
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Old 2006-03-29, 06:10   Link #9
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I expect something along the lines of Aquarion. Very fast-paced pop.

PS: PLANETES had Goro Taniguchi, who is just awesome. And Tomino is a rulebook onto himself. He can do whatever the hell he wants. And, anyway, WoR is just an ONA, it's not like Bandai is losing any money letting him do his own little thing.
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Old 2006-03-29, 08:39   Link #10
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I certainly respect Goro Taniguchi (he did the rather good Infinite Ryvius, and in general he is quite a good director), though he isn't 100% foolproof - GUN X SWORD was just silly (though it had really high production values...) and s-cry-ed was well, hm... er... yeah.

Although the AKINO from Aquarion is not Akino Arai, I suppose a song like the Aquarion ones isn't out of the question. It would be so awesome if they used a song like one of her powerfully demented ones like Koneko no Shinzou, though I'm not too sure they'd go with it. It might be 'too weird' to most people.

Since this is aimed at kids I'm really afraid they'll just take the cheap way out with the storyline (seems like that with the premise already), but at least... er.... more people get to hear Akino Arai! Yay. (I've read comments by some people on the 'Net about how they saw their kids watching Tokyo Underground and they're attracted by the tune they hear on the ED so they go and find out about it...)
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Old 2006-04-01, 11:06   Link #11
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Because all we're really talking about at the moment is the OP music, just thought I'd mention there's a clip of it up on Victor's website here (obviously under the Zegapain bit!). It's not fast-paced pop at all; it's quite measured and really...well, "pretty" is the only word I can think of but that's naff. I can't wait to see what kind of opening they'll have constructed for the show with this song...
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Old 2006-04-01, 11:39   Link #12
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That does sound rather gorgeous. So great to hear new Akino Arai. I've been listening to her live in Paris in preparation. Actually the ED is okay too, even though I've never heard of Rocky Chack before.
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Old 2006-04-01, 20:27   Link #13
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Ahhhh, DAMN you for being able to hear her live in Paris! What I would do to be able to exchange places with you!!!


But much thanks for the link, BluWacky - it certainly doesn't sound like one of her really high-pace songs, but it's not entirely slow either.

Wow, her voice is sooo awesome... It really just melts.... I like the drums too, now I can't wait to see the opening animation! I was thinking they'd get something along the lines of Reve (well, in Japanese of course), or Satellite Song, but this is nice too.

EDIT: And the ED song is certainly not bad either, the vocals are quite decent - well, its composed and arranged by THE Hisaaki Hogari (who has worked so many times with Akino Arai I swear they should have gotten married), who also arranged/composed the OP...
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Old 2006-04-06, 12:31   Link #14
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Reviews

I just saw the first episode. I thought everything else is rather good. Unfortunately, the 3D effect, especially the robot is a sore spot in my eyes. Review
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Old 2006-04-06, 13:32   Link #15
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Episode 01 Hi-Res Screencaps and Summary

Spoiler:
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Old 2006-04-07, 03:17   Link #16
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Ok....so I'm not the only person who thinks that the CG is a lil crappy and the whole mecha just looks kinda.....weird. Ok the rest of the animation is good and all but I just can't stand a green glowing mecha. I love giant mecha and all but seriously, the only reason why I'm watching it is the animation quality and the romance portion if you guys know what I mean. Hopefully the anime will prove worthwhile to watch later on.
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Old 2006-04-07, 03:54   Link #17
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Haven't watched the show yet, but thanks to Garten I got to hear the OP (masquerading as the ED today) - it feels quite awesome as an ED, I wonder how it'll suit as an OP? I think it'll still work as long as they try to put a more wistful and speculative mood based on the characters, rather than flashy butt-ugly mecha. Not an action based one with really fast movement...

Nice CG animation with the flowers and all really, but who cares about that because the SONG is so awesome! I'm totally melted by Akino Arai's voice... I have no hope of pulling out of fangirlness...
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Old 2006-04-07, 15:06   Link #18
Sonhex
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I certainly enjoyed the first ep. Despite it not being anything too original it was all done exceptionally well. Good solid animation from Sunrise and even good use of CG, especially the graphical interfaces. Another thing they got right was the character design and thankfully there wasn't too many of them. Sunrise have a habit of exhausting the first episodes of their shows with endless character introductions. Here they keep the intros to a minimum and stick to what matters in this type of show - plot and action. This all adds up to a quality show.

However the mechas are the only downside; they look like cheap toys as other people have commented. But it doesn't bother me (at this stage) because the show has likeable and intriguing characters in Kyo, Ryoko and Shizuno. I'm more interested in how the plot gets them to the ominous opening sequence, than the hardware. So maybe this will fill the gap in my entertainment schedule left vacant by Eureka 7. Hmm...

So I'm kind of pleased Zegapain lives up to expectations so far, because other new shows have dissapointed me. I just hope Sunrise don't waste this show over the next 26 weeks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wao
Nice CG animation with the flowers and all really, but who cares about that because the SONG is so awesome! I'm totally melted by Akino Arai's voice... I have no hope of pulling out of fangirlness...
The song is so good but I'm not sure it fits the show. However sod that, it hardly matters! Because Akino Arai's voice is simply breathtaking and this song is awesome. The visuals were pretty impressive too. I'm looking forward to hearing that each week from now on.

Oh and I hope everyone caught the Jiji cameo? You can tell Ghibli staff worked on this show
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Old 2006-04-08, 00:26   Link #19
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Well, I can agree that it doesn't fit the show that well - honestly you'd expect something more T.M. Revolution-ish for the show. Perhaps I could vainly hope that the choice of song reflects the direction they'd like to go in and maybe, just maybe, this show might surprise us...

Or I could just sod all of that and put it in the much more likely category of "tie-up" and just enjoy the fact that Akino-sama has done it again. Yay!

Though I really, really do like those flowers in the ED... that's an example of beautiful CG (it reminds me of the eyecatch in Paranoia Agent with the blooming sakura - breathtaking, even if it seems cliche.)

Anyway I watched the episode - it's almost painfully cliche, but I stress "almost"... I'll probably just watch some more as brainless fun, it's not toooo bad yet. It's nice to see guys like Kyo once in a way who represent the more aggressive adventure-seeking type of males (who aren't overly so) in anime, somehow I don't find them that often now
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Old 2006-04-08, 20:31   Link #20
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I LOVED the little fiddle piece when Kyo comes back from the pool. Lazy afternoon iced tea music is what I'd call it.

Spoiler:
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