OP: 「UNISONIA」 by TRUE
Sunrise is back with their specialty in Buddy Complex and Christmas comes early for fans of the mecha genre this year. The story this time focuses on high school student Watase Aoba (Matsuoka Yoshitsugu)—your prototypical normal student with some great chemistry with the gal next to him. It’s just too bad someone from the future wants him dead with a passion, and what was a normal day quickly becomes anything but. I guess it’s a good thing he can’t aim (though Aoba has some great evasion skills), or else this would’ve been a pretty short story.
Buddy Complex’s first episode ultimately ends pretty straight forward, and it was mostly what we expected from a Sunrise original mecha series. In particular, a lot of the premise, designs, and the OP/ED sequences are reminiscent of past Gundam series, especially that of Gundam Seed. Whether that ends up being a good or a bad thing is still to be determined, but at the very least, the time traveling hijinks were promising. I can’t remember the last time Sunrise mixed in a bit of that with their mecha series, and this addition comes as a nice surprise to what was otherwise a pretty generic start. At the same time however, it’s the time traveling does brings more questions than it does answers, and one does hope that they do address some of them before it’s all said and done. Specifically, how Watase ends up within a suit that clearly wasn’t the one he traveled to the future with, and why (and how) Yumihara disappears midway through their portal warp.
For now though, it’s a solid start. It comes with some irony that the shows that meet your expectations typically give you less to talk about, and it was the case here. From a personal standpoint, I enjoyed this introductory episode as a mecha fan, but it’s admittedly nothing too amazing at the moment. How they pull off the main plot (and time-travel part of the story especially) will go a long way towards determining whether it does elevate itself to a higher tier, but even if it doesn’t, it’s likely to be a worthwhile watch for fans of the genre.
This is Sunrise doing their specialty after all, and their association with this series means you can expect a measure of quality from this show. This means high production values in terms of animation and sound, and both have already made their presence known this first episode. Sharp, clear cut animation was present throughout (how bout those basketball scenes?), and the now well known Kato Tatsuya already gave us a glimpse of how potentially epic the soundtrack could be by giving us a few battle themes right off the bat. Last but not least, it has to be noted that we seem to have only hit the tip of the iceberg cast-wise too, which bodes well considering how they pulled off the whole Hina x Aoba natural chemistry thing. It is too bad that Hina doesn’t look like she’ll play a part for a little bit (at least, it wouldn’t be the Hina as we knew her), but his impending “coupling” with Dio looks like it could end up worth watching for the potential ass-kicking it presents.
Looking forward, it’ll be interesting to see how much time they end up giving this series to develop. I’d like to say it looks like it’ll be a two-cour, but things did move fast enough in this introductory episode that it could very well be a one cour. Needless to say, the former would be better than the latter, but… stranger things have happened. We’ll see. All we do know right now is that Dio’s waiting for you, and it’s probably best not to keep him waiting too long.
Author’s Note: Buddy Complex is not scheduled to be covered at this time. If this changes, you’ll see an update in the schedule sometime in the next week or two.
ED: 「あの空に還る未来で」 (Ano Sora ni Kaeru Mirai de) by ChouCho