Sunday, July 18
The pilot episode was aired and I must say, it rocks. Much better than everything else offered in 2009 and 2010 anime seasons. Now let's move on with the discussion.
The story centered at the present time with emphasis on Afghanistan. Few foreign nationals (looks like foreign workers with an interpreter) were kidnapped by a group of rebels or Taliban which can be seen being escorted to an abandoned village in middle of wasteland surrounded by some black hills. The activity was monitored by 2 PMCs, Botasky and Packy who were working for CMS. They confirmed the location, requesting for backup but situation becomes unpredictable when one of hostage was murdered in cold blood by the leader. Packy decided to rescue the hostages despite being outnumbered, against the protests by his partner Botasky the marksman and the headquarters.
The story is relatively simply yet play homage to old adage from war movies; never leave your buddy behind, honor of warriors etc. The dialogues were crisp and simple, suitable for no nonsense military jargon employed by both main characters. Music is standard but sounds a lot like Hans Zimmer work on Blackhawk Down. Not bad actually. The animation is top notch, as expected from the company that made video cutscenes of MGS.
Botasky came across as whimsical, easily panicked but skillful marksman and Packy is typical courageous close combat specialist with gruff demeanor with caring disposition towards Botasky. The combat scenes are fast and furious, the PMCs were shooting sparingly in contrast to spray and pray technique by the terrorists. Packy also used a lot of techniques that would make military aficionados proud, transitioning weapon shoulder and primary-secondary transition for example. The creators took pain to include it which put some Hollywood military movie to shame in contrast. Packy primary weapon is quite a surprise; SR 47 but looking at the environment he is operating, it made sense. The weapon represents his character: no gold plating, adaptability, direct and simple system. Botasky in contrast, modified his M14 EBR so much which somewhat give audience a glimpse into his personality; effective but somewhat easily distracted by looks to compensate inferiority complex.
Action fans and military fans will not be disappointed with this CG anime. Perhaps some people will be turned off by the fact the violence looks very realistic and grim but hey, to each of his/her own. Highly recommended! Roger and out.