Spending A Week With Gasaraki

If you’re following me on Instagram, you already know my latest anime binge has been Gasaraki, a 1998 mecha series from Sunrise.

230px-gasaraki_coverThe most important element about Gasaraki compared to other mecha series is how subtle it is. Most mecha shows are known for their action sequences, outgoing characters, and bold musical themes.

In Gasaraki, action must be earned (US grain exports become an important late-series plot point), the characters are often quiet (especially the leads Yushiro and Miharu), and music sometimes isn’t used at all, making the themes punch stronger.

The fact that this series was set 15 years in the future isn’t readily revealed. Gasaraki was released in Japan in late 1998. One in-world photo has a date stamp of 2014. That time difference isn’t a huge issue, since the technology in Gasaraki is near-future. Bipedal weapons are supposed to be a way to take tank technology into more confined urban settings, though there is a plot about desert warfare early on.

When Gasaraki was first released in the US, I loved and adored it. I was first discovering anime and appreciated how intelligent and spiritual a series could be. (Noh dancing is one of the most important elements in determining who the ace mecha pilots are.) Gasaraki is one of the many experiments in original programming in post-Evangelion anime.

I’ve been digging in to mecha a lot lately. The impact of Evangelion made an impression on how everything was received starting with Escaflowne. You think it’s time for me to start watching the epic battle against the Angels again?

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