Welcome to this year’s Secret Santa review. In my second year participating, Santa decided that my list of anime was missing some action. While I enjoy the occasional mecha series, I don’t seek them out, so I polled my twitter friends and two of the three respondents (shows how people love me there) recommended I watch Overman King Gainer, because it was in their words, “Ridiculous.”
I needed more ridiculous in my life after the year I’ve had, queued up the first episode, and almost quit right then and there. Choice quotes, “WTF is with this opening,” and “Oh shit, I picked the wrong anime to watch for Secret Santa.” I powered on through to the second episode and I found something I didn’t expect to find after that first episode: gravity. I think about five people just fell out of their mechs during the second episode. Suddenly, I understood what the twitter respondents meant by, “Ridiculous,” and kinda fell hard for the show.
Directed by Yoshiyuki Tomino during his happier portions of life, Overman King Gainer is a silly romp filled with a lot of fun. Thematically the show really is just about embracing the unknown versus the status quo. To sum it up in a couple of sentences: People live in domed cities that are supplied by rail systems, because the earth was uninhabitable for a time. Small sects of people decide that the earth has healed enough and it’s now time to move on to living from the land again, hence, they form the Exodus. Exoduses are named for their destination, and this one is called the Yapan Exodus. Exoduses are bad for the rail systems, because they no longer rely on the rail systems for supplies, and that’s just bad business. The Yapan exodus begins, and Siberian Rail company gets mad, and the cat and mouse game begins.
That’s about all there is to say about the plot. This really just needs to be seen to be appreciated. I kinda missed out on twelve moments on anime, you get twelve reasons I loved Overman King Gainer, in no particular order, of course.
Ridiculous mechs that not only do normal things that mechs do, but also will mess with the collective minds of people. Yes, they have special powers called Overskills that do things like manifest your fears, or let you hear people’s deepest thoughts. How awesome is a mech that not only can stomp on you, but also at the same time mess with your mind? Very awesome, that’s how much.
The titular Overman of the series. Can do almost anything, but what really matters is that it has dreadlocks. How excellent is a mech with dreadlocks? I don’t even need to answer that.
He’s our main character and pilot of the titular King Gainer. Not wanting to go on the exodus at first, he becomes entangled and an advocate after wanting to protect his friends. I also loved that he basically got awesome piloting the Overman because he was great at video games. I like to think that’s a nod to The Last Starfighter, but I’m probably nuts.
Silly reader, you know you can’t take a ninja’s picture
There are fucking ninjas in the show, ‘nuff said.
Exodus leader, and excellent sniper extraordinaire. Experienced and knowledgeable, he’s been on a few failed exoduses, but is determined to succeed here. The man is also just sexy, almost out of place in the grand scheme of things.
A legendary songstress and icon from the past, she sings about the exodus, and compels people to join her on the way to Yapan. What’s great about her is that she really has no part, aside from her godlike history and ancestry, there’s nothing more to her. Yet her importance is the overarching need to move on from the Domeopoli.
Gainer’s love interest, and all around excellent lady. I put her on here because I love the relationship she has with Gainer. The two are just a wonderfully shippable couple, but her determination to complete the Exodus are what drives her.
Loyal to the Siberian Railway, and her commander, Adette, she fights the exodus with all her might. Problem is, she’s clumsy, and rather stupid, and without Adette has no direction. That doesn’t stop her from being entertaining every time she’s on screen.
DAT HAIR, playboy extraordinaire, and permanently friendzoned by Sarah. Sorry bud.
Hates Gain because he broke his sister’s heart. Nothing like a personal grudge with one person to drive you to stop thousands of people from a goal. But that’s what makes him awesome, he doesn’t care, hey just wants to smack Gain around.
I almost put Adette in this list three times. She’s a soldier, a mech pilot, and a teacher. WIN WIN WIN! Always speaking her mind, and promiscuous in her actions, she’s a joy every time she’s on screen.
People fall down, a lot, and I always love it when people fall down.
And that’s it. So much fun and perfect in length. I’m not a good marathoner of anime, because of life and all, but this was about as close as I got. Thank you Secret Santa for the fun show.