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Gun x Sword 1

The second title I picked up this season based on title alone. Among the things I am lacking this season is a decent action show. Ergo Proxy is a great story, but it's not really high-action, and Noein is great characterization, but dubious action. Theoretically, Gun x Sword, apart from the obvious appeal of gun x sword, is like combination noodles for action geeks. It has the obligatory guns and swords, a few tanks, many explosives, and bonus mecha. The lead guy, Van, is bendy and moves around like Reed Richards with a shapeshifting scarf. Fairly odd stuff - he also summons a mecha that looks like the Ramrod. He's stalked by a suitably whingy little girl (with a gun) called Wendy, who provides the squeaking heroine horror for this show. Together, they're chasing after Wolverine, who has killed or held hostage people of import to them.

Animation is okay. The important action sequences are quick but not particularly smooth (think Mugen's hiphop kickery from Samurai Champloo slowed-down with stutters). The mecha scenes are worryingly posed - no Gundam/Evangelion-style clash of the titans here. Music is pretty decent. The first episode dives right into the story, and what little hints of a closing song there are in the credits hasn't been bad. Plotwise, we're really at this point where it's Van walking around starving to death and saving people, with Wendy being a sad girl in the sand (with a gun). There are clear signs the story is moving towards a kind of Kill Bill stomped-at-the-altar history for Van. In fact, the entire appeal of the story thus far is rather like Kill Bill - slick posing, arty action, and the capacity to watch something with one's brain turned off.

I'm definitely ready to give this the benefit of the doubt. The action, while suspicious, can improve. Van is a likeable grump, reminiscent of Vampire Hunter D if D actually spoke, with no tastebuds. Wendy, so long she stays under the limit of annoyance, can be passable. So, well. It's a Western.

Recommended Fansubs: Shinsen-Subs, all the way.

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