2021 has been a pretty decently sized Tomino year for Mechanical Anime Reviews, hasn’t it? Between watching Zeta and Double Zeta Gundam, Xabungle, Gundam Hathaway, me watching Zambot 3 for something later, it really just has been like that and I think that is good. Now that the Reconguista films has appeared on youtube for who knows how long, it’s time for more. It’s a Tomino world and we are all living in it. I don’t think it’s possible to do a complete month on Tomino anime because a lot of them are very long, so lets have a mini Tomino week with the two Reconguista films and a little talk about Tomino afterwards. (Hint: Mecha March 2022 may have some Tomino works in it too. I may have named one.) I think it’s an important thing to celebrate one of the hardest working people in the anime industry before he retires in three years due to some medical conditions.
The Gundam Reconguista in G films are a remake of the not well received TV series of the same name with upgraded animation and some extra scenes. It seems that Tomino wanted to be understood. From that fact, a lot of what happens in these films are known to us people who watched it for the most part. Taking place in the calendar system after the Universal Century, which is Gundam 0079 to Victory Gundam and beyond that, Reconguista in G takes place in the regild era. An era that is supposed to correct the mistakes of the Universal Century by keeping the technology level low and the world relying on photon batteries delivered to capital towers to bring them down to the Earth instead of anything else. Of course, not everything goes to plan and all sorts of chaos can happen.
Everything changes with the appearance of one particular mobile suit out of nowhere by a certain pilot. The Gundam called the G-Self is captured on the upper layers of the Earth’s atmosphere with its pilot, eventually called Raraiya Monday, suffering from oxygen deprivation from her attempt at escaping. She and the mobile suit are taken to the Capital Academy where protagonist Bellri Zenam immediately fights and captures a mobile suit by a certain Aida Rayhunton. A person who claims to not work for a country that she actually is. Bellri, the guy who skipped a grade and makes another good pilot by the name of Luin Lee jealous. Also, there are cheer leaders there by the name of Noredo Nug at Saint Flowers Academy who keeps watch over Bellri and Raraiya, and Manny Ambassada who keeps an eye on Luin as he climbs ranks in the capital army by the name of Captain Mask. Everyone got that? Good.
The film is so stuffed with lots of bits of dialogue about the world and what has happened that it feels like a lot has happened. The thing is in 90 minutes, not a lot of things have occurred yet. The plot really just starts at the end of this film. The rest of it is setting up characters in specific locations with some interesting ideas in mind. Clearly, Aida Rayhunton and Bellri Zenam are going to get closer together, right? Clearly after Aida is captured and Bellri shows that he can also pilot the G-Self like Raraiya and Aida, the pirates of the Megafauna show up to take Bellri back. Plus, Bellri is going to want to come back to the Capital Guard to fight against other forces at play here. Until the overt technological growth in the last battle in the movie with the G-Self and the Capital Army’s latest unit in a space battle, not everything clicks in place. A good and bad thing.
The characters themselves are simple for the moment because, as stated before, the film is so over stuffed with stuff, to really go anywhere interesting yet. It’s the first film and story arc, so development isn’t key. Bellri Zenam is the most pilot good, brain empty gundam protagonist that I’ve ever seen and it’s so interesting to say that. He easily falls in love with Aida Rayhunton on first sight. Meanwhile, Aida is the mental strong by lacking skills pilot that is constantly angry at Bellri for killing her teacher Cahill which wasn’t even his fault yet. Luin hasn’t had much happen yet. Noredo Nug is the mother like character that keeps everyone together somehow. Raraiya is still the mental gone person from Oxygen Deprivation for now. We see how these characters act in different scenarios until the real change, Bellri killing his own teacher at the end, to shake everything up more.
There is also a sense of hierarchy that the movie is trying to convey to the audience as well. How there is a pope of the Capital Tower and Bellri’s mom is also the watcher of the tower and trying to keep the laws in place and keeps control over the Capital Guard. The Capital Army being something different which is not a security force, but a military army that is self maintained force kept by elitists here. It’s interesting to see Reconguista trying to do that sort of complex military complications at the same time. There are also some mentions of a mysterious force that provides energy somewhere out there in ways we haven’t seen yet. Yet. I also like the placement of certain positions of that pirate ship of the Megafuana secretly being shown as apart of the America army we haven’t learned about yet.
Tomino-isms are all over the place. Lots of strange names like the parts that move up and down on the orbital elevators being called Nuts to the De-Frug Mobile Suits to all sorts of crazy character names and styles that just exist. There is also the constant use of exposition that characters like to spout out to fill the air waves with some sort of dialogue or telling you what is going on. Whether its about the current situation to what a character sees to something strange that a character says, there is always just a lot of stuff going on in every scene. I really wish that Tomino would let people see things how they want to in these films sometimes by lettings scenes play themselves out because its like he doesn’t trust the audience to interpret everything in good ways. So much data to look and sift through, so many characters doing something smart or stupid, situations that do and do not matter, and everything else.
If you can read through the high levels of world explaining Tomino dialogue, you know you will enjoy this film and the rest of them. The world presented in Reconguista in G is a very interesting one that feels very lively and interesting if you can get into what is going on. As silly as it is, the pilot seat of a mecha that turns into a toilet seat answers so many questions that I’ve had as a gundam fan for a long time. Plus, there is the cheer leaders before every mecha launching or event that adds so much more then you would think. Same with all the little mecha that are around, the various and exciting settings that have their own liveliness because it’s a living and breathing world. Information moves really fast and so does a lot of things.
I love the way Reconguista looks. There is so many different types of uniforms people wear for whatever side these characters were from originally or what situation they are in now. I also love the older style character designs heer that have so much expression on their body movements and faces too. The character animation is just as good as the mechanical animation that is smooth as butter. I also love all the different sorts of mecha designs from the unique G-Self designs to the many enemy units that move and transform in so many unique and fascinating ways. Lots of cool stuff all around and every single visual in the show tells its own story. That is the danger of some Tomino series. I love all the ideas that Tomino likes showing and displaying, but I think he is in love with his own ideas a little too much sometimes. For me and people lke, this film is between an ok and a good leading to perhaps a good? For other people? I don’t know if others would dig it as much as me.