Is This Really a Sequel?
As a few people had read from here a few months back, Super Dimension Century Orguss is a series from a lot of the people behind SDF Macross. It is the second isekai anime ever and came out in 1983. Ten years later, Orguss 02 came out in the form of a six episode ova and takes place two hundred years in the future after the original series. Something which is wild considering that the original ending of Orguss was kind of ambiguous. Or should I say mind screw? Both kind of work because we actually don’t know what happened besides the protagonist Kei redeeming his own journey at the end of the show.
Something which moves on to a lot of the subject matter of how Orguss 02 is connected to Orguss one at all. In my own opinion, it is barely connected at all. It feels like a committee decision to take this original story and show stringing some connections to the original Orguss references in the end. Definitely a part of those 90’s ovas that are loosely connected to older franchises. The Orguss in the original series was just a mecha that Kei, the original pilot, piloted. It wasn’t special besides the last connection to his Earth. Then you have the Orguss 02 here that only has Orguss stuff in it for 1.25 episodes which only means a little bit in the end.
The Story of Orguss 02
But I am getting ahead of myself here. I should probably discuss some aspects of what Orguss 02 is about. This is a series that takes place during a war between the two superpowers of Rivilia and Zafrin. Two nations that recover hi-tech decimators, the mecha branding from Orguss, from underneath the ground. Lean, the protagonist of this series, and his friend Zean are working with a Rivilian secret agent, Lt. Manning, to recover decimators for Rivilia. Then a Zafrin force attacks and Lean’s life changes in ways he didn’t ever expect to happen.
To help pay off Zean’s family debts, Lean joins the military to become a secret agent. He also works alongside Lt. Manning whose own morals are always ambiguous. Lean only goes on one mission with this Lt. Manning and that is a very special one set out to spy on and possibly destroy the decimators that Zafrin is currently digging up. An event that leaves Lean stuck with this mysterious girl named Nataruma who wants to escape Zafrin too. So their goals, despite their own issues with each other, is what allows these two to connect on their way out.
Really Cool World Building
My favorite part of Orguss 02 is the cool environments and settings we get to see. It reminds me of the world of Royal Space Force: The Wings of Honneamise. While the original Orguss did do some ground work in establishing the different kind of world it is from our own, it did a passable job at it at best. Most of Orguss was a small crew of people stuck on a ship away from most of the world. The very fact that Lean and Nataruma are on the ground and have to come up with creative ways to outwit and escape their pursuers means we get to see so much more of it.
I love it though. Great work on how the architecture of the world is, their brand of clothing, what kind of shops are all over the place. It really works and exceeds on good levels here too. The wonderful set of colors, the nice people living there. The world feels so liveable and wonderful in establishing all the sorts of details on the coolest levels there too. The minor detail of the royal court drama in Rivilia is very quick, but helps provide a great atmosphere and tension behind what the war is doing to that world. It feels like where the production crew put their passion.
The Chemistry Between These Characters
The main thing holding Orguss 02 together is the relationship between Lean and Nataruma and the one between Lean and Lt. Manning. The one between Lean and Nataruma started out as one character trying to one up the other, though it mainly resulted in Lean’s win. You know, if you can say that sort of thing. The “disguise” that Nataruma put on was that countries lingerie, because he was hiding as a lingerie salesman. It wasn’t that showy though and the two did end up loving each. The who ended with a blind Lean and Nataruma working together.
Then there is the relationship between Lean and Lt. Manning that is just a lot of fun. A fun one where Lean is the straight man and Lt. Manning is the crazy maker. Being a lingerie salesman was his idea. He sets the stakes for Lean to be alone by himself when Manning just leaves Lean behind in the middle of nowhere. Despite that fact, Manning actually does care about Lean surviving despite the difficult situations he has caused. In some way, Manning got some comeuppance in the end where he was in a situation he couldn’t control.
The True Conclusion of Orguss?
Orguss 02 is a beautiful looking ova. I know that I mentioned a lot about its world construction and ideas in how they are shared, but there is much more. The decimator fights that appeared were incredible. Some amazing flight scenes are in this one alongside great character animation too.The character art style itself is very Gundam 0083 like in nature, which is great because those designs are just so good. It really does show how realistic and weighted everything in the ova feels.good. For six episodes, almost everything in it feels so well articulated.
I know that I said this already, but the worst part of Orguss was the conclusion. Mainly because the Orguss 02 showed up and there was another space time bomb that was in the wings of being used. One that didn’t pull out of nowhere, but it really didn’t add anything. Mainly because there was no weight when those moments that connected to the original were very short scenes. It was so strange seeing this show’s more grounded and weighted art style forcing its way into the older series. Orguss 02 should have been its original story. So yeah, it’s good.