In an attempt to have a balance between shows I’ve watched before and shows that are new to me, Space Warrior Baldios is something that is new. This series is an older super robot show that isn’t as well known in a lot of anime circles for some obvious reason. For instance, it’s not made by a famous studio or Tomino wasn’t behind it. I’ve only known about it myself because it’s on Retrocrush and it had a small wave of attention on twitter which inevitably led me to watching it. I am glad I did. It’s a show that has almost everything in it. A little unrequited love, mecha action, a good commentary on war, environmental messages, and so many other things and somehow it all works. The only disappointing thing is the conclusion because it was cut short airing only 31 episodes with 34 completed episodes where it has a terrifying ending. There is a movie out there that fixes it. Gah. Well, I will see it one day!
Space Warrior Baldios is a series that, say it with me, takes place in the far future where human kind has spread amongst the stars. The planet in question for the moment right now? One called S-1, the first planet in the current solar system so there you go. S-1. This is a planet where the atmosphere is filled with radiation and human kind must live underground to survive for the limited time they have. At a council meeting, the future was decided for this little planet through two theories. Can the science team, led by Dr. Reigan, produce a device to clean the atmosphere or will the fate rely on the military decision with Gatler who seeks to colonize another planet? Well, Gatler runs a coup against the emperor and the science which leads S-1ers leaving in search of a new planet. They find one called Earth.
That’s not even all of the set up for the story. Oh no, Space Warrior Baldios can be a science fiction series as well as a soap opera at the same time. This comes with the tragedy of the science team and the fate of S-1 itself played in as much old school drama as it could be. The assault on the science team led by Gatler’s most trusted companions, Aphrodia and her brother adds extra tension. We also have our main protagonist in the mix, Dr. Reigan’s son, Marin, who arrived late and is the only surviving member of the science team to leave S-1. Aphrodia’s brother killed his father and everyone else while Marin ended up killing him. So immediately, there is a soap opera like relationship between the two as they fly into space trying to kill each other for the first time out of many in the show only to end up somewhere “unknown”.
This is a show about the future of mankind and its decision coming to haunt it. Marin, out of spite and for the fate of mankind on Earth, joins the Blue Fixer super robot unit to protect the planet from the invading S-1 forces led by Aphrodia herself. Without his father’s Pulsar Burn, Blue Fixer wouldn’t be able to combine three units into the legendary Space Warrior Baldios unit, which is the only chance that they have against S-1, the far more technologically advanced planet. Of course, the Blue Fixer unit did not trust Marin at first because his planet is invading so more tension. Why wouldn’t they think he’s a spy? Over time, Marin becomes a trusted and very reliable member of Blue Fixer for the rest of the series.
Space Warrior Baldios is another show that you can feel the aftershocks of Mobile Suit Gundam in its episodic construction. In a lot of ways, it is a classic super robot show. The show is somewhat episodic in nature kind of, the Blue Fixer team has a secret laboratory where the super robot team is housed, and they must fight S-1’s latest machine that is causing havoc. At the same time, it’s very real robot in nature as well. S-1ers are people who want another home and can only think military, the war goes on for a long time and has lasting effects on the war and the show itself. There are rebellions, tons of exhaustion on both sides, and food supply problems. That only leads to drastic measures on S-1’s side much to both sides. Especially since the Earth could actually be related to S-1 in some way. Hint, nudge, spoilers.
The Blue Fixer unit is full of interesting people. We have Marin Reigen, who I already talked about already. With his is Raita, another Baldios pilot is a very hard headed, emotion heavy, and passionate guy who causes tension without thinking. To counter him is Jack Oliver, the last Baldios pilot, is very thoughtful and laid back. Emy, the backup pilot who only pilots Baldios twice sadly, takes up a lot of positions at Blue Fixer, is very naïve girl learning her way while gaining a crush on Marin, and is a princess. They are led by the even headed father figure Hirokawa and must deal with the UN all the time from how the Baldio acts while working hard to keep his unit together. Last is the ever important, Dr. Quenstein who is the best character. Without her, the Baldios wouldn’t exist, the earth would be in so much trouble in a large number of episodes and the Earth would be doomed.
S-1 doesn’t have many people leading it or people of interests. Gatler himself is the overall leader who lets Aphrodia lead her forces until he steps in himself later on. He’s mainly a “just do my evil for me” kind of boss. Because of this, Aphrodia leads all the assaults on the Earth herself. S-1 is a very totalitarian and nazi group, but the way Aphrodia is treated by the council and generals for being a woman is horrible. Aphrodia’s conquests consistently end up in failures and she gets scolded and made fun of for being an overly emotional women that doesn’t know how to lead. Yet, every time a male general tries something, they end in failure too. Besides Emy, Baldios treats its women better than most shows of the era by how Aphrodia and Quenstein are written. The best part about Aphrodia is her complicated relationship with Marin. It’s very romantic and complex. The two trust each other to do specific actions, know each other well, and work together sometimes, but they can’t get together for the obvious reasons of villainy groups. Oh my goodness, it’s so cliche, but so passionate and beautiful at the same time.
Space Warrior Baldios is a show that looks great for being from 1980. The opening sequence itself has the most sakuga in the opening seconds, but there are tons of segments in the show that look pretty decent despite the usual, necessary stock footage. The transformation sequence and forming of the Baldios is wonderful and well detailed and I love to watch it every single time on every single episode because it’s that good. But that goes with a lot of stock footage and since we are going to watch it again and again, it has to look that good. The Baldios flies in the same way, fires the same attacks from the same locations, and things like that, but it is a good and memorable design that I can’t help but love even if it shouldn’t fly. Same with a lot of S-1 machines that are mechanical dragons and mythical beasts, so there is the knight vs dragon thing going on. They shouldn’t fly in the air at all, but they are really cool to look at anyway, but whatever. Older mechanical design is phenomenal.
Space Warrior Baldios is an Earth and Space bound series, which means it has tons of backgrounds designs from such a large variety of settings. There are settings from all countries across the world and all over the solar system and all of them look great, even at a minimal level of only representing different places. That is the nature of the beast of an older production with over 30 episodes after all. The character designs themselves are great. I do think that Marrin’s character design looks older than he is, but he grows into his design over time. Everyone has a country of origin, different muscle masses, and such. The women are different from each other and men look different from each other too. You can tell what people do by their clothing and color they wear. Like everything else, it’s very well thought out for all the minimalism put into place. There is a strength in limited animation sometimes.
Space Warrior Baldios is a good show. I am even going to say, great show. Definitely in-between good and solid, but I will put it in the good ranking over all. Baldios is another example of a show where I don’t pay attention to lower MAL and Anilist scores, because it’s a lot better to me than what random people rate a show online. It is weighed down by a lot of 1980’s things like a slower plot, repetition, and stock footage. So yeah, it might not be for fans who aren’t interested in older shows and animation because of those traits. Still, in my eyes, it transcends all of those elements because it’s a great story with good characters which explores good themes. All with some really cool super robot animation on the side. What else do I need to say? I have nothing else that I can say. Yay surprise hits!