「未知なる声」 (Michi Naru Koe)
As someone who hasn’t played through the OG games, I was a bit surprised to see the legendary “Choukijin” machines RyuOhKi and KoOhKi show up so soon. I’m somewhat familiar with them from the Alpha storyline, but it leaves me wondering how newcomers to the franchise are expected to be able to grasp everything that’s going on. Lamia had just arrived and joined the Earth Federation as an unexpected ally after all, and now we’re dealing with legendary machines of Chinese mythology. The short version is that those two destructive machines that resemble a dragon and tiger will play pivotal parts to the story, as does Dr. Eri Anzai (Saitou Rie) who was in the process of excavating them before the absurdly corrupt Archibald Grims (Yamazaki Takumi) came strolling along and figured it’d be fun firing on civilians to take them for himself. His top pilots Yuuki Jagger (Madono Mitsuaki) and Ricarla “Carla” Borgnine (Matsumoto Rika) — who were possible protagonists in Super Robot Wars Alpha 1 — aren’t too fond of his methods either. The obvious conclusion is that he deserves to die in the most horrible way, especially given how he’s seen in cahoots with Isurugi Heavy Industries’ president, Mitsuko Isurugi (Takaguchi Yukiko), whose company likes to supply both the Neo Divine Crusaders and the Earth Federation with weaponry and profit off the war.
For the time being, a lot of the undercover conspiracy-like developments are only being hinted at, but it does lay an interesting foundation for the story going forward. In particular, it raises a lot of questions as to who exactly are the antagonists, seeing as the ones currently portrayed as such may not remain so later on. Lamia for instance has already given indication that there’s more to her than she’s letting off, plus her irregularity in polite speech should draw more wary eyes than Excellen’s happy-go-lucky attitude would indicate. As I mentioned in my previous post, betrayals and cloning are prominent themes in the SRW storyline and serve as homage to the Gundam franchise, so that’s something to keep in mind. Similarly, the Psychodriver classification that various characters fall under is akin to being a Newtype with psychic abilities that can be harnessed by their machines. A lot of the characters had an unsettling feeling when approaching the Chihyu Mound that the Choukijin were sleeping under, which was one example of their extrasensory perception. In any case, for anime-only viewers, a lot of this will probably go over their heads, but avid fans of the game will probably be picking up on all the little nuances and picking out the differences between the games already. Again, it shouldn’t take away from one’s enjoyment unless you have a keen interest to appreciate the series to its fullest though.
Personally, I’m just looking forward to seeing more of Banpresto’s original story unfold amidst all the things that I am familiar with, which looks like the next episode will be a good start towards. The SRX team looks like they’re going to finally show up in this sequel, plus Seolla Schweizer (Kakazu Yumi), suggesting that Arado Balanga (Kaichi Kazuya) should be showing up as well. Yes, there are many more characters and personal troopers to come. This is just the tip of the iceberg.