Check-in Station: Majestic Prince ep1 (I admire your temerity… or is it stupidity?)
Part three of my attempt to check out as much anime from this Spring season as possible, I’m watching Majestic Prince. The first of I believe three mecha series airing this season. My attempt to closely follow three mecha series at once is absolutely doomed even as I take my first baby steps into doing it. Which is why I’m kinda hoping one of these series is garbage. It’s a horrible thought I know, but it’s a better alternative than having to leave an excellent series behind. Also, it’s far more likely that one or more of these mecha are going to suck. They’re complete unknowns. And on first impressions I had my fair share of doubts about this series in particular, but let’s see if my prejudices about this being a goofy, unfunny mecha actually hold up past a viewing of a preview, and into the viewing of the first episode.
Well we get off to a nice start as asses are firmly getting kicked. Some human space navy with a bunch of acronyms for themselves is getting slaughtered by what appear to be aliens, but I know not to call aliens. It’s a lesson I learned in Gundam AGE. Sometimes they’re just douchebags with inexplicably advanced technology. The base commander sees this slaughter and cries to his superiors for assistance, and he gets what he wants, sorta. Some old guy with a sheet of metal welded to his face is brought out and put in charge of the backup for the base evacuation. We then cut to a squad of kids piloting mecha in space. The music is hype, the pilots looks serious (aside from the red-headed ditz), and you expect some intense aerial acrobatics (scratch the aerial, we’re in space).
The team obviously has no TEAMwork. Bickers. Splits. And is promptly defeated in their mock battle with some other young pilots. We then learn that these five bickering goofballs are part of Team Rabbits, the worst squadron by far. And it’s easy to see why. None of them agree. Pay attention to each other. Garner respect from the others. You couldn’t squeeze an ounce of focus out of this idiots if you smashed the five of them together and forced them to spell the same word! I’m quite surprised I didn’t see a fist fight. Well at least they have a hot instructor. I’m gonna try to do any female a service by not sexualizing, or objectifying her too much. But given my past material, I’m genuinely surprised a female ever comments on this blog. Back to the instructor, she seems serious and competent enough. So I don’t see why the collision of her personality with these malcontents doesn’t garner some level of competency from them. My god! How bad were they before her?
Now I’m already bad with names, so I’m going to be staring at a character list for this show so I can give you the proper run down on them.
Izuru: appears to be the hero of this story, well by the end he does. When first meeting him, I just assumed he’d be the comic relief. He just loves drawing and being optimistic. He easily strikes me as a moron. Which given anime tropes, means he’ll probably go very far given his position.
Toshikazu: appears to be Izuru’s rival. Seems much more serious and arrogant. Various scenes and set up give me the impression that when it comes to classic anime tropes, he will be the “blue oni” and Izuru will be the red one.
Kei: I can’t tell if she’s uptight, or unmotivated. She really gives off the least of an impression.
Ataru: he’s the nerd/gun nut of the group. I suppose he could come across as an annoying know-it-all, but so far he just has no compatibility with his team.
Tamaki: ah yes, the ditz. She’s far more concerned with falling in love than her duties. Pretty normal for a teenager really. Though I fear that hyperactive personality and inability to focus of hers will anger more and more as they trudge through this series.
As the team argues over lunch (or dinner, it’s space so what does it matter?), their instructor is summoned by their leader, the gruff old man with the metal welded to his face. He promptly instructs her to prep her little band of loser misfits for combat. They’re the back up that will slow down the enemy advance and allow the base to be evacuated. All five of them. *sigh* And though she does try to make a case for how stupid an idea this is, it doesn’t get very far. Though if it did, we wouldn’t have much of a series, much less a decent first episode. So to their surprise, and somewhat dismay they’re given their special combat machines that perfectly suit their personalities and Izuru is put in place as the leader. You’d think Toshikazu – no wait, he’s too selfish. Maybe it’d be better to have Kei- no, she has no personality and couldn’t inspire someone to swallow a drop of water… OK Izuru’s as good a choice as any! Before heading out, their metal faced commander does give them a decent speech about their dreams, and tells the misfits that they’re actually the military’s dreams come true. Though now that I put it that way, it sounds much less cool and much more manipulative.
I was impressed how each machine had its own crew, unlike most mecha anime that have one or two distiguishable geniuses, and tough guys headed the maintenance and a bunch of nobodies that burn up any time a missile hits the ship’s hull. Speaking of the ship, it does keep that nice intelligent design of lowering the bridge when in combat, as opposed to the old way of just having the damn thing sticking out the top, covered by nothing but a layer of “space” glass.
In seemingly no time at all, the ship makes it to the combat zone and the machines are deployed. Their mission is simply to be an annoyance and distraction for the enemies for thirty minutes. And once the pilots adapt to their machines, things go off without a hitch. The space fleet evacuates perfectly, and everyone should be able to go home.
This is anime. Nothing’s ever that simple. I’ve seen anime last far longer than they had to, just because two people couldn’t say three words to each other.
Well despite the military being able to evacuate completely, some civilians were left behind. I question why and how the civilians can not only be clearly seen from above the asteroid, but more importantly how they are seemingly so calm and nonchalant down there during this horrifying battle. Seriously, when we first saw this battle go down there were explosions going off everywhere! Did no one get the evacuation notice?!
Regardless, Izuru (whose dream was to become a hero when old metal face asked him)sees the civilians and unlike the rest of the team doesn’t accept the order to retreat because there’s nothing they can do to save them without any more ships. He decides go with his fight instincts (literally) over the flight ones and fly right into the enemy armada. His team, stuck there now because of his waffling, decides to back him up, as well as does his maintenance crew which launches an attachment to help him kick more ass. The alien commander, who at the beginning of the episode was so gung-ho about exterminating everyone, now decides that they’ve hit their magic number for casualties and retreats. The battle’s over and pretty much anyone who saw that battle is in awe. As they should be. End of episode.
The show’s goofy, doesn’t make much sense and I hate the mecha designs. But this was absolutely a fun watch. Even though the bickering Team Rabbits by their very existence is annoying, I still found it easy to put up with them. The show wasn’t exactly funny, but it didn’t linger on trying to be so. It just tried to be fun, and I appreciate that. Too often these mecha shows begin super slowly, trying to show you its fake “normal” world for its supposed “normal” characters, before in the last forty five to twenty five percent of the episode everything goes to hell. It’s only one episode, so I have no problem being introduced to these characters in the most superficial ways possible. So I’m definitely going to watch the first five episodes of this series. For a first episode and a first impression, it did its job well.