Yeah, the ending of the first season guaranteed a second season, but it fell into the Sophomore Slump and we ended up being dragged along in an exercise more in what not to do for a second season. We are back to “BBK/BRNK” (or “Bubuki/Buranki: The Gentle Giants of the Galaxy”).
So, after the crew of the Oubu learn the ins and outs of their Buranki, they discover that there are more users out there. Oh, the crew of the Oubu (left to right) Shizuru Taneomi, Kogane Asabuki, Azuma Kazuki, Kinoa Ogi and Hiiragi Nono.
They run afoul of Team America and Team Russia, along with previous confronter Team Entei. So, what are they all doing here? Well, Azuma has a working heart for his Buranki, whereas the other two teams do not. They have come here (I assume Tokyo) by a ‘mysterious benefactor’ to battle for Azuma’s heart, so they can power their machines. The series amuses itself with all of these fights, as well and the internecine struggles each of the units have with what they want to achieve and the ‘best’ way to achieve those goals.
Plus, there is the overall goal that these machines or robots or creatures are intrinsically dangerous and it is only by whosoever is captaining said item that makes it ‘good’ or ‘evil’. And I am still not seeing the overall point of these burankis. At least with a gundam series, it makes sense. Here, it seems more a means to an end to discover one’s true place in the world. Yes, the plot eventually shows up in the last four episodes, but until we get there, it is a ton of hand-wringing and second-guessing and other misplaced emotions.
I mean, I never see the team practice together to make themselves a better cohesive unit. Each is its own entity and Azuma agonizes over every little thing. I have never met someone more plagued by self-doubt who HAS to be in charge (including Shinki Akari from “Evangelion”). It’s just lurching from one crisis to another, but I never feel they learn anything of real value for their lives or how to properly apply the lessons of the setbacks they experience to make themselves stronger and more effective.
The CG is annoying. I find most of the CG in shows like this annoying, as I am constantly reminded of the limitations, both in the artistic approach to the show as well as showcasing how it works (or doesn’t work). I still see a lot of lag with both movements and reactions. I am going to suggest that anime companies drop the CG until some caliber of software comes along that really smooths out the rough edges of things.
Yes, give the devil his due, the fights scenes are involving, but they get tiresome, as you cannot have a show that is fighting here and fighting there and fighting, fighting everywhere. I need to see that emotional growth and the final understanding what is expected from one as we careen through life. I am feeling a third season out there, but I am uncertain if I will chase it down.
On a scale of 1 to 10:
Artwork 6 (Very annoying CG)
Plot 7 (No real movement on things)
Pacing 7 (Fight scenes work; regular scenes not so)
Effectiveness 7 (Unable to see the end goal)
Conclusion 5 (It reaches a ‘coupler point’, but hasn’t ended)
Fan Service 2 (A similar show would be “Okamisan”)
Overall 7 (Things seem to be missing)
And remember, it’s first run until you’ve seen it. I am the heart!